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IDeal- Idaho College Savings Program
During Christine’s career she has had the pleasure of working with Idaho’s educators and families; which has allowed her a broad view of the unique education strengths and challenges in Idaho. She has been fortunate to have had many opportunities to help shape the field of college and career planning including leading the Idaho Career Information System-CIS for over a decade, developing curriculum, software, resources and trainings that have served as a foundation for Idaho’s college and career planning.
Christine stays active in the career and college planning field through her professional affiliations including the National Career Development Association, National Treasurer Association, College Savings Plan Network and the Idaho Financial Literacy Coalition. She is the current President for the Idaho Career Development Association and was honored with the Idaho Counseling Association’s Public Policy and Legislation Award in 2013. Christie also has the pleasure of serving as the current chair of the Educate Idaho Network Steering Committee. Christie is a graduate from Leadership Boise and also served as the Vice President for the Leadership Boise Academy high school program where she had the pleasure of helping to mentor local students. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and playing outdoors with her husband and two girls.
Christine received her Baccalaureate degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Resources and her Master’s degree in Instructional Performance and Technology from Boise State University.
Vice President Community Affairs Manager Idaho Region
Molly Lenty, a 19-year veteran of Well Fargo, manages Community Relations for the Idaho Region, and serves on the regional executive leadership team. She is responsible for managing Wells Fargo’s philanthropic giving, volunteerism, community leadership, and team member giving program.
An active community volunteer, Molly serves as the Chairperson of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Education & Workforce Committee, Co-Chairs the Idaho State Board of Education’s “Educate Idaho” network, and serves on Boards for the United Way of Treasure Valley, Boys & Girls Club of Nampa, College of Western Idaho Foundation, FACES Foundation, Nampa Chamber of Commerce Education Council, Treasure Valley Education Partnership, Leadership Boise Alumni Association, is a Member of Idaho Business for Education, Red Cross Hometown Heroes Committee, Go Lead Idaho. Molly also founded Community for Nampa Schools, and has volunteered extensively with the Nampa School District on committees including the financial resource task team, Chaired the most recent Superintendent Search Committee, and has led levy campaigns.
She was recognized by the WCA as a TWIN recipient in 2009 and by the Idaho Business Review as both an “Accomplished under 40” and as “Idaho Women of the Year” recipient. In 2016 she is being recognized by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce as this year’s “Distinguished Alumni” in their Community Leadership Awards.
Idaho State Board of Education
Chief Communication and Legislative Affairs Officer
Blake Youde is the Chief Communication and Legislative Affairs Officer for the Idaho State Board of Education – a position he has held since January 2015. In this role, Youde manages the Board’s public and media relations, as well as represents the Board in its interaction with legislature and other state policymakers.
Youde has a more than 20-year career in public affairs, working with all levels of government. He and his wife, Heike, have been married for 20 years and have two school-age sons.
Idaho State Department of Education
Statewide coordinator of Advanced Opportunities
During her time at the SDE, she has focused her efforts on efficient and effective implementation of these programs by streamlining processes. Before coming to the SDE, Tina spent time serving students as a teacher, instructional coach, and school principal. Tina holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Mathematics, Administration, and Gifted and Talented Education. She is currently working on her doctorate at Boise State University. Tina lives in Boise with her husband, Daniel and their three-year old daughter, Milana.
Spark! Strategic Solutions
Founder and CEO
Shannon McGuire is the Founder & CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of Spark! – a community engagement firm that empowers visionary leaders to take strategic action. Some of Shannon’s leadership work includes the City of Boise’s Energize Our Neighborhoods initiative, the Educate Idaho Network, and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation’s High Five Children’s Health Collaborative.
Over the last six months Shannon has been working with the four emerging regions of the Educate Idaho Network, facilitating partnership and project development. She has helped launch similar public/private partnership structures throughout Idaho.
One of Shannon’s biggest assets is simplifying the complexity (and outdated model) of strategic planning. With more than a decade of experience making organizations and communities more prosperous, she has mastered the skills of driving actionable results through collaborative planning and communication. This approach joined by her unmistakable passion for healthy communities has stimulated lasting partnerships and success throughout her career.
Idaho State Board of Education
Director of Research
Carson grew up in Idaho and attended Sugar-Salem High School. Carson earned an associate’s degree in biology education from Ricks College and earned a bachelor’s in microbiology from Boise State University. During his last semester at Boise State University, Carson was offered an internship in Governor Dirk Kempthorne’s office. Carson decided to continue his education in public policy and earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. After completing his MPA, Carson worked for the Arizona legislature for one hot year. He then moved to Utah where he worked in Governor Jon Huntsman’s Office of Planning and Budget. Carson later moved to the Utah System of Higher Education where he worked as the analyst over the statewide longitudinal data system. About three years ago, Carson was offered the opportunity to return home and work for the State Board of Education. While at the State Board of Education, Carson has been involved in the development and utilization of the statewide longitudinal data system. Carson is interested in utilizing data to improve educational opportunities for students and improvements in our educational system.
Kuna School District
Wendy Johnson began her academic career at Northwest Nazarene University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English, earning her teaching credential the following year. She continued her academic studies at the University of Idaho, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and Organizational Learning and a Specialist’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
Wendy has worked in education for over 20 years. She began her professional career as an English teacher at Kuna High School. From there, she progressed into work for the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation on the Teaching with Technology and ISIMS intiatives. Wendy returned to Kuna, becoming the District Curriculum Coordinator & Administrator of Student Services, Assistant Superintendent, and currently, the Kuna School District Superintendent. She is a member in numerous associations, including the Treasure Valley Educational Partnership, which she actively involved and passionate about, particularly the focus on improving Idaho’s post-secondary enrollment and completion.
Wendy is proud of being a native Idahoan and her agricultural roots. In her personal life, she spends the majority of her time with her husband, their two dogs, and their eleven nieces and nephews. Additionally, they enjoy vacationing by the beach on the West coast surrounded by family.
Boise State University
Founding Dean, College of Innovation and Design
Gordon Jones is the founding Dean of the College of Innovation and Design at Boise State University as of June 2015. He is working to identify new pathways of learning that will provide students across public higher education with skills that meet emerging workplace demands.
Prior to his role at Boise State, Gordon served as the Evans Family Foundation Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Lab. Hired as the inaugural Director in 2011, Gordon has led the i-lab from launch to maturity with 600 ventures incubated and $250MM raised in professional funding since opening.
Gordon has 20 years of experience in senior roles with startups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. Gordon also brings a deep passion for education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and a proven commitment to mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurial oriented leaders. He has previously served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Bentley University, teaching marketing to MBA and undergraduate students. Organizations with whom he has worked include: American Biophysics (purchased by Woodstream), Universal Pest Solutions (licensing deal with ServiceMaster/Terminix), Gillette, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, PepsiCo, and The Orme School. He graduated from Brown University (BA) and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
United Way of Kootenai County
Mark Tucker was hired as Executive Director for United Way of North Idaho in June of 2014. He began his 25-year nonprofit career right out of college (go Cougs!) as an intern for a hospital foundation and trade association. While completing his Masters in Nonprofit Management, Mark became involved with United Way of Weld County (Colorado) and later was hired as their Director of Marketing and Community Development. Mark feels very fortunate to continue the work of United Way back in the northwest where he grew up. Mark and his wife Lisa are empty nesters and enjoy biking, kayaking, motorcycling and skiing. Mark also enjoys reading, home improvements, and… chainsaw carving!
Jerome School District
Federal Programs Director/Grant Writer
Brendalynn has been in education PK-20 for the past 15 years. She is experienced in grant writing and project management around long range special projects. She is able to bring together diverse groups of people from many different areas to grow the partnership in South Central Idaho.
Sheldon Eakins, Phd
Idaho State University
Assistant Director of Educational Talent Search
Sheldon started out as a high school History teacher in the US Virgin Islands. It was on the island of St. Croix that he was introduced to TRiO in 2009. After spending a summer as an Upward Bound instructor, Sheldon realized the value of the program and the students it serves. He has spent his professional career as a teacher and principal in K-12 settings. He has a love for helping students realize their potential and accomplish their goals. Sheldon holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Science Education, a Master’s of Science in Leadership for Higher Education, and a PhD in K-12 Studies
Treasure Valley Education Partnership
Jessica has been the Executive Director of the Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) since 2014. She has twenty years of experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors with expertise in coordination, project management, process facilitation, and program development. Jessica received her bachelor’s degree from the UVM and her master’s degree from USU. Her early career included teaching, team facilitation and working as a back country therapist with at risk youth. Jessica enjoys creating connections, simple pleasures, epic excursions, good food, sleeping under the stars, and devoting time to raising two compassionate teenage boys.
North Idaho College
Vice President for Student Services
While serving as dean of students, CSI grew dramatically in student population, programs and facilities under his tenure. In 2012, Stanley moved north to North Idaho College and accepted the position for Vice President for Student Services. Graydon’s years of service in Idaho higher education have earned him recognition as an engaged and innovative partner with secondary education, local agencies, business, industry, the State Board of Education, and the Idaho legislature. He has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Idaho School Counselor’s Association, The Business Partnership Award from the Idaho Association of Student Councils, and is an Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges.
Nez Perce Tribe
Director, Adult/Higher Education
Kay is a member of, and an employee with the Nez Perce Tribe. Kay has been with Indian employment and training programs for (33) years starting as a CETA work experience participant and now the director of the Tribe’s Public Law 102-477 program. Kay has served with the DOL Native American Employment and Training Council, and the P.L. 102-477 Tribal Work Group Executive Committee.
Peggy has BA (Sociology) and a JD from Boston University (where she was Editor in Chief of the Law Review). She was board chair at the Moscow Charter School, and head of the parent groups at Moscow Junior High School and Moscow High School, and just finished her term as President of the Parent Advisory Board of Olin College of Engineering in Needham Massachusetts. She has a Certificate in College and Career Counseling from UCLA Extension, and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. Peggy founded Palouse Pathways in 2014 because she is passionate about helping young people on the Palouse imagine and achieve the brightest futures possible. Palouse Pathways is a group of committed volunteers that serves hundreds of students and families with information and inspiration to help with college and career planning and preparation.
Partner IGNITE Speakers
IDeal – Idaho College Savings Program
Nick’s keen understanding of 529 plans in general, and IDeal in particular, make him a valuable resource for spreading the word about saving now so students of any age can have a brighter tomorrow. Nick specializes in helping both employers and community leaders with understanding and implementing the IDeal- Idaho College Savings Program into their benefits packages.
Nick is an Idaho Falls native and brings his financial background experience and love for education to help Idaho residents learn more about planning and saving for higher education
Idaho Afterschool Network
Marie Hattaway is the Program Director for the Idaho Afterschool Network, a program of the non-profit Jannus. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boise State University. Marie has worked on fundraising, marketing, volunteer recruitment, office management and activist trainings at federal, state and local levels.
Idaho Department of Labor
Administrator of the Idaho Career Information System
Ms. Scudder previously supervised the department’s web delivery team, where she was responsible for planning, production and delivery of outreach content and materials for the web, print and social media. Prior to that she supervised occupational employment statistics and special research projects including a $1.25 million federal economic stimulus grant to improve labor market information and the 2011 Idaho Nursing Overview assessing education capacity, salary and recruitment issues. Before joining the department, Ms. Scudder was associate study director for Clearwater Research. An academic All American collegiate swimmer, Ms. Scudder is a summa cum laude graduate of Auburn University in political science and has a master’s degree in economics from California State University, Hayward.
Idaho STEM Action Center
Angela spent 14 years teaching in a STEM classroom, from AP Biology and AP statistics to Research and Microbiology at BSU. She inspired students to participate in various science competitions and community service events. Her knowledge of science and love of teaching led to her win many awards including Idaho Biology and STEM Teacher of the Year. In August 2015, Governor Otter appointed her the Executive Director of the newly formed Idaho STEM Action Center. Her top priorities include providing STEM grants and professional development opportunities for educators, bringing a statewide science competition to Idaho, and partnering with industry and post-secondary institutions to ensure Idaho’s long-term economic prosperity.
Idaho Division of Career & Technical Education
Director of Business Outreach and Idaho SkillStack
Ms. Secrist links Idaho’s industry with the career and technical education system through its secondary, postsecondary and workforce training programs. She is also the director for SkillStack, the statewide microcertification/badging platform. SkillStack provides a competency and skill-based communication system between education, industry and Idaho jobseekers.
Prior to joining PTE in 2014, Ms. Secrist served as Senior Director for ManpowerGroup Public Sector, Director of Program Planning and Development at the University of Idaho in Boise, and Administrator of the Economic Development Division for the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor. She was the vice president of the 2007-2009 Leadership Boise class, and also served as the 2009 chair of the Boise Young Professionals. In 2008, Idaho Business Review recognized her as one of Idaho’s “Accomplished Under 40.”