Board of Directors

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Christopher M. Amidon

Board President

Chris wants to empower kids of all ages to learn in their own way—have adventures, solve mysteries, and follow projects that capture their imagination. Kaleidoscope is an opportunity to encourage these nontraditional learning opportunities through financial backing, resource sharing, and family support. Chris works as a park ranger for Isle Royale National Park.

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Ruth Gill

Board Secretary

Ruth has been interested in alternative forms of education since attending a progressive high school in the UK, where she grew up. She holds a postgraduate degree in education from the University of Cambridge and has homeschooled her two children on and off for the past 13 years, as well as teaching French and music and movement classes. She joined with others to form Kaleidoscope because she is committed to creating high-quality learning opportunities for local families in search of a non-traditional education for their children.

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Art Pontynen

Board Treasurer

Art Pontynen is Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. After having vacationed for thirty-five years in the Keweenaw, he and his wife Alison (a retired teacher and IRKPA employee) now live happily in Copper Country. No longer facing professional necessities in life (books are written, our three children raised),  we are now committed to contributing to the community that we have come to cherish. Given our educational backgrounds, it is appropriate to do so within an educational context. It is a pleasure to be part of Kaleidoscope.

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Henrique A. de Melo e Silva (Kiko)

Board Member

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Kiko first arrived in the United States at age 15 in 1987 and the Copper Country in 1990 to attend Michigan Technological University… twice.  Since then, the Copper Country has been home to this research engineer working for the department of civil & environmental engineering at his Alma mater.

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Rita Krans

Board Member

Ms. Krans, Board Secretary and Assistant Director of Virtual Programs through the Public Schools of CLK, joins us from Denver, Colorado with a diverse educational administrative background. As co-founder and Director of CLK Childcare at CLK Elementary school in 2012, Rita received coursework in Special Education from Colorado University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University. With a deep love for her friends, family, the outdoors, and being a well versed foodie, Rita spends her free time bumming at the beach, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, running, gardening, sewing, and eating chocolate!