Nancy Shaffer Hart, President
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 twelve years, Nancy has dedicated herself full-time to raising her two daughters. She has actively participated in their education at Hayden Meadows Elementary as well as Canfield Middle School, volunteering regularly at both schools and serving as a member of the PTAs. She is one of the coordinators of Hayden Meadows’ participation in the statewide Invent Idaho program. Nancy and her husband, Jason, have been married for 18 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. She is proud of the programs CEP has brought to our public schools including Disco Inferno and the Teacher Appreciation program.
Mark Rakes, Vice President
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.
Lexi 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.
Lisa 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 Marano, Board Development
Though originally from Ohio, Paula Marano and her husband of 45 years, Gene, have lived in Coeur d’Alene since 1976. They raised three children and now having bragging rights on five granddaughters and a great grandson. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Idaho and taught third grade for 14 years in the Coeur d’Alene School District. She 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, civic, social and church activities to bring awareness, movement, momentum and better understanding for the people in our community. She served on the Coeur d’Alene School District’s Long Range Planning Committee and presently sits on the Chamber of Commerce education committee as well as serves on the St. Pius X Church Parish Council. Gene and Paula have enjoyed numerous travel adventures during retirement. One travel highlight was when she served for two weeks teaching and nurturing children in an orphanage in Hue, Vietnam.
Bobby Myers, Outreach
Bobby Myers is the Marketing & Communications Director for NCCE (Northwest Council for Computer Education), a non-profit organization that provides year-round professional development opportunities for K-12 educators, administrators, and support staff. Bobby leads the strategic planning for all initiatives tied to brand development and management of digital and social media. He is in charge of NCCE’s marketing content strategy, creative services, and cultivating partnerships for NCCE’s annual education-technology conference.
Bobby grew up in Wyoming but is a proud University of Idaho Alumni, graduating from the College of Business and Economics with degrees in Marketing and Human Resource Management and will complete his Executive MBA in May of 2017. Bobby is currently the Vice President of The Coeur Group, a collection of businessmen in the Coeur d'Alene area who contribute to their community by donating time and resources to various causes and charitable organizations throughout Kootenai County. Bobby is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Coeur d’Alene as well as an active volunteer at the Children’s Village. He hopes to contribute to the successful support CEP has provided to the Coeur d’Alene community and as a side passion, continue to find new ways to support at risk kids in Kootenai County.
Marie Nail, Events
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 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.
Amy 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.
Lori Wallin, At Large
Lori Wallin has been an English instructor at North Idaho College since 1996, teaching composition, business writing, and creative writing in addition to working at the NIC Writing Center and serving as a consultant and Coordinator of the NIC Online Writing Center. Lori is an active volunteer in the community, working at a local elementary school and sitting on the board of directors for a charitable organization which serves Kootenai County in addition to her work at CEP. Lori loves reading, writing and all things language related, fiber arts, outdoor recreation and spending time with her family.
Blair 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.