From Our Director
August 25, 2022
Please Welcome Our New Teachers!
Third Grade - Erika Larsen
Hello Palouse Prairie Families! My name is Erika Larsen and I am very excited to begin my teaching career this year at Palouse Prairie Charter School. I was born in Montana, but raised in Cody, Wyoming. I come from a whole family of teachers going as far back as one of my great grandmothers, who taught in a small farm schoolhouse in the Big Sky countryside. I will be graduating from UI in December with a BS in Education. During my time at UI, I was a student-athlete and thrower for the Track and Field team. Moscow’s environment has been a change from what I grew up in, but I have loved every minute and opportunity it has given me. When I am not at school, I love to spend time with my family and friends, go hunting or fishing, try new activities, and take my Springer Spaniel dog on runs. I am excited to be able to teach and learn from the wonderful and welcoming staff, students, and families at PPCS!
Fourth Grade - Savanna Kilborn
I am a recent graduate from UI where I pursued teaching certification in K-8 Education and secondary English. During my undergrad, I ventured into additional studies that allowed me to explore English Language Learning, as well as courses specific to teaching neurodivergent learners. In 2019, I was connected to the PPCS team while completing a directed study focused on investigating sociocultural responsive school models and teaching practices in K-12 classrooms. I immediately fell in love with the school, became a substitute, and returned within a year to complete my student teaching internship with the Palouse Prairie Middle School. Last school year I was a Teaching Assistant in the Special Education classroom. I am thrilled to officially join the PPCS team this year as a classroom teacher!
While I am a proud Moscow native, I've found that the Palouse provides me with endless opportunities for exploration and learning. When away from school, I’m spending time with my people and dabbling in all sorts of hobbies—botany, geology, painting, reading, guitar, and so much more! My most favorite pass time is traveling and hiking with my fur-babies! If I’m not found in the water, I’m found in the hills! I couldn’t be more excited to begin my career with such an amazing crew!
Physical Education - Shaleyna Higgins
I am delighted to start my first year teaching at PPCS! I am originally from Bonners Ferry, Idaho and studied at UI for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. During my graduate degree, I had many opportunities teaching physical education throughout the Moscow School District. In my previous position with UI, I was a teacher's assistant for the Exercise Health and Human Sciences College and dance program. For many summers, I was a camp coordinator and led kids through educationally rich adventure programs. I also worked for the Eggan Youth Center in their after-school program and taught at Festival Dance Academy.
My physical education class will be a fun, encouraging, and inclusive environment that makes students feel welcomed. I am passionate about helping students be physically literate and find a love for movement through a variety of physical activities that include interactive learning and team building. This passion brought me to Palouse Prairie Charter as I admired their expeditionary learning and connections made to the community and real world. I have always loved to move and be physically active through my dance training and exploring the outdoors. In my free time, I love to practice yoga, dance, snowboard, hike, camp, swim, rock climb, bike, and spend time with my family. I am very excited to teach physical education and adventure at PPCS!
Middle School Math - Nora Locken
I am originally from a farm family in northeastern South Dakota. My upbringing was filled with values like a strong work ethic, respect of nature, and a love for education. I have always been an avid reader, and I also love to do puzzles and play games. I will bring my passion for learning, exploring, and mathematics to my middle schoolers!
My husband and I moved to Moscow 15 years ago. We have stayed because it’s a wonderful place to raise a family and we have a deep love for the Palouse. It is a joy to be engaged with youth in Moscow. I love their outlook – it is often similar to my own: life is meant to be enjoyed, give back to your community, and relish time with friends and family. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time outdoors, hanging with my family, and reading good books.