Staff

Barbara Nicholson Freeman, M.Ed.

Chief Executive Officer | bfreeman@umsi.org

Barbara Nicholson Freeman, M.Ed.

Barbara Nicholson Freeman brought thirty-six years of educational training and experience to UMSI in 2002 when she became its first Executive Director. Having served in both public and private schools, she believes the University-Model® is an excellent alternative in education. In her opinion, it is the best of the three options (public, private, University-Model®), especially for parents who desire time with their children combined with a quality educational program. Mrs. Freeman’s educational credentials include a B.S. in Elementary Education from Delta State University, a Master of Education, and a Master of School Administration, both from the University of Texas-Pan American. She holds Texas lifetime certification in teaching, instructional supervision, and school administration. Her K-12 experience includes thirty-three years in public education and seventeen years in Christian education. Prior roles include teaching, public relations director, federal programs supervisor, central office administrator, elementary and high school principal, and superintendent. Mrs. Freeman has two adult children and six grandchildren, three of whom attended Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington. She is married to Chuck Freeman, a Fort Worth architect.

Mike Chrasta

Director of Ministry | mchrasta@umsi.org

Mike Chrasta

In addition to serving as the Director of Ministry for UMSI, Mike has been active in the University-Model® school community for nearly fifteen years. Mike served as a teacher and administrator at Lucas Christian Academy where his wife Kathy currently works and where his three children (Joseph, Rebecca, Rosie) have attended. He currently serves as Dean of Family Ministry at Wylie Preparatory Academy. Mike has more than twenty-five years’ teaching experience, holds three graduate degrees (M.A., English; M.A., Public Policy, and a Ph.D. (Arts and Humanities-History of Ideas), and is a certified Texas Master Naturalist.

Pamela Oberg

Independent Contractor, Oberg Enterprises | accounting@naums.net

Pamela Oberg

Pamela Oberg is the independent accountant for NAUMS, Inc. (UMSI), as well as Waxahachie Preparatory Academy, a UMSI school in Waxahachie, TX. Mrs. Oberg is the founder and president of Oberg, Enterprises, and she originally learned about the University-Model® when she served as a University-Model school “Mom” at Waxahachie Prep. In addition to serving as the NAUMS accountant, Mrs. Oberg makes presentations regarding finance, budgeting, and accounting during New School Workshops. As an accountant, Mrs. Oberg works in concert with the C.P.A. who conducts audits for NAUMS, Inc. and is a member of the Finance Committee. She presents all financial reports at Board of Trustees meetings and supervises the financial operations of NAUMS (UMSI) National Conferences.

Bart Cannon, M.A., M.A.P.D.

Business Strategist | bcannon@umsi.org

Bart Cannon, M.A., M.A.P.D.

After completing a 43-year commercial banking career, Bart Cannon joined UMSI in 2016 as its Business Strategist. Bart serves UMSI in a variety of areas, including financial planning and analysis, research, and product development. Since 2003, he has taught undergraduate courses on Worldviews and graduate-level courses on Leadership at Dallas Baptist University. He has also written and published two inspirational books and a number of newspaper articles and Bible study guides. The Cannons have four adult children: Keri, Beth, Melissa, and Jonathan. During their child-rearing years, Bart and his wife, Karen, were involved with church-sponsored and private Christian schools, as well as public schools and home school cooperatives. Bart holds a B.S. degree in Marketing Administration from the University of Alabama and a diploma from the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University, as well as two Masters Degrees—an M.A.P.D. in Management and Church Leadership from Dallas Baptist University, and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

Shirley Smith

Coordinator of Member Services | ssmith@umsi.org

Shirley Smith

Shirley joined the ministry of UMSI in 2013 and currently serves as Coordinator of Member Services. She is a vital part of all administrative support duties for the organization. Most likely when you call the office, you will speak to Shirley. At the top of her “joy” list are her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. Shirley’s favorite activities include church leadership, attending Christian conferences, reading, and occasional travel. Her life Scripture: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Anna Miller

Academic Support Coordinator | amiller@umsi.org

Anna Miller

Anna first joined UMSI in 2006 as an office aide before transitioning to serving as an Academic Specialist in 2014. Now the Academic Support Coordinator, she specializes in providing academic support for leaders and teachers in UM schools. Anna is a product of the University-Model® having graduated from Grace Preparatory Academy in 2009. After graduating from Dallas Baptist University with a B.S. in Education in 2013, she continues to be directly involved in the University-Model® by teaching science and coaching varsity volleyball at Christian Life Preparatory School in Fort Worth. She enjoys spending time with her husband Daniel and dog Kiwi, reading, crafting, and coaching volleyball.

Karen Cannon

Academic Specialist | kcannon@umsi.org

Karen Cannon

Karen joined UMSI as Academic Specialist after completing a stellar career in elementary education, including more than 20 years teaching in public schools and more than five years in private Christian schools, as well as home schooling and partnering with other parents in a home school cooperative. Karen also holds certifications in English as a Second Language (ESL) and dyslexia training. In her spare time, Karen enjoys nurturing flowers in her yard, traveling, and making memories with her husband, Bart, and four adult children: Keri, Beth, Melissa, and Jonathan.

Jenny Blair, MHR

Communications Specialist | jblair@umsi.org

Jenny Blair, MHR

Jenny was first introduced to the University-Model® in 2011 when she began teaching AP English at Christian Life Preparatory School in Fort Worth. Jenny joined UMSI in 2013 and currently serves as Communication Specialist. She enjoys working with schools in teacher and technology training, as well as coordinating all things social media. She enjoys spending time with her husband Donnie, photography, making music, and traveling the world. Jenny and Donnie currently reside in Leicester, England.

Carla Vaughn

Fund Development Specialist | cvaughn@umsi.org

Carla Vaughn

Carla has been in Christian school work or 36 years in Kansas and Texas. In 1980, she was one of the founders of a traditional Christian school in North Dallas. As well as serving as a school administrator, she successfully established and implemented the development program raising $490,000 in four years. During her 19 years at the school, Carla was actively involved with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and served as the Treasurer of the Association of Christian Schools of Texas. Carla joined NAUMS, Inc. in 2006 where she serves as the Fund Development Specialist. Carla has extensive experience in the area of fund development training for Christian schools and is passionate about serving, advising, and assisting UMSI schools in their effort for raising funds. In 2016, She began building relationships with collegiate, corporate, and start-up ministries in order to share their benefits with UMSI schools. Carla and her husband Joe have two married children and three grandchildren. Joe and Carla are members of Prestonwood Baptist Church where they serve in the mentoring ministry and as prayer coordinators.

Deborah Henry, Ph.D.

Corporate Support Specialist | dhenry@umsi.org

Deborah Henry, Ph.D.

Deborah Henry joined UMSI in 2015 and serves as Corporate Support Specialist. She specializes in providing academic support for leaders and teachers in the UM. Since 2002, Deborah has supervised the academic program and taught at Christian Life Preparatory School in Fort Worth, Texas. She earned a B.S. in Microbiology, M.Ed. in Educational Administration, and a Ph.D. in Science Education. She and her husband, Zachary, have four children, three of whom graduated from CLPS.

John W. Turner, Jr., D.Min.

Family Ministry Consultant | familyministry@umsi.org

John W. Turner, Jr., D.Min.

Dr. John W. Turner, Jr. currently serves as a UMSI consultant in the Family Ministry component. John began his experience with the University-Model® when he and his wife, Roxie, enrolled the first two of their five children (previously home schooled) in Grace Preparatory Academy (Arlington, Texas), on the first day of the school’s inception in 1993. Since then, four of their five graduated from Grace Prep and the fifth graduated by way of the Turners’ home school. From 1998 until 2004, Dr. Turner served as Grace Prep’s first full-time Dean of Character Development. During that time, he was commissioned to write Character-Driven College Preparation to provide a quick overview of the University-Model®. Since 1981, Dr. Turner has served continuously as a pastor of churches in both California and Texas, first in a full-time capacity, and since 1999, bi-vocationally. John and Roxie are blessed with nine grandchildren.