Derec Shuler is the CEO of Ascent Classical Academy Charter Schools.  He is also the founder and on the Board of Directors of Golden View Classical Academy, a K-12 charter public school located in Golden, Colorado. He was previously involved in a charter startup in Denver Public Schools and was on the Advisory Board of KIPP Colorado.  Mr. Shuler is an entrepreneur and previously worked in technology and technical operations with the US government, where he served overseas. He was a special agent and Major in Military Intelligence for the US Army Reserves.  Mr. Shuler is also a commercial pilot.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Appalachian State University in North Carolina.  He is proud to be a part of the Leadership Network of the American Enterprise Institute, is on the Advisory Board of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, an Education Policy Fellow for the Centennial Institute, and is a graduate of Leadership Denver through the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.  He enjoys travel, road and mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, and long-distance running.  Mr. Shuler is married with two children and lives in the mountains outside Golden, Colorado.

Kim Gilmartin is the Director of New School Development for Ascent Classical Academy Charter Schools.  She is also a founding family and served on the Board of Directors for Golden View Classical Academy from 2015 to 2020, where her three children attend.  Mrs. Gilmartin is passionate about education reform and education policy and became actively involved in the Colorado charter school movement in 2014. Before starting her career in education reform, Mrs. Gilmartin was the co-founder of an Internet marketing company for several years.  Prior to that, she spent 10 years as an executive with various cable and video providers including Comcast, AT&T Broadband, TCI, and WSNet.  She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Communications.  Mrs. Gilmartin is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, currently serves on the LPR Advisory Committee and is a part of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network.  Mrs. Gilmartin resides in Littleton, CO with her husband and three children.

Stacey Bowman is the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer of Ascent Classical Academies. She joins Ascent after a dozen years in private practice with an Am Law 100 firm, with experience in the areas of commercial litigation, labor law, employment litigation and advising, healthcare, and education law.  During her law firm career, Ms. Bowman was recognized for her commitment to pro bono legal work, helping victims of human trafficking, political asylees and minors without guardians seeking legal status in the U.S.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of Golden View Classical Academy. Before her law career, Ms. Bowman traveled extensively in connection with volunteer work which took her to ten-plus countries in Central and South America and Eastern Europe. As a result, Ms. Bowman watched the European space program launch a rocket from near Kourou, French Guiana, swam with a sea turtle, skied in the Carpathian mountains, and is conversant in French, Spanish, and Russian.  She enjoys tennis, mountain biking, skiing, and poetry.  Ms. Bowman is married with three children and lives in Arvada, Colorado.


Learn More from Headmaster Trent Kramer

Our parent information meetings are a great opportunity for parents to learn more about our curriculum and culture. Headmaster Trent Kramer leads the Northern Colorado campus, which is completing its second year. 

Next Steps

We encourage you to explore this site and learn more about our program. If you would like to see this campus opened in Fall 2023, please submit a non-binding and confidential expression of interest.  

  • Friday, May 27 – Deadline to sign up for public comment at the public forum 
  • Tuesday, May 31, 4 p.m. – Public Forum at Durango High School auditorium
  • Friday, June 3, 8 a.m. – District interview with Ascent Classical’s leadership team; the public is encouraged to attend, but there will be no public comment
  • Monday, June 13 – District board will vote on the Ascent Classical Academy of Durango charter application

If you are unable to attend the public forum but would like to show your support, please submit a written comment here


Additional Resources