Ivar moved to Moscow in 1973 after studying at Harvard and Uppsala (Sweden), volunteering for the Peace Corps in Kenya and working for the State Department. Ivar founded Bookpeople of Moscow and is delighted that it continues so well 40 years later under Carol Spurling and Stefan Werner. He has published books and magazines (including Palouse Journal) and directed university presses. He has served as a board member and/or officer of the Moscow-Latah County Economic Development Council, Prichard Art Gallery, Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute, Rendezvous in the Park, and the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center.   Ivar was on the Moscow High School parents’ organization board when his daughter was a student there.  He does admission interviews of local applicants for Harvard University.

Ivar Nelson, Boardmember

Peggy Jenkins, Founding Director

Jeanne Gayler, Treasurer

Monique Lilliard, Boardmember

Nancy is in her sixth year as faculty in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Idaho. She teaches the consumer courses for the department which include Personal Finance, Financial Counseling and Debt Management, Consumer Economic Issues, Housing America’s Families, and Program Development and Evaluation. Prior to her faculty appointment, she was the Associate Director at the UI’s Center on Disabilities and Human Development. She has secured over $13 million in grants and contracts and was appointed to two Governor’s councils. Most recently, she was selected by Penn State to be one of seven national coaches that provide technical assistance to the new USDA – CYFAR (Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk) grantees. Nancy’s current research area is in financial literacy, parent/child financial discussions, and the financial habits of emerging adulthood.

Palouse Pathways’ founding director, Peggy Jenkins, has a BA (Sociology) and a JD from Boston University, and a certificate in College Admissions Counseling from UCLA Extension.  She was once a litigation partner in a large law firm and now works as an independent legal researcher.   Helping families and students plan for college and careers is something that brings her great joy and satisfaction.   Her son Daniel is a recent graduate of Olin College of Engineering in Needham Mass, where Peggy served as head of the Parent Advisory Board.  She is a Member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors and the Educate Idaho Network.  She serves on the board of Backyard Harvest, a non-profit group that helps to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to people in need, and previously served on the boards of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Honolulu Habitat for Humanity and Faith Action for Community Equity. 

Palouse Pathways was instrumental in helping Trish and her daughter navigate the complexities of higher education. Trish now serves as a member of the board with a desire to help others in a similar fashion. As a college student and teacher, Trish studied in Germany and Mexico and has degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho (Ph.D. 2010). She has worked as a teacher and school administrator. Her passion is world languages. She currently teaches Spanish at Lincoln Middle School and Pullman High School.

Nancy Derringer, Boardmember

Andrew Schaffer, Boardmember

Palouse Pathways needs you!​


We are an all-volunteer organization, and we rely on community members to plan and promote activities and to help make connections with area schools, students and families.   We are also looking for volunteers interested in mentoring and supporting first generation and challenged students make college dreams a reality.  Email us palousepathways@gmail.com to see how you can help.


We are a 501(c)(3) organization and could also use your financial support. We rely on donations to purchase books and resources for students and provide speakers test preparation and other opportunities.  With sufficient resources, we'd love to open a community center, where area students and families could meet for classes and discussion/study groups.

Jeanne has Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno, and worked for large companies in Reno and Las Vegas before moving to Idaho. She has worked for Idaho Public Television since 2002. She has been involved in Christmas For Kids, a local non-profit, since 2000, and currently serves as its treasurer. She offers financial and organizational experience to Palouse Pathways. She hopes to be a resource for information on how to pay for college, and to assist lower income families navigate the process. She has two children who chose colleges that were a great fit for them, and is happy to help others do the same.

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Gretchen taught in the Moscow School District from 1979 to 2015. She is a graduate of Andrews University with a master's degree from the University of Montana. As a gifted education teacher for over thirty years, at the elementary through high school level, her areas of specialization are independent research, problem solving, creative and critical thinking, and differentiated instruction. At the high school level, she facilitated an honors-level, directed study program for 40-50 students each semester.  She believes that accountability in education must be based on individualized goals, targeting growth for every child. In addition to her work with Palouse Pathways, she currently chairs an educational outreach task force for the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center and serves as a board member for the Auditorium Chamber Music Series.

Andrew is a Career Advisor with Career Services at the University of Idaho, from which he has degrees in Psychology and Organizational Sciences. An AmeriCorps NCCC alum, he developed a love for public service early and carried it with him throughout his undergraduate work where he held numerous advising roles both on campus and in the community before moving into his professional role as a Career Advisor. He relishes working with students to discover their career interests and in creating career/personal development plans and strategies. Not being one to neglect his own career ambitions, he is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at UI part-time, aspiring to a long and successful career in the public sector.

Patricia Bechtel, Boardmember

Monique has been a professor of law since 1987 at the University of Idaho.  She is a graduate of Stanford University and UCLA Law School, and has attended the Women in Higher Education Summer Institute held at Bryn Mawr College.  She worked as a lawyer and a judicial clerk before teaching.  Her specialties are torts and workplace law.  She has two teenaged boys, and is committed to bringing national educational and career opportunities to the young people of the Palouse.  Monique is descended from a long line of educators.  She says, “I want to help people look at their strengths and their dreams, and then strategize with them about how best to bring themselves into full bloom.”  To that end she has worked to bring a financial advisor to the area to counsel with parents about short- and long-term college financial planning.

Gretchen Wissner, Board President

Palouse Pathways, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that was formed in November 2013.  It grew from efforts of teachers, parents and community members who wanted to assist and encourage families and students preparing for life beyond high school.  The mission of Palouse Pathways is the advancement of educational and career opportunities and the provision of educational and career preparation, information and resources.

Palouse Pathways’ medium- and long-range goals include the following:

  • Providing resources, information and inspiration to families to help them prepare their students for colleges and careers.

  • Encouraging and engaging students in college and career planning.

  • Helping students gain admission to colleges and programs.

  • Helping families save for college and make sustainable college financing choices.

  • Supporting the work of local schools and the aspirations of local students.


Our focus is primarily on students in the Idaho-Washington Palouse area of the inland northwest, but we welcome students and families everywhere who can use common-sense information to plan for college and careers. You can join our
Facebook community and sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Peggy Jenkins, Founding Director


WHO ARE WE?