Middle School Faculty

GRADE 6



Casey Hawkins

Math - 6th
chawkins@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Hawkins grew up in a rural town, Mariposa, CA, just outside of Yosemite National Park. She has always been actively involved in sports and anything that has to do with the outdoors. Her love of children and passion for teaching have been with her since she was a young girl.

After graduating on the Dean’s List with a Bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State and earning a teaching credential from Chapman University, Casey moved to Grandview, ID, in October of 1995. Midyear, after three months of subbing, she was offered a fulltime second grade position at Mountain Home AFB. She spent the summers of 1996 and 1997 teaching Spanish speaking migrant ed. preschoolers. In 1997, she moved to Eagle, ID and taught in the Meridian School District for the next eight years. She has also spent fifteen summers tutoring students in math. Every position she has filled with passion and excitement.

When her boys arrived into this awesome world, it was apparent that she needed to be at home more; however, as much as she loved being home, she also needed to keep her feet in the classroom. While getting her Master’s degree in Administration, she also shared a fifth grade teaching contract for three years with Mrs. Mariah Rodeghiero, one of North Star’s amazing fourth grade teachers. This was an incredible opportunity that she thought she would enjoy until retirement…until she stepped foot into her first charter school.

Upon viewing what charter schools could offer students, immediately she knew it was part of her next phase of life. She was impressed and excited about working with a group of teachers that were all grounded in the same beliefs. She has spent the past fourteen years successfully teaching with some of her greatest friends at a charter school; her students’ enthusiasm towards learning and their ISAT scores prove that the method North Star has to offer is exceptional.

Casey has been married for nineteen years to her best friend, Dan Hawkins, Asst. Fire Chief at Mt. Home AFB. They have three adorable lil’ men (ages 18, 16 1/2 and 15), so life is incredibly busy attending sporting events and enjoying quality family time. Together they enjoy biking, snow skiing, waterskiing, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, swimming, jet-skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

Casey looks forward to her 25th year as a teacher and can’t wait to meet and develop working relationships with her upcoming sixth grade students and their families.

Audrey Speicher

Social Studies/Science - 6th
aspeicher@northstarcharter.org

Miss Speicher grew up a barefoot wild child on a bison farm near the one-stoplight-town of Bourbon, Indiana. She loves trying new things, which has led her to a vibrant and active life. Growing up, she loved musical theater, all sports, and playing in the woods with her brothers. She studied photojournalism at Indiana University while also being a paraprofessional instructor of outdoor adventure courses such as white water rafting, coastal kayaking, and backpacking. During college, she also got to travel the world as a creative problem-solving camp facilitator at US Air Force bases in Japan, South Korea, and across the United States.

These experiences in college convinced her that she wanted to be a teacher, so after graduation, she moved to Houston, Texas, to live near family and started her formal teaching journey. Her experiences in Texas lead her to teach a wide variety of subjects in both public schools and a private Montessori school. Over the years, she taught 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade English Language Arts, literature seminar, humanities, physical education, and project-based science.

Though the tacos were to die for and her Spanish was improving steadily, Miss Speicher decided to take another adventure to expand her horizons as a University of Idaho graduate student at the McCall Outdoor Science School. There, she got to hone her ability to make science and learning fun and acted as the UL Diversity Scholar studying inclusive education practices. Beside solidifying her passion for science and integrated curriculum, MOSS is also responsible for some fateful introductions in Miss Speicher's life... It was there that she first met North Star Charter AND her soon-to-be-husband!

Entering her 7th year of formal teaching, she is so excited to put her creativity to the test as the 6th grade history and science teacher. She absolutely adores 6th grade and all of the passion, silliness, and personal growth that comes with it.

Tyrel Whitt

English Language Arts - 6th
twhitt@northstarcharter.org

The soft blanket of snow that had cascaded gently down the night before now crunched under the early morning footsteps of the Whitt family as they welcomed the newest addition, Tyrel Cole Whitt, to their family. Six siblings, a myriad of sports, and an adventurous outdoor lifestyle led to 18 years of valuable experience and precious memories as Ty grew up in North Pole, Alaska.

After graduating high school he traveled to Eugene, Oregon to attend a junior college that had offered him a basketball scholarship, and eventually a baseball scholarship as well. Albertson College, now College of Idaho, recruited Ty as a pitcher, and Ty received his first true taste of the beauty Idaho had to offer. He graduated from C of I with a degree in elementary education in 1999.

The next five years were an epic saga of life changing experience as Ty worked as a hotshot firefighter in 12 different states and traveled internationally to 3 different continents. He was fortunate enough to marry his gorgeously brilliant and talented wife Heather in 2004, the same year he began his teaching career. Ty now has two beautiful and precocious daughters, Zinnia and Poppy, who are 9 and 5 years old respectfully. An aspiring author, he happily spends his free time reading, writing, playing games, and making artistic glass mosaics for his and his wife's art business, r.a.d. Mosaics. With over a decade of time spent encouraging junior high students to understand, value, and wield the power of language with respect and careful thought, it is his honor to teach at North Star with an enthusiastic attitude and high expectations. Every day is a learning opportunity as we read, write, laugh, and reflect.

GRADES 7 & 8

Kelly Dillon

Math - 7th
kdillon@northstarcharter.org

Welcome to 7th grade math for the 2019-2020 school year. My name is Mrs. Dillon and this will be my 4th year with the North Star family.

My husband and I moved here from Pocatello, Idaho where I taught 6th grade math. I love teaching because it is a constant challenge and I get to be creative on a daily basis. No day is ever the same which makes teaching all the more exciting. I take teaching seriously and work hard to give each student the opportunity to have a successful math year. Mrs. Ellis (8th grade teacher) and I have enjoyed getting the Math Counts program up and going at the school which is a combination of a Math Club and a competitive team for any students in 6-8th grade. We have placed in the top 5 in the state of Idaho the last 2 years. Any students who love math and want to be challenged and learn cool new things are welcome to join. In addition, I am the Middle School cross country coach.

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy settling down with a good book or traveling and exploring new places. I love the outdoors and enjoy getting out running and hiking, biking, fishing, and camping when the weather is good. I also enjoy concerts and playing guitar and clarinet. I am excited to start the new year and get to know each of you.

Krystal Ellis

Math - 8th
kellis@northstarcharter.org

Krystal Ellis grew up in Cottonwood, Idaho and Moses Lake, Washington. After graduating from Prairie High School in Cottonwood, she attended the University of Idaho and took courses in Mining Engineering. She worked as an intern at a silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho for two summers before deciding that her passion lied in education. She took one semester of education classes and then took some time off to work. She enlisted in the Air Force where she served two years as a Korean Linguist and earned her A.A. Degree in Korean from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. After her honorable discharge, she moved to Ormond Beach, Florida where she ended up finishing her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida.

Krystal moved back to the Camas Prairie in Idaho in 2008 after finishing her degree and began her career as a teacher for Cottonwood School District, first teaching 3rd grade, then 2nd grade, then finding her true niche in middle and high school math. Teaching at a small rural school, she was one of only two math teachers in the entire 7-12 junior/senior high school, so she taught 7th grade math, 8th grade math, Algebra, and Geometry. In 2013, she earned her Master’s of Education Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Idaho. In 2015, Krystal and her family moved to Meridian, and she has been enjoying teaching math at North Star ever since.

Krystal has been married to her best friend, Tony, for 13 years and together they have two amazing children: Aidra, who is in fourth grade and Brody, who is in first grade, both at North Star. She also has a step-daughter, Parker, who is 18 and lives in Florida. Krystal loves spending time with her family and friends, playing softball and volleyball, watching football (go Jaguars!), reading, and watching TV. She absolutely loves teaching at North Star and treasures the relationships she has built with her North Star family.

Tamara Michel

English Language Arts - 7th
tmichel@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Tamara Michel grew up as a headstrong tomboy in the Central California town of Madera. As a child, she was very active in sports and school government. During high school, her family moved to the neighboring town of Clovis, where Mrs. Michel spent long summer days serving ice cream cones at Foster’s Freeze. After graduating high school, Mrs. Michel moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a career in law enforcement while attending college. Mrs. Michel worked in the field of law enforcement for 14 years, first as a police officer; then as a polygraph examiner conducting lie detection examinations.

Mrs. Michel graduated college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Studies from California State University, Long Beach and a teaching credential from California State University, Monterey Bay. Mrs. Michel is a firm believer in continued education and still challenges herself to college and career courses.

Mrs. Michel is married to her amazing husband, Art, and has two fantastic sons, Quinton and Mason. The Michels live in Eagle, and they love the small-town feel. The Michel boys attend Eagle High School where Quinton is a junior, and Mason is a freshman. Both boys are very active in sports, including Football, Basketball, and Rugby. When the Michel family is not at one of their many sporting events, they are at home playing with their trio of dogs (two Boston Terriers and a Staffordshire Terrier), listening to their two colorful Parakeets sing, or watching their four Koi fish swim aimlessly in their pond.

Mrs. Michel made the transition to teaching not long after her sons were born. Although she enjoyed the field of law enforcement, she felt education was a more prolific career to have while raising her children. This school year will be her thirteenth-year teaching, yet her first year at North Star Charter School. Mrs. Michel has taught multiple grades in elementary, as well as middle school, and is extremely excited to be teaching 7th grade English language arts. She looks forward to getting to know her students, their families, and the entire North Star community!

Misty Ostrowski

Secondary Art and TOK
mostrowski@northstarcharter.org

Misty Ostrowski was born and raised in Alaska, where she began her path towards the arts. She attended both the University of Alaska Southeast and Northern Arizona University during her undergraduate years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After obtaining her undergraduate degree Misty retuned to the University of Alaska Southeast for her Master of Arts in Teaching, Secondary Education. Since then Misty has taught ceramics to adults and teenagers with developmental disabilities at a non-profit in Alaska, and a variety of studio art classes at a public high school in Arizona. Misty has been teaching primary at North Star Charter School since relocating to the Treasure Valley.

Stan Ostrowski

Bus. & Tech/IB Comp Science
sostrowski@northstarcharter.org

Recently retired from the State of Alaska, Stan Ostrowski recently move to Idaho after living in Juneau, Alaska for the past 37 years. While in Alaska, he attended the University of Alaska where he earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree, with emphasis in computer and natural science. Stan has worked with computer technology since 1984, with employment as a computer and network specialist, research analyst, database administrator, and other technology related positions. Stan enjoys working with technology, and teaching technology to others.

Stan lives close to Marsing, ID, with his wife of 38 years, where they have an extensive vegetable and berry/grape garden, as well as a variety of fruit trees, chickens, and two cats. Stan holds a Master of Education in Secondary Education, a Master of Education in Education Technology Management, and is currently pursuing other educational activities of interest.

Sophia Roman

Science - 7th
sroman@northstarcharter.org

I am Ms. Roman and even though I was not born in Idaho I have lived here since I was about 8 years old. I attended elementary school in Boise then middle and high school in the Vallivue School District. Education is a passion of mine and I have attended and received degrees from The College of Western Idaho, Boise State University and Northwest Nazarene University. I believe learning is the key to being successful and happy in life. Education is our tool to impact our lives and the world around us. As Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." I also have learned that when working with children is important to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself.

In my free time, I love hanging out with my daughter and exploring the world around us in any way that pops into our minds that day. Life with a 4-year-old is never boring. I also love drawing, reading mystery novels. and listening to either Disney music to help me get things done or Guitar and Violin duets to help me focus.

Kristine Rose

Social Studies - 7th & 8th
krose@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Kristine Rose was born and raised in Southern California. However, she spent her summers as a child camping, fishing, and exploring old mining camps in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area where her parents bought property and eventually retired in Stanley. Kristine, her husband Erik, and their three dogs moved to Idaho in the summer or 2018. She spends her free time skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, while in the summer she enjoys hiking, fishing, boating, and exploring abandoned ghost-towns via ATV or in their 1974 Bronco! She raised her two children in Chino, CA. and her youngest son, age 21, is graduating in December 2019 from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. He is enrolled in the flight program working on his hours to become a commercial airline pilot. Her daughter is 24 and employed full time, while also going to school. In addition, Kristine has two grown step-children ages 25 and 30 who have successful full time careers.

Kristine attended CSUSB and obtained a Liberal Studies degree in 1995, The University of Redlands for her teaching credential in 1997, finally obtaining a masters degree in curriculum and instruction from Chapman University in 2003. She is starting her 22nd year of teaching this year at Northstar, teaching 7-8 Social Studies. Her teaching career started in 1998 at Van Buren Elementary in the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District, where she stayed for 20 years. She taught all subjects at the 6th grade level for many years and taught 3rd grade for a few years in between. She got hired on for a 7th grade English position at the middle school level last year, and this solidified her love of teaching middle school. Kristine’s favorite subjects are in the areas of social studies and language arts. Kristine is absolutely thrilled to be teaching at Northstar this year and looks forward to being an integral part of the Northstar family!

Amie Vanek

English Language Arts - 8th
avanek@northstarcharter.org

Our lives are mere flashes of light in an infinitely empty universe.... the most important lesson I have learned is that ... dreams are more real than anything in the “real world”. Refuse normalcy. Beauty is everywhere, love is endless. Remember that every day contains a universe of potential.'' ? Dominic Owen Mallary

An Idaho native, I graduated high school in 2003 and immediately began taking classes at BSU - GO BRONCOS! I received my undergraduate degree in English Teaching, which qualifies me to teach 6-12 Language Arts, received my first Master's Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, & Implementation in 2016, and am currently enrolled in a second Master's program in Educational Leadership through Boise State. My husband Brandon, and I, along with our sons Kolter (12) and Carter (9) and daughter Kynslee (newborn) are EXTREMELY active and always on the go! We love the outdoors and everything sports related! I have been wanting to be a teacher since I was in the 3rd grade and each year find myself more grateful for having the opportunity to pursue my passion and love of teaching.

Victoria Woodward

Physical Science - 8th
vwoodward@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Woodward has been teaching since 2002. She came from being a Navy airplane mechanic on the F/A-18 to graduating with honors from BSU in Chemistry with a professional emphasis and a minor in Mathematics. After working in research on anti-cancer drugs and then EPA testing for the City of Meridian and Nampa, she obtained her teaching certification and has taught all math levels from 6th grade through Calculus, AP, General, and Intro Chemistry, and Physical Science.

MUSIC

Allison Cammack

Middle and High School Choir
acammack@northstarcharter.org

Allison has lived in various states and regions of the country, but she is proud to call the Treasure Valley her home. From a young age, she developed a love of performing and teaching, and after having wonderful experiences in middle and high school choirs, she knew that music education was the right path for her. Allison graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Music Education in April 2018 and is thrilled to have accepted her very first position right here at North Star! Outside of public schools, she has taught private piano and voice lessons.

In her free time, you can find Allison visiting museums or watching documentaries, spending time with her family, dreaming about the Oregon Coast (her favorite place on the planet), and drinking copious amounts of Sodalicious.

Ms. Cammack hopes that each student who participates in the choirs has an enjoyable and enriching musical experience. She feels fortunate to be surrounded by amazing faculty and administration.

A.J. Davidsen

MS and HS Band
aj.davidsen@northstarcharter.org

AJ Davidsen was born and raised in Calgary Alberta, Canada where the influence of great band directors led him to pursue a degree in music education.

AJ graduated in April 2013 in the top 10% of the graduating class of BYU-Idaho. His main instruments are the piano and French horn. In February of 2013, AJ was given the “Outstanding Piano Soloist” award at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. AJ completed a Master's degree in Piano Performance at Boise State University in December 2017.

AJ met his wife Ashley at BYU-Idaho where she earned a degree in piano performance. Ashley completed her Master's Degree at Boise State in 2015. Ashley and AJ are the proud parents of two children, Cleah age 7 and Cecil who will be 2 in January.

ATHLETICS

Trevor Holladay

Physical Education
tholladay@northstarcharter.org

Trevor Holladay grew up in the great outdoors of North West Montana. He likes to spend his down time hunting, fishing, hiking, or playing city league sports such as volleyball or basketball. He is originally from Kalispell, Montana where he went to a private school K-12th grade. Following his passion for being physically active, he moved to Bozeman, Montana and went to Montana State University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Enhancement. Trevor wants to instill upon his students the same passion he has for being fit and healthy.

Last year, Trevor coached middle school girls basketball and middle school boys basketball. He truly enjoys seeing children active outside of school exercising and learning new skills. This will be Trevor’s third year at North Star and he is excited to continue teaching new students and continuing to grow the Health and Fitness curriculum.

Toby Pinkerman

Physical Education
tpinkerman@northstarcharter.org

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