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Parental Choice equals Student Success!

 

Our Staff

Kim Kirschner, Executive Director

Kimberly Kirschner is honored to fill the role as the Institute for Better Education’s Executive Director. She joined the IBE family in December of 2012 as the Corporate Program Coordinator. She has also served at their Business Office Manager for the past two years. Kim attended the University of Arizona and has been an Arizona business owner for thirty years. Kim is very passionate about helping Arizona families remove any financial obstacles that would keep them from finding the right private school to meet their child’s needs. 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 sailing, skiing and snowboarding, as well as peaceful downtime at their cabin hide-away in Colorado.

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.”

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.

Kim Kirschner, Executive Director

Kimberly Kirschner is honored to fill the role as the Institute for Better Education’s Executive Director. She joined the IBE family in December of 2012 as the Corporate Program Coordinator. She has also served at their Business Office Manager for the past two years. Kim attended the University of Arizona and has been an Arizona business owner for thirty years. Kim is very passionate about helping Arizona families remove any financial obstacles that would keep them from finding the right private school to meet their child’s needs. 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 sailing, skiing and snowboarding, as well as peaceful downtime at their cabin hide-away in Colorado.

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.

Eric Dowdle

Eric Dowdle is the Principal at Casas Christian K-8 School in Tucson, Az. He has served as an administrator at the school for the past 20 years, and a minister on the staff of the church as well.

He and his wife Heather have three girls and have recently added a wonderful son-in-law to their family.

He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Accreditation Commission for the Association of Christian Schools International - Rocky Mountain Region.

Rachelle Hodge

Rachelle Hodge 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.”

Aaron Jansen

Aaron Jansen has a BA from Dordt College in Secondary Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. He has proudly served at Desert Christian Schools since 2002. He is currently the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director for the K-8 campus. Aaron and his wife Mikala have been married for fourteen years and have three energetic young children. He enjoys coaching high school basketball in his spare time. Aaron is very humbled by the opportunity to serve on the board of trustees at IBE. He is passionate about school choice and speaking the truth of God’s Word into the lives of young people on a daily basis.

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.