Middle School Faculty
6th Grade Science
Mr. Horning is starting his 15th year of teaching (14 in the Treasure Valley and 1 in Salem, OR). He taught primarily at Heritage Middle School in West Ada and Middleton Middle School in Middleton. He loves science and teaching students through fun, hands-on activities that challenge them to demonstrate their comprehension skills through various ways. Outside of school, he loves to go to sporting events, like Idaho Vandal football! He also has a passion for coaching football and basketball. He is excited for this great opportunity to be around such an awesome staff and the students that call North Star home.
Social Studies- 6th
Mrs. Severns was born and raised in Stockton, California where she spent many summers on the softball diamonds. When she wasn’t playing softball, you could find her crafting, gardening, listening to music, or deep into a great book. In high school, an opportunity to help students with special needs learn to play softball sparked her interest in becoming a teacher. Later, another opportunity to work with a local science summer camp and several youth art programs enhanced her interest in education even more. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from CSU Stanislaus, Mrs. Severns began her teaching career in the Stockton Unified School District, while working towards both her special ed and general ed teaching credentials. After 5 years of teaching in Stockton, Mrs. Severns and her husband decided to move their family to Idaho.
In the beautiful Treasure Valley, Mrs. Severns and her husband, Michael, found a passion for exploring the outdoors. They enjoy camping, fishing, and touring the states with their two daughters. In Idaho, Mrs. Severns spent 9 years teaching in the public school system and is now thrilled to join her daughters at North Star Charter School. As they say, some things never change. In her free time, you can still find Mrs. Severns crafting, gardening, listening to music, or deep into a great book.
Math - 6th
Ms. 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 a degree in Elementary Education and an emphasis in Mathematics. In the spring of 2023, she graduated with her Masters in Educational Leadership from Boise State University (Go Broncos!).
When she is not at North Star, Ms. Stopher loves to spend time with her family and friends doing outdoor activities like boating, listening to Taylor Swift, trying new restaurants in Boise, 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.
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 a part of the North Star family and watch her students thrive in math 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 13 and
9 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
Kelly Dillon was raised in Las Vegas, NV and received a bachelors in K-12 Music Education from Western State College (now Western Colorado University). After teaching a few years in the music classroom, she moved to Pocatello, ID. With the scarcity of music positions at the time, she decided to take on a new challenge and get certified to teach K-8 math. She was hired at Hawthorne Middle School in Pocatello Idaho as a 6th grade math teacher and stayed from 2009 – 2016. She then made a decision to move to Boise in 2016 with her husband and was hired into the North Star family to teach 7th grade math. Since her time at North Star, she has also completed a Masters in Curriculum Development with Emphasis in 6-8 Middle School Mathematics.
She is passionate about teaching because of the constant challenge and the ability to be creative on a daily basis. No day is ever the same which makes teaching all the more exciting. She takes teaching seriously and works hard to give each student the opportunity to have a successful math year. For the past 6 years, she has worked alongside Krystal Ellis (8th grade math) to get 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. North Star has placed in the top 5 in the state of Idaho the last 4 years. Any students who love math and want to be challenged and learn cool new things are welcome to join. In addition, she coaches Cross Country and Mountain Biking for 6-12 grades.
Kelly is an active member in the Idaho National Guard and is currently working toward commissioning as an officer in 2024. Her other hobbies include settling down with a good book/podcast and exploring new places. She loves staying active and enjoys getting outdoors to run, hike, bike, and camp when the weather is good. She also enjoys concerts and playing guitar and clarinet.
8th Grade Science
Ms.Galloway has lived all across the US including Virginia, Texas, and Hawaii. She is very excited to
have built a tiny home in Eagle and put down roots. She graduated with a pre-med degree in Cell and
Molecular Biology and Chemistry. She liked substitute teaching when her children were in school and
decided to get her Teaching Certificate and thus started her teaching career. In Arizona, she taught AP
Chemistry, AP Physics and Human Anatomy. She is very excited to be teaching one class subject this year
focusing on chemistry and physics at the 8 th grade level.
Ms. Galloway lives on the same property as her grandchildren who attend North Star. They think it’s pretty
cool to have their grandma on campus. She has a lot of projects to finish on their property and hopes to
not dig anymore trenches (for water, sewer, electric lines, irrigation). She loves traveling, reading,
spending time outdoors, playing with her grandkids, watching football, doing cross-stitch and also being
a National Champion Master Olympic Weightlifter. She still trains and competes.
Social Studies - 7th
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 - 7th
“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 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 which allowed her to obtain her Pre-K-12 School Principal endorsement. A lifelong learner, Mrs. Vanek is currently enrolled in the doctoral program seeking an Ed.D with an Educational Leadership focus through Boise State.
She and her husband Brandon, and along with their sons, Kolter (17), Carter (14) and daughter Kynslee (4), 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.
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.
7th grade science
Mr. Frank was born and raised in the Treasure Valley and grew to love Idaho throughout his childhood. Family camping and backpacking trips piqued his interest for the outdoors and wildlife at a young age. After graduating from Borah High school he attended BSU to pursue a degree in Biology. Josiah found a love for backpacking, birding, biological studies, and ultimate frisbee during his college years. He graduated from BSU with a Biology Degree and a certificate in teaching.
Mr. Frank now enjoys cheering for his favorite sports teams, watching wildlife documentaries and planning his next foray into the remote Idaho wilderness. Josiah recently completed the Colorado Trail, his first thru-hike. Teaching Biology at North Star is a blessing for Mr. Frank as he works to inspire a love for learning and science among his students.
8th Grade Social Studies
Catherine Griffin is returning to North Star to teach middle school social studies. She previously
taught world history, US history and government in Boise’s alternative high school program. She has
also taught special education and literacy development in Idaho. Ms. Griffin received a B.A. in
Anthropology with minors in Native American Studies and history from Boise State University. She
has an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on teaching literacy through content
instruction of social studies. She also has a M.Ed. in Special Education. Ms. Griffin graduated from
Northwest Nazarene University with an Education Specialist degree in Administrative Leadership
with a focus in Special Education Administration.
Ms. Griffin embraces all opportunities to continue her pursuits as a lifelong learner and encourages
her students to adopt a “growth mindset” and persevere through personal challenges to pursue their
Ms. Griffin has two adult children who are musicians and artists. She likes to go hiking, canoeing,
work in her garden, spend time exploring the natural areas in the Pacific Northwest. She has an
international cosmopolitan worldview, lived in Central and South America as a military geographer
and cultural analyst.
Ms. Griffin is excited to continue teaching at North Star and serve students, families, and staff
through her commitment towards excellence in student learning. One favorite quote by Margret
Mead demonstrates her ideals, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Jonni Williams grew up in San Bernardino and Temecula, CA. After graduating from The Linfield School in Temecula, she joined the United States Navy where she met her husband. They married in 1995, and in 1997 moved to her husband’s home state of Idaho.
In 2007, Jonni graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Universtiy of Idaho with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught elementary school for ten years at Dalton Elementary, in Coeur d’Alene, ID. From the beginning of her teaching career, she had always dreamed of teaching at the middle school level. Her dreams became reality in her 11th year of teaching as she transitioned into teaching 7th grade ELA. After one year of teaching middle school, her and her family relocated to the Boise area due to her husband’s career move with the Idaho Army National Guard. She has now taught ELA and Family and Consumer Sciences at the middle school level for the last five years. This will be her second year teaching at North Star Charter School.
Jonni loves to spend time with her family, enjoys traveling, has a passion for reading, is a frequent concertgoer, loves all things outdoors, likes to work on renovations, and her favorite season is football.
Born in Rockland, Massachusetts Patrick 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 Boston Sports fan.
After graduating high school he traveled to Northfield, Vermont to attend our Nation’s oldest private military college, Norwich University. 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.
Patrick taught and coached wrestling in Massachusetts and played rugby. He then was recruited to play rugby in Australia. Patrick loved his experience playing rugby with the Australians and traveling. He then moved to LA to work for Sony Pictures for several years before returning back to the greater Boston area to teach and coach wrestling.
Patrick made the Treasure Valley his home in 2009. Patrick has been a teacher here in Idaho for the past 12 years. He opened a CrossFit gym in 2010 and sold it in 2022. Patrick has 4 children who he loves dearly. Patrick has been serving in the Idaho Air National Guard since 2012. He has been a personal training teams, teens and adults since 2006.
With over 20+ 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, this 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, overall health and sports he has been blessed with the opportunity to share his love to his students on a daily basis.
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 at BSU and married his wife Danica shortly after.
Last year Trevor welcomed his son Jack to this world while finishing up his seventh year at North Star. He looks forward to meeting new students and families throughout the year.
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.