Board of Directors

The Gardner Valley School charter board of directors embody the school’s mission. The Charter Board operates consciously to build strong relations among its own members, the students, the staff, the parents and the wider community, ensuring that Gardner Valley School is a community resource and stable institution. The Charter Board celebrates innovation and creativity in its operation.

Robert Fogel


Robert Fogel serves as the president of the charter board.  Rob studied pure and applied physics at the University of Colorado and Information Technology at CSU-Global. He put himself through school as an automotive mechanic. He was the Communications Officer for Wet Mountain Fire Protection District, overseeing, managing and training volunteers in fire-fighting and the use of complex fire suppression equipment. This position requires radio licensing, state P25 compliance, the pursuit and management of grants. He additionally works for Custer County EMS as manager and an EMT-B. He joined the charter board because he is inspired by the educational goals and is committed to furthering them.

Andrea Garcia

Vice President

Andrea Garcia serves as the vice-president of the charter board. Andrea is the mother of four children and is helping to raise three others. She has been both aide and teacher for Head Start. She has founded and managed two USDA approved childcare centers. She has experience and education in special needs, speech and occupational therapy. She wrote, “My passion is working with children, especially those with special needs or behavior. One of the biggest compliments I ever received was from one of my former childcare students who has developmental delays and behavior issues. As a teenager, he said ‘I like the kid I am today. And you know who helped me? Ms. Andrea.’”

Saba Halaby


Saba Halaby serves as the treasurer of the charter board.  Saba was raised in the Gardner area and attended elementary and middle school there. She has a B.A. in Biology from University of Colorado. She completed her first year in medical school at University of Denver-Anschutz and left to care for her two young children. She is invested in nutrition for students impacted by poverty, integrating nutritional practices as school culture and grounding academics in agricultural study.  It is her belief that with our planet in peril, the importance of students receiving a foundational education in environmental science cannot be undervalued. She is happy to be involved in this transition for Gardner Valley School, with the focus on agriculture and the environment a boon for the students, staff and alumni of Gardner Valley School.

Melanie Speer


Melanie Speer serves as Board Secretary for the Charter.  She came to Gardner School seeking a quality alternative to her local school for her special needs son.  Gardner School was willing to support her family and so, she enrolled both her sons, with one is still attending.  Melanie is a single parent of four and has worked with children in multiple settings.  She has been the Entertainer and Face Painter for children’s parties, facilitated Spiritual and Meditative Groups with families, and has been in healthcare as a Certified Medical Assistant for approximately 6 years.  She also has extensive administrative assistant, customer service, and technological experience to bring to her role.  Melanie has drive, determination, and dedication to contribute to the Gardner Valley School Family and its Mission.  She wants to ensure that the Community of Huerfano has quality options for educational resources, as she recognizes that not everyone fits into a one-size-fits-all framework..  By offering a more student-centered, community-supported, and environmentally-conscious educational culture, Melanie believes GVS students will have an excellent chance at success in their academic careers and beyond, through GVS’s holistic character-building approach, committed staff, and quality educational standards.  Melanie strives to support GVS, its staff, and especially its students and their families.

Amy Gonzales

Board Director

Amy Gonzales is proud to help her 12-year-old child's school get off the ground as a Charter School 2020/2021. His education, as well as his fellow students, is a priority for her. She is a retired Letter Carrier for the U. S. Postal Service. She was a shop steward with Branch 229 Pueblo, Co. and a safety captain for the Main Post Office. She is also a certified crisis counselor with an associate’s degree in psychology and education. She is currently a foster parent, and proud mother of 6 children, 17 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.

Amanda Salas

Board Director

Amanda is the mother of three Gardner Valley School students and has been a resident of the Gardner community for the past 9 years. She received her BA in Animal Science from the University of Wyoming. After graduating, she chose to be a stay-at-home mom to raise and care for their three children for the following ten years.  Amanda has stay actively involved at the school in Gardner.  Most recently, she sat on the Board of the Gardner School Foundation for the past 7 years and also served as a substitute teacher at the school for 6 years. 

Within the last year, she has become licensed and works as a Realtor for Code of The West Real Estate. She feels it is of great importance to stay involved in the community in which she lives, where she and her husband have planted roots for their family.  “I want to invest my time and energy in helping our school, the heart of our community, to reach its full potential and to ensure sustainability and achievements are existing and flourishing for many years to come.” 

Jackie Williams

Board Director

Being a resident of Gardner for nearly 20 years, Jackie Williams has witnessed many changes within the community. She has raised two boys with her husband Wayne on the Bar H ranch, where work ethic and morals are instilled. Both boys are married, raising families, and work in the ranching industry.  Ranching supplies the Williams’ livelihood and intertwines with their hobbies. Growing up, their sons attended Gardner School and were then homeschooled by Jackie.  Through the years of her two sons attending Gardner School, she worked at Gardner School as the secretary, a bus driver, and has substituted various positions throughout the years. She served on the Gardner School Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 foundation, during the formative years. She and her husband own and operate their own business with employees. She understands the necessity of working within a budget, meeting deadlines, and acquiring the required insurances. She worked in the insurance industry as both an assistant and a licensed agent.  With the knowledge of Gardner School transitioning into a charter school, she applied to be a part of the school board to help assist future decision-making. Gardner is home to Jackie Williams, and to see her community thrive is what she is after.