Dr. H. Dalton Conner
Mary Lu Murphy
Mari Sinton Martinez
R. Thayer Turr, Jr.
The dedicated staff at Peak Education
Jon Stepleton, CEO
Jon Stepleton, CEO – Jon Stepleton was a journalist and newspaper executive for nearly 30 years before beginning to focus his attention and energies more broadly on strengthening mission-oriented capacity of nonprofits organizations.
He came to Colorado Springs in 1985 as managing editor of The Gazette Telegraph and also served as editor, associate publisher and as one of the founders of Gazette Charities.
He also has held a variety of leadership positions in nonprofit organizations involved in education, emergency and transitional human services, health services, youth services, and the arts. In 2003, he served for eight months as interim President/CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and again more briefly in 2007. In 2004, he served for seven and a half months as interim President/CEO of Silver Key Senior Services. Also, from 2004 through 2012, he served as executive director of the Pikes Peak Community College Foundation, a 501 C 3 public charities, that awards nearly $500,000 annually in scholarships.
He also is the founder of Cheyenne Mountain Civic Solutions, a recently created “micro” 501 C 3 organization working as a champion in the Pikes Peak Region for the national “Bridges Out of Poverty” movement, and toward the end of expanding the potential of networks of community-building organizations to better our region’s quality of life. Email Jon.
Vennita Browning, Program Director
Vennita Browning, Program Director – Vennita has been Program Director for Peak Education since August 2005. She previously worked with the Girl Scouts Wagon Wheel Council for 13 years as a Membership and Marketing Specialist. She recruited, trained and supervised leaders and marketed the Girl Scout program to girls in the Greater Colorado Springs area and surrounding counties. She developed a successful outreach programs in low income and underserved areas of the council. Vennita received a B.A. in Communication with emphasis in radio and television from the University of LaVerne in LaVerne, California.
Her experience as a single mother of three boys provides a unique insight into the daily struggles of low-income families. All three of her children are pursing advanced degrees with the oldest graduating from Colgate University in 2010. Email Vanneta.
Susan Adams, Project Director
Susan Adams, Project Director – Susan joined the Peak Education staff in June 2012 with a background in both education and non-profit to support the expanding program needs at the Peak Education Centers.
Susan has a BS in Elementary Education from Indiana University, a MS in Early Childhood Education from Brenau University, and PhD in School Administration and Supervision from the University of Alabama. After teaching elementary students for four years, she transitioned to teaching and mentoring educators through staff development in the areas of effective instructional practices, quality assessment, and curriculum development. She has been a Teacher on Special Assignment, Elementary School Assistant Principal, Elementary School Principal, and Director of various programs throughout multiple school districts.
Susan joined the field of non-profit as a Principal Consultant for Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), an educational research laboratory. At McREL, Susan was responsible for acquiring, maintaining, and managing a portfolio of consulting, training, and technical assistance for districts and states throughout the United States. She also was on the research teams that developed education leadership, research-based instructional strategies, and reading in the content areas. Susan was the Executive Director at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in northern El Paso County. Email Susan.