Specialists

ART

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.

Heather Whitt

Secondary Art
hwhitt@northstarcharter.org

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.

COMPUTER/TECHNOLOGY



Cherilyn Clemente

K-5 Computer Teacher
cclemente@northstarcharter.org

What amazing students we have at North Star!!! The 2020 experiences of online schooling have shown students can use technology to meet their needs and exceed our expectations!

Mrs. Clemente is definitely excited about the future of K-5 students. Here’s a little more about our elementary Computer Science teacher.

Cherilyn Clemente loved growing up in Virginia with her 5 siblings. She was excited to attend Brigham Young University where she graduated with a BS in Elementary Education and a Spanish Teaching minor. Mrs. Clemente met and married her husband while in college, and upon graduation they moved to Boise where her husband works as a test engineer in Nampa. They have 3 wonderful children, the youngest to join her older siblings at Brigham Young University in UT in the fall of 2020. Their son just got married in June 2020 and they are so excited to have gained a new daughter-in-law!

The Clementes speak a combined 5 different languages, and as a family they love to travel and experience the culture and beauty of other countries, especially Mr. Clemente’s native country of Spain. Their family especially loves to try out new foods--both at home and abroad!

Here in Idaho, Mrs. Clemente loves to go running, hiking and camping. She also enjoys playing volleyball and playing the piano. She especially appreciates the time spent visiting with family and friends or diving into a good book. She loves people and has been inspired by amazing youth and leaders in church groups, curious children in her community, and engaging women in social groups...being motivated by each to reach a little higher. She truly believes, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

Mrs. Clemente loves to learn, and one of the best ways to learn is to teach! For 16 years she volunteered and worked in the West Ada School District. For the last six of those years, she worked teaching kindergarten - 5th graders computers while also teaching reading and math groups. She has also been a Spanish interpreter, worked with children with special needs, and privately tutored. She has never met a child she hasn’t loved!

Mrs. Clemente is so excited to continue to explore the world of Computer Science as she begins her third year with the North Star community. She is especially looking forward to learning more about and from her STAR students as they explore the digital world together!

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.

COUNSELING

Danica Holladay

Elem. Counselor/IB Coordinator
dholladay@northstarcharter.org

Danica was born and raised in Spokane, WA. She grew up playing soccer and riding horses. She had a love for school and learning which guided her into the field of education. In 2012 she received a B.S. from Eastern Washington University in Applied Developmental Psychology. She then returned to Spokane and attended Gonzaga University where she received a Masters in School Counseling in 2014.

Since moving to Boise in 2015 life has been full of fun for Danica. In August 2015 she joined the North Star Team. In 2016 she met Trevor and in October 2018 they got engaged. In May 2019 she graduated with her second Masters in Educational Leadership. Then on July 6th, 2019, she married Trevor and became Danica Holladay! Most recently in June 2020 they bought 7 acres and look forward to making this slice of heaven into their forever home!

Entering her 6th year at North Star she will continue her role as the elementary school counselor, as well as the IB coordinator for the juniors and seniors! She loves the opportunity to work with such a range of students!

When she is not at North Star you will find her and Trevor doing almost anything in the outdoors. Some of their favorite things are fishing, hunting, camping, and being with their animals! She is SOOOO excited for this new year with the best school community there is!


Buster Pettit

Secondary Counselor
mpettit@northstarcharter.org

Buster Pettit was born in San Diego, CA. He earned a BA in Political Science from Sonoma State University, located north of San Francisco. There he also earned his Teaching Credential for Social Studies, and a Master's degree in Counseling. He has taught, counseled and coached in California, North Carolina, and Oregon. Mr. Pettit has a passion for helping students to be the very best they can be, and to support families in the educational process.

Mr. Pettit enjoys sports and played college volleyball while getting his undergraduate degree. Until his knees failed him, he was an active doubles outdoor player in California. He has coached women's volleyball at various levels in different states and enjoys the game still.

He has always enjoyed traveling and has spent time in Latin America, Europe, and various places in the United States. Traveling has given him perspective and a new understanding of the freedoms that exist here in this country that many take for granted.

When he is not traveling, he is spending time with his family in the great outdoors. He is married and has two amazing boys age 5 and 7. They love exploring new places, and being active.


Karen Toerne

School Psychologist
ktoerne@northstarcharter.org

Karen carries a Master’s of Education in Counseling and an Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She has 12 years of experience working in the mental health field, ranging from work in the school system as a school psychologist and school counselor, to counseling and group work in a residential treatment center for teenagers and young adults. Karen currently has a private practice providing counseling to children, teens, and adults and she contracts with several charter schools in the area.

When Karen isn’t bouncing between schools or offering therapy in her office, you will find her hanging out with her family, walking her dogs, or practicing yoga. She has lived in Idaho most of her life, bouncing between the southern and northern tips, only to land in the middle of the state in the Fall of 2012. She loves hiking, biking, and anything that gets her mind and body working together in harmony. She is passionate about her work, and is happy to be a part of North Star Charter!

LIBRARY

Carrie Benton

Librarian
cbenton@northstarcharter.org

Growing up, Carrie was fortunate enough to have lived all over the United States and overseas. After graduating from high school in Idaho, she attended Boise State University. With a degree in psychology and a new husband, she decided to make Boise/Eagle her new home.

Carrie was excited to take on the role as North Star’s librarian in 2004. She loved the close-knit community and high achievement focus found at the school. A move to Tokyo, Japan with her family in 2009 necessitated her departure.

She continued her work in the library at the American School in Japan while she lived in Tokyo. The experience was life-changing and rewarding. After returning to Eagle in 2015, she was grateful to assume the role of North Star librarian once again.

Carrie has a daughter in school at The University of Texas and a son at Boise State. When her son graduates, all members of her family will have graduated from Boise State University. Go Broncos!

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 8 and Cecil who will be 3 in January.

Apart from his family and music, AJ's passions include Mountain Biking, Road Biking and any other form of cycling.


Shirley Van Paepeghem

Elementary Choir & Music
svp@northstarcharter.org

Shirley Van Paepeghem first came to the Boise Valley from Coeur d ‘Alene in 1978 where she began working on her BA in music education at BSU. After teaching for one year in the Boise District, she and her husband moved to Bend, Oregon. During this time, Mrs. Van Paepeghem’s teaching experience included Jr. High choral music, K-8 general music and private voice. Since its 1997 inception until 2003, Mrs. Van Paepeghem developed and directed the Youth Choir of Central Oregon’s Debut Choir, which provided choral experience and vocal training to children in grades 3 through 8. Her area of teaching expertise is the young voice through adolescence. Mrs. Van Paepeghem is a Level Two certified Orff Music Instructor. In 1997, she served as consultant for a National Arts Assessment Pilot Program. She has been a guest presenter at both state and national music education conferences and performs regularly as a jazz vocalist. She is currently the Idaho Past-President of the Orff Schulwerk Association for music educators, the Repertoire and Standards chair for the state chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfMe), and she was a Co-Chair for the National Women’s Honor Choir for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA.

After 19 years in Central Oregon, the Van Paepeghem’s and their children, Jake, now 33 and Mallory, now 30 returned to Idaho in the fall of 2003. She completed her Master’s degree through Lesley University in Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum. Since moving back to Idaho she has taught Music/Choir K – 12 at North Star Charter School in Eagle, Idaho. She one of 2 original remaining staff of NSCS since it opened in 2003.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION/FITNESS

Patrick Brown

PE - 7th & 8th
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.

Casey Hawkins

Elementary PE
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 twenty-four 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 fifteenteen 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 twenty years to her best friend, Dan Hawkins, Asst. Fire Chief at Mt. Home AFB. They have three adorable lil’ men (ages 19, 17 1/2 and 16), 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 first year teaching K-5 PE and her 26th year as a teacher. She can’t wait to meet and develop working relationships with her upcoming K-5 students and their families.

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.

SCIENCE

Katie Nielsen

AM Kindergarten/PM Kindergarte
knielsen@northstarcharter.org

Mrs. Katie Nielsen grew up right here in Eagle, Idaho. She spent her early years enjoying the great outdoors and learning to work for desired results. She is married to the love of her life. Kirt is a fantastic Cabinet maker. They have four darling girls: Jayde, Joslyn, Janessa and Jenica. Katie loves playing with her family. Together they love to laugh, camp, work, sing, bake, garden, four-wheel, waterski, and just enjoy each other. One quirky thing about us, we are constantly mixing-up words (not on purpose) by switching letters--its bizarre--we call it our “Puper Sowers.”

Katie loves learning, especially beside curious kindergarteners and aspiring colleagues. She loves teaching and has done so in many capacities. Currently she teaches AM kindergarten and will add PM kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year.

Katie enjoys creativity and seeks to keep learning fresh and bring the “wow”. Katie earned her B.S. and graduated with Honors from BYU. She wrote her honors thesis about Hungarian music philosophy and the implications for American adoption--which translates into weaving music (singing in particular) into education to heighten retention and connect learners. Katie continues to seek growth, even though it’s painful: “Tell your brain YOU CAN!”. She looks forward to this year with your students and will strive to challenge and inspire those within her reach.


Patrice Rex

Elementary Science Grade 4-5
prex@northstarcharter.org

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.

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 26 years and her two kids (ages 20 and 16). 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.


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.




SPECIAL EDUCATION

Catherine Griffin

Special Education Director
cgriffin@northstarcharter.org

Catherine Griffin is returning to North Star Charter as a secondary learning specialist. Ms. Griffin has taught special education in Idaho for more than 15 years and has worked as a director of special education since 2012.

Ms. Griffin received a B.A. in Anthropology, a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and is certified to teach secondary social studies. In 2007, she received a M. Ed. in Special Education after pursuing an interest in twice-exceptional students from Boise State University. She supports inclusion, differentiation, and teaching literacy through content instruction and has endorsements in literacy, gifted and talented facilitation, as well as English language development. Ms. Griffin also graduated from Northwest Nazarene University with an Education Specialist degree in Leadership with a focus on 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”, persevere through difficulty and not give up.

She has two adult children and likes to go hiking, canoeing, work in her garden, and spend time with family. Exploring the natural areas surrounding Boise with her Siberian Husky mix is a favorite pastime. She enjoys visits with family and to spend time by the Pacific coast. She lived in Central America for several years and is looking forward to the opportunity to return in the future to improve her Spanish.

She is excited to continue teaching at North Star to serve students, families, and staff through her commitment to support student learning through beauty, ingenuity, and peace. 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.”

Kendyl Owen

Special Education Teacher
kowen@northstarcharter.org

Kendyl Owen was born in Eugene, OR and moved to the Boise area when she was in the 3rd grade. She graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Shortly after graduating, she returned home to Boise and started working at North Star as a Special Education Paraprofessional. Miss Owen quickly realized her passion was in the education field and returned to school to complete her teaching credentials. She graduated from Boise State University in 2020 with her Master’s in Teaching Special Education. She comes into her first year of teaching with a great amount of experience with children with disabilities. She has a sister who has Autism and serves as her greatest inspiration in life. Miss Owen has also spent time as a developmental therapist, youth development professional, and a long-time nanny.

When she is not at North Star, she enjoys spending quality time with her friends & family, trying new recipes, or hiking the foothills with her 3-year-old golden retriever, Huntley. Miss Owen is so excited to continue her career at North Star seeing that it is the very place where she found her passion for teaching!

SPEECH PATHOLOGY

Kelly Williams

Speech Pathologist
kwilliams@northstarcharter.org

Kelly Williams grew up in Battle Ground, Washington and lived there until moving to Boise in 2005. In her younger years she was very active in sports and enjoyed any sport she could play! She left Battle Ground in 1992 to attend Washington State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences. She moved back to Vancouver, Washington to start working as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant for the Battle Ground School District.

After three years, she decided to pursue her Masters of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Portland State University. Kelly has 15 years of experience working with children in the private and school settings. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys running, hanging out with her family, going to the movies and reading. She enjoys helping students with their speech and language skills and feels blessed to be a part of North Star Charter!

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