Who We Are

Board of Directors

Nancy Shaffer HartNancy Shaffer HartPresident
Nancy Hart was born, raised, and educated in North Idaho. She earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Idaho in 1994. Following graduation, she relocated to Silicon Valley where she worked in the high-tech industry managing tradeshows. Later, she co-managed a nonprofit family foundation web site while working closely with grant recipients. After returning home to North Idaho, Nancy worked at the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce coordinating tradeshows and working with local businesses on tourist-related activities. For the past eight years, Nancy has dedicated herself full-time to raising her two daughters. She has actively participated in their education at Hayden Meadows Elementary, volunteering regularly at the school and serving as a member of the PTA. Recently she took on the co-responsibility of organizing Hayden Meadows’ participation in the statewide Invent Idaho program. Nancy and her husband, Jason, have been married for 15 years. Her family loves the recreation opportunities North Idaho has to offer: camping and boating in the summer and skiing in the winter. Nancy passionately believes a solid public school system is the foundation of a successful community. She is thrilled to be a part of CEP's commitment to ensuring excellence in Coeur d'Alene's public schools.

Chris MeyerChris Meyer, Vice President
Chris Meyer is an asset manager and developer with Parkwood Business Properties, where he oversees the management, development, and rehabilitation of over 500,000sf of Class A office, industrial, and retail space. Previously Chris worked as a development manager for Legacy Partners Residential in Seattle, where he developed the $75M Legacy at Pratt Park urban mixed-use luxury apartment project with 248 units and 6,500sf of street level retail. Chris has an undergraduate degree in environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, and a master’s degree in urban planning from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Washington. He and his wife Sara are both North Idaho natives and are excited to be back in the area to raise their son Jameson in Coeur d’Alene. Chris serves as the secretary and webmaster for the Hayden Lake Watershed Association and is on the North Idaho advisory board of the Urban Land Institute. Chris is passionate about ensuring that our public education system encourages students to pursue higher education opportunities of all types, including vocational-technical, 2-year, and 4-year degree programs.

Nancy StevensonNancy Stevenson, Secretary
Nancy Stevenson has taught in public elementary schools for more than thirty years, and is the 2013 Elementary Teacher of the Year for Coeur d'Alene. After graduating from Oregon State University, Nancy began her teaching career in a one-room school in Central Oregon, followed by teaching in Arizona, and for the past twenty-four years has been employed by the Coeur d’Alene School District in Idaho. Aside from teaching a variety of grades, she also has co-coordinated the gifted education program in Tucson, has taught advanced learners in the Coeur d’Alene School District, and is a trained International Baccalaureate Coordinator. Currently, Nancy teaches fifth grade at Dalton Elementary School. She and her husband, Mike, are the proud parents of two daughters that were educated in Coeur d’Alene public schools, are graduates of the University of Idaho, and are gainfully employed in their careers. Teaching has been a lifetime passion for Nancy as she finds joy in watching children learn. The Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership gives Nancy the opportunity to actively support excellence in education.

Lexi WitherwaxLexi Witherwax, Treasurer
Lexi Witherwax is a Coeur d' Alene native and graduate of Lake City High School. She attended the University of Washington, where she received a B. A. in Psychology, then returned to North Idaho and earned her MBA at Gonzaga University. After marrying her husband in 2003, Lexi worked for several years in banking before deciding to leave to spend more time with her family. She is the mother of four children, ranging in age from nearly one to twelve, has been an active classroom volunteer and served for three years as the treasurer of the Hayden Meadows PTA. In her free time, Lexi enjoys snowboarding, boating, camping, and all the beauty North Idaho has to offer.

Amy EvansAmy Evans, At Large
Amy Evans has been an active volunteer in the City of Coeur d’Alene for over a decade. She was the first President of CEP, currently serves on the Coeur d'Alene City Council, and takes pride in her role in launching the Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities. Amy has served on the City of Coeur d’Alene’s Planning and Zoning Commission since 2008; in addition, she was part of the opening team and staff at the Kroc Center. She recently took a key community position as the development officer for Idaho Youth Ranch. Amy has been a ten-year Ironman captain volunteer and enjoys competing in marathons and Ironman triathlons. She met her husband Doug while attending Idaho State University. Amy and Doug have two children: Max, who attends Lake City High School, and Lucy, who attends Sorensen Magnet School. They all enjoy an active lifestyle including running, skiing, biking, and silly family time.

Nancy LarsenNancy Larsen, At Large
Grew up: in Kellogg, Idaho. North Idaho is my home. We have been in Coeur d’Alene since 1986.
School Background: I have a BS Degree in Education; a MS Degree in Education; an Ed.Sp.Ed in Education Leadership; and, a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho.
Personal Interests: I love spending time with family. I paint furniture and other items in a unique way using pattern and color; I call them Wimzees: Designed to bring a smile to your heart. I love to read education related research.
Education Passion: To support Idaho’s children in the classroom and as an advocate in the political realm. I believe Idaho’s children should have all the advantages provided throughout America. Education Leadership is especially important to me because education leaders can inspire and encourageteachers and students to achieve excellence.

Lisa MayLisa May, Advocacy
Lisa May was raised in Spokane, where she received an outstanding public education. She continued her studies at the University of Washington, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Lisa moved to Dallas to complete a trauma and critical care nursing fellowship and to develop her bilingual nursing skills. There, she met her husband Mike. Their shared passion for travel took them to Australia for two years before they settled in Coeur d’Alene in 2006. Since then, Lisa has worked at Kootenai Outpatient Surgery and has been a member of the Kroc Center donor relations committee and the School Bond Steering Committee. Now that her three children have entered school, she has committed herself to supporting public education in Coeur d’Alene.

Paula MaranoPaula Marano, Board Development
Though originally from Ohio, Paula Marano and her husband of 42 years, Gene, have lived in Coeur d'Alene since 1976. They raised three children and now have bragging rights on five granddaughters. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Idaho with honors and taught third grade for 14 years in the Coeur d’Alene School District. She was honored as Coeur d’Alene Elementary Educator of the Year in 2006 and has advocated on behalf of children over the years, holding numerous leadership responsibilities on school committees and professional associations. Paula was also actively involved as a parent in her children’s educational experiences during their formative years, having administered, promoted, coordinated, and supported programs and activities that encouraged the academic, social, spiritual, and physical development of youth.

As a community volunteer, Paula has been active in school, political, social, and church activities to bring awareness, movement, momentum, and better understanding for the people in our community. She presently works with a Financial Literacy group to educate youngsters on responsible budgeting, serves on the Chamber of Commerce education committee, sits on Coeur d'Alene School District's Long Range Planning Committee, as well as serves on the St. Pius Church Parish Council. Most recently, she served for two weeks teaching and nurturing children in an orphanage in Hue, Vietnam.

Marie NailMarie Nail, Fundraising
Marie Nail was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene, where she attended public schools and graduated from Lake City High School in 1997. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2002 from the University of Idaho, she worked in Marketing and Corporate sales in Seattle and Boise. While in Boise, she worked for two years as a reading tutor and substitute teacher for grades K-12. Knowing how incredible it was to grow up in such a beautiful, safe community, Marie and her husband Michael returned to Coeur d’Alene four years ago. Marie has two young children, one of whom will be attending Kindergarten in fall 2014. With young children entering the public education system Marie wants to ensure she does her part to make it excellent, and allow all students to succeed. Beyond her work with CEP, Marie is an active volunteer in her community and enjoys cooking, photography, the outdoors and spending time with her family.

Chris PfeifferChris Pfeiffer, Marketing
Chris Pfeiffer was raised in Coeur d'Alene and attended grades 1-12 in the Coeur d'Alene public schools. After graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1988, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho, then went to work in corporate marketing, communications, and design in Portland, Oregon. In 2007, Chris returned to Coeur d'Alene, taking the web designer position at North Idaho College. He is an active member of the University of Idaho College of Art and Architecture Advisory Council and a Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer. His two daughters attend and his wife teaches in the Coeur d'Alene public schools.

Mark RakesMark Rakes, Outreach
Mark Rakes was born in El Paso, Texas, and moved with his family to Coeur d’Alene in 1985, completing his 8th grade year at Canfield Middle School. He attended Coeur d’Alene High School, experiencing all three years during “split-shifting” (juniors and seniors in the morning, freshmen and sophomores in the afternoon), and graduated in 1990. Mark went on to North Idaho College and Eastern Washington University, earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems. He went to work in software engineering, primarily in wired and wireless networking, in small startup companies in Spokane to the biggest companies in Bay Area. He now telecommutes from Coeur d’Alene to a job in California so he and his wife Lisa, also a CHS grad, former teacher, and now librarian in the Coeur d’Alene School District, can raise their two children near family in North Idaho. He is a member and former Secretary of the Sorensen Magnet PTO, and an active volunteer and supporter of the increased Arts and Humanities programs in the school.

Amy VoellerAmy Voeller, Communications
Amy Voeller is an in Independent Contractor with Journal Graphics out of Portland, OR, coordinating printing, mailing, and distribution of printed materials for publishers of magazines and catalogs across eight states. Amy is also a Licensed Professional Counselor. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California at San Diego and a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Idaho. Amy is an active member of the PTA, PTA Alliance, and the Dalton Elementary School Leadership Team. Amy and her husband, Jeff, enjoy snow skiing, water skiing, camping, and backpacking with their two sons. Amy’s involvement with CEP allows her to foster dialogue between educators, administrators, and community members toward the pursuit of challenging, personalized education.

Blair WilliamsBlair Williams, Programming
Blair Williams was raised in Hayden, Idaho, graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1985. Blair left Idaho to begin working as an arts administrator for groups like the California Confederation of the Arts, and the B Street Theatre. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in both Communications and Public Relations from Carroll College in Helena, Montana. Blair then operated her own successful public relations firm for 7 years, before jumping into the world of real estate development. In 2011 Blair returned to Coeur d’Alene with her husband, in order to raise their daughter – because Blair knows CDA is the best place to grow up. Blair currently works for The Art Spirit Gallery, is a current member of the Sorensen Magnet PTO, and the Inland Northwest Food Network.

Our Partners

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