Idaho Business for Education is pleased to announce that Dr. Paula Kellerer is joining IBE as Vice President of its Federally Registered Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP).

Dr. Kellerer brings 36 years of experience as a teacher and education leader at both the K-12 and Higher Education levels. As Vice President of IBE Dr. Kellerer will oversee the organization’s effort to create apprenticeships for students with Idaho employers across the State of Idaho.

“Dr. Kellerer is uniquely qualified to lead IBE’s Youth Apprenticeship Program,” said IBE President and CEO Rod Gramer. “Paula is a strategic thinker, dynamic and collaborative leader, and an experienced educator who can work with Idaho’s business leaders and educators to create new pathways for students looking for good careers in our great state.”

“Paula has spent the last nine months working with the Council and other agencies on an initiative to increase public sector apprenticeships throughout Idaho’s state and local governments, including school districts,” said Wendi Secrist, Executive Director of the Idaho Workforce Development Council and IBE’s partner in the Youth Apprenticeship Program. “I’ve seen her passion for connecting education to careers firsthand and think she is the perfect choice to lead this effort!”

Dr. Kellerer said, “What a privilege to be a part of the great work started with the Youth Apprenticeship program which builds partnerships between education and business, supports local employers, and increases opportunities for Idaho youth to pursue great career choices.”

Gramer also said that he wants to recognize the contributions of Maureen O’Toole, IBE’s current Vice President of the Youth Apprenticeship Program. “Maureen has done an outstanding job of creating this program for IBE and our partners. In two short years Maureen has taken the program from a start-up and made it one of the finest in the United States. Maureen will be missed by all of us at IBE.”

Dr. Kellerer was superintendent of the Nampa School District, the third largest in Idaho, from 2017 to February of this year. As superintendent, she led a staff of 1,600 educators and 15,000 students.

Before joining the Nampa District as superintendent, Dr. Kellerer was the Founding Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in Nampa from 2015 to 2017. She also served as Dean of NNU’s College of Education, Social Work and Counseling from 2012 to 2015. As Dean of Education, she developed and implemented NNU’s first Ed.D. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Kellerer also served as assistant superintendent and chief academic officer of the Nampa School District from 2004 to 2010 and before that was principal of three Nampa elementary schools.

Governor Brad Little appointed Dr. Kellerer to serve on his Our Kids, Idaho’s Future Task Force in 2019 which recommended ways to improve and strengthen Idaho’s K-12 public education system.

As Vice President of IBE’s Youth Apprenticeship Program, Dr. Kellerer will lead a staff of professionals across the state who are working to connect students with Idaho employers so they can learn a career while being paid. The program focuses on youth ages 16 to 24 and includes adults and returning veterans who are looking for a career.

There are more than 1,200 careers that qualify under the federally registered apprenticeship program ranging from trades like plumbing and construction to cybersecurity and information technology to business careers like accounting and finance.

“The IBE Youth Apprenticeship program creates a path toward a good-paying job for youth and it allows Idaho’s employers to be co-creators of their own workforce pipeline,” said Gramer. “That is especially important as our state and nation are in a historic labor shortage.”

The apprenticeship program is a partnership between IBE and the Idaho Workforce Development Council and is funded by a $2.49 million four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

IBE is a non-profit organization with more than 250 business members across the state. Its mission is to create the workforce Idaho’s employers need and set Idaho students up for success in school, work, and life. It is the only business group in Idaho focused 100 percent on supporting a successful education system from kindergarten through postsecondary education.

Dr. Kellerer received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from NNU and her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University. She received her Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of Idaho in 2004 and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Idaho in 2006.

Dr. Kellerer will begin her new role at IBE on September 1.