New Panhandle Alliance for Education Board Members Announced – May 2015

Author:  Kathleen Mulroy

Sandpoint, ID – Several new members of the Panhandle Alliance for Education’s Board of Directors were welcomed during the nonprofit’s annual meeting in May. They bring to the nonprofit organization a variety of backgrounds and talents, and all are deeply committed to helping to continue to improve education in the Lake Pend Oreille School District. 

Matt Mire is a Sandpoint native. He graduated from Sandpoint High in 2001 and married his high school sweetheart Jenny in 2004. Mire 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 serves as a Vice President and Commercial Loan Manager. He is well known in the community through his many volunteer activities including treasurer for the Bulldog Bench, the Bonner General Health Foundation, and a variety of other youth sports and achievement programs. Matt and his wife Jenny have three daughters, Taylor, Ellie, and Averi, who attend school in the Lake Pend Oreille School District.

Lisa Blaese moved with her husband Donny from New Jersey to Sandpoint in 1988 to start a family business and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. She graduated from Gordon Phillips School of Cosmetology and worked in that field in New Jersey. She also has a license to practice in Idaho and worked in a Sandpoint salon for several years. In addition, Lisa aided in the training and arrangement of numerous Coldwater Creek store spas. Lisa and Donny have one son, a recent graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman. Lisa was actively involved as a school volunteer while her son attended LPOSD schools.  She is the treasurer for and a board member of the Sandpoint Lacrosse Club, and has been working as the secretary and bookkeeper for the family business for 15 years.  Lisa has participated in planning for the PAFE Summer Sunset Fundraising Gala for several years and will assume chairmanship responsibilities of that event for PAFE.

Brent Eacret, who has lived in Bonner County since 2004, is the owner of Alpine Shop in Sandpoint, along with his wife Nicole. Prior to purchasing the Alpine Shop, Brent spent 13 years in employee benefit sales, with his most recent role being Director of Sales for a large regional insurance carrier. Brent is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He and Nicole have two boys in elementary school.  An avid outdoorsman, Brent spends his time away from work coaching children’s sports, and fishing and skiing with his family.

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 kindergarten through high school, and was an adjunct professor for the U of I field campus in Coeur d’Alene, instructing Elementary Language Arts Methods. Julie and her husband, Kim Keaton, raised their two children in the Sandpoint area and worked on school levy committees, PTA boards, school district curriculum committees, and after-school programs.

A fourth generation Sandpoint native, Tom Puckett graduated from Sandpoint High in 1993. The following year, he joined the U.S. Navy for a three-year term on board the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Tom then completed his AAS degree in Diesel Technology and used his skills over the next five years at Interstate Concrete and Asphalt. Since then, he has built a successful career in real estate. Tom and his wife of 15 years, Kim (a managing pharmacist at Yokes), are parents to sons Sam and Blake who attend school in the Lake Pend Oreille School District.

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 Lake Pend Oreille School district through volunteering, fundraising and freelance marketing. Patty is also on the Board of Directors at Luther Park of Sandpoint. A lot of her attention focuses on her three sons and their activities. Her youngest son attends Sandpoint High and her two older sons attend Boise State University.

The Panhandle Alliance for Education is a nonprofit organization composed of local citizens, businesses and educators.  PAFE’s mission is “to promote excellence in education and broad-based community support for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. As an independent organization, we will create and sustain an endowment to provide resources in support of effective teaching, learning and school management.”  Donations are distributed as a working pool of money used to fund teacher grants, READY! for Kindergarten and other strategic programs. To learn more about PAFE, or to make an on-line donation, please go to the website,  We also invite you to visit our Facebook page.  For further questions, call Executive Director Marcia Wilson at 208-263-7040.