About the Foundation and Board of Directors

The purpose of this foundation is to raise funds and oversee operations to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Jefferson County, Colorado, and offer resources for the educational and emotional needs of gifted children everywhere.

The Patrick Straut Foundation is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in the state of Colorado on December 16, 2016. The Foundation is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt private foundation.

Terri Taylor Straut, President  
Terri Taylor Straut, President, is an experienced parent advocate, based on meeting the needs of her gifted and talented children. Terri served on the Board for the Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children for over 15 years. She is also a member of the Colorado Association for Gifted Children (CAGT) and Supporting the Needs of the Gifted (SENG). Terri's focus has been on underachievement and high school programming. She led a small group of parents to advocate for high school GT programming, based on the high school experiences of her oldest son, Patrick.

 After Patrick's death, Terri turned her attention to understanding suicide among the gifted, the role of over-excitabilities and to help identify improvements in educator training and risk identification. The Center for Gifted Education, in the School of Education at William and Mary has accepted Patrick as a case study in the research on suicide among the gifted. The research is scheduled for publication early in 2017.

Dr. Blanche Kapushion, Director, Gifted & Talented Expert

Dr. Blanche Kapushion, Secretary, is an expert educator and administrator of Gifted and Talented programs. Dr. Kapushion served as the Director of Gifted and Talented Education in Jefferson County public schools in Colorado from 2008 to 2016. She currently serves as a Principal Consultant at Global Education Enterprise, an educational consulting firm. Blanche is also Past President of the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented. Blanche was a teacher and administrator in Jeffco schools for her entire professional career. Blanche also serves as an Associate Professor at Regis University teaching courses on GT education, educational research and educational leadership. She has has authored numerous articles and books on gifted and talented education.


Martin Straut, Treasurer, is a seasoned sales professional in the Data and Information Management field. He currently serves as a senior sales associate with Informatica, previous organizational affiliations include Sun Microsystems, BEA and Digital Equipment Company. Martin's many years of experience managing budgets and technical implementation plans make him a great fit for the foundation. As the father of two children, Martin understands that challenges of finding a good education fit and the rigor necessary to help a gifted athlete continue to grow and succeed in her chosen sport. Martin is also Patrick's favorite uncle.

Maryann Billington, Vice President, is a dynamic entrepreneur with years of experience that spans business and education and includes consulting, facilitation, executive coaching, and leadership development for executives in scores of organizations across industries and around the globe. Her areas of expertise include creating education solutions for executive development, organizational transformation, and performance improvement. As the mother of two gifted sons, Maryann knows the challenges of keeping bright kids engaged and motivated to reach their potential, even as they grow into adults!

For more information about the Patrick Straut Foundation, please contact us: patrickstrautfoundation@gmail.com.