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School Choice... Student Success!

 

Our Staff

Charlotte Beecher, Executive Director

Charlotte Beecher has served as the Executive Director at the Institute for Better Education since March 2009. Previously, she ministered as a principal at Desert Christian Schools and New Hope Christian Academy, and was the original development director for Casas Christian School. She has taught 7th grade and college courses in business and arts / humanities. From 1990-1995 she was the Community Organization & Program Development Associate for Clinton Community College in upstate New York and from 1986-1990 she supervised the Gifted and Talented residential program for the University of Maine. A graduate of the University of Maine in Speech Communications, she received her MS from the State University of New York in Educational Leadership & Supervision. For 30 years she has relentlessly advocated for education reform on behalf of a parents right to choose the education best suited for their child. Charlotte and Roy Beecher have called Tucson, Arizona home since 1995. They have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

Amanda Bryant

Amanda Bryant is the Recommended Fund Scholarship Coordinator. She has been with the Institute for Better Education since December 2009. Amanda attended Arizona State University, but true to Tucson, she roots for the University of Arizona. As a long time Arizonan, she enjoys spending time traveling the state to discover new things with her husband and two children. The best part of working at IBE, she says, is helping families achieve their goal of having their child (ren) at the school of their choosing.

Wendi Hauser

Wendi Hauser is the Corporate Scholarship Program Manager, yet her experience with IBE began as a parent applying for scholarships for her two children. She knew the program, knew a few staff members, and was a vocal advocate of the Arizona Tax Credit Program in 2014 when IBE expanded the number of staff positions. She was one of four applicants, but her friendly and knowledgeable demeanor made her an easy selection. Her degree is in Business Administration from NAU where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. As an east coast transplant, she has traveled extensively but nine years ago she and her husband Chris made Tucson their home.

Sara Hinds

Sara Hinds is the newest member of the IBE family. She is the front office receptionist and has been part of the team since December of 2015. When asked what she would like to share, Sara, in her typical cheery way said, “My husband and 3 children are the highlights of my life! We have been residents of Tucson for the past 20 years and consider Tucson our home. We love outdoor activities and being involved in both our school and church. It is an honor to work for an organization that supports a parent's right to choose what education best meets their student's beliefs and needs.”

Kim Kirschner

Kim Kirschner is the Institute for Better Education Business Office Manager, though she joined the IBE family in December 2012 as the Corporate Program Coordinator. Like others in our office, her children benefited by tax credit scholarships, making her exceptionally knowledgeable and supportive of a parent’s right to choose. Kim attended the University of Arizona and has been working as a Business Office Manager for over twenty years. Kim is married to Tom and they have two children, Kaitlin and Carter who both live in Colorado. Kim and Tom love visiting their children and enjoy skiing and snowboarding, as well as peaceful downtime at their cabin hide-away in Colorado.

Rachel Winegardner

Rachel Winegardner is the Financial Need-Based (FNB) Scholarship Coordinator. She has been with the Institute for Better Education since December 2007. As a paralegal major, she will be graduating soon from Pima Community College. Rachel is the mom of three wonderful children, and the best part of working for IBE, she says, is helping the families who want a better education for their children and are unable to afford it without the help of scholarships. “Knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of the families and students by giving them the option to choose where they attend is a great feeling.”

 

Board of Trustees

Jack Schull, Chairman

Jack Schull is the Lead Pastor at Elements City Church. Jack has a Communication degree from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. An avid sports fan, he reminds us to #BearDown University of Arizona and Go Steelers! He enjoys golf and currently serves on the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in Tucson. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustee for the Institute for Better Education. He and his wife Amy have been married since 1995 and have 3 children.

Charlotte Beecher, Executive Director

Charlotte Beecher has served as the Executive Director at the Institute for Better Education since March 2009. Previously, she ministered as a principal at Desert Christian Schools and New Hope Christian Academy, and was the original development director for Casas Christian School. She has taught 7th grade and college courses in business and arts / humanities. From 1990-1995 she was the Community Organization & Program Development Associate for Clinton Community College in upstate New York and from 1986-1990 she supervised the Gifted and Talented residential program for the University of Maine. A graduate of the University of Maine in Speech Communications, she received her MS from the State University of New York in Educational Leadership & Supervision. For 30 years she has relentlessly advocated for education reform on behalf of a parents right to choose the education best suited for their child. Charlotte and Roy Beecher have called Tucson, Arizona home since 1995. They have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

Steve Clark

Steve Clark, a long-time Tucson resident, is the managing shareholder of SEClark & Company, CPAs. Steve is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he earned his BS in Accounting in 1969. He is a CPA, Certified in Financial Forensics, and a Certified Valuation Analyst.

Steve and Melanie are long-time supporters of the Arizona state tax credit program. Over the years, their children and grandchildren have been able to attend the schools that were uniquely ‘right’ for them because of tax credit scholarships. They have experienced first-hand the enabling power of the STO to provide a quality education to those who seek it.

Rochelle Hodge

Rochelle Hodge is the newest member of the Board of Trustees with a July 2016 official starting date. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for a number of years, she partnered with another educator to form Branching Out Educational Consultants. The heart of Branching Out is to assist Christian educators to hone the teaching skills necessary to keep professionally sharp.

She concludes with, “I am proud to serve on the IBE board and be a small part of such an amazing organization that has blessed so many families throughout AZ. When individuals redirect their tax dollars through the Institute for Better Education, school choice is made accessible. IBE’s scholarship program allows parents to choose a private school that best meets the needs of their student. Choice is a powerful motivator and I believe it creates a stronger educational system for all.”

Royce Nelsestuen

Royce received a BA in Education from the University of Arizona and a M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. Since 2001, she has been the school principal at Faith Community Academy where she also served as the Children’s Ministry Director and taught in the children’s church and Sunday school classrooms. She is married and the mother of four boys. She is passionate about allowing parents to have a choice in their child’s education, as well as providing God’s truth and a Gospel-centered worldview in all areas of education.

John O’Hair

John O’Hair is on his second tour of duty with the Institute for Better Education. He served as an original board member from 1999-2005 and is entering his second year this time around. With 43-years invested in education, his experiences span a broad spectrum. From teaching, coaching, ministering, and leading as principal and finally Headmaster – John has served in both public and private schools. He is well-traveled, including 16 years served on the mission fields of Nairobi, Africa with his wife, Susan, and their two sons. When he retires, he and Susan plan to return to Nairobi.

Paul Parisi

The Lord has led Paul Parisi on a long journey in business, government, community and church service. Remaining in Tucson after serving in the United States Air Force, he owned a telecommunications company for nearly 20 years, served two terms on the Oro Valley Town Council, Chairman of the Pima Associations of Governments Regional Governing Board, Community/ Government Affairs Manager for Qwest Communications, VP Governmental Affairs at the Tucson Metro Chamber and has volunteered with the Oro Valley Police for 16 years. And since 2010 he has served on the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Better Education. Paul continues his mission as a champion of school choice and religious liberty where, for the past four years, he has worked as the 4Tucson Government Domain director.

Paul and Cathy have been married for 34 years; they have 3 adult children, 4 grandchildren and worship at Legacy Assembly of God Church in Oro Valley.

Karen Yanes, Secretary

Karen Yanes has a B.S in Chemistry and two Masters Degrees: Communication and Education. After working in marketing and public relations for twenty years, Karen made a career change to teaching and now teaches science at Desert Christian High School. She is a committed advocate of private education and of making that choice an option for all parents. In 2012 she joined the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Better Education.

When asked why she serves on the IBE Board, she said, “IBE is critical to making private schools available to working class and lower income families. Families have the right to direct the education of their child, and without tax credits many families would not be in a position to choose the school they believe will provide the best education for their child. Instead they might be forced to attend an underperforming school or failing school in their locale. IBE strengthens the foundation for supporting a parent’s choice to provide a sound and excellent education for their child.”

Karen and her husband Juan have two children attending the University of Arizona.