Jason Bransford co-founded Gem Innovation Schools (GIS) in 2014, the first non-profit charter school management organization in the State of Idaho. Responding to the excellent student outcomes being attained in Idaho Distance Education Academy (I-DEA), he created a plan which would give more Idaho students access to quality education. Working with national education leaders and philanthropists he secured the financial, strategic, and operational support necessary to open 3 brick and mortar schools that build upon the success of the flagship school I-DEA. In 2014, Jason and his team opened Gem Prep: Pocatello, and in 2016 opened Gem Prep: Nampa. Both schools have been highly successful in their early years with the expectation for continued future success. A third Gem Prep school is scheduled to open in fall 2018 in Meridian, Idaho. At full capacity each school will serve grades K-12 with Gem Innovation Schools serving a total of 2,126 students.
Prior to founding GIS, Jason taught high school and mentored other teachers in the Houston, Texas, area. Upon arriving in Idaho, Jason was part of a team that revitalized the state-wide distance education school, Idaho Distance Education Academy. Under his direction, severe financial deficits were reversed and operations in all school departments were streamlined. At the same time, he guided I-DEA to receive the highest state academic rating and the highest SAT scores of any district in the state. The State of Idaho recognized I-DEA’s successes and its creation of a highly successful college credit program for high school students, and Jason was awarded the Idaho Education Network Innovator of the Year Award.
Jason has held a number of education roles during his career, including teacher, faculty mentor, school director, and vice president of the Idaho Charter School Network. Jason earned a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho, an M.S. degree from the University of Houston, and an Ed.S. from Idaho State University.