Panhandle Alliance for Education Board of Directors & Staff

The Panhandle Alliance for Education Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders with a passion for public education. An active and enthusiastic team, the board embraces a culture of excellence and integrity at all levels. Their varied talents and diverse backgrounds are representative of our constituency. A working board, the members place a high priority on financial stewardship and serving the needs of our students.

(In top photo) Front row from left: Julie Reister-Keaton, Stephanie Nostdahl, Marcia Wilson, Erin Roos, Wendy Dunn. Second row from left: Tom Puckett, Amy Longanecker, Patty Schwartz, Lisa Blaese, Mary Weber-Quinn, Geraldine Lewis. Back row from left: Matt Mire, Chris Bessler, Kendon Perry, Ross Longhini, Kelly Prior, Shawn Woodward, Brent Eacret, Christian Groenke and Joe Williams.  Missing from photo:  Caleb Bowman, Allison Gilmore, Megan Johnson, Travis Kaul, Toby McLaughlin and Pierce Smith.

Board Members

Geraldine Lewis - Born in 1967 in Bahrain, Geraldine lived overseas with her family until 1977, most of that time in Sumatra, Indonesia. The family then settled in Denver, Colorado for her middle and high school years. Geraldine attended Gonzaga University where she received a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in 1989 and met her future husband, Jim. Geraldine

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Shawn Woodward - Shawn Woodward was appointed the superintendent of Lake Pend Oreille School District July 1, 2012. Prior to becoming superintendent, he was assistant superintendent of the North Kitsap School District, in Poulsbo, Washington. Shawn began his career as an elementary teacher in Port Orchard, Washington. Over the course of seven years as a teacher, he taught

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Kendon Perry Kendon Perry - Kendon has been an agent/financial advisor with Farm Bureau Insurance and Financial Services since 2001. Previous to this business, he owned a small business in Hayden Lake starting in 1987. He and his wife Judy have two children Aubrie and Kyle, both graduates of Sandpoint High School. Kendon’s community involvement includes Sandpoint Rotary (board member

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Erin Roos - Erin Roos was raised in Sandpoint and has greatly benefited from her public education and the strong community support. After attending LPOSD schools K-12 and graduating from SHS in 1993, she accepted a full ride athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan. Erin graduated from UM in 1998 with a BS in Exercise Science. She

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Chris Bessler - Chris Bessler is the president and founder of Keokee Co. Publishing in Sandpoint, which publishes magazines and regional books as well as providing website development and marketing services. He grew up in the small logging town of Glide, Oregon, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1978. Chris

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Kelly Prior - Kelly Prior joined Litehouse in 2002 as Controller, was appointed to CFO in 2005 and added Executive Vice President to his responsibilities in 2010. Kelly graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in Business Administration and immediately obtained his license as a Certified Public Accountant. He has more than 15 years of experience in

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Patty Schwartz Patty Schwartz - Patty Schwartz grew up in Iowa and received her BA in Marketing and Finance from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. After college, she was a marketing director in the insurance and computer software industries. Patty and her family moved to Sandpoint in 1994. She is involved in the Sandpoint community and the schools in the

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Matt Mire Matt Mire - Matt Mire is a Sandpoint native, graduated from Sandpoint High in 2001, and married his high school sweetheart Jenny in 2004. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a degree in Business Administration and a major in General Management and Finance. Matt has been with Mountain West Bank for 10 years, and now

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Brent Eacret Brent Eacret - Brent Eacret is the owner of Alpine Shop in Sandpoint along with his wife Nicole. Prior to owning Alpine Shop, Brent spent 13 years in employee benefit sales with the most recent role as director of sales for a large regional insurance carrier. An avid skier and boater, Alpine Shop was a natural next career

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Tom Puckett - A fourth generation native, Tom Puckett was born in 1974 at Bonner General Hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho. Tom completed his secondary education through the traditional school system and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1993. The following year, Puckett joined the U.S. Navy for a 3-year term on board the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). After

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Pierce Smith Pierce Smith - Pierce was born in Pasadena, California and grew up in the area. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Professionally he has a background in accounting and finance, working at Hughes Aircraft Company for 28 years in several different locations in California and Arizona at various divisions and the corporate offices, developing

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Caleb Bowman - Caleb Bowman was born and raised in Sandpoint and is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments. A proud product of the Lake Pend Oreille School District, Caleb graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1998 where he was a multi-sport athlete and member of the 1997 State Champion Football Team. He earned a football scholarship

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Lisa Blaese Lisa Blaese - Lisa Blaese, who grew up in Columbus, New Jersey, moved with her husband Donny to Sandpoint, Idaho in 1988 to start a family business and enjoy the great North Idaho lifestyle. She graduated from Gordon Phillips School of Cosmetology in New Jersey and worked in that field before the move to Idaho. She also has

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Marcia Wilson, Executive Director - Marcia Wilson brings over 20 years of business leadership to the Panhandle Alliance for Education. She has served as the executive director since 2005, following an extensive career in international product management in the software industry. Results-driven, Marcia is a proven leader of people and projects with award-winning outcomes. As executive director, Marcia champions the

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Megan Johnson Megan Johnson - Megan grew up in Sandpoint, graduating from Sandpoint High School in 2002. She attended Whitman College for two years before transferring to the College of Idaho, graduating with a degree in Business and a concentration in Management. While attending the College of Idaho, Megan interned as a business analyst in the purchasing department of Micron

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Toby McLaughlin - Toby McLaughlin, attorney at law, has been practicing law for more than 14 years, first in Spokane, Washington, at the firm of Witherspoon Kelly, then, beginning in 2006, as a founding member of his own firm, Berg, McLaughlin & Nelson, Chtd.  Toby heads the litigation practice of his firm, with an emphasis on real estate

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Travis Kaul - Travis Kaul, chief banking officer for Columbia Bank and its affiliates, has been with the bank since 1999. With a career in banking as his goal, Travis graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis on banking and marketing. He went on to graduate from Pacific Coast

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Wendy Dunn - Wendy Dunn is the mother of four children, all of whom attended school in the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Since moving to Sandpoint in 1993, Wendy has spent many hours volunteering with local youth, including coaching swimming, t-ball, soccer, basketball and volleyball. In addition to serving on the board of directors of the Panhandle

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Ross Longhini Ross Longhini - Ross Longhini is an experienced medical device executive with a track record of growing businesses, identifying unique market opportunities and building strong relationships. His career began at 3M Dental Products after he graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1983 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He served in several executive roles including Executive Vice President,

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Christian Groenke - Christian Groenke has a long tradition of providing leadership for diverse entrepreneurial ventures. After a brief employment in his family’s business at Deutsche Interhotel GmbH and TRIGON Immobilien Holding GmbH, Groenke started his own company as a franchisee of Burger King restaurants in Germany. As the business grew, he diversified his investments and became a

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Stefanie Nostdahl - Stefanie Nostdahl has been the co-owner of Pend Oreille Insurance since 2009, but has been in the insurance industry since she was 15 years old. She obtained her knowledge of the industry by working in her father’s insurance agency in Aspen, Colorado where she was born and raised until moving to Sandpoint in 1998 with

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Julie Keaton Julie Reister-Keaton - Julie Reister-Keaton is a retired educator whose career spanned 39 years, 36 of which were dedicated to the students of Lake Pend Oreille School District. Julie earned a BA in Special Education at Central Washington University and an MA in Elementary Education at the University of Idaho. She taught grades kindergarten through high school and

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Mary Weber-Quinn Mary Weber-Quinn - After growing up in Minneapolis, Mary graduated from St John’s University / College of St Benedict with a BA in Natural Science and Education.  She went to work for the National Park Service as a Naturalist in Oregon and Alaska while working winters in land use planning. After a few years, she completed her Masters

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Allison Gilmore - Having lived in Bonner County since 1969, Allison has seen many changes in our community and in our schools. She completed her secondary education at Sandpoint High School and then earned several degrees from the University of Idaho. She has taught Adult Basic Education, ESL and GED classes for North Idaho College, as well as

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Staff

Marcia Wilson, Executive Director - Marcia Wilson brings over 20 years of business leadership to the Panhandle Alliance for Education. She has served as the executive director since 2005, following an extensive career in international product management in the software industry. Results-driven, Marcia is a proven leader of people and projects with award-winning outcomes. As executive director, Marcia champions the

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Amy Longanecker - Amy graduated from WTAMU with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science. She enjoyed serving as Executive Co-Director of The Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas for many years before moving to Denver, Colorado. As a certified personal trainer, she began her own business in the mile-high city and worked with a diverse range of

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