North Star Charter August Update

Andy Horning Head of School

Here we go!!!

Hello All and Welcome Back…


It’s hard to believe that just next week we will be back to school. We are so excited to get going and have done some great work over the summer to make this year amazing for all our students. There are going to be some new faces in the group, so we wanted to showcase all the fantastic hires we have made to ensure your students continue to have a high level of academic success (See Below).


Our custodians and Mr. Dickelman have been hard at work ensuring the school is up and running on day one. It’s all coming together and we couldn’t be happier with the efforts made across our building and campus. We’ve made upgrades to our wifi, so we should avoid the dreaded spinning circle. We’ve added a new Science lab for the 6th grade school students. We even have a few new sets of chromebooks as we continue to find ways to support our technology needs.


As I am new to North Star, I have tried to bring in some new opportunities for our students. We have added a few new classes, new college credit opportunities, and we’re adding new programs to all levels to support the needs of our students. We have had some questions around Seminary and when that can be offered. We are working with the EHS Seminary program and feel confident that we can allow students to leave during our designated elective time. Please reach out to our new High School Counselor, Maria Chelko for more information. mchelko@northstarcharter.org.


Please check below for those important dates coming up. I am so excited to be at North Star and cannot wait to meet the students and families. Enjoy the last week of summer.


Go Huskies,

AH

North Star welcomes our new teachers:

Allison Johnson, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Johnson grew up in Temecula, California with a huge love for teaching and learning. Her journey began at Azusa Pacific University studying music and after transferring to Grand Canyon University, she began pursuing her passion to become an Elementary School Teacher. After lots of coursework, summers working for the city day camp, and many hours in the classroom, she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education after her graduation in 2019.


Now with credentials in both Arizona and California, three years of teaching experience, and becoming a new Idaho resident, Ms. Johnson is overwhelmed with joy to work with the North Star Charter Team. Kindergarten is her favorite grade and she could not be more excited to see her new students grow and thrive.


Outside of school Ms. Johnson still loves singing, reading, writing, attending church and spending time with family and friends.

Jillian Molina, Elementary Science Teacher (1st-3rd)

Jillian received her Bachelor of Science from California Polytechnic State University in 2014 and went on to get her credential and Master’s in Education at UC Davis from 2014-2016. She worked as a 7th & 8th grade Science teacher for two years and then taught one year as a 4th grade teacher. In 2018, after she had her first daughter, she chose to stay home doing part-time work to spend more time as a mom. She started teaching part-time for Tech Trep Academy in 2020 when she and her family moved to Idaho. She is very excited to be able to work with students in person at NSCS as a science teacher again. Being able to teach science part-time and to have extra time with her two little girls is a dream come true.

Abbie Schwin, Elementary Music Teacher

Abbie Schwin grew up in Kuna, ID. She graduated from Nampa Christian High School and went on to double major in K-12 Music Education and Applied Voice at Northwest Nazarene University. After graduating college in the Fall of 2022, Abbie spent a semester as a long term sub, but this will be her first year teaching in one place! She is very excited to have her own classroom and make deeper connections with students.


In July, Abbie married the love of her life, Ryan. They live in Nampa and spend lots of their time outdoors. In their free time, they go hiking, camping, swimming, skiing, and love to spend time with their friends and family. While she loves to spend time outdoors, Abbie also loves to play guitar and spends lots of time singing and listening to music. Her favorite genre to sing is jazz, and she occasionally has gigs in the Treasure Valley area.


Abbie is very excited to share her love for music with her students at North Star. She cannot wait to get to know all of you!

Sean Browning, 7th & 8th grade Science Teacher

Mr. Browning is from Eugene, Oregon but was raised primarily in Boise and has called it home since 2003. He comes from a family of educators and has been interested in education from a young age. He finds particular interest in the interconnectedness between science and the other disciplines. Mr. Browning attended the University of Idaho where he studied Biology and Secondary Education. His career began in West Ada teaching at Mountain View HS and Meridian Middle School subsequently.


When Mr. Browning is not teaching he can be found spending time with his family, hiking the hills and mountains of the PNW, staying active, watching movies, playing board games with friends, and traveling the world. His other interests and accomplishments include: the current reigning Mountain View Staff bowling league champ, board game enthusiast, former child (home) movie star, finding the best biscuits and gravy, and maintaining a healthy body and mind. He is excited to begin his next chapter at North Star and meet his new students and community.

Becky Severns, Middle School Social Studies and Science Teacher

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.

Jonni Williams, 8th Grade English Teacher

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 first 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.

Aspen Holland, Middle School Counselor

Aspen joined the North Star family as the secondary school secretary in 2019. During the past two years, she has been working on her graduate degree in school counseling and is beyond excited to move from her secretary role, into a counseling role serving our amazing 6th-8th grade students and their families, this upcoming school year! She loved North Star from the moment she walked in and looks forward to deepening relationships within the community here. It truly is a special place!


Aspen and her husband Alex have three amazing kiddoes. Kellan-13, Kai-9, and Indie-5. They stay plenty busy with sports and activities throughout the school year, and spend summers discovering new rivers, creeks, and lakes to camp at. They also have four (a full house!) furry family members that they all love spending time together with, too.

Christine Baron, Secondary Business Innovation Teacher

Christine Baron joins the North Star Charter family having been a high school educator for over 17 years in Vermont. She started her career as a high school English teacher in 1989. She spent several years in social services as a case manager before returning to the classroom with a master’s degree in special education. Hired out of her internship at South Burlington High School (Vermont) she ran the supported study program. A pattern of student disengagement in an educational landscape that, despite technological and cultural advancements, hadn’t significantly changed since its founding drew her to become an advisor in Big Picture. Big Picture emphasizes real world learning, learning through internships, and empowers students to integrate content learning into self designed projects. In her role, Christine supported seniors in completing a required capstone project. According to Christine: “Students’ most significant academic and personal growth came from the internships and major projects. It was incredibly rewarding to see students discover their personal agency- their power to affect change!” In an order to bring these opportunities to a wider range of students, she was asked to step into the role of Career Development Coordinator for South Burlington High School. There she developed and taught an internship course that required each student to log 40 hours of field experience in local businesses. Additionally she ran a community service club, vetted and managed students community service hours, and advised a student team in producing an annual Job and Career Fair. The fair regularly had upwards of 70 participating companies interfacing with the entire student body.


Christine is excited to bring her networking, project management, coaching, and professional skills to the students at North Star as the Venture Capstone Coordinator. She moved to Idaho last year from Vermont, and is looking to build a network of collaborators. If you have a business, or know of someone who does, she would love to connect with you. Please take a moment to fill out this very short Google form.


Christine moved to Idaho to be closer to her daughter and family- including a first grandchild! She is enjoying everything living in the West has to offer- hiking, river floats, camping, biking and traveling around another side of the country. In her free time she practices Yoga and is a certified Zumba instructor.

Alyssa Broadworth, 9th & 10th grade English, Speech and Yearbook

Alyssa attributes her love of cold weather and distaste for the heat to her early life in Southern California. She was born and raised in Apple Valley, California, and genuinely enjoyed her time there. It was with her amazing family that she honed her skills in movie quoting, Wii tennis, and science experiments. Her parents’ emphasis on striving and competing bred a deep love for learning and school, for which Alyssa is very thankful for. From there, she attended The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, and graduated with a Bachelors in English with an emphasis in Teacher Education. In college, Alyssa was blessed with amazing professors and friends who poured into her time there, including her three months abroad in Israel, which was a rich experience she will cherish always.


After months in the friend zone, Alyssa’s now husband, Johnny, finally flew out from Colorado to see her and initiate the dating process. Since Johnny made the first official move, it was only fair that once they got married, Alyssa move to Johnny’s home state to begin their life together. Other than a Costco membership, their first responsible purchase as a married couple was to get a dog. The Broadworths love their Bernese Mountain Dog named Sherlock, who they hope paves the way for a second dog that they plan to name ‘Watson’. Alyssa began her first year of teaching in Colorado at a public charter school named Twin Peaks Classical Academy, where she experienced the joys of teaching in a supportive and academically rich environment, setting the framework for her ever-increasing love of teaching. Her time in Colorado was sweet, but at the beginning of 2022, a job opportunity for her husband at a church in Idaho called Johnny and Alyssa to the lovely state they now call home.


Alyssa is a Star Wars and Marvel enthusiast, and will gladly strike up a conversation about either of those topics. She is a huge fan of football, avidly supporting the Oregon Ducks and the Tennessee Titans, neither of which have ever won a championship, but both of which she will defend till the end. Paddleboarding, hiking, soccer, and spikeball are outdoor hobbies that Alyssa enjoys. She’s a firm believer in competition, which can result in some heated game nights with her family and friends, but always a fun time as well.


Alyssa has loved her journey through life so far, and is confident that God will continue to orchestrate it in exciting, new, and challenging ways. She is looking forward to joining the North Star Charter team this coming year, getting to impact students and partaking in the amazing work being done in the realm of education!

Maria Chelko, High School Counselor and College and Career

Maria Chelko’s background extends from social work and event planning to middle and high school counseling. She attended UC Santa Barbara and earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Azusa Pacific University for her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy), and CSU San Bernardino for her Pupil Personnel Services credential.


Maria spent five years as a middle school counselor and seventeen years as a high school counselor in Southern California. She enjoys connecting with high school students and helping them discover their potential and realize their goals both during and after high school. She values building relationships, creating safe spaces, and having fun.


When it comes to post-secondary options, keeping up-to-date is key. Maria has worked with numerous college representatives from different types of schools in order to get current information on what their campuses offer. She enjoys traveling all over the nation to visit and get to know college campuses first-hand. Additionally, Maria has spent many years as a first-year application reader for UCLA, obtaining valuable insight into the college admissions process.


The 22-23 school year is Maria’s first year at North Star, and she is looking forward to getting to know the North Star community. Maria is married to her husband, John, and has three dogs who keep her active.

Danny Herdegen, Secondary Economics, Personal Finance and Psychology Teacher

Danny Herdegen (“heard-again”) was born in California (don’t hate me just yet), but at age 4 and ever since has been in the Treasure Valley. He graduated from Boise State with a BA in economics. He is a die-hard Bronco fan!


Danny graduated from Centennial High School and while in college coached for 4 years at Hillside Junior High (cross country, basketball, and track). This truly began his calling to be an educator. He returned to Boise State and received a Masters of Education. His first teaching job was at his alma mater where he focused on teaching AP economics and regular economics, was the head cross country coach, and the assistant track coach. Eighteen years later, he made the jump to teach at a school with a focus on business and economics – North Star Charter School!


At North Star, he will teach economics, personal finance, and psychology. Danny is the head cross country coach and will be coaching track. He has been married to Clemencia for 18 years and has two children, Kylie (a North Star freshmen) and Troy who is 11 years old. He enjoys camping, swimming, disc golf, basketball, running, napping, stand-up comedy, and running (yeah – I put that in there twice!). He is very excited to be a part of the North Star community!


The fact that an idea sounds plausible, and is consistent with the prevailing social vision, does not exempt it from the test of empirical evidence

-Thomas Sowell

Tyler Hoaglun, Athletic Director and History Teacher

Tyler was born and raised in Meridian. He attended college in Illinois and received his degree in Exercise Science. After graduating he got married and moved to Missouri for a few years while his wife attended physical therapy school. Tyler continued his education by completing his Masters in Education through Concordia University and earned his Education Specialist degree at NNU. Tyler and his wife, Jennifer, have twin daughters (Henley and Kinsley) and a son (Nolan). Besides spending time with family, Tyler loves playing sports and being outdoors. Tyler is entering his 7th year of education and is excited to teach at North Star and build up their athletic program.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Secondary Main Office Hours - August 8 -24, 8:00am-3:00pm

Elementary Main Office Hours - Aug 15-19 10:00am-2:00pm & Aug 22-24 9:00am-3:30pm


K-5 Meet and Greet - Tuesday, Aug 23, 4:30-5:30pm


K-5 Back to School Night - Thursday, Sept 8, 5:30-7:00pm


6-12 Registration - Tuesday, Aug 23, 1:30-4:30pm


FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL - Thursday, Aug 25, 7:45am (grades 6-12) and 9:15am (grades K-5)