The winter semester of 2023 will begin on January 9th. A total of 54 students from 18 different countries will be attending, and the campus will be a multilingual environment with 9 languages being spoken: English, Spanish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Portuguese, Czech, Latvian, Romanian, and Arabic.
One of the unique aspects of Cumorah Academy is that it provides students with the opportunity to learn about and experience different cultures, which can broaden their perspective and prepare them for the future.
Throughout the semester, students also have the chance to get to know each other’s cultures more deeply by organizing cultural evenings together.
Mentors for Winter 2023
During the three-month program, students will study topics such as leadership, public speaking, and soft skills. One major benefit is that mentors from a variety of professions visit the campus on a weekly basis to provide leadership and business lessons. In addition, students have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one sessions with these mentors to discuss their life vision or any current challenges they may be facing.
Patrick Sedivy is a civil engineer who graduated from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Allyse, are the parents of 5 children and have one grandchild with another on the way. The couple has owned and operated multiple businesses in various industries including retail, wholesale, importing, and education.
They are both passionate about leadership, personal development, and business and enjoy sharing their knowledge with students at Cumorah Academy, which they founded in Fall 2021 after receiving a spiritual prompting to do so. Prior to starting Cumorah Academy, Patrick and Allyse served missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Czech Republic.
Simon & Leah Fagg
Leah and Simon are a married couple from Colchester, England who are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this year. They have seven children and three granddaughters. Simon is an executive coach and facilitator with a leadership development consultancy, and hosts a podcast for aspiring leaders.
Leah is a stay-at-home mother and grandmother who is studying to be a counselor. She enjoys teaching a weekly Young Adult Institute class in their home. Both Leah and Simon enjoy volunteering in their community and spending time together walking and talking.
John S. Pennington Jr is a successful entrepreneur and private equity investor. In 2008, he co-founded a family of private equity investment funds focused on real estate, which grew to over $28 billion in assets under management by 2021. In 2021, his company, Bridge Investment Group, completed an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange and he retired, becoming a Partner Emeritus with no day-to-day responsibilities.
John has co-founded multiple companies in various countries and has served as the director of fundraising for Utah Special Olympics. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah in 1988 and has previously served on the Advisory Board for the Westminster College School of Business in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Brian & Kristy Baxter
Brian and Kristy are a married couple with a variety of professional and personal experiences. Brian is a global HR expert and former adjunct professor, while Kristy has managed the home and finances of her four children and worked as a financial processor and substitute teacher.
They have served as senior couple missionaries in Russia and Poland and are currently serving in a branch at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. They are grandparents to five grandchildren, with two more on the way.
Don Hansen is a husband and father of four daughters who currently lives in Rexburg, Idaho, where he works as the Director of World Language Education at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He trains future Spanish and ESL/EFL teachers, oversees online TESOL courses, and manages state accreditation compliance for ESL and Spanish programs.
Don grew up in central California and has lived in Japan and Mexico. He enjoys athletics, particularly volleyball, and takes pride in having the largest snow sledding hill in his neighborhood. Don enjoys reading books by Malcolm Gladwell and Jonathan Haidt.
Robert “Bob” Hanson is a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, both domestically and internationally. He has expertise in executive-level management, program design and development, resource allocation, collaborative partnerships, impact investing, and traditional and trend-based resource development. In addition to consulting and board roles, Robert teaches at the Romney Institute’s MPA program at the Marriot School of Business at Brigham Young University.
He is married to his wife Terri and they have four children and one grand-daughter, with another on the way. They live in American Fork, Utah and enjoy spending time with family, hiking, and being in nature.
Henry & Elke Kosak
Henry and Elke Kosak are the parents of three children and three grandchildren. Both born in East Germany, they are members of the Church and have experienced many miracles in their lives. Elke has a Master’s degree in Work Science and Henry is a Water Engineer who has taught at Seminaries and Institutes for 33 years.
The Kosaks have lived and worked in Russia for seven years and served a mission in the Germany Berlin Mission from 2012-15. Elke enjoys quilting and translating, while Henry is also a BYU-Pathway Area Manager for Europe and Europe East. As a couple, they enjoy traveling and reading books together.
Russell & Samantha Ford
Samantha Ford is an adult education teacher who has a passion for history, particularly the British Royal Family. She has volunteered with horse-riding for the disabled and is a seminary teacher. In her free time, she enjoys going for walks with the family dog.
Russell Ford is a lawyer who runs his own business. He is an avid football fan and serves as a referee. He is also a bishop and enjoys staying fit. In the past, he served a mission in France and Switzerland and has a love for motorbikes, although he currently does not own one.
Bruce & Jean Bingham
Sister Jean B. Bingham is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who grew up with six sisters and two brothers in various locations in the United States. She and her husband, Bruce, have two children and have also fostered others. Sister Bingham has an associate degree in family living and a master’s degree in teaching.
She has served in various roles in the church, including as a Primary general board member and as a counselor in the Primary General Presidency. During her time in these positions, Sister Bingham has traveled extensively and seen the challenges and blessings of being a member of the Church in different parts of the world. Sister Bingham hopes that Relief Society sisters will recognize the goodness in each other and focus on Jesus Christ to understand their own identities.
Paulette is a people builder and lifelong learner who has degrees in English Literature and English/Rhetoric, as well as a TEFL from U.C. Berkeley. Despite dropping out of high school, she eventually completed her bachelor’s degree after 30 years. Paulette is currently faculty at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she teaches English and LifeSkills and serves as the Reading Center Director.
She has presented at numerous conferences and events, including Education Weeks at Brigham Young University-Idaho, the Utah State Prison, and youth camps, and has given a TED talk entitled “Duh? You Didn’t Know That?”, which can be found on YouTube. Paulette served a mission in London in the past and is now a mother and grandmother. She has been married to her husband Drake for 36 years.
Quinn Kirkham is a lifelong learner with a passion for exploring new languages, cultures, and ideas. He has a degree in biology with a minor in philosophy, ethics, and Bulgarian from Brigham Young University-Idaho, and a Master of Arts in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, with a focus on the Middle East and Arabic.
In his spare time, Quinn enjoys composing and producing music and served a mission in Bulgaria. He also enjoys reading and spending time with a cup of tea.