About IAN

IAN Team

Meet the Indiana Afterschool Network Team!  IAN staff are passionate about youth and the youth workers, educators, and partners who support them.  We have a lot of different talents and are excited to work with you to help all Indiana children and youth reach their fullest potential.

Our Team

  • Debbie Zipes

    Debbie Zipes
    President

    What are your strengths?

    Maximizer, Arranger, Futuristic, Positivity, Strategic

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    My passion for afterschool started early in my career when I ran programs in inner city New York.  I experienced firsthand how kids can flourish when given the opportunity to be creative, experience new things, and build positive relationships with peers and adults who care about them.  One of the youth who participated in a program I ran 25 years ago recently “Facebooked” me to let me know how much the program changed his life.  He’s now a police officer in New York City.  I have worked with youth and families in lots of different settings, and afterschool is a unique learning place that brings together the rich assets of a community.

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    I want a big fancy cape and the ability to fly and time travel.

    What’s a quick, fun or quirky fact about you that most people would not know?

    I had to ask my neighbor to throw a mouse out my window when I lived in New York City.

  • Jamie Johnson

    Jamie Johnson
    Vice President

    What are your strengths?

    Relator, Arranger, Achiever, Strategic, Ideation

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    I am a trained educator who understands the value of accountability and progress. I am also a professional youth worker (and parent) who understands that kids learn best when learning it is fun and youth-centered. Afterschool can be a part of the solution to finding the balance!

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    I would have the power of understanding and speaking all languages so that I could connect with anyone in any place.

    What’s a quick, fun or quirky fact about you that most people would not know?

    I separate out the blue M&M’s before eating the pack—I will not eat anything blue (except blueberries).

  • Sara Beanblossom

    Sara Beanblossom
    Director of Communications and Special Events

    What are your strengths?

    Input, Woo, Individualization, Positivity, Developer

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    After many years of work in arts education, I have a passion and strong belief in the power of creativity in learning. Out-of-school time provides many similar opportunities for our youth to grow and experience learning in greatly fulfilling ways.

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    My superpower would be to read my dogs’ minds! They are of course the best dogs in the world, however, I’m not sure what to expect.

    What’s a quick, fun or quirky fact about you that most people would not know?

    I have a dream to ride the RAGBRAI, an annual bicycle ride across the state of Iowa. My family is from Iowa and I would LOVE to experience the quiet rural towns via my bike!

  • Bri Gaston-Bell

    Bri Gaston-Bell
    Program Quality Manager

    What are your strengths?

    Harmony, Empathy, Communication, Consistency, Responsibility

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    I am passionate about afterschool opportunities for all youth. It is my experience that quality programs have something to offer every individual regardless of age, interests or backgrounds! One of my favorite encounters was a program that offered a fish fry where youth actually participated and learned skills related to fishing, biology of a fish, and even math skills in the kitchen in order to prepare for a fish fry! I am amazed at the different options and experiences that youth today are able to experience and wish I had participated in such activities growing up!

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    I wish I could have a super power that allowed me to radiate encouragement to those I encounter. How awesome would it be to make everyone in your presence feel supported and inspired in all they do!

    What’s a quick, fun or quirky fact about you that most people would not know?

    I eat everything with silverware! Burgers, pizza, hotdogs, brownies, etc.!

  • Lamont (Monty) Hulse

    Lamont (Monty) Hulse
    Director of Regional Engagement

    What are your strengths?

    Individualization, Strategic, Learner, Achiever, Arranger

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    It’s so exciting to see children  learn. Quality afterschool empowers young people to follow their natural instincts to imagine, create, and grow.  Every day, afterschool programs and skilled youth workers in Indiana’s communities encourage young people to exercise their innate creativity and curiosity.  It’s a privilege to do what I can to ensure that every young Hoosier can access the programs, people, and possibilities of quality afterschool.

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    If I could fly like Superman or run as fast as Flash, it would be much easier to travel around Indiana to support after school coalitions, programs and leaders. And if I had the Green Lantern’s power ring, my super powers would be limited only by my imagination, just like a young person in afterschool.

    What’s a quick, fun, or quirky fact about you most people would not know?

    I used to read a lot of D.C. comic books.

  • Stephanie Putt

    Stephanie Putt
    Business Manager

    What are your strengths?

    Learner, Analytical, Responsibility, Intellection, Connectedness

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    I was raised by a single mother who was the sole provider for my sister and me. Like many students, I experienced gaps in care between when the school days ended, and parental care began. Afterschool has the power to close those gaps by providing safe, supportive, and productive environments which have the potential to change the course of a child’s life.

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    I would love to possess the super power of teleportation. I love to travel and learn about different cultures and ways of life. More importantly, the power of teleportation would allow me to quickly deliver food, supplies, and resources directly to those with immediate needs.

    What’s a quick, fun, or quirky fact about you most people would not know?

    I created an original pilot podcast and submitted it for consideration in the WNYC Podcast Accelerator contest. My idea did not make it to the final round, but I continue recording episodes for fun.

  • Bob Abrams

    Bob Abrams
    STEM Specialist

    Why are you passionate about afterschool?

    Almost limitless opportunities to expand and build upon in-school learning through flexible and engaging OST programming.

    If you could have super powers, what power would you want and why?

    Power to cause others to seek positive solutions rather than reacting negatively and defensively.

    What’s a quick, fun, or quirky fact about you most people would not know?

    Of the many jobs that I have had, the best is working as a commercial beekeeper in the Sacramento Valley.