Middle School Faculty
Math - 6th
Kendal Stopher is an Idaho native who was born and raised right here in Eagle, Idaho! Ever since she was in 1st-grade, she has known she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. She graduated from the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!) in 2019 with her degree in Elementary Education and an emphasis in Mathematics. This fall 2021, she is pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership at Boise State University!
When she is not at North Star, Ms. Stopher loves to spend time with her family and friends doing outdoor activities like boating, hiking, and going to her favorite place in the world… Coeur D’Alene, Idaho! She loves to spend her winter days hitting the slopes on the mountain by going skiing! Ms. Stopher hopes to start her own wedding planning business soon to spend her summers when she is not teaching. She loves crafting, calligraphy, and creating content for her classroom.
There is no greater passion for Ms. Stopher than the feeling of being in the classroom watching students engage, explore, and dive deep into their understanding. She feels so thankful to be apart of the North Star family and watch her students thrive in mathematics and the adventure of middle school! Go Huskies!
English Language Arts - 6th
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 from Delta Junction 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. After many college adventures, including meeting his wife and winning a national championship, 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 11 and 7 years old respectfully, and both attend North Star. 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.
GRADE 7 & 8
Math - 7th
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.
Emma Winslow has always known she would become a teacher. She graduated from the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!) in 2019 with her degree in Elementary Education and an emphasis in 6-12 English. She started out her teaching career in Post Falls ID, teaching fourth grade. She loved her experience there, but missed the Boise area and her family. She has always wanted to teach middle school, and when she got the chance to teach 7th grade ELA at North Star, she jumped at the opportunity.
When she’s not grading papers or coming up with new ideas for her lessons, she enjoys hiking in the foothills with her dog Luna, spending time with family, and relaxing at her family’s condo in McCall.
Her students are her greatest joy and her biggest passion is helping them widen their perspectives through the art of the written word. She believes reading is a plane ticket to anywhere you want to go and writing is a stage set up for every voice to be heard. Her goal is to inspire her students to purchase that plane ticket and stand tall on stage.
Math - 8th
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 lay 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 in 2003, she moved to Ormond Beach, Florida where she worked for a while in the travel industry and then finished her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida in 2008.
Krystal moved back to the Camas Prairie in Idaho in 2008 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 (Go Vandals!). 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 15 years and together they have two amazing children: Aidra, who is in sixth grade and Brody, who is in third grade, both at North Star. She also has a stepdaughter, Parker, who is 20 and attends college in Florida. Krystal loves spending time with her family and friends, playing softball and volleyball, watching football (mostly the UCF Knights and the Jacksonville Jaguars), reading, and watching TV. She absolutely loves teaching at North Star and treasures the relationships she has built with her North Star family.
Heather Whitt grew up in Boise, attending McMillan elementary school, with her mom as librarian. She then moved onto Lowell Scott MS, then onto graduate from Centennial HS. Heather grew up playing recreational and competitive soccer in the Treasure Valley. She played all four years on Centennial’s varsity team and earned a spot on the Idaho state team. This along with her academic achievements earned her a scholarship to College of Idaho for four years. There she met the love of her life, the famously epic, Ty Whitt! She finished schooling with a BA in Secondary English Teaching and then later acquired her Art credential.
After finishing college Heather was able to buy an “around the world” plane ticket allowing her to visit over ten countries over the course of a year. She taught summer school for the Boise School District along with Special Education and coached girls JV soccer at Capital HS. She then started the art program for the middle and high school at North Star Charter. For three years she was able to teach students from 6th-12th including introduction classes, multicultural art and commercial art in the high school.
She took a break to raise two beautiful daughters and now that they are both attending North Star she is BACK! It’s a family affair with both daughters in first and fourth grade, Mr. Whitt teaching sixth grade and Mrs. Whitt back to MS and HS ART. In her spare time she loves to garden, camp with her family and friends, and create one of a kind mosaic art pieces for her and Mr. Whitt’s art business, R.A.D Mosaic.
Secondary Art and TOK
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.
Bus. & Tech/IB Comp Science
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.
7th Grade Science
Mrs. Braun was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up swimming and playing water polo, which led to her playing water polo-playing at the collegiate level at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A)…..Go Bruins!
Mrs. Braun received her B.A. in Psychology in 1998. Within a year of graduating from U.C.L.A, she pursued the All Subjects K-8 certification and Master’s degree in Education from Pepperdine University. While student teaching, Mrs. Braun pursued another certification from the California State University of Fullerton to work with students with learning differences.
Mrs. Braun has worked at North Star for almost 4 years and is thrilled to be the new 6th-grade science and social studies teacher. Besides owning a tutoring franchise in Washington, over the past 16 years, she has taught middle and high school students in all subject areas. Middle Schoolers are her favorite!
Mrs. Braun has two daughters who are in 7th and 12th grade. She loves the summer months because of her families’ camping trips with limited to no cell phone reception.
Mrs. Braun has high expectations for her students and seeks to provide a safe and friendly learning environment where her students have the opportunity to take risks and experience success.
Social Studies - 7th & 8th
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 David, age 23, graduated with his BS in Aeronautical Science in December 2019 from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. He is employed as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) in Scottsdale, AZ finishing up his flight hours to become a commercial airline pilot. Her daughter Miranda, age 25 is going to school to earn a degree in physical therapy, while also working full-time. In addition, Kristine has two grown step-children ages 27 and 32 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 24th year of teaching and this is her third year at North Star, teaching 7th/8th grade 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 for a 7th grade English position at the middle school level in 2018, in the West Ada School District, and this solidified her love of teaching middle school. Kristine’s favorite subject is social studies and is absolutely thrilled to be a part of such an amazing middle school team here at North Star!
English Language Arts - 8th
“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, Mrs. Vanek graduated high school in 2003 and immediately began taking classes at BSU – GO BRONCOS! She received her undergraduate degree in English Teaching, which qualifies her to teach 6-12 Language Arts, received her first Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Implementation in 2016 and a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership through Boise State.
She and her husband Brandon, along with their sons, Kolter (15), Carter (12) and daughter Kynslee (2) are EXTREMELY active and always on the go! They love the outdoors and everything sports related!
Mrs. Vanek has wanted to be a teacher since she was in the 3rd grade and each year she finds herself more grateful for having the opportunity to pursue her passion and love of teaching.
Physical Science - 8th
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.
Mr. Nance is a second-generation teacher who just retired from Alaska. Mr. Nance spent 25 years teaching Math and Technology from Nome to Barrow to Sitka, (all over the state). After retirement from Alaska, Mr. Nance started teaching Internationally in China for 2 years (1.5 online due to Covid-19). Mr. Nance is married to Heidi Nance and has two adult children, Kristopher and Ethan Nance. He moved to the Idaho area to look for a place to build his retirement home. He loves to fish, camp and fly his drones.
Middle and High School Choir
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.
MS and HS Band
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.
In November 2020, AJ was recognized by KTVB as an innovative educator. He received a grant which enabled him to acquire the necessary equipment to create high quality multi-track recordings of his ensembles, working around the limitations of running a band program during a pandemic.
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 9 and Cecil who will be 4 in January.
Apart from his family and music, AJ’s passions include Mountain Biking, Road Biking and any other form of cycling.
Trevor Holladay grew up in the great outdoors of Northwest 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 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.
After graduating, Trevor moved to the Treasure Valley and got his Masters in Educational Leadership and married his wife Danica shortly after.
Last year was Trevor’s fifth year at North Star and he looks forward to meeting new students and families throughout the year.