Middle School Faculty


Joe Horning

Joe Horning

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. 

Becky Severns

Becky Severns

6th Grade Social Studies


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. 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, golfing, and touring the states in their fifth-wheel with their two daughters. In Idaho, Mrs. Severns spent 9 years teaching in the West Ada School District. Along with her daughters, she has found her forever home here at North Star Charter School.

Tyrel Whitt

Tyrel Whitt

6th Grade English Language Arts


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 14 and 10 years old respectively, 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 twenty years 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.

Kerri Rasmussen

6th Grade Math


Mrs. Kerri Rasmussen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and has accumulated over a decade of teaching expertise across Washington State, Oregon, and most recently Idaho in 2021. Mrs. Rasmussen is a dedicated educator, excited to join the North Star Charter School community as the 6th grade math teacher.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Mrs. Rasmussen finds great joy in supporting her two sons and daughter as they participate in sports, particularly basketball and football. Her family is her cornerstone, and she values every moment spent traveling, watching sports, running/walking, and simply being together with her husband and children.

Mrs. Rasmussen is excited to contribute her passion for education and her commitment to student development to the North Star Charter School community.

GRADE 7 & 8

Pat Brown

Pat Brown

Physical Education


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.



A.J. Davidsen

A.J. Davidsen

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.

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.


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.



Kelly Dillon

Kelly Dillon

7th Grade Social Studies and Financial Literacy


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 starting her teaching career back in 2006 in the elementary 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 and has taught math for the past 8 years. Since her time at North Star, she has completed a Masters in Curriculum Development with Emphasis in 6-8 Middle School Mathematics. In addition to teaching, Kelly is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Idaho National Guard for a Field Artillery unit in Burley, Idaho where she trains once a month and for a period during the summer. For the upcoming school year, Kelly will be moving away from teaching math and transitioning into 7th grade Social Studies and Financial Literacy in order to help balance her classroom teaching and military service obligations. 

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 year. In addition to teaching in the classroom at North Star, Kelly has been the 6-12 head coach for the Cross Country Program for the past 6 years and has worked alongside Mr. Davidsen (6-12 music director) to get the North Star Mountain Biking team up and running back in 2022. Kelly also co-developed and coached the MathCounts program for the past 6 years. MathCounts 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.

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 glamping in her trailer when the weather is good. She also enjoys concerts and playing guitar and clarinet

Michelle Galloway

Michelle Galloway

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.


Trevor Holladay

Trevor Holladay

Physical Education


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.

Svenja Lawson

Middle School Math


Hi, my name is Svenja Lawson, and I am so excited to be a new teacher at NorthStar! I grew up in a city outside of Dallas, TX and graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (Elementary Education). I then began teaching in various elementary schools and grade levels for the next five years. Although I loved elementary school and Texas, I knew it was time for a change and moved to California on a whim. In California I continued to teach, but now as a 7th grade math and science teacher. I stayed in this position for the next three years. During this time, I also attended Cal State Fullerton where I received my Masters in Secondary Education with a math emphasis. I also met my husband which started our hunt for a joint forever home. Both my husband and I were very stubborn and wanted to live in our hometowns forever, so the only solution was to find a third location. Cue Boise, Idaho! Both my husband and I fell in love with Idaho and knew this is where we wanted to live. So, I spent the last two years teaching for Boise School District in a Math 7 position. After 10 years of education, I am excited to teach at NorthStar Charter and continue living out my passion of teaching math to secondary students.

I knew I wanted to teach math ever since I began my education classes in college. I hated how so many of my fellow classmates despised math and considered it a subject that you were either good at or not. My biggest goal in math education is to show all students how accessible math is to everyone as well as how applicable math is to their daily lives. As far as I am concerned, everyone is a “math person”.

When not in school, I love to be outdoors and spend time with friends and family. In the summer months, I enjoy paddle boarding, hiking, or camping. Then in the winter, I am in the process of learning how to ski. I also have a personal goal of hiking in every national park so most of my travel revolves around hitting new parks. I also love being an aunt more than anything to my adorable niece and 4 nephews.

Gabrielle Morris

Middle School Math


Experience: 2 years in higher education at the University of Idaho, 4 years in public education for West Ada School District

Educational philosophy: I believe that students can overcome mathematical and life challenges if they know how to be a critical thinker and a problem solver. Learning math takes grit as it’s not always easy but with activities that engage a students’ mind and keep them accountable for what they need to know, they are capable of taking on the challenge! I believe that every student has strengths that will help them become a mathematician and I can’t wait to learn with them next year!

Personal: I have three young boys ages 1, 4 and 6 who fill most of my free time with entertainment and chaos. My husband is a teacher and coach too so during school breaks we love to be outside keeping the boys active. If I get time to myself, you can find me doing anything crafty or creative, re-designing rooms in my house or reading!

Patrice Rex

Patrice Rex

7th Grade Science


Patrice Rex was born and raised primarily in Utah, with a few summer excursions to Virginia where
she worked as a full-time nanny. She spent her teenage years playing lots of basketball, volleyball,
softball and running track, and particularly loved basketball and high jump. She has always been
curious about the way things work and natural processes, especially human physiology and life
sciences. Mrs. Rex believes her love of science can be traced back to the times that she spent
accompanying her grandfather on his Forest Service rounds throughout Utah and Idaho.

She attended Brigham Young University on an academic scholarship and graduated with honors in 1998
with a degree in Zoology and a minor in Biochemistry. Mrs. Rex has taught and tutored science and
math in Utah, Nevada and Idaho. She is currently finishing a Master’s in Science and Science
Education through Montana State University.

After her first child was born, she was a stay at home mom and part-time tutor for 10 years. She
returned to teaching in 2009. She holds Secondary Teaching Endorsements in Biological Science
and Natural Science. She also has an Elementary Teaching Certificate. Mrs. Rex is extremely
excited to be teaching science at the elementary level and getting kids excited about science at a
young age. She loves to do lots of “hands-on” lab work and watch students make discoveries.

Mrs. Rex loves to spend time with her husband of 29 years and her two kids (ages 23 and 18).
Some of their favorite activities include traveling, camping, hiking, biking, swimming, playing games
and doing puzzles. She also loves to read, play sports, watch college football, garden and take naps.
She has been an Idaho resident since 2006 and loves living here.​

Kristine Rose

Kristine Rose

7th grade Social Studies


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!

Amie Vanek

Amie Vanek

7th Grade English Language Arts


“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.

Heather Whitt

Heather Whitt

Secondary Art


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.

Jonni Wlliams

Jonni Wlliams

8th grade English


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 University 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, Jonni 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 third year teaching 8th grade ELA at North Star Charter School.

Jonni loves to spend time with her family, enjoys traveling, has a passion for reading, is a frequent concert-goer, loves all things outdoors, likes to work on renovations, and her favorite season is football.