Meet the GEAR UP Staff

GEAR UP Program Manager

Sam Garetson


GEAR UP School Grants Manager

Karen Wilson


GEAR UP College Access and Manager

Marissa Krupa


Having discovered Education as a second career, Marissa is passionate about serving every student and contributing to statewide school culture efforts like GEAR UP. She enjoys skiing, rock climbing, paddle boarding and gardening. Her daily joy comes from spoiling her Red Healer pup, Nixie. She currently resides in Helena in a log cabin built in 1883!

Federal Accountant

Kelly Hert

(406) 449-9147

Kelly has been the Federal Accountant for the Office of the Commissioner for the past 15 years and has been a part of the GEAR UP team since 2002. Many of the GEAR UP liaisons have given her the name of “Match Queen” which has been a great source of laughter over the years.

She likes to spend her free time with family camping and enjoying Montana’s great outdoors and spoiling her three grandchildren.

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Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs • Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
560 N. Park Ave. • PO Box 203201 • Helena, Montana 59620-3201 • Phone 406.449.9140 • FAX 406.449.9171 •

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