Meet the Staff
Jeannie Origbo is the Director for the Montana GEAR UP grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing and Literature and a master's degree in Higher Education. Jeannie has worked in education since 2005 with experience at both the secondary and post-secondary level. She worked as a teacher for six years before beginning work in 2011 with the Montana University System. From 2013-2023 she worked primarily with MUS TRIO. She is committed to providing educational opportunities for all students.
School Grants Manager
Karen Wilson is a first generation graduate of Montana State University. Most of her career, Karen has served the needs of students kindergarten through college. She’s been with the State GEAR UP Team since October 2018. In her off time, she enjoys playing pinochle and creating art.
College Access Program Manager
John grew up in Maine but has lived in the West ever since graduating from college. After attending graduate school at the University of Montana, John moved to Colorado, where he taught high school social studies at a school near Boulder. John moved to Helena several years ago and is excited to be working in education again as part of the GEAR UP team. In his free time, John enjoys hiking and backpacking with his wife, taking their dog out on the trails, and taking pictures of the places they explore together.
Communication and Operations Manager
Data Analysis & Assessment Manager
Kelley Tippett graduated from Rocky Mountain College with a degree in English Education and a minor in Sociology. For twelve years she felt called to work with children and teenagers in residential treatment centers to help them reach their full potential. Kelley has a wide variety of interests outside of work that include baking, taking her dog for walks, and playing video games. She is excited to work with the GEAR UP team to help students recognize and achieve their goals.
Angie was born and raised in Helena and has worked as an Accountant for the State of Montana for nearly 23 years. She received her degree in Accounting from Liberty University. In her free time she enjoys chasing her grandkids, cuddling with her many cats, and putting as many miles on their Harley as she and her soon-to-be husband can before winter.