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Our Team

Bluum is a nonprofit organization helping Idaho become a national model for how to maximize learning outcomes for children and families.

We are committed to ensuring that Idaho’s children reach their fullest potential by cultivating great leaders, replicating high-performing school models, and taking risks to develop new approaches so all Idaho students have access to a great education.

Meet the people dedicated to serving some of Idaho’s finest school leaders in helping them educate and support their thousands of families and students.

Amy Felton

DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL GRANTS & SUPPORT

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Amy Felton

Director of Federal Grants & Support

Amy is the Director of Federal Grants and Support with Bluum. Her experience in the education sector began as a low-income student, in a district fostering integration of students and promoting gifted and talented youth in specialized learning environments. The Neptune Township Launch (Honors) Program set Amy up for a lifelong love of learning, with amazing teachers as role models, for herself and eventually her family.

As a parent of parochial, public, and Monmouth County charter school students, Amy has added teaching in rural school districts to her experience. She was most recently a middle school teacher in Idaho, following her Teach for America corps experience on the Big Island of Hawai’i, with a focus on ensuring the academic success of all students. Her teaching experience includes special education for grades 4-12, as well as science, math, and English.

She is a proud graduate of the local county Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, followed by a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration Management and a Master’s of Science in Professional Security Studies from New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ. After working in the for-profit world while raising her family, she is happiest working for education nonprofits that resonate with her own academic and career path.

Annie Edwards

FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER

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Annie Edwards

Finance & Operations Manager

Annie is the Finance & Operations Manager at Bluum. She was born and raised in Idaho, in the Twin Falls and Emmett areas. She attended Gonzaga University and obtained a BA in Accounting. In her time in Spokane, Annie worked with the Hospice of Spokane where she was first introduced to non-profit finance work.

Prior to joining Bluum, she most recently served as Finance Manager with St. Alphonsus Health System, and she has held several finance-related roles in her nearly 20 years with the organization. As Finance Manager, Annie was responsible for the health system’s budgeting/forecasting process as well as overseeing the capital expenditure process and serving as an accountant and a financial liaison for several of the health system departments.

Annie has always felt a pull to non-profit work and is thrilled to expand her experience into the world of education at Bluum. She is excited to support the success of education and children in her home state of Idaho, a mission she holds dear to her heart.

Outside of work, Annie has two teenagers that keep her on her toes and she constantly is driving to activities around the Treasure Valley to cheer them on in their many adventures. She loves being a mom, and watching her kids grow up in Idaho! She has also always been active in team sports, growing up and even into adulthood, but most of her free time these days is embracing watching her own kids in their sports. Annie enjoys a backyard volleyball game, watching the Zags play basketball, hiking in the foothills, music festivals, and just being with family and friends.

Ashley Cotton

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS TRAINING COORDINATOR

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Ashley Cotton

Academic Programs Training Coordinator

Ashley is the Academic Programs Training Coordinator at Bluum.
Her experience in the charter sector began as a student at Alicia Chacon International School where she was taught in English, Spanish, and Russian and trained in Russian Ballet. As an undergrad, Ashley was a Ronald E McNair Scholar and worked closely with the federal TRIO programs designed to prepare students for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. While working towards her graduate degree, she served as a Teaching Assistant and was granted the wonderful experience of teaching Political Science college courses for 3 semesters.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Kansas in Latin American Studies and Spanish, and a Master’s Degree from Texas A&M University in Political Science. She began her career as a Client and Business Coordinator for a Dallas-based leadership development company and is trained in Clifton StrengthsFinder and Predictive Index. Ashley has been a member of the Junior League of Dallas and Boise for the past 4 years and enjoys giving back to the community. Her main passions in life are her family and traveling. She has visited over 20 countries so far, with new trips and plans always on the horizon!

Cole Skinner

FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER

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Cole Skinner

Finance & Operations Manager

Cole is the Finance & Operations Manager at Bluum. He has a background in finance, accounting, and technology. He started his career as a Financial Technician, providing financial support and guidance to a variety of student clubs and organizations at Boise State University. The past two and a half years he has worked for a corporate domain registrar, facilitating various client requests, and working with domain registries around the world. He earned a bachelor’s in finance and economics from Grand Canyon University. Cole is an Idaho native, and is excited to give back to the next generation of Idaho students.

Yolanda Avendano

MEDICAID BILLING SPECIALIST

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Yolanda Avendano

Medicaid Billing Specialist

Originally from Pharr, Texas, Yolanda brings over 25 years of medical billing, clinical assisting, and nursing experience to support Bluum’s Partner Schools in serving students with Medicaid services as part of their special education plans. She is fluent in English and Spanish and was inspired to make the switch into education due to always having the desire to be a teacher. Now, having the medical background, she can apply her knowledge in a school setting. Yolanda’s education includes an Associate of Science in Nursing from ITT Tech’s Breckinridge School of Nursing. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family. Being a mother of 4 children, there is never a dull moment in the household. She is very family oriented and knows the struggles and challenges that come along with children and their education.

Desiree Rivera

SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

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Desiree Rivera

Special Education Program Development Specialist

Desiree is the Special Education Program Development Specialist at Bluum. Desiree’s experience working as an Extended Resource and Behavior Program Special Educator for the Caldwell School District has given her extensive deep knowledge of how to meet individual student needs. Most recently, Desiree served as the Special Education Director at Elevate Academy for at-risk students. Being a part of the first three years at the new charter school was a powerful and educational experience, and she is excited to continue working with schools in a new capacity. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Desiree moved to Idaho in 2006. As a lifelong learner — she discovered her passion for education when her children began school. She is the mother of two teenagers that attend a charter school in the Bluum network and understands first-hand the importance of parent choice and involvement in education. Attending college as an adult, Desiree proudly holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Boise State University and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Leadership. In her free time, Desiree enjoys reading, camping, spending time with family outdoors and has found a new joy in the game of golf.

Jennifer Ribordy

SPECIAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

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Jennifer Ribordy

Special Education Development Director

Jennifer is the Special Education Development Director at Bluum. She has over 20 years of experience in special education, which gives her a wealth of experiences that lend to her comprehensive understanding of how to meet individual student needs, while also maintaining a robust school-level program. She has worked as a Special Educator at all levels (K-12) as an Educational Diagnostician, District Trainer, and most recently as a Special Education Programming Consultant for a district of over 40,000 students. Jennifer spent eight years working in Texas at both rural and urban districts, but as a proud Idaho Native, she was thrilled to return to have the opportunity to return to Boise and continue her work in the field. Jennifer holds a B.A. from the University of Idaho in Special Education, Secondary Education and Psychology. She completed her M.Ed. in Special Education/Educational Diagnostician at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. At Bluum, Jennifer works with school leaders, teachers and support personnel to develop and improve special education programming. She provides schools technical guidance, expertise in systems development, and instructional planning recommendations.

Keith Donahue

DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL STRATEGY & OPERATIONS

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Keith Donahue

Director of School Strategy & Operations

Keith is Bluum’s Director of School Strategy and Operations and puts 11 years of charter school leadership experience to work for Bluum’s network of partner schools. Prior to his career in the education sector, Keith spent 12 years in the legal profession.

Keith earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1992 and his Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law in Portland, Oregon in 1998. Keith has extensive experience advising government clients, drafting legislation, and ensuring compliance with state and federal law. Keith has experience managing government programs, including securing funding, overseeing budgets, managing employees, and meeting program milestones.

He has served 11 years in various roles with Sage International School of Boise, joining first as a founding board member prior to Sage opening its doors to students in 2010. Keith then transitioned to Development Director for four years. In this role, Keith was responsible for Sage’s fundraising activities, grant writing, and the financing, purchase and redevelopment of Sage International’s Boise Campus.

In May 2016, Keith assumed the role of Executive Director, where he oversaw the strengthening of Sage International’s finances, operations and academics while also directing the launch of a second school, Forge International School in Middleton, Idaho.

Keith is excited to help school boards and leaders successfully launch and grow innovative schools that bring high-quality educational choices to K-12 students across Idaho.

Kim Esterman

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & OPERATIONS

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Kim Esterman

Director of Finance & Operations

Kim is the Director of Finance & Operations at Bluum. She brings a diverse accounting background, with a strong discipline in school business administration. She began her career in public accounting with KPMG, before transitioning into the pharmaceutical sector with Johnson & Johnson. Kim then accepted her first role in education as a staff accountant with Franklin Township Public Schools in New Jersey. She served in the district for fourteen years, earning her certification as a school business administrator, and overseeing the operations of the Transportation, Maintenance and Food Service departments. Kim continues to serve as the district’s Treasurer of School Monies.

Multiple relocations provided Kim the opportunity to expand her accounting background into the manufacturing and retail industries, where she assisted in the implementation of a resource planning system, as well as developed and strengthened internal controls at her various employers.

Kim is excited to be part of the Bluum team and return to education, where she can once again pursue her passion of improving education for students through her support as a financial leader.

Kristen McCarver

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

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Kristin McCarver

Communications Manager

Kristen McCarver is the Communications Manager at Bluum. She’s an experienced communicator and organizer of information. She supports Bluum’s mission by directing the creation and distribution of original content. She and her team also support, guide, and mentor Bluum’s partner schools in brand and messaging development, communication strategies, social media, and graphic design.

Kristen’s education is in Web Design and Development from College of Western Idaho, and she began her career as an e-commerce manager for a small business in Boise. Her lifelong passion for people and the legacy of her father inspired her to apply her skills in the nonprofit sector. Prior to working with Bluum, she served as Operations Manager for a local cancer support organization.

A lifelong Idaho native, Kristen has had the unique opportunity to attend both a large district public school and a tiny rural school, which led her to appreciate the true diversity of education throughout the state. She is always eager to apply her skills to further the message about educational opportunities in Idaho.

Marc Carignan

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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Marc Carignan

Chief Financial Officer

Marc is CFO of Bluum, bringing a blend of corporate and non-profit experience in finance, accounting, information systems and management. His career started in 1993 as a CPA at Grant Thornton LLP, where he spent seven years auditing non-profit and for-profit entities. Before joining Bluum in late 2014, Marc spent fourteen years as a hands-on finance, information systems and operations manager for several manufacturing companies. At Bluum, Marc oversees accounting, financial reporting, grant management and school back office support. Marc earned is BA in business management from California State University, Fullerton.

Max Koltuv

CHIEF ACADEMIC PROGRAM OFFICER

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Max Koltuv

Chief Academic Program Officer

As Bluum’s Chief Academic Program Officer, Max supports Bluum schools in ensuring that all students learn at accelerated rates. He has spent 20 years as an educator and executive coach for leaders of charter management organizations and other education reform organizations. Previously, Max served as The Head of Elementary Schools at Achievement First where he oversaw a network of 16 elementary schools throughout the northeastern U.S. After the implementation of Common Core Standards, Max led a response which increased student demonstration of mastery in Math and Reading, by 44 percent and 31 percent respectively, over five years. He also opened six new schools during this period. Before joining Achievement First, Max oversaw a team of elementary instructional leaders as the Director of Brooklyn Elementary Instruction for the Prep and Excellence networks of Uncommon Schools. Max originally joined Uncommon Schools as the Founding Head of School at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant, a college-prep elementary school. A graduate of Yale College, Max started his career at The Monitor Company, an international strategy consulting firm, before transitioning to a teaching role at a high-performing, urban charter school in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship and of the KIPP School Leadership Program. He has an avid interest in the outdoors stemming from his days leading hiking, canoeing, and dog sledding trips for Outward Bound.

Nancy Dayhoff

FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER

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Nancy Dayoff

Finance & Operations Manager

Nancy joined our team in 2015. Her professional experience includes information systems & technology, website development, business administration, project management and accounting. This combination of experience and skill has allowed her to transition into school finance and operations with ease. Previously, Nancy managed the client relations department of an Idaho-based company, providing project management services to over 40 professional and collegiate sports commemorative campaigns all over North America. For over a decade, Nancy provided clients, many of which were nonprofits, full service – including campaign logistics, bookkeeping, communications, and personalized client support. Nancy also worked for the State of Idaho for seven years, developing a good understanding of the detailed, complicated compliance requirements and Idaho law.

Natalia Miller

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE CLERK

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Natalia Miller

Accounts Payable Clerk

Natalia is Bluum’s Accounts Payable Clerk, and an Idaho original. Born and raised in Boise, a chance encounter while rafting the Payette River led her to a twenty-one year career with The Boise Co-Op, managing their Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable. Natalia is thrilled to be working for a company whose main purpose is to improve the lives of Idaho’s children, and is honored to be working with people who continually inspire her.

Ray Crowell

CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER

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Ray Crowell

Chief Innovation Officer

From humble beginnings in rural northwest Alabama to homeless to Harvard, decorated military veteran to award-winning venture developer, Ray has continuously excelled as an entrepreneur, educator, innovator, and leader. He has over two decades of experience in pedagogy and curriculum design, education and training development and delivery, and monitoring and evaluation. Ray comes to us from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where he manages a multi-million-dollar investment fund. He’s an experienced business founder and economic opportunity accelerator for marginalized communities across the country. He has served as a Harvard Kennedy School Fellow and as a government executive, leading tens of thousands of service members, managing billions of dollars in global assets, fostering a culture of continuous process improvement, and creating Cabinet-level innovation initiatives at the Defense, State, and Commerce Departments. Ray’s education includes Notre Dame’s Executive Business School, Georgetown’s Executive Program for Legislative Operations, and Harvard’s Senior Managers in Government. He’s a recipient of the USO Spirit of “Bob” Hope Medallion and numerous innovation awards from the government and private sector. Ray enjoys spending time traversing the beautiful Gem state with his wife Kim and their pup Fitz.

Terry Ryan

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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Terry Ryan

Chief Executive Officer

Terry Ryan is CEO of the Boise-based education nonprofit Bluum and Board Chair of the Idaho Charter School Network. Ryan is responsible for leading Idaho’s effort to double the number of students in Idaho high-performing public charter schools. Ryan leads Idaho’s federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant of $22 million. Ryan was Vice-President for Ohio Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute/Foundationfrom 2001 to 2013. He began his career in education as a teacher in Poland and worked with the Polish Ministry of Education and the Foundation for Education for Democracy on education policy and civic education. In the 1990s, he served as research director for the UK-based 21st Century Learning Initiative.

Ryan served on Idaho Governor Brad Little’s “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” education task force. He is a member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Policy Advisory Council. He served as a Commissioner for the CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance. Ryan was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and was a 2008 Aspen Institute/Pahara Fellow. He has co-authored two books on education. Ohio’s Education Reform Challenges: Lessons from the Frontlines with Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Michael Lafferty of (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and The Unfinished Revolution with John Abbott (ASCD Press, 2000).

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Colleen Mackay

Bluum

Emily McClure

McClure Policy

Blake Youde

Idaho Charter School Network

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The governing body of individuals who are committed to our mission and want to see Bluum suceed.

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Cold Chain, LLC

Joe Bruno

Building Hope

Marybeth Flachbart

Education Northwest

Renita Thukral

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Marta Reyes-Newberry

Reyes-Newberry & Associates

Bill Russell (Emeritus)

Northwest Nazarene University

Will Hughes (Emeritus)

Boise State University – Micron School of Materials Science & Engineering

Joe Forney

A10 Capital

Todd Lindsey

Boise Management

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