Derec Shuler is the CEO of Ascent Classical Academies. He is also the founder and former board chair of 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 Academies. 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 Director of Legal and Human Resources at Ascent Classical Academies. She joins Ascent after 12 years in private law practice, advising clients in the areas of commercial litigation, labor and employment, and education law. During her law firm career, Mrs. Bowman was recognized for her commitment to pro bono work, notably helping victims of human trafficking and political asylees. 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 is conversant in French, Spanish, and Russian. Mrs. Bowman obtained both her J.D. and her B.A. in Russian from the University of Iowa. She enjoys tennis, mountain biking, skiing, and books. Mrs. Bowman is married with three children and lives in Arvada, Colorado.
Justin Kasten is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Ascent Classical Academies. Born and raised in Linn County, Oregon, the Grass Seed Capital of the World, Mr. Kasten developed his love of learning and teaching as a marksmanship coach in the United States Marine Corps, and later as a teacher and tutor for Kaplan Test Prep. He began his career in classical education by teaching advanced mathematics courses to high schoolers. Over the years, Mr. Kasten has taught multiple subjects, written K-12 and college-level curriculum and assessments for large publishers, and served in various administrative capacities. Mr. Kasten earned his B.S. in Economics and Mathematics with honors from Arizona State University and his M.Ed. from Concordia University – Portland. He is currently working toward his PhD in Psychology. Mr. Kasten is eager to continue serving the families, students, teachers, and school leaders of Ascent Classical Academies this year.
Chris Scott is the Director of Finance for Ascent Classical Academies. Prior to joining Ascent, Mr. Scott worked for over six years as a financial consultant to more than 30 charter schools in Colorado. 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.