2016-17 Board Members

Ken Martin

Board Chair

impact board headshot ken martinKen’s professional experience includes five years in large company operations, which included the supervision of 74 personnel in a 24-hour operating environment, 18 years in real estate investment and management, and 14 years as a United Stated Army Reserve logistics officer including platoon leader, detachment commander, and staff positions. Ken earned a Bachelor of Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration from the UHCL (University of Houston – Clear Lake) He is also a graduate of the United States Army Airborne school. He has also held various roles on nonprofit boards including president of two boards. Ken previously served as a home school teacher for his son, Mitchell, now a 12th grader at TEA. Ken’s goal as a board member is to build structures and systems that enhance the collaborative climate for the school in order to achieve a sustainable steady state and execute the school’s mission for the long term. In his free time, Ken enjoys singing, hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.

Robert Abbott

Board Member

impact board headshot robert abbottBob’s goal as a member of the board is to bring his operational and start up experience to help the school grow and expand its mission. Bob is currently a general partner at Norwest Venture Partners, a global venture capital and growth equity investment firm based in Palo Alto. Bob joined Norwest in 1998 and is focused on a wide variety of investment categories including mobile, cloud and IT infrastructure and currently sits on a number of technology company boards. Bob is also a member of the Stanford Water Polo Foundation board and is an active volunteer in the Stanford community. Prior to joining Norwest, Bob worked in various roles from engineering to marketing and product management at Silicon Graphics and IBM-ROLM Systems. He holds a bachelor of science and a master of science in electrical engineering, and an MBA, all from Stanford University. In his free time, Bob plays water polo, travels and enjoys hiking, mountain biking and skiing in the Tahoe area with his family and dogs. Bob is excited about the mission of the school and making a difference in the education landscape.

Jennifer Frechette-Caron

Board Member

jen2-1Jennifer has over 12 years of experience in brand marketing, research, product analysis, finance, and new product launches with General Motors’ in the startup Alternative Fuels Division. During her tenure at GM, Jennifer worked with multiple State Representatives, Government decision makers, members of Congress and other dignitaries as well as the Salt Lake City Olympics committee to establish alternative fuels into the mainstream. Additionally, Jennifer has over ten years of medical and medical device sales, management, product launches and marketing experience with Glaxo Smith Kline Pharmaceuticals, the startup company; CCS Medical and working with Medtronic, and Stryker device corporations. Other achievements include participation in a leadership training program at GM and on advisory, business development, and leadership training committees at both Glaxo Smith Kline and CCS Medical. Jennifer also received Excellence in Sales and Rookie of the Year awards during her career. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing and is three-quarters way through her MBA program starting at Oakland University, MI and completing recent MBA classes from the Wharton School. Her goal as a TEA board member is to apply her experience in both structured and startup environments, from operations to vision to big picture strategies. She strongly believes in TEA’s vision and hopes to help the school reach its true potential. In her free time, Jennifer runs, cycles, skis, hikes and plays golf and tennis. She has a true love of exploring, learning, and experiencing life fully.

Mark Ferris

Board Member

mark-ferris-bio-image-2Mark’s work experience includes five years at the United States Forest Service as a hydrologic technician and 14 years in construction, real estate investment, and property management. Mark was also a Nepal Trust volunteer where he ran treks, assisted with a micro hydro project, and conducted a district health survey. He has been on the board of the Bodhi Tree Foundation since 2006. Mark earned a B.S. in Forestry – Resource Conservation from the University of Montana. His goal as a board member is to establish a school that can stand the test of time. Mark enjoys tele skiing, mountain biking, golfing, climbing, and traveling. One of his claims to fame is that he built a cabin from the ground up.

Alice Hahn


alice-board-imageAlice Hahn is currently a Partner and Senior Staff Accountant in charge of the Accounting Services department at McClintock Accountancy Corporation. Alice joined the firm in October 2000 after moving to Truckee in 1999. Alice’s experience includes heading the payroll department for Franklin Templeton Funds where she was instrumental in the establishment of procedures and policies pertaining to payroll for the then up and coming mutual fund company. Corporate accounting for a multi divisional firm, International Air Service Company (IASCO). The divisions of IASCO included manufacturing and maintenance divisions; pilot training facilities and pilot crew leasing divisions. And then most notably, business management for a private school, The Nueva School, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alice’s responsibilities at the school included Board and Director support; assistance to the Annual Giving/Annual Fundraising committees; Business Office liaison for the Financial Aid committee. Alice obtained a certificate of studies in Business and Accounting from San Mateo Community College in 1981. Alice enjoys snowboarding in the winter and camping and hiking in the summer. She also enjoys travel in country and of course world travel, as often as possible.

Mark Kushner

Chief Executive Officer

impact board headshot mark kushnerA San Francisco native, Kushner received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and completed graduate work in literature, law and educational administration at Oxford University, University of San Francisco (J.D.), and Harvard University (Ed.M.), and he is a graduate of Outward Bound. Kushner has taught a course on school innovation at Stanford University since 2006, and has served on numerous boards, including, San Francisco University High School, Town School for Boys, Leadership Public Schools and Flex Schools, among others.

Kushner’s distinguished background includes teaching at Stanford University, opening California’s first charter high school in 1995, opening one of the first school management organizations in 2001, and opening California’s first fully technology-blended middle and high school in 2008. Since 2008, Kushner has been deeply involved with leading the movement toward personalization, designed to meet students where they are and enable them to accelerate where appropriate.

Taylor Simmers


Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.29.57 PMTaylor is co-founder of Tahoe Expedition Academy and +Impact School. Since 1995, Taylor has worked with students in K through 12th grade in a variety of locations and types of schools across the country. He has taught, coached, designed curriculum, led outdoor education programs and served as a school administrator. Since 2004, Taylor has lived and taught in Lake Tahoe and developed an appreciation for and an understanding of the developmental needs of students in their formative years. Taylor has a B.A. in English from Princeton and a Masters in Education from Brown University. As an educator, Taylor believes authentic products, meaningful academics, and outdoor experiences create long lasting knowledge and important skills for children. To help start a school that combines these educational components has been a dream come true. For the past ten years, Taylor has guided adventure-based trips for students throughout the American West, where he currently enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking and climbing on his own time. Taylor lives in Incline Village, Nevada with his wife and son, Sully.

Dr. Amanda Welsh

Board Member

impact board headshot amanda welshDr. Amanda Welsh works on Partner Programs for Nielsen. She has been at the intersection of media and technology for many years, being one of the first clients of a startup called NetRatings when she ran research for Netscape, co-founding two companies – an A&R website for unsigned musicians (garageband.com) acquired by MySpace and a cross-platform media measurement company (IMMI) acquired by Arbitron, as well as spending time at Google as a Media Scientist. Along the way, Amanda has also designed award-winning videogames and written a non-award winning book on consumer data collection. Amanda’s lifelong interest in understanding, quantifying and activating large data sets began with her Ph.D. in linguistics at Harvard University.