About The Region 17 Comprehensive Center

The Region 17 Comprehensive Center is located at Education Northwest’s offices in Boise, Idaho. We are one of 19 regional centers across the nation that provide customized, capacity-building services to state education agencies (SEAs) to identify, implement, and sustain evidence-based practices that support improved educator and student outcomes.

Region 17 Staff

  • Jennifer Esswein, co-director
  • Jacob Williams, co-director
  • Mandy Smoker Broaddus, Indian education content lead
  • Kate Fitzgibbon, communications coordinator
  • Elizabeth Gandhi, internal evaluator
  • Suzanne Hay, grants management administrator
  • Jeff Jones, web developer
  • Christine Andrews Paulson, external evaluator
  • Nicole Sage, project lead
  • Erich Stiefvater, project lead

Our Advisory Boards

The purpose of the Region 17 Comprehensive Center's advisory boards is to provide input and feedback about the states’ needs, educational priorities, and stakeholder perspectives that will guide Region 17’s work. Board members represent state education agency staff, teachers, superintendents, principals, higher education institutions, families, and business and community leaders in Idaho and Montana.


  • Marc Beitia, agriculture science and natural resources teacher, American Falls High School
  • Johanna Jones, Indian education director, Idaho State Department of Education
  • Tim McMurtrey, deputy superintendent, Idaho State Department of Education
  • Becky Mitchell, English language arts and physical science teacher, Vision Charter School
  • Mary Lynn Spiker, first-grade Teacher, I.T. Stoddard Elementary School
  • Geoff Thomas, superintendent, Madison School District


  • Sharyl Allen, deputy superintendent, Office of Public Instruction
  • Elsie Arntzen, superintendent, Office of Public Instruction
  • Alexander Ator, superintendent/principal, Roberts School District
  • Tammy Lacey, vice chair, Board of Public Education
  • Greg Upham, superintendent, Billings Public Schools
  • Curtis Yarlot, executive director and president, St. Labre Indian School Educational Association

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