About Us

Advancing Quality
Improving Achievement

The Mission of the Idaho Charter School Network is to improve student achievement and expand choice among high quality public schools by advancing and supporting Idaho’s charter schools. We support efforts to improve the overall charter school movement both in Idaho and across the nation.

TerryRyanCroppedTerry Ryan – Bluum

Terry Ryan is CEO of the Boise-based education nonprofit Bluum. Ryan is responsible for leading Idaho’s effort to double the number of students in Idaho high-performing public charter schools. He sets and coordinates with the Bluum Board of Trustees the organizational strategy and markers for success of the 501c3 statewide charter support organization. Ryan oversees day-to-day operations ($1.9 million operating budget) and ensure the fiscal and cultural health of the organization. Ryan coordinates closely all activities with funders including J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation (JKAF), Charter School Growth Fund and the U.S. Department of Education. Ryan leads Idaho’s federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant of $22 million.

Before moving to Idaho, Ryan was Vice-President for Ohio Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute/Foundation from 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). Ryan has been married to his wife Emilia for 25 years. Their two daughters graduated from Sage International Charter School in Boise and both are graduates of the University of Utah. Ryan and his wife stay connected to their family in Poland.

Andy Johnson- Sage International Network of Schools

Andy Johnson leads a network of International Baccalaureate K-12 public charter schools in Idaho—serving 1,400+ children from urban, suburban, and rural settings. He has been teaching and leading in public charter and independent schools for 16 years since transitioning from a long career as a soldier and officer in the United States Army.

As a combat veteran of Iraq, he is deeply committed to education that fosters an appreciation for other people’s culture and one that also fosters a spirit of international collaboration that leads to a more peaceful world. He is equally committed to equity in education by ensuring that every child is a strong reader, mathematician, and writer so that they can enjoy thriving lives filled with purpose in a deeply interconnected world.

Andy is a proud graduate of Central Missouri State University, the United States Army’s Command and General Staff College, the Austrian General Staff College, the University of Washington, Boise State University, the Defense Language Institute, and the United States Army’s Ranger School.

Andy has been married to his partner and best friend, Evelyn, for over 30 years. They have two children, Jack and Edie. Jack is an infantry officer in the Army and Edie is a senior at university. Evelyn and Andy love to travel, hike, run, and goof off with their dogs, Siggi and Ezra.

Stephen Lambert – American Classical Schools of Idaho

Steve Lambert is the Executive Director of American Classical Schools of Idaho (ACSI) and founding principal of Treasure Valley Classical Academy (TVCA) in Fruitland, Idaho. He also helped establish Atlanta Classical Academy, serving as its principal.

With a distinguished 24-year career in the U.S. Air Force, including roles such as Director of the U.S. Air Force Commanders’ Professional Development School and Vice Wing Commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, Lambert brings extensive leadership experience. He holds degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. Lambert and his wife Laura homeschool their four sons using a classical curriculum.

Monica White – Elevate Academy Network

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.

Monica is Co-Founder of Elevate Academy, a proposed public charter school intends to train and create a pipeline of highly-skilled, employable workers that meet the needs of Idaho industry and business, while empowering students to be leaders in their own lives.

Jason Bransford  – Gem Innovation Schools

Dr. Jason Bransford is the Chief Executive Officer for Gem Innovation Schools (GIS).

Beginning in 2014, Jason co-founded GIS, the first non-profit charter school management organization in the State of Idaho. The network includes one state-wide virtual school as well as a growing number of  on-campus schools located across the state. At full capacity each school will serve grades K-12, with the network serving a total of over 2,600 students.

Before the inception of the charter school network, Jason was part of a team that revitalized the state-wide virtual school, Idaho Distance Education Academy (now Gem Prep: Online), which subsequently received the highest state academic rating and the highest SAT scores of any district in the state.

Jason is deeply committed to his faith. He and his wife, Rebecca, are the proud parents of 5 children. He enjoys spending time with his family hunting, fishing, riding ATV’s, and playing sports. Jason  earned a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho, an M.S. degree from the University of Houston, an Ed. S. from Idaho State University, and his doctorate from the University of Utah. Jason was born and raised in Baytown, Texas.

Michelle Ball  – Alturas Academy Network

Michelle Ball has been an educator for over forty years. For twenty-two years, she taught in a multi-aged classroom where students were taught at their instructional levels in small groups. Michelle continually researched and implemented best practices, laying the foundation of Alturas. This approach allows students to receive tailored instruction, providing them with opportunities to reach their academic potential.

Throughout her educational journey, Michelle had the privilege of receiving a Fulbright to the Czech Republic to explore Eastern Europe and develop curriculum fostering a global community mindset. Additionally, she has authored a series of books. “Wake Up Brain” comprises six books with brain-stretching challenges in math, geography, and language arts, while “Brown Bag Science” includes 16 books supporting grades 1st through 6th in exploring science through hands-on learning activities.

Michelle’s family provides immense support in her life. Her husband of over forty years, Doug, shares her love for cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, running, and biking. They are proud parents of three children, Conrad, Rebecca, and Patrick.

Chris Yorgason – Yorgason Law Offices, PLLC

Chris founded Yorgason Law Offices, pllc, in November 2011. His practice consists mostly of transactional and general representation, with a focus on municipal government, education, charter schools, real estate and general business.

Chris’ family has lived in the Treasure Valley for over 100 years. He was born at Travis Air Force Base while his dad was serving in the Air Force, but they returned to Idaho before his first birthday. He is a member of the first graduating class of Centennial High School. After high school, Chris attended Brigham Young University where he graduated in 1995 with a double major in political science and finance, with an international emphasis. Chris also earned minors in Thai and Business Comp.