Collaborative Board Members
Bob LaPalme, President –
Duane France, Vice President – Duane France is a retired Army Non-commissioned Officer and is currently a therapist with the Family Care Center of Colorado Springs. Mr. France is the primary therapist for the Colorado 4th Judicial District Veteran Trauma Court, a jail diversionary program for veterans involved in the Justice System. He has served on the Astrozon Board of Directors since 2013 and is dedicated to the preservation of the James Irwin Charter Schools vision of providing students with a quality education while helping them develop the character and values necessary to become community leaders.
Mr. France and his wife, Connie, have been members of the James Irwin family since 2010 and have two children enrolled at James Irwin Charter High School. He appreciates the opportunity for service and leadership provided by the parents of JICS.
Ida Dilwood, Secretary – Ida Dilwood has served on the Howard Campus Board since 2013 and joined the collaborative board in 2016. She presently has one child enrolled in the school. Ms. Dilwood is the Director of Disability Services and University Testing Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has served on numerous campus committees, including Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee (EPAC), Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC), Inclusive Campus Action Team (ICAT), Staff Luncheon Committee, Parking Committee, Housing/Meal Plan Petitions Committee, ADA Compliance and other ad hoc committees as needed.
Ms. Dilwood has been very active representing staff on Executive Governance Boards since 2006. She was an active member of the University of Colorado Staff Council (UCSC) as a UCCS representative and served as the board’s treasurer for two years and served as a UCCS representative four years. Ms. Dilwood took on more duties as the Director of the University Testing Center in 2008 and continues to serve in this capacity. Ida is also a long standing and active member of the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Disability Services in Higher Education. She was local co-chair for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) international conference in July 2010. That same year she was nominated and approved by the Chancellor’s Leadership Team to be one of seven fellows from the campus for the Excellennce in Leadership Program (ELP) for 2009-2010. She appreciates the school’s mission and philosophy and she believes that character building skills are essential for our children. Ms. Dilwood earned a Master in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Steven A. Hester, Sr., Treasurer – Steven Hester has lived in Colorado Springs for over 30 years. He has a demonstrated commitment to the community and the education of our youth. He has worked at Memorial Health Systems for 20 years and currently is the lead for the surgical support team at Memorial Central. Mr. Hester has served on the Board of Directors of James Irwin Charter Schools since 2007. He held the position of Secretary and he is currently the President of the Board of the Astrozon Campus . Prior to his tenure with James Irwin Charter Schools, Mr. Hester served on the Harrison School District 2 Board from 1997 to 2001 and again from 2003 to 2007, and held the positions of Vice President and Secretary. From 1992 through 2000 Steven served on several community-centered committees including Chairman of Stratton Meadows Neighborhood council 1994 -2000, where he served as Chairman; Chamberlin Elementary Accountability Committee 1992-1994, Gorman Middle School Accountability Committee, 1994-1997, and Harrison High School Accountability Committee 1997-1998. Steven proudly served his country from 1971-1992 in the U.S. Army. Steven has also volunteered as a coach for City Youth Sports Teams for Baseball, Basketball and Football
Victoria Cameron, Director – Victoria Cameron has served on the Astrozon Campus Board since 2015 and joined the collaborative board in 2016. Three of her six boys attended James Irwin with one still currently attending. Mrs. Cameron has worked at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services for 15 years, currently as the Regulatory Program Manager. She is also currently serving her 19th year in the US Navy Reserves at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. She earned her MBA in Healthcare Management from Colorado Technical University and currently is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated since 2016. Mrs. Cameron appreciates the family-oriented atmosphere the James Irwin Community possesses as well as the development of character with the highest quality education provided to our students. Mrs. Cameron’s favorite African proverb quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” She appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the JICS village in providing leadership and service.
Lari Jones, Director –
Jeff Kemp, Director –
Robin M. van der Wel, Director – Mr. van der Wel is an accomplished, enthusiastic and motivated husband and father of 6 children. He is a multilingual business professional who has had the privilege of living in 8 countries and 4 states before moving to Colorado Springs in 2008. Mr. van der Wel is passionate about taking his global education and living experience to develop and provide solutions to improve the life of each student by helping them become the future pillars of society. He is the founder and president of WEL Global Limited, a business and technology consulting company serving non-profit and for-profit organizations. Prior to starting his company, Mr. van der Wel held various senior level positions within the hi-tech industry in the areas of business development, merger and acquisitions, strategic partnership development, new product development and global product management and marketing.
During his professional tenure he has served on various business and technology boards and committees, including as Chairman of the Board at Jordan Valley Innovation Center, an academic/government/industrial collaborative organization.
Mr. van der Wel holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Chico, and attended Delft University of Technology in Delft, the Netherlands.