Sharyl Allen Headshot

 Sharyl Allen

Deputy Superintendent

Sharyl is a native Montanan raised in an entrepreneurial environment with ranching as the backbone of her family. Community involvement and pride were firmly instilled by parents who valued work ethic, family, music, and God. Western Montana College provided an exceptional foundation to become an effective teacher. Her MBA was completed at Northern Arizona University, where she also completed post-master’s work in Educational Leadership. Georgetown University’s Urban Educational Leadership certificate was completed in 2015. With 38-years in public education, she has previously served as the Transformational Learning and Montana Advanced Opportunities program manager and since April 2020 as the Deputy Superintendent.


Brian O'Leary

 Brian O'Leary

Communications Director

Brian grew up in Butte and Helena and received his B.A. in Political Science from MSU in 2012. He has worked as a staff member for the majority in the Montana State Senate and on campaigns in Texas and Montana. Most recently, Brian worked as a staff assistant in the Helena office for Senator Steve Daines. In his free time, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife, riding horses, and attempting to golf.


Robert Stutz

 Rob Stutz

Chief Legal Counsel

Rob Stutz, Chief Legal Counsel, comes to OPI with legal experience in state and federal government, in private practice, and with a non-profit. His background includes 10+ years in education law, including as legal counsel for the Montana Board of Public Education, at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters, and with the Montana School Boards Association. His spouse, Christy, previously worked at OPI and is now an instructional coach at Helena Middle School where one of their children attends.


Tara Boulanger

 Tara Boulanger

Legislative Liaison

After living in the Bitterroot for 20+ years, Tara moved to Helena for the 2019 Legislative session to work for the Montana State Senate. Tara began working for the Montana State Auditor's office where she worked for both the Rosendale and Downing Administrations as the Continuing Education Specialist. Tara has four amazing children and three beautiful grandchildren. In her free time, you can find Tara hiking the trails with her Mini Aussie (Scooby doo) and puppy (Wheeler), working out in the gym, or riding horses down the rodeo road. 


Maie Lee Jones

 Maie Lee Jones

Project Manager

Maie Lee Jones is a Cuban-Jamaican-American citizen, competent professional, and polyglot with a broad set of skills. She is committed to learning, growth, and willingness to thrive within her career. Driven by the motto: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”.


Anna Hoerner

 Anna Hoerner

Executive Assistant/Deputy Communications Director

Anna was raised in Colbert, WA, and came to Helena to attend Carroll College. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Communication Studies from Carroll in 2016. She also received an MBA with dual emphases in Healthcare and Public Administration from the University of Mary (ND) in 2022. Anna has spent the last 10 years in Helena. She previously worked at Shodair Children’s Hospital for 5 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve Montana’s children and families at OPI.


Jenna McKinney

 Jenna McKinney

Director of
Family Engagement

Jenna was born and raised in Montana and received a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University in 2011. Jenna studied Law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Jenna’s work experience includes serving as a Field Representative for U.S. Senator Steve Daines, and working on numerous statewide campaigns. Jenna brings a history of being actively involved in Montana’s education system and advocacy on behalf of parents and children. Jenna currently serves on her local school board.


Patrick Beddow

 Patrick H. Beddow Sr.

Land Board

Patrick is a consultant minerals landman from Billings and has been involved with oil, gas, hard minerals, coal and land-title related issues for over 38 years. Using his decades of industry expertise, he advises Superintendent Arntzen in her capacity as Vice-Chair of the Montana Board of Land Commissioners.