Middle School Faculty

GRADE 6

Crystal Davidson

Science - 6th
cdavidson@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Davidson has lived all over the western United States. Born in Nebraska, her family moved to northern Utah, western Idaho, and eastern Oregon. After high school, Mrs. Davidson returned to Idaho to attend Boise State University where she majored in biology with an emphasis in microbiology. During her senior year she worked as an intern for the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Boise testing strains of Streptococcus pneumonia for specific antibiotic resistance mechanisms. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, Mrs. Davidson worked in the field of microbiology, identifying microorganisms and testing for antibiotic resistance, for the next 12 years. The monotony of testing the same organisms every day finally motivated her to search out a more stimulating career, and so teaching became career number two.

Upon completing her Master’s in Secondary Education, Mrs. Davidson went to work teaching 6-8 science. She is passionate about learning science by doing science and strives to find and create opportunities for her students to apply the scientific concepts, principles and skills they learn in the classroom to real-world problems and situations. She believes that learning how to think and solve problems like a scientist is important for everyone, even if you don’t plan on becoming a scientist. After four years teaching middle school Mrs. Davidson moved to the College of Western Idaho where she taught introductory microbiology and anatomy and physiology. While she enjoyed teaching at the college level, there were a number of things she really missed about K-12 teaching. She is grateful and excited to be at North Star!

Mrs. Davidson has been married to a pretty terrific guy for almost 20 years. They have three children, Ainslee (16), Mackenzie (14), and Joseph (12) and their dog, Sam. As a family they enjoy watching movies, eating out, camping, hiking, and vacationing.

Casey Hawkins

Math - 6th
chawkins@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Hawkins grew up in a rural town, Mariposa, CA, just outside 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 has 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 full time 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 fourteen 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 twelve 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 seventeen years to her best friend, Dan Hawkins, Asst. Fire Chief at Mt. Home AFB. They have three adorable lil’ men (ages 16, 14 1/2 and 13), so life is incredibly busy driving kiddos to 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 23rd year as a teacher and can’t wait to meet and develop working relationships with her upcoming sixth grade students and their families.

Trevor Holladay

PE - 6th
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.

Audrey Speicher

Social Studies - 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 for children living on 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 with family while she pursued a teaching certificate. After teaching 4th and 5th grade English Language Arts and social studies for a year in traditional public schools, she decided to spend her two-month summer break learning Spanish in Costa Rica. While there, she met a rowdy bunch of adolescents from a Montessori school in Houston, Texas, of all places! They invited her to be their teacher, so she took a leap of faith and began to teach 7th, 8th, and 9th grade English Language Arts, literature seminar, humanities, physical education, and project-based science at the small, private school.

In the meantime, most of Miss Speicher’s family decided to move to the northwestern United States, so she decided to follow by becoming a University of Idaho graduate student at the McCall Outdoor Science School field campus. There, she got to hone her ability to make science and learning fun and acted as the UL Diversity Scholar studying inclusive education practices. This was also where she was introduced to North Star Charter for the first time! North Star and the state of Idaho made such an impression on her that she decided to become a teacher here for good!

Entering her 6th year of formal teaching, she can’t wait to approach 6th grade social studies from a holistic perspective that encourages critical thinking, cultural appreciation, creativity, and collaboration. When she’s not teaching, you may find her rock climbing, playing the ukulele, or trying a new recipe.

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 7 and 3 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, he is returning to 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 2017-2018 school year. My name is Mrs. Dillon and this will be my 2nd 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. This past year, Mrs. Ellis and I also began the the MathCounts program at the school which is a combination of a Math Club and a competitive team for any students in 6-8th grade. Any students who love math and want to be challenged and learn cool new things are welcome to join.

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy exploring the outdoors such as road biking, hiking, fishing, and camping. 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.

Krystal is married to her husband of 11 years, Tony, and together they have two children: Aidra who is 7 and will be in second grade this year at North Star, and Brody who is 4 and is a handful! She also has a step-daughter, Parker, who is in 11th grade 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 last year and treasures the relationships she has built with her new North Star family.

Jennifer Kemp

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

Jennifer Kemp was born in Vermont and spent her early childhood in North Carolina. At age six she moved with her family to Idaho. After coming to grips with the fact that she would never be a princess, she decided to turn her love of school into a life long career and began pursuing her goal of becoming a teacher (she was 9).

In 2008 she graduated Suma Cum Laude from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho and now holds a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education/Social Sciences with a minor in History. While in college she discovered that, in addition to having a great love of history, she had a passion for the martial arts. She has been a practicing martial artist with White Lion Kajukenbo of Boise for several years now. Jennifer has also spent the last couple years working with Global Service Partnerships to make service learning and cultural expansion opportunities in the beautiful country of Belize available to North Star students and families.

Daniel Hock

English Language Arts - 8th
dhock@northstarcharter.org

Daniel Hock hails from Bedford, England, but regrettably does not have the accent. Instead, he has lived most of his life in the Treasure Valley, save for a year attending the University of Puget Sound where he realized he wasn’t cool enough to hang out with those cats. He quickly came back to his home of Boise and graduated with a B.A. in Secondary English Education from Boise State University. He’s never been to a Broncos game (but will tell you stories of many a Steelheads game), still hasn’t visited the old state penitentiary, and will always get Twin Falls and Idaho Falls mixed up. But he’s rafted down the Snake River, rocked out during Treefort, and at one point knew the baristas at Java who knew his order. Idaho has grown on Daniel over the years, not without a good dose of teenage angst, but he’s glad to call it home.

Daniel is glad to be returning to North Star for his second year, and putting names to the faces of middle schoolers that roam the halls. He's lived in Eagle for two years and has three dogs: Aurora, a pit bull puppy; Emma, a chow/lab mix; and Coots, a poodle/yorkshire terrier mix. It's a true menagerie. His meager free time is spentfinding new literature to read, particularly modern and postmodern works; playing video, tabletop and card games (ask him about Magic: the Gathering!); and trying to finish that novel that every English major is trying to write.

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.

Darci Stelzner

Science - 7th
dstelzner@northstarcharter.org

Darci Stelzner was born and raised in Montana, spending her time riding and training horses, competing in gymnastics and rodeo throughout the NW, and enjoying country life! A couple of years after finishing her undergraduate degree from Montana State University, she moved to the Treasure Valley in 2002 to begin her professional career in the Nampa School District. She comes to North Star from Sage International School of Boise where she taught MYP Earth Science and MYP HPE. Darci obtained her Master's Degree in Biophysical Kinesiology from Boise State University, is certified 6-12 Biology, K-12 PE, 6-8 Health, and is IB MYP Level 1 trained.

Darci and her husband, Nick, have one son, Tyee, who will join North Star's 1st grade family. They live in Eagle and enjoy riding bikes to the foothills, the Boise River, and downtown Eagle for breakfast. As often as they can, they like to hit the road in their motorhome, rock hunt, and spend time outdoors. Darci is passionate about pollinators, flowers, soil science, and hydrology.

Charissa Rausch

English Language Arts - 7th
crausch@northstarcharter.org

Charissa Rausch grew up in the small town of Fenton in the Great Lakes state of Michigan. She attended Central Michigan University graduating with an English degree. In 1982, she married her high school sweetheart, Matt, and they moved to Davenport, Iowa. Six years and two children later, they packed up and headed to Cincinnati, Ohio where their third child was born. In 1992, Charissa returned to college at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio where she earned her secondary teacher’s certificate. Then, in 1995, the Rausch clan moved back to Michigan, and Charissa began teaching English at her Alma Mater – Fenton High. After all three of their children graduated from college, Charissa and Matt moved to Eagle, Idaho where they now reside with Jack, a most adorable King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

Throughout her career, Charissa has taught a variety of ELA subjects to both middle and high school students. She is proud to have delivered the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program for over ten years and is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to North Star Public Charter. Go Huskies!

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

A.J. Davidsen

MS and HS Band
aj.davidsen@northstarcharter.org

AJ Davidsen comes from the Great White North. He was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta 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 recently completed his Master's degree in Piano Performance at Boise State University.

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 and Cecil Davidsen.

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.

Athletics

Patrick Brown

Athletic Director
pbrown@northstarcharter.org

Born in Rockland, Massachusetts Patrick J. Brown grew up with two older brothers and one younger sister. Having older brothers involved in sports and a Father who coached, Patrick grew up very active and involved in organized sports at an early age. He also loved fishing and playing in the woods with his brothers and neighborhood friends. Growing up South of Boston, Patrick became an extremely passionate Sports fan for his home team Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins. With strong family values instilled by his Father and Mother, Patrick is extremely loyal to his family and friends.

During his senior year of High School, Patrick was elected by his peers to be Captain in football, wrestling and tennis. Patrick made all conference for football and wrestling his senior year. His team was a Super Bowl Champion and he finished 3rd in the State in wrestling. His proudest high school memory was being varsity with his older brother his freshman year.

After graduating high school he traveled to Northfield, Vermont to attend our Nation’s oldest private military college, Norwich University. Patrick was recruited to wrestle for the Cadets. Patrick wrestled and played rugby all 4 years at Norwich. He was named All-New England for both rugby and wrestling. Patrick received his degree of Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1998.

During the two years after college, Patrick taught and coached wrestling in his hometown before heading to Australia to play rugby for the UNSW Rugby team. Patrick loved his experience playing rugby with the Australians and traveling. Upon returning to the States, Patrick moved to sunny Los Angeles to make movies at Sony Pictures with four of his friends from college. His experience and stay for the next two years was life changing because he met his amazingly smart, funny, creative, beautiful wife Kristen. They moved back to Boston where Patrick taught Physical Education and coached wrestling. During this time Kristen and Patrick had two sons Declan and Ronan.

Kristen and Patrick decided it was time to move away from the extreme winters and cost of living of Boston to the small city of Boise, Idaho.

Since 2009, Patrick and Kristen have made the Treasure Valley their home. Patrick has been a teacher here in Idaho for the past six years. In 2010, Patrick and Kristen’s love for fitness turned into their business when they opened CrossFit E3 in Eagle, Idaho. Their family also expanded, they had a third son, Jameson and a daughter, Frankie. Patrick has served in the Idaho Air National Guard as TACP and in Materiel Management since 2012.

With over 15 years of experience working with students as a coach and teacher, Patrick has realized there is no better job than teaching and coaching. Motivating students to believe they can accomplish anything they set their mind to, has been Patrick’s mantra to his students. Throughout the years, Patrick has developed life long friendships with his students and their families. With his passion for physical activity, kinesiology, fitness and sports he has been blessed with the opportunity to share his love to his students on a daily basis.

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