The Idaho New School Fellowship targets Idaho’s neediest students (those attending schools with 70 percent or greater free and reduced price lunch rates) by providing educational leaders with the advanced leadership training and local expertise needed to launch a successful school. Idaho New School Fellows are empowered to plan, develop and launch a high-performing public school in an underserved Idaho community. Fellows will participate in Idaho specific training related to financial management, community engagement and navigating legal requirements for establishing a new school in the Gem State. New School Fellows are expected to launch gap-closing schools in Idaho’s most underserved communities, and will receive grant support during their start-up phase.


2016 – Amanda Cox & Brad Petersen – Future Public School

2017 – Matt Strong & Monica White – Elevate Academy

2017 - Matt Strong & Monica White

Matt Strong

Matt Strong has been an educator since 1995. His tenure includes time at Weiser Middle School, Skyview High School and Caldwell High School before becoming the assistant principal at Canyon Springs High School. Matt has been deeply involved in athletics; coaching football at every level, including his current position as an assistant football coach at the College of Idaho. He was formerly a District 3 basketball referee. Matt is very community minded and serves with Caldwell Proud, a community improvement organization, and Go Purple, a College/Community collaboration initiative. As an assistant principal, Matt has been an instrumental part in transforming Canyon Springs High School from a school in need of restructuring to a school that has become a model throughout the state of Idaho.

Matt is a master at working with and reaching at-risk students.  He has a gift for making them believe in their potential, and providing them the opportunity and resources necessary to reach it.  Matt’s strengths lie in community relations and recruitment, classroom management and school culture.

Monica White

Monica White has been in the education profession for 15 years.  During this time, she has served as a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent. She believes that there is genius in all of us and that the best way to create success is to ensure that people have the tools to work and live with passion and purpose. Monica is an inspired and passionate educator who is committed to being an advocate for teachers, and even more importantly, students.  She’s a problem-solver who will work tirelessly with her team to find opportunities and resources to help all students become successful.

Monica believes in empowering people, and she works intentionally to empower her staff so that they can deliver the best education to students. When offering professional development opportunities, Monica spends equal time building the staff up personally, improving their professional efficacy, and having fun and coming together as a team.

2016 - Amanda Cox & Brad Petersen

Brad Petersen

Brad Petersen taught and designed curriculum for KIPP Houston Public Schools from 2013-16. Brad graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2012, speaks fluent Spanish, and started teaching as a Teach For America corps member in 2013. He founded and ran an after-school computer science club in partnership with Google, and also co-founded and led a technology startup focused on empowering student voice. Brad recently competed for, and won, a highly competitive new school development grant from 4.0 Schools. This ‘Tiny Fellowship’ will support the planning and launch of an after-school computer science program in a Treasure Valley community. Brad is committed to starting a high-performing elementary school in an underserved region of the Boise area. His school will have a STEM focus and prepare students for the finest secondary schools, universities and careers by offering a personalized, technology-enthused curriculum for each student.

Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox is a first generation college graduate and native of the Northwest. In 2007, she began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member. She spent four years teaching in rural North Carolina. Amanda is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and currently serves on the national advisory council for the Native Alliance Initiative. Amanda served as a Director of Teacher Leadership Development for TFA South Carolina. Amanda graduated from Whitworth College with a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Social and Cultural Analysis, as well as an Ed. M in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Amanda plans to use her expertise to open and run a college preparatory school for currently underserved elementary students with a focus on service, design-thinking, and personalized learning.

Seeking Ambitious Education Entrepreneurs

In addition to the Idaho New School Fellowship, Bluum offers two other Fellowship opportunities for ambitious education entrepreneurs who want to be on the front lines of school change and improvement efforts, in one of the country’s fastest growing and rapidly changing states.