John Gaddess | Chair
John grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago. Early school-based nature education programs sparked the beginning of a strong environmental ethic and respect for his community. John earned a degree in forest ecology and moved to the northwest shortly after college. John and his wife are raising their family in Sandpoint and have been active in the community since moving there in 2009. His drive for supporting youth education and desire to see youth culture embrace the outdoors again brought him to SOLE.
Joy Jansen, PhD | Secretary
Kyla French | Board Member
As a 5th generation Bonner County resident, Kyla was raised to appreciate the lifestyle of the outdoors. Graduating from Sandpoint High School in 1998, Kyla pursued many careers in the outdoor field and finally settled on teaching and education. Kyla graduated from the University of Idaho in 2010 with a BS in Early Child Development and Special Education. Kyla has been a teacher for the Lake Pend Oreille School District for the past 7 years and thoroughly enjoys her time working with children. She also enjoys mentoring children while also teaching them to appreciate the outdoors and the programs available to youth in the Sandpoint community, which led her to partner with SOLE. When she is not teaching, you will find her with her own family on the mountain, on the lake, or likely digging in the dirt.
Geoff Penrose | Board Member
Geoff was born and raised in the Midwest but migrated west as soon as he was able. After 15 seasons in the Alaskan salmon industry, he turned to teaching English at an alternative high school in Wasilla, Alaska, where he helped start an annual field archeology summer program for at-risk teens that continues to this day. As a school administrator, he has served as an Assistant Principal and Principal at two middle schools, one in Alaska and one in Oregon, and is currently the Principal of Lake Pend Oreille High School in Sandpoint. He holds a BA in English Literature, an MFA in Creative Writing, an MA in Educational Leadership, and an Ed.S. in the Superintendency. Geoff is an avid fly-fisherman and rafter, swimmer in Lake Pend Oreille, and lover of the smell of a pine forest in the early morning before anyone else is awake. He lives a little bit outside Sandpoint with his wife, Lara, and his 8-year-old son, Gus, who caught his first trout on a fly just last summer!