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Gear UP 
San Juan County

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Lisa Carr

Executive Director

Office -

Lisa's educational background is in Early Childhood Development and Accounting. Working as the office manager for 16+ years and now as the Executive Director has helped her develop a unique skillset that is one of the most important assets of the San Juan Foundation. Additionally, she has nurtured educational development in others as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, Parent Teacher Association, and the Blanding Rotary Club.  She has been a supervisor and recruiter of volunteers for the AmeriCorps VISTA and Foster Grandparent programs. Each of these volunteer experiences has provided unique training and valuable networking opportunities throughout San Juan County.

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Katie Turk - CFO


I was born and raised in San Juan County. My husband and I also raised our 5 children in this area. I have lived and worked all over the United States, as my husband was employed by the National Park Service and transferred 3 times in 10 years. We spent time in Texas, New Mexico, and Upstate New York. In 2018, we moved to North Carolina and then chose to "come home" to the Four Corners Area in 2021. I have worked in all different aspects of accounting during her 30+ year career. My late husband and I have 5 children and 16 grandchildren. Many of these live in the Blanding area. I love working with Gear Up and those, who have a passion for making a difference in children's lives.


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Nataliia Krukovska

Program Coordinator/Advisor

San Juan High School - 

I was born, grew up, and studied in Ukraine. At the age of 19, I left for England to exchange experiences between universities. There I met my husband. My husband and I came to Ukraine and created our own business. I continued to study and apply my knowledge to our business. I got a master's degree in marketing management and a cool experience with children raising our 5 stubborn kids. I learned to understand and feel them, as well as to convince them using my knowledge of marketing. We, as a family, and I, as a marketer, gained a huge experience in France, where we lived for 5 years. There we created our own YouTube channel, and I had the opportunity to truly unleash my potential as a marketer. Thanks to the well-coordinated teamwork of my family (my husband, me and all our 5 children), we have collected almost 3 million subscribers on our channel. In 2019 we returned to Ukraine, and in 2022 the war broke out and we were blessed with the opportunity to come and live in the USA. Today I work in High School with my favorite people - teenage students. I really love their sincerity, which they often hide behind their teenage stubbornness.


Sara Hall

Data Specialist

Office - 

I was born in Murray, UT, and moved to Blanding when I was 4, and have grown up here ever since. My favorite types of people to be around are those who are funny and positive. I also love Italian food. The most important thing I learned before high school was to not give up on my dreams.The best piece of advice I've ever been given to just be myself. I have worked for San Juan Foundation and GEAR UP for over 7 years. I am in charge of entering student transcripts and attendance and most of the paperwork from the GEAR UP advisors. The most inspiring part of my job is meeting all kinds of new people and learning something new on a daily basis. I am grateful to be a part of wonderful program that helps the community! 

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Tracie Fallis - Advisor 

Wayne Middle School - 

I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.  My parents, Sam & Sally, thought that the best way to keep their four daughters out of trouble was to keep-them-busy!  I played softball, basketball, took dance and gymnastics, I cheered, ran track, I played volleyball and was part of the Peace Games traveling to Canada, I was on the Junior National Tennis League, I was a percussionist and in a marching band, I went to church camp, band camp, basketball, volleyball, and leadership camps and I loved it all. I attended Ball State University, Indiana University/Purdue Universe at Indianapolis. A move from the Sandy/Draper area to Torrey, Utah led to: working for the Natural History Association in Capitol Reef National Park, joining the Unified Fire Department of Wayne County, and working as a para-educator for Wayne Middle School which has led me to working with the San Juan Foundation and GEAR UP. The most important thing I learned before high school was to be a good friend, to be my own person, and to stand up for those who are having a hard time, standing up against bullies.  I had been the subject of bullying when I was twelve and that experience gave me greater insight for the values, ethics, quality of character, and overall person I chose to be.


Dawn Weston - Advisor 

Whitehorse High School - 

I grew up in a small town, Aneth Utah.  I worked in a local community clinic before working with Gear Up. I've always loved helping people and working beyond my job title has allowed me to grow and don't ever stop learning new things. The best piece of advice I've ever been given is "Tough times don't break you, They make you". The most inspiring part of my job is watching a student accomplish goals that they thought weren't possible.  I have worked for San Juan Foundation for two years as an Afterschool Tutor, Substitute, and now a Gear up Advisor. 


Penny Tomasyo - Advisor 

Navajo Mountain - 

I have been with Gear Up since November 10, 2011. Looking back I see the results  of my achievement; our students have progress in getting their bachelor's degree and now they're teachers, tutors, Upward Bound personal, welders, military, and other occupation back here at Navajo Mountain High School and others working in Phoenix. I am very proud of them. I see one tutoring everyday. I told him he could take my job. He just smile and said " I'll see if I can do what you did


Linda Hunter - Advisor 

Wayne High School - 

I was raised in Spanish Fork, Utah. After graduating from the Bryan Dental Institute I began my
career working in the dental profession. Being a real “Army wife” our family relocated to
several places in the USA and abroad. This experience allowed me to see all the opportunities
that are possible in lif
e when you work for it. I learned quickly, no risk-no growth. Settling in
Leavenworth Kansas, I spent over 20 years managing a large Dental Practice. My favorite part
of my career was empowering employees to reach their full potential.
We recently moved to Bicknell, Utah to enjoy our retirement. Today, as a Gear Up Advisor at
Wayne High I have the opportunity to continue my passion guiding students to achieve their full
potential and dreams for the future.


Justin Johns - Advisor
Monument Valley High School -

I grew up in West Jordan, Utah. I graduated from West Jordan High School in 2021. After that, I immediately started working as an electrician. I helped do the electrical work at Hyatt Regency in Downtown Salt Lake City. I was married in Ogden in April of 2022. Then I moved to Monument Valley in September of 2022. Now, I am taking college courses through USU, hoping to pursue a degree in anthropology. In my first week in MV, I was able to interview for the San Juan Foundation. I subsequently accepted the position of GEAR UP advisor. My favorite part about the job is helping students succeed. I sometimes struggled in high school, and I want to offer support to students I wish I had. The most rewarding part of this job is watching students grow and discover who they are.


Autumn Benally - Advisor 

Albert R. Lyman Middle School -

I grew up in Blanding and always have loved living in this area. I enjoy the rural landscape, hiking, camping, fishing, and being outdoors with my family. I think the best things in life are the little moments you can cherish forever. Being able to love what I do is also a great life experience. My main goal in life right now is to go back to school for a Masters of School Psychology. I just finished my Bachelor of Integrated Studies and focused on Psychology. The motion of helping students succeed in their educational goals is such a huge commitment. You are not just helping them, you are encouraging and motivating them in their educational pathways. The connections you have with students and watching them grow into a person they want to become is always the greatest feeling. I became a GEAR UP advisor because being able to be that person a student looks up to is enlightening. I have become the person I needed when I was younger. Someone to steer me into the right direction and know there is so much in the world you can try and accomplish. I want them to know there is so much out there and so many opportunities to be offered. I am pleased to work with GEAR UP

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Pavel Krukouski - Advisor 

San Juan High School -

I grew up in Belarus. When I was 21, I went to England as a student for an experience exchange. 

There I met my future wife. She was a student from Ukraine. After graduating from the academy, my wife and I lived in Ukraine. In our life, we happened to live in France for about 5 years. There we created our own family YouTube channel Chiki - Piki for children and promoted it to almost 3 million subscribers. On YouTube, we have learned to understand the psychology of children, their interests, how to attract their attention, and also how to keep their attention. Although by education I am an engineer in the field of water treatment technologies and water supply, and thanks to 5 years of experience in YouTube, my wife and I have learned to feel and understand children. Now it is very useful for us in our work with students. We like to help students with their studies, set goals and achieve them, find their talents and thus help them navigate their future profession.

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