Staff Directory


Principal

Stacey has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Northwest Nazarene University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Boise State University. She comes to Gem Prep with a broad range of experience working with elementary students having taught kindergarten, first, fourth, and fifth grades. A recognized leader in inquiry based instruction, Stacey presented at the International Baccalaureate Conference of America’s last July on inquiry based planning with all stakeholders. Stacey was a Khan Academy mentor during the 2014-2015 school year and a Khan Academy Ambassador for the state of Idaho to promote the LearnStorm initiative in 2015-2016. She has skillfully integrated technology into the classroom inspiring students to learn 21st century learning skills. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis with her friends and husband, being active outdoors, learning new things, and traveling.

Receptionist

Katie is a current student at the College of Western Idaho and scheduled to graduate this upcoming spring 2017 with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She remains well rounded but busy between work, school and family life with her Husband, Dallas of 7 years, son (6) and daughter (3). In her free time she enjoys the beautiful outdoors of Idaho through playing/coaching softball, running, gardening and many other outdoor adventures with her family! Katie has always had a passion in helping others and is excited to be a part of our team at Gem Prep: Nampa, to help the many Gem families in our school.

Operations Manager

Brenda is a recent graduate of the University of Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Operations Management and Human Resource Management. Brenda was very active on her campus with different student organizations and has experience working with various youth through summer programs and internships. She wants to influence students to be the best they can be and encourage them to pursue higher education.

Brenda enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves listening to music, family gatherings, going out to the movies, watching football with her family, and living life to the fullest.

Kindergarten Teacher

Christina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Chico. She has four years experience as an elementary teacher: fourth, first, kindergarten, and transitional kindergarten. She loves to teach the foundations in learning and seeing growth in every child. When not working, she likes to be outside gardening and camping, spending time with her family and dog, reading, and doing crafts.

1st Grade Teacher

Kathy has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwest Nazarene University and a Master’s degree in Teaching from George Fox University. Kathy has 5 years of teaching experience where she taught 2nd grade in Nampa, ID. Through her lifelong love of learning, she found creating a community of care invaluable for her students. Her class is a TEAM and they have fun learning how to work together! Kathy loves spending time with her family, especially her ten amazing grandchildren, cooking, reading, and traveling.

1st Grade Teacher

Kristal earned a bachelor’s then a bilingual (Spanish) teaching credential at California State University, Stanislaus. She has 5 years experience teaching half day reading with first, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth grades. She has taught a full day kindergarten and first grade
combination class for the past three years. She loves to get children excited about reading. She especially loves seeing the “AHA!” moments after a child has been working hard to understand something. When not at school, she loves to explore, especially the outdoors, and learn about different cultures. She also loves cooking, playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her family and dog.

2nd Grade Teacher

Kelsey has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, both from Boise State University. Her love of education prompted her to attend Northwest Nazarene University where she received an endorsement in English as a New Language. Kelsey has 5
years of teaching experience in which she taught ESL Kindergarten and 5th grade in Nampa, ID. Through her experience she has learned the importance of developing relationships with students and parents and strives to teach to the whole child. When home, Kelsey enjoys spending time with her family, playing a variety of sports, reading, and remodeling her 1930’s farm house.

2nd Grade Teacher

Brenda has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Literacy Endorsement from Boise State University. She has taught first and second grades. She is committed to helping each child reach their full potential as a person and a student, while having a positive educational experience. She knew she wanted to be a teacher from a very young age because of the influence of a great educator. She finds great joy in helping her students develop a love for learning. Her enthusiasm is contagious and you will often find her and her students laughing together while they learn. When not in the classroom she enjoys spending time with her husband of 32 years, 6 children, and 7 grandchildren. She enjoys family activities, reading great books, long conversations, and walking on the beach. She looks forward to working with the Gem Prep families and seeing her students succeed.

3rd Grade Teacher

Rebekah has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from California State Fullerton. She has 10 years of teaching experience in the 4th-6th grade. She also has 2 years experience being an Instructional Coach where she learned many new and effective strategies to use in the classroom to strengthen student engagement and achievement. She has experience and motivation to change the way students learn in the 21st century. When she is outside of the classroom, she enjoys being outdoors with her family and participating in her children’s sports. She loves having time to be creative and do DIY projects.

3rd Grade Teacher

Kasi Taylor comes to us with a wealth of experience both in education and technology. Kasi earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education from Boise State University. Over the past 10 years she has been a 3rd grade teacher, an English Language Learner (ELL) summer school teacher, a Boise State University literacy tutor, a computer technology teacher with the West Ada School District, and a substitute in K-6th grade classrooms . Her desire to see children reach their fullest potential drives everything she does and she believes that children learn best in a safe, vibrant, and fun environment. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with family and friends, cooking, traveling and anything outdoors.

4th Grade Teacher

After 14 years as a middle school language arts and social studies teacher and two years of retirement, Janice is excited to join Gem Prep as a 4th grade teacher. She has a BA from Boise State University in teacher education and a Masters of Education from Walden University in Reading and Writing in the Content Areas. Janice loves using technology as a tool for helping engage students and individualize learning. Teaching has always been a passion, whether she was busy raising her five sons or having “Grandma Days” with some of her 14 grandchildren. Her life is busy as she enjoys spending time with her husband of 38 years, two foster daughters, her sons and their families.

4th Grade Teacher

Alexandra has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Idaho and a Master’s Degree in Education (International) with an emphasis in Educational Leadership from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. This is her first year teaching! She student taught in 3rd grade where she practiced integrating technology and progress monitoring while refining her teaching practices and classroom management. While in the United Kingdom, she gained international perspective on educational systems throughout the globe and plans on integrating different cultural units into her teaching. She has also been a substitute teacher in the Bellevue School District (Washington) and the Boise School District. In her
free time, she loves to hike with her husband, Michael, and her puppy, Cheese. She also loves reading and traveling.

5th Grade Teacher

Austin will be joining Gem Prep: Nampa as a Teach for America Corp Member moving from Ohio to serve and teach in Idaho. Recently stepping down from his role as CEO of Impressions public relations firm, a 100+ student-run PR firm serving real-world clients, Austin is excited to take his degree in journalism and a minor in English for Ohio University and apply that knowledge to the classroom. Austin worked extensively with students in various summer programs nationally including as a teaching fellow for Uncommon Schools and Breakthrough Collaborative. Austin is a compassionate, thoughtful teacher, and we are thrilled to welcome Austin to Gem Prep: Nampa’s community and partner with Teach for America in Idaho.

5th Grade Teacher

Monique will be one of our fifth grade teachers this year. Bringing five years of teaching experience from Notus Elementary School and Compass Charter School, Monique is thrilled to work in a model that focuses on personalizing instruction for all students. Monique received her bachelor’s degree from Boise State University in elementary education in 2013 and is in the process of gaining her master’s in language and literacy from Lesley University. Monique has a passion for learning and the ability to challenge all students to be successful in a calm, supportive environment.

SpEd Teacher

Shannon earned a dual Bachelor’s certification in Elementary Education and the Exceptional Child from Boise State University. She has taught and subbed in grades K-5 and the special education resource room. She has a strong belief that all kids can learn and do so through multiple learning styles. In her time outside the classroom she enjoys time with her family including sports, music concerts, and traveling.

Partner Teacher

Nancy has been in the Early Childhood Education field since 2001. She has worked for Community Council of Idaho as a teacher for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children.

Nancy was born in Mexico and grew up in Mountain Home, Idaho. She graduated from High School from Mountain Home High School in the year 2001. She attended Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, OR and obtained an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. She now lives in Nampa, Idaho with her family.

During her spare time she enjoys spending time with her 5-year-old son Yancarlo and her husband Victor. They enjoy going camping, watching movies at home, and going on vacation to visit family in Mexico.

Partner Teacher

Julie Koehnlein has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Corban University. After college she did substitute teaching in all grade levels for a couple years. She then spent several years as a caseworker in the adult mental health field. In this role she did a great deal of life skills training. She gained experience in home educating her own children in their primary years during this time, and it was a great joy teaching them to read. She began working three years ago as a Paraprofessional in her children’s school in Southern Oregon. The first year she worked with a small group of 4th graders on reading and math skills. The following year she was assigned as an aide to a kindergarten child with muscular dystrophy, as well as helping in the general classroom. After moving to Idaho last year, Julie was employed at a local charter school as a Resource Paraprofessional. She gained more experience working with students with varying learning disabilities including Autism and ADHD. Julie has a love for children and teaching as well as a personal love of learning. She enjoys working with children of all ages and abilities.

Besides being a homemaker and working part-time, Julie enjoys nature and getting out to camp and explore with her family in her new home state. She enjoys reading, sewing, bike riding,

Partner Teacher

Sandy graduated from Vallivue High School in 1988. As she was a young girl, she always wanted to do something that would help others in return. She started her own in-home preschool/daycare. She continued the business for 4 years while her boys were tots and enjoyed it. She worked at Heritage Community Charter School as a paraprofessional in Caldwell, Idaho, and found her passion! She loves helping and supporting our children, who will in one day, be our future.

Sandy is married, has two teenage boys, 15 and 17, and one daughter who is 6 years old. She enjoys spending time with her family, attending church, and being active in sports. She loves crafts, traveling, family gatherings, camping, and car shows.

Partner Teacher

Merry Jo has lived in Idaho for 25 years. She has 3 grown sons and three granddaughters that live here in Nampa. She has been an elementary school librarian, worked at Home Federal Bank for 10 years, and was a full-time volunteer at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Bend OR working with needy children and horses. She continues to enjoy activities at 1st Church of the Nazarene, quilting, teaching weaving, driving her Shetland pony and to showing children that school, reading and life is an adventure.

Partner Teacher

Kathy Brown retired in June 2016 from 32 years as a full-time teacher in California. She moved to beautiful Idaho one month later in July. In addition to having a California teaching credential, she is fortunate to have certificates in Montessori education. Montessori believes in following the child, letting them work at the child’s appropriate level, and using multiple ways of helping students reach their full potential. She is very familiar with having students work at different ability levels. Kathy is thrilled to be working semi-retired at Gem Prep that also believes in many of these same ideas.

Kathy loves reading books as well as sharing and hoping to develop that same love of books with students. She has been a successful breeder of Shetland Sheepdogs and can occasionally be found at dog shows either exhibiting or watching.