Meet Our Administrators

Trust the Dedication of Utah's Foremost Educational Leaders

Utah Virtual Academy administrators are committed to ensuring the finest education possible for your children. From providing expert tools and strategies to teaching materials and parent support, our management is dedicated to making sure that you have what you need to deliver a well-rounded, enriching education to your children. 

Meghan Merideth

Meghan Merideth, Head of School, 801.262.4922 Ext. 210 – graduated from Utah Valley University in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science. Mrs. Merideth completed her Master's Degree in Educational Counseling from University of Phoenix in 2009, and is pursuing her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Utah. She has been with UTVA since 2011, and has experience in working with students of all grade levels with charter and district schools prior to joining UTVA. Her background includes extensive experience as a school counselor, high school principal, and operations manager. Mrs. Merideth has developed a passion for virtual education believing that all students can learn and virtual education is a vehicle to facilitate quality education statewide.


Tiffany Allen, Operation Manager, 801-262-4922, – graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Business. Mrs. Allen’s early career involved learning the marketing side of business. She worked with a virtual training company right out of college and was intrigued by the “education” component of the company. She has since served as the marketing director for local school bond initiatives, and the executive director for the Morgan Education Foundation. Mrs. Allen has been part of the UTVA team since 2018. It is her goal to provide sustainable processes to support staff and students to ensure each student the best possible virtual education.

Debbie Dempsy

Debbie Dempsey, High School Principal, 801.262.4922 Ext. 200 – graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. Ms. Dempsey earned her M.Ed. at City University of Seattle, principal certification from Seattle Pacific University. and Ed.S. from Walden University.  Ms. Dempsey taught Special Education in grades 1–12 in private and public schools for 21 years and has been a principal for 12 years in both public and charter school systems.  Her family has lived in Maryland, Washington, California, and are glad to call Utah home again. She has a son, a daughter, and four of the cutest grandsons around.  Ms. Dempsey’s experience with non-traditional educational opportunities has shown her endless possibilities for each student to reach their dreams. 

Desarae Wright

Desarae Wright, High School Assistant Principal, 801.262.4922 ext. 3340, - graduated from the University of Utah with her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Wright then completed her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Western Governor’s University in 2017. She taught grades Kindergarten-2nd before moving to administration working as Assistant Principal in K8 and now High School. Mrs. Wright joined the UTVA team in 2013, and has a passion for education and serving the virtual school population.  Although working with younger students is where her career began, she quickly found a special place in her heart for High School and looks forward to seeing the school grow.


Lori Simonson, MIddle School Principal, 801.262.4922 Ext.7636 - Lori Simonson graduated from Dixie State University in 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education and an ESL Endorsement. She is currently enrolled at Southern Utah University and will graduate with her Master’s in Education with Administrative and Supervisory License in December 2021. Lori’s background in education includes teaching 2nd grade, 5th grade, 7th grade science, as well as working as an Instructional Coach, Lead Teacher, and K8 Vice Principal. Lori is passionate about education and believes that every student should have the opportunity to receive the best education possible. She believes that by working together as a middle school team we can help support students in finding success through their educational pursuits.

Lacy Robinson

Lacy Robinson, Elementary Principal, 801.262.4922 - Lacey Robinson graduated from Dixie State University in 2006 with a degree in Elementary Education and an ESL Endorsement. She will complete her Master’s in Education with Administrative License (M.Ed. LEAD) in July 2021 through Southern Utah University. Her teaching experience includes 6/7 grade math teacher, high school mentor, 3rd grade teacher, 5th grade teacher, and math interventionist. Lacey began working at Utah Virtual Academy in 2013 and is so proud of how far this school has come since that time. In addition to teaching, Lacey created and advised both the Ambassador and Jr. Ambassador leadership programs at UTVA. She also worked on the K8 leadership team as Lead Teacher for 3 years. Lacey is passionate about helping students grow and develop through equity and excellence. Her focus as a leader at UTVA centers around supporting teachers and families, high expectations for both staff and students, and keeping student growth at the very center of every decision that is made. Lacey truly believes that educators have a moral and ethical duty to educate every student, and looks forward to that responsibility every single day!

Shelly Strahan

Shelly Strahan, Special Programs Manager, 801.262.4922 Ext. 6000 - graduated from Southern Utah University in 2003 with a teaching degree in Secondary Language Arts and Journalism. After teaching Language Arts for two years at an alternative private school setting, Mrs. Strahan realized her real passion was working with students with disabilities, especially autism. She earned her endorsement in Special Education from Utah State University, and afterwards moved into special education in the public school system. Mrs. Strahan has worked in private schools, a public district school, and now at Utah Virtual Academy. She was been the Special Education Coordinator at UTVA for seven years, and in 2018 moved to the role of Special Programs Manager, where she oversees compliance for Special Education, Title I programs, 504 plans, and ELL. Her strongest belief is that given the opportunity, all students can learn.

LuAnn Charles

LuAnn Charles, Student Services Administrator and Marketing Point of Contact Rep., 385-212-4613, Mrs. Charles has been at UTVA for 7 years starting as a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher. She then worked as the Family Engagement Coordinator for four years and is currently excited to work as the Student Services Administrator with an amazing team of professionals dedicated to supporting students and parent Learning Coaches. Mrs. Charles graduated from Brigham Young University in Elementary Education. Her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, fishing, singing, and spending time with her family.