GEAR UP Staff

Ray Pacheco, GEAR UP Regional Director:
Ray holds a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Wyoming and B.S. degree in Political Science from Carroll College in Helena, MT. Ray has four children, two boys and two girls. All teens, yes teens. His wonderful wife Susie keeps him organized and sane, which is a monumental task. Ray loves to stay active in the community by serving on city council and volunteering with various organizations. When he has time, Ray loves to read, go to movies and spend time with friends and family. His favorite superhero is Superman for obvious reasons.

Andrea Covert, GEAR UP Assistant Director:
Andrea holds a Master in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Wyoming. Andrea has been with the GEAR UP team for seven years and has spent the last twelve years assisting students in their preparations for college and beyond. In her spare time, Andrea loves relaxing with her beautiful puppy Nirvana, reading, cooking, and spending time with her friends and family.

Anna Skimbova, GEAR UP Assistant:
Anna has been the main Administrative Support person at GEAR UP for the past 5 years. With her background in numerous Microsoft applications, she maintains a detailed database of students and families while supporting the GEAR UP team. She attended a Climb Wyoming program to get a career that she wanted and to support her family. She was born in Ukraine and is fluent in three languages: English, Russian and Ukrainian. She truly loves working with students, their families, and our GEAR UP partners. Her main passion is her two children. They enjoy bowling, roller-skating, bicycling, fishing, and anything outdoors.

Heidi Galagan, GEAR UP Student Success Advisor:
Heidi holds a M.S. in Special Education from Western Governors University and a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Wyoming.  She has worked with students and families in various settings for the last 10 years (including a year spent teaching in Tanzania) and is excited to be a part of the GEAR UP team!  When she is not working, Heidi loves spending time with her dog, Gabe, reading, quilting, baking, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

Tim Porter, GEAR UP Case Manager:
Tim earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Currently, Tim is earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wyoming. His background includes working in the oilfields of the Rocky Mountain region for 15 years and the construction industry for 4 years. He and his wife have five children altogether, two boys and three girls, as well as a granddaughter. The oldest is in his twenties and the youngest is in elementary school. Their family enjoys the outdoors as they camp, fish, hunt, and play softball. Tim also enjoys jogging throughout Casper with his dog, Bear.

Revea Kirk, GEAR UP Work Study:
Revea is attending Casper College to pursue her degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She was born and raised in Arizona but moved to Casper Wyoming in 2010. She then later joined the GEAR UP program in 2012 when she entered the 7th grade. Closing in on her freshman year of college, she was College Freshman of the Year for GEAR UP and completed the GEAR UP program. Miss Kirk is known to be hardworking, and dedicated to family and friends. She has received several other opportunities and scholarships from GEAR UP.

Sarah Cameron, GEAR UP Intern:
Sarah holds an associate’s degree in social work and is currently working towards her BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) through University of Wyoming-CC. Her passion is to contribute to a greater good in the world – a big reason why she chose social work as a profession. In her free time, she likes to work out, cook, read, listen to music, and spend time with her fiancé.