Board & Employees – IBE

Our Staff

Kim Kirschner, Executive Director


Kimberly Kirschner is honored to fill the role as the Institute for Better Education’s Executive Director. She joined the IBE family in December of 2012 to serve as the Corporate Program Coordinator for two years. She then had the opportunity bring her skill set to IBE as the Business Office Manager for two more years. Kim attended the University of Arizona and has been an Arizona business owner for over thirty years. Kim is very passionate about helping Arizona families remove any financial obstacles that would keep them from finding the right private school to meet their child’s needs. Kim is married to Tom and they have two children, Kaitlin and Carter who both live in Colorado. Kim and Tom love visiting their children and enjoy sailing, skiing and snowboarding, as well as peaceful downtime at their cabin hide-away in Colorado.

Amanda Bryant


Amanda Bryant is the Recommended Fund Scholarship Coordinator. She has been with the Institute for Better Education since December 2009. Amanda attended Arizona State University, but true to Tucson, she roots for the University of Arizona. As a long time Arizonan, she enjoys spending time traveling the state to discover new things with her husband and two children. The best part of working at IBE, she says, is helping families achieve their goal of having their child (ren) at the school of their choosing.

Wendi Hauser


Wendi Hauser is the Corporate Scholarship Program Manager, yet her experience with IBE began as a parent applying for scholarships for her two children. She knew the program, knew a few staff members, and was a vocal advocate of the Arizona Tax Credit Program in 2014 when IBE expanded the number of staff positions. She was one of four applicants, but her friendly and knowledgeable demeanor made her an easy selection. Her degree is in Business Administration from NAU where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. As an east coast transplant, she has traveled extensively but nine years ago she and her husband Chris made Tucson their home.

Sara Hinds


Sara Hinds is a very important member of the IBE family. She is our Scholarship Support Specialist and has been part of the team since December of 2015. When asked what she would like to share, Sara, in her typical cheery way said, “My three children are the highlights of my life! We have been residents of Tucson for the past 20 years and consider Tucson our home. We love outdoor activities and being involved in both our school and church. It is an honor to work for an organization that supports a parent’s right to choose what education best meets their student’s beliefs and needs.”

Crystal Lanik


Crystal Lanik recently joined IBE in September 2020, as a First Impressions
Coordinator. Crystal is one of the first people to greet you as you walk through the doors
here at IBE. Before joining IBE Crystal worked in a private school for many years and
enjoys helping Arizona families to continue a better education for their children. She and
her Husband Jeff have two fantastic Son’s, as a family they enjoy the outdoors and
baseball!

Lupita Rocha


Lupita Rocha has been a part of our IBE team since January 2018. She came to us with over 10 years of experience working with tax credits at the school level. As the Bilingual Outreach Specialist, Lupita has become an integral part in assisting our diverse IBE community. With the additional role of handling IBE’s Corporate Donor Relations, she continues to serve the Arizona community from donors through schools to applicants! “I love working with families and empowering them to make educational choices that are right for them, academically, and/or spiritually. Working with Arizona corporations that are committed to making this happen is a blessing! Through IBE, we work side by side to put Arizona’s children first!

Her and her husband, Luis, embrace the craziness of raising their six children and their family’s involvement in faith ministries, sports, and music! Huge Wildcat fans and faithful servants…God is good! GO CATS!”

Jodi Schulz


Jodi Schulz joined the Team at IBE in September of 2017. She is the Business Office Manager and has lived in Arizona most of her life. She has worked with the public in restaurants and retail over the last 25+ years. She is married and enjoys spending time with her husband Ron and their dog, Zoey. Hobbies include boating, biking, or just being lazy by a pool or beach. Working at IBE will be a blessing and Jodi is looking forward to giving back to the community in a brand new way.

Lucia Valenzuela


Lucia Valenzuela is our Bilingual First Impressions Coordinator. She join the IBE Team
March of 2020 in hopes to provide YOU with extraordinary service! Lucia and her
husband are blessed with four children, 3 girls and a boy! All attend or have attended a
private Catholic school here in Tucson. Their two oldest chose to continue their high
school education in public schools, the younger ones are opting to continue in private.
As such, school choice has always played an important role in their family. She is
enjoying working with the IBE Team towards Making a Difference in the lives of Arizona
children!

Board of Trustees

Jack Schull, Chairman


Jack Schull is the Lead Pastor at Elements City Church. Jack has a Communication degree from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. An avid sports fan, he reminds us to #BearDown University of Arizona and Go Steelers! He enjoys golf and currently serves on the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in Tucson. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustee for the Institute for Better Education. He and his wife Amy have been married since 1995 and have 3 children.

Kim Kirschner, Executive Director


Kimberly Kirschner is honored to fill the role as the Institute for Better Education’s Executive Director. She joined the IBE family in December of 2012 to serve as the Corporate Program Coordinator for two years. She then had the opportunity bring her skill set to IBE as the Business Office Manager for two more years. Kim attended the University of Arizona and has been an Arizona business owner for over thirty years. Kim is very passionate about helping Arizona families remove any financial obstacles that would keep them from finding the right private school to meet their child’s needs. Kim is married to Tom and they have two children, Kaitlin and Carter who both live in Colorado. Kim and Tom love visiting their children and enjoy sailing, skiing and snowboarding, as well as peaceful downtime at their cabin hide-away in Colorado.

Eric Dowdle


Eric Dowdle is the Principal at Casas Christian K-8 School in Tucson, Az. He has served as an administrator at the school for the past 20 years, and a minister on the staff of the church as well.

He and his wife Heather have three girls and have recently added a wonderful son-in-law to their family.

He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Accreditation Commission for the Association of Christian Schools International – Rocky Mountain Region.

Rachelle Hodge


Rachelle Hodge graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for a number of years, she partnered with another educator to form Branching Out Educational Consultants. The heart of Branching Out is to assist Christian educators to hone the teaching skills necessary to keep professionally sharp.

She concludes with, “I am proud to serve on the IBE board and be a small part of such an amazing organization that has blessed so many families throughout AZ. When individuals redirect their tax dollars through the Institute for Better Education, school choice is made accessible. IBE’s scholarship program allows parents to choose a private school that best meets the needs of their student. Choice is a powerful motivator and I believe it creates a stronger educational system for all.”

Aaron Jansen


Aaron Jansen has a BA from Dordt College in Secondary Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. He has proudly served at Desert Christian Schools since 2002. He is currently the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director for the K-8 campus. Aaron and his wife Mikala have been married for fourteen years and have three energetic young children. He enjoys coaching high school basketball in his spare time. Aaron is very humbled by the opportunity to serve on the board of trustees at IBE. He is passionate about school choice and speaking the truth of God’s Word into the lives of young people on a daily basis.

She concludes with, “I am proud to serve on the IBE board and be a small part of such an amazing organization that has blessed so many families throughout AZ. When individuals redirect their tax dollars through the Institute for Better Education, school choice is made accessible. IBE’s scholarship program allows parents to choose a private school that best meets the needs of their student. Choice is a powerful motivator and I believe it creates a stronger educational system for all.”

Royce Nelsestuen


Royce received a BA in Education from the University of Arizona and a M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. Since 2001, she has been the school principal at Faith Community Academy where she also served as the Children’s Ministry Director and taught in the children’s church and Sunday school classrooms. She is married and the mother of four boys. She is passionate about allowing parents to have a choice in their child’s education, as well as providing God’s truth and a Gospel-centered worldview in all areas of education.

She concludes with, “I am proud to serve on the IBE board and be a small part of such an amazing organization that has blessed so many families throughout AZ. When individuals redirect their tax dollars through the Institute for Better Education, school choice is made accessible. IBE’s scholarship program allows parents to choose a private school that best meets the needs of their student. Choice is a powerful motivator and I believe it creates a stronger educational system for all.”

Rusty Rollins


Rusty is a native Tucsonan, graduating from Amphitheater High School and working as an assistant golf professional for Oro Valley Country Club from 1990-1996. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Baylor University and a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Rusty has worked in the area of family law and estate planning, focusing primarily on estate planning for the past 19 years.

Rusty served on the board for IMPACT of Southern Arizona from 2013-2016. He and his family attend Faith Community Church. Rusty and his wife have homeschooled their two daughters for the past 6 years. Prior to homeschooling they were blessed by IBE while their children pursued private Christian education. He is a strong believer in school choice and welcomes the opportunity to use his talents to support parents and students while on the board of IBE.

Troy Ruboyianes


Troy grew up in Tucson and went on to graduate from the University of Arizona, then became a Certified Public Accountant. His firm, the Ruboyianes Tax Company, PLLC, provides tax and bookkeeping services throughout Arizona, with clients across the country and Mexico. Troy and his wife, Amanda, have two daughters who are able to attend private school thanks to the Arizona Tax Credit program.

Troy is passionate about Arizona Tax Credits as they provide school choice in a broadly equitable way. The benefits are accessible to families of any income level and allow taxpayers to choose where their tax dollars are spent. Because Troy always seeks the most effective and economical tax routes for his clients, these credits have become one of his favorite vehicles. He looks forward to serving on the Board as a means of maximizing school choice for Arizona families.