Jenny Combs –  Executive Director

Jenny was raised and started teaching in rural Montana and had been working professionally in education for over 25 years. Jenny taught 7-12 math and English, earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from MSU, and was a finalist for the Montana Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics. Jenny also has worked for over 10 years at the international and national levels specializing in teacher induction, instructional coaching, and online professional learning. Jenny joined ACE in 2018 to return to her Montana roots.

The revolving door of teachers she experienced as both a student and teacher made her drive to ensure that every school leader and teacher feels supported regardless of where they work.

Jenny knows we can do better for our students by challenging our long-held traditions about grading and reporting. She is committed to having the courage and expertise to support Montana schools shift to research-based instruction, assessment, and grading.

Alyson Mike – Instructional Coach

Alyson grew up in eastern Montana and attended college at Montana State University. While following a different career path, serving as a teaching assistant inspired a pivot to teaching, Alyson was a successful National Board Certified middle school science teacher and taught both high school and middle school for over twenty years. Most of her teaching experience was in East Helena, Montana, a small industrial town with many at-risk students. Alyson was honored to be selected and to represent Montana as Montana’s Teacher of the Year in 2004. In addition, she received the Milken Educator Award in 2003 and the Presidential Award for Excellent in Science Teaching in 2001.

In 2007, Alyson transitioned to a national educational non-profit and began designing and implementing online communities of practice and supporting beginning teachers in rural and remote areas. She has also worked in corporate education and served as the Director of Online Learning for a graduate school. Alyson is a consultant focused on various projects, from online learning and corporate sustainability education to mentoring new teachers.

Andrea Meiers – Consultant

Andrea began her career as a middle school Language Arts teacher in Powell, Wyoming, shortly after graduating from Rocky Mountain College. After teaching briefly and earning her Masters of Education Leadership, Andrea obtained her first administrative position as an assistant principal at Laurel Middle School and then moved into the principal role. Andrea served as the full-time ACE executive director from 2014-2017. After three years with ACE, she became an assistant professor in the Education Department at Rocky Mountain College until the spring of 2020. Andrea is currently a curriculum director at Lockwood Schools.

Having a deep belief in ACE’s work, Andrea has continued to be involved with ACE.