Gem Innovation Board


Dennis Turner
Board Chair


A long-time resident of Idaho, Dennis has served Idaho citizens for 35 years, working for the City of Pocatello where he helped create the Southeast Idaho subsection of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) / Intermountain. Dennis brings a wealth of facilities, construction, and project management expertise. His studies at Michigan State University, Idaho State University and College of Western Idaho were in project management.

Murray Stanton, Esq.
Vice Chair


A retired attorney, Murray Stanton brings a career’s worth of legal experience and a methodical approach to complex issues. His successfully evaluates circumstances, breaking issues down to manageable pieces. Murray received an A.A. degree from Simon’s Rock of Bard College, a B.A. from Duke University, a J.D. from Washington and Lee University Law School, and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Renee Ellsworth
Board Member


Renee has been a trusted banker in the North Central Idaho community for over 30 years.  With her strong financial background in both corporate and consumer banking, she exhibits a professional manner and excellent interpersonal skills. Currently serving as Community Manager and Vice President for Umpqua Bank, Renee provides management support to multiple bank branches in North Central Idaho.   Serving Idaho families and her local community is very important to Renee. She enjoys her roles as a 4-H leader, secretary of the Deary Recreation District, as well as serving as a board member of United Way of Latah County and Palouse Habitat for Humanity.  While employed with Umpqua Bank, Renee received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho.  She is a lifetime resident of Deary, Idaho, and the Whitepine School District where she currently resides with her husband and teenage daughter.

Jill Call
Board Member


Jill has been affiliated with Gem’s Idaho Distance Education Academy (I-DEA) since it began in 2004, when she enrolled her children in the distance education program. She is a strong proponent of school choice and values the unique niche that Gem Innovation Schools offers parents. Jill received a B.A. from Brigham Young University and a M.A. from Boise State University.

Brian Trammell
Board Member


As Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Bannock County, Brian upholds the law while representing the rights of local citizens. He graduated from University of Idaho College of Law in 2013, and he first practiced as Deputy City Attorney with the City of Boise. Brian lives in Pocatello, Idaho, with his wife and four children; two of which are enrolled in Gem Prep: Pocatello charter school. Brian is highly involved in local politics and is specifically motivated to raise the bar on Idaho education outcomes. Brian enjoys spending time with his family, reading, watching and playing sports, and exercising. Brian is an Eagle Scout.

Dr. Roger Stewart
Board Member


Roger A. Stewart is a professor in the Literacy Department at Boise State University. His interests include large scale assessments and their influence on school change, with a particular focus on reading and writing assessments. He is also interested in program evaluation and is currently conducting several in Idaho. For the past three years he has worked with the Chief Academic Officer of the Idaho State Board of Education on the transition to the Idaho Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments. Primarily he has worked to involve Idaho’s higher education community in these two endeavors. He has been an educator for 38 years at both secondary and higher education levels. His Ph.D. is from Purdue University in Curriculum and Instruction with emphases in reading and science education.

Duncan Robb
Board Member


Duncan Robb is currently a consultant working with national education organizations and state-based education leaders to build capacity in state education agencies and provide counsel to state education chiefs, ensuring that they are equipped to achieve their goals for students. Most recently, he served as Chief Policy Advisor to Idaho State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra, where he was responsible for implementing her legislative agenda and acting as a liaison between the Superintendent’s office and the legislature. Prior to that, Duncan was an Engagement Manager at the Education Delivery Institute, based in Washington, DC, where he helped with strategic planning and progress monitoring in many states and education nonprofits committed to improving student outcomes. Duncan was a Teach for America corps member, teaching sixth grade math in Houston, TX, and serves on the alumni board for TFA Idaho. He holds a master’s in public policy from Johns Hopkins University and two bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies from the University of Oregon.