Derec Shuler, executive director of Ascent Classical Academies, is also the founder 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 U.S. 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, director of new school development and outreach for Ascent Classical Academies, 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, director of legal and human resources, joined 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, Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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. Mrs. Bowman is married with three children and lives in Arvada, Colorado.
Chris Scott, director of finance, worked for more than six years as a financial consultant to more than 30 charter schools in Colorado prior to joining the Ascent Classical leadership team. Mr. Scott advised school administrators and boards in the areas of budget modeling and forecasting, federal grant management, financial reporting, and the implementation of sound financial policies and procedures. Earlier, he worked for five years as a member of the administrative team opening a charter school in Denver, providing operational management as a Dean of Students. Mr. Scott graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and worked in business management for 8 years before moving to the public sector. He volunteers as a Director for the City of Lakewood’s Budget and Audit Board and was a past member of the Finance Committee of the public charter school attended by his children. Mr. Scott, his wife, and his children reside in Lakewood and are steadfast advocates of school choice.
Amy Willis, director of marketing and communications, joined the Ascent Classical leadership team after more than fourteen years of marketing for higher education institutions in Texas. Mrs. Willis earned a bachelor’s degree in communication design from Texas Tech University and a master’s in business administration from Abilene Christian University. Mrs. Willis also partnered with nonprofit organizations and K-12 public schools to aid with fundraising, grant applications, and branding/advertising design. She is passionate about volunteering in the community and most recently acted as treasurer for the Hoplite Council, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Founders Classical Academy of Schertz. Mrs. Willis resides in Highlands Ranch with her husband and three daughters, who attend Ascent Classical Academy of Douglas County. They strongly support the arts and enjoy hiking, biking, and camping.