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A PreK-9th Grade school in downtown Boise, Idaho. 

Camilla Barnes-Kelley         Jr. High Teacher and Upper School Leader          

Tanya Bottarini                      1-2 Teacher                                                              

Justin Brune                          3-4 Teacher and Lower School Leader                     

Leah Clark                             Performing Arts Teacher                                              

Mallory Clark                        Math Teacher                                                                

Susie Crandlemire               Early Learner Teacher                                       

Melody Dykstra                    1-2 Teacher                                                                

Sharon Feeley                      Math Teacher                                                                 

Dan Fisher                            Jr. High Teacher                                                             

Brandy Gatfield-Brune       Kindergarten Teacher                                      

Taira Guerrero                     Early Learner Teacher                                                

Esther Hamm                      K-6 Spanish Teacher                                                    

Karis Kemp                          K-9 Music Teacher                                                         

Tara Kennedy                      Visual Arts Teacher and 9th Grade Advisor           

Kevin Kramer                      5-6 Teacher and 9th Grade Biology Teacher            

Jude McDougall                 3-4 Teacher                                                              

Miranda Podolsky             Kindergarten Teacher                                              

Robbie Prokop                   5-6 Teacher                                                                     

Matt Schanbacher             Early Learner Teacher                                      

Jennifer Trudell                 Early Learner Teacher                                                    

Brady Webb                        Learning Specialist                                                          

Emily Williams                   7-9 Spanish Teacher and 9th Grade Advisor          

 

Meet Our Faculty

Camilla Barnes-Kelly: Camilla moved to Boise in 2006 and immediately became part of the Foothills community as a teacher and an Early Learner parent. She worked for several years with the 2-3 classroom before moving to Junior High in 2012. She received her M.A. from Regis University in education, with an emphasis on educational leadership. Her undergraduate degree is a B.S. in biology from Cornell University. She spent the first part of her career teaching in the outdoors with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Colorado Outward Bound, before transitioning to the indoor classroom. She enjoys helping students to realize their own strengths, and how they can apply these in her classroom. When not teaching she can be found hanging out with her teenage daughter, Arya, her blue-eyed horse, Chester, her 2 cats, Luna and Stella, or her fluffy dog, Mimi.

Tanya Bottarini: Tanya has been teaching at Foothills since 2005. She has taught grades K-3 and has learned so much from the students, other teachers and parents who make up the Foothills School community. Tanya values the relationships she has made over the years and loves to explore and learn alongside her students. "Having the chance to work with such skilled and creative teachers and students is so amazing. I am lucky to have such a fun and rewarding job." Tanya’s passion other than teaching is being outdoors. Tanya, her son Silas, and their dog Lulu enjoy being adventurous and exploring Idaho and the amazing places it has to offer through camping, hiking, boating and mountain biking.  

Justin Brune: Justin is a farm boy, born and raised in Hazelton, Idaho. His early days were spent exploring his natural environment while learning hard work and dedication working on the family farm. After being inspired to pursue teaching while working as a role model/tutor for elementary school students, Justin headed to Idaho State University in Pocatello. Graduating from ISU with a degree in elementary education, Justin moved to the town of Hemet in Southern California and got a job teaching 3rd grade at Whittier Elementary School (about 1200 K-6 students). Justin moved back to Boise and taught at Good Shepherd School for 10 years before joining Foothills in 2007 after working with Jeff Wilhelm and the National Writing Project. At Foothills Justin has been a school leader serving on many committees including the strategic planning committee as well as working closely with Jo Henderson and the faculty to create the scope and sequence charts. Currently, Justin is the head of the Technology Committee. When Justin isn't teaching, you might find him at the skate park. Justin has been a skateboarder for 20 years and often skates to work. Justin and his wife, Brandy, have two children - Luca and Jax, who both attend Foothills.

Leah Stephens Clark: Leah joined Foothills as the Performing Arts Specialist in the fall of 2012. After a career as a professional dancer, she fell in love with teaching and was the Founding Artistic Director of Balance Dance Company, from 1998-2015. As the Foothills School Performing Arts Specialist, Leah brings twenty-five years of expertise and deeply trenched connections in Boise's performing arts community. She worked with DROP dance collective, Boise Contemporary Theater, The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Theater For Youth and the Boise Art Museum. She has been an adjunct faculty member in the Theater Department at The College of Idaho, teaching and choreographing most of their plays and musicals, as well as adjunct faculty in dance at Boise State University. Leah is passionate about mindfulness in the classroom, as well as Movement-Based Learning, and is excited to engage students through these research-based forms of education. Leah is the proud mother of Rafferty and Matilde.

Mallory Clark: Mallory joined the Foothills teaching team in 1996 as the full time Junior High teacher.  Since then she has worn numerous hats at Foothills including as a teacher of Spanish, math, PE, literacy, science and social studies in grades 1-9.  Mallory studied Sociology and Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College and received an M.ED at Stanford and a M.S. in Exercise and Sports Science from BSU. When not teaching, Mallory can be found partaking in many winter and summer sports with her husband and two girls.

Susie Crandlemire: Susie is an Early Learner teacher and has been working at Foothills since 2014. She has a degree in Elementary Education with a Literacy Endorsement from the University of Idaho and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Early Childhood Education Specialization from Portland State University. Susie worked as a Literacy Specialist in an elementary school in Vancouver, Washington for six years before moving back to Idaho. The courses in Susie’s masters program were inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The highlight of her program was attending a study tour in Reggio Emilia. It was a life-changing experience and one that has greatly impacted her image of the child, the importance of the project approach, and the use of the environment as the third teacher. Susie also teaches Assessment and Technology in Early Childhood Education, which is an online Masters course at Portland State University. When Susie is not teaching she spends her time traveling, golfing, snowboarding, and reading.

Melody Dykstra: Melody, a former Early Learner Teacher, returned to Foothills as a 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher in 2015. Melody worked at Foothills for six years before leaving to travel internationally and then moving to Montana for graduate school. Melody has a degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education from BSU and a Master's degree in Health and Human Development from Montana State University. Melody is married and her two children will also be starting at Foothills. Melody and her family are excited to be at Foothills—and we’re very excited to welcome their entire family to our community!

Dan Fisher: Dan holds a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland College Park. He also has an M.A. in Teaching from Towson University and an M.A. in Eastern Classics from St. John's College in Santa Fe, N.M. A former public school teacher for 11 years, Dan joined Foothills in 2006 to teach English and U.S. History to junior high students. Dan does an amazing job challenging students to read collaboratively in an effort to unlock deep and relevant meaning; his students have tackled such texts as The Brothers Karamazov, Hamlet, 1984, and War and Peace in Socratic seminar. When Dan is not teaching, he enjoys spending time in national parks with his wife, Kristin.

Brandy Gatfield-Brune: Brandy is a former stay-at-home mom who found her way back into the classroom with the help of former Foothills teacher, Michelle Forrester. Brandy went to Idaho State University, but transferred and graduated from Boise State University with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for 5 years she took time off to have a family and be home with her 2 kids, Luca and Jax, who both attend Foothills. Brandy is currently teaching Kindergarten and her husband Justin teaches 3-4 Grade here, so her whole family loads up each morning to go to the same wonderful place for the day!

Taira Guerrero: Taira is a teacher in the Early Learners program and joined the Foothills community in 2017. Prior to coming to Foothills, she worked as a classroom teacher in both preschool and primary age programs at The Children's School of Boise. Her undergraduate work is in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from Boise State University. Taira is also bilingual in Spanish after working in Baja California, Mexico and spends time in the classroom sharing language and cultural studies with the Early Learners. Outside of school, she dedicates her time to journaling, sewing, exploring creative arts experiences, traveling with friends and family, and being a dog mama to her Chihuahua, Paloma.

Esther Hamm: Esther has been teaching at Foothills School since 2016. She brings over a decade of teaching experience to the classroom as the Spanish instructor for Kindergarten through sixth grade. Esther served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala in the late 1990s and later became a Peace Corps Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Bilingual-Bicultural Education in 2005. Esther worked as a bilingual Spanish-English elementary school teacher in the New York City Public School System for six years. Before moving to Boise, Esther worked as an associate teacher in the 4th and 5th grades at Greene Hill School, a small independent progressive school in Brooklyn. She is excited to be part of another progressive school and has two daughters who now attend Foothills. In her free time, Esther enjoys cooking, reading and being in the outdoors with her husband and two young daughters.

Karis Kemp: Karis and her family moved to Boise in 2019. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and is excited to be making music with K-9th graders here at Foothills School for Arts & Sciences. She taught in Colorado’s Jefferson County School District at Montessori Peaks Academy, and in Idaho’s Blaine County at The Big Wood Preschool, Pioneer Montessori, and Sun Valley Community School. Additionally, she ran her own private piano studio and worked on staff at The Sun Valley Summer Symphony in their education department. In her spare time, Karis likes to walk her dog in the foothills, bike around town, make messes in the kitchen, plot her next backpacking trip, and spend time with her husband and kids.

Tara Kennedy: Tara joined Foothills in 2006 to teach art to students in kindergarten through 9th grade. Prior to joining Foothills, Tara was an art educator at the Boise Art Museum, where she taught public programs to all age groups, summer and spring break classes for elementary students, and adult classes. She also worked as an instructor for BAM's Artreach program, bringing art to classrooms outside of Ada County. From 2002-2004 Tara taught ceramics and sculpture in Bellevue, Washington. She is currently serving as the Vice President of the Idaho Art Education Association. Tara grew up in Idaho and graduated from high school in Cascade, Idaho. She enjoys painting and creating all types of art, camping, being in the outdoors, swimming, reading, history, listening to music, science fiction movies, and ice hockey.

Kevin Kramer: Kevin is in his 17th year as a teacher at Foothills and continues to bring both planning and teaching leadership to the Foothills School team thanks to his broad preparation and experience in science, math, and technology. He developed hands-on science and engineering curriculum for students at PCS Edventures, and taught natural and physical sciences and technology to students ages 5-16. At the Mountain Cove High School, Kevin developed and taught Introduction to Technology, which included hands-on physics and computer technology applications, to students ages 15-20. He has also worked as a research technician for the Department of Fish and Game and a lab assistant at the Puget Sound Institute of Pathology. Kevin grew up in Boise and has two sons and a daughter. He enjoys coaching soccer, running, skiing, cooking, and gardening.

Jude McDougall: Jude has been teaching at Foothills since 2008. Prior to joining Foothills, she taught in several Montessori schools in both Idaho and California. Before that, she spent several years traveling the world teaching in Japan, Nepal, India, Guatemala and helped to build a schoolhouse in The Gambia, West Africa. She received her B.A. in Journalism from St. Michael’s College, and a teaching certification in The Berlitz Method from Berlitz International Training Center of Japan, and an AMI credential from Association Montessori International. Before moving to Boise, Jude was the Program Coordinator at The University of Santa Cruz for Childcare Services. She brings a wealth of experience to the third and fourth grades at Foothills and her students love having her as their teacher. When she's not teaching, Jude stays busy pursuing her other passions, which include yoga, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, camping and taking road trips with her husband Mike and daughter Hazel. She also makes time for keeping up with her massage practice when she is not teaching.

Robbie Prokop: Robbie has been teaching at Foothills for 18 years and has primarily taught in the 5th & 6th grade class. With a degree in wildlife ecology/biology, he has a strong science background, including a concentration in raptor biology and loves to collaborate with his team members in creating authentic, field-based, hands-on science studies at Foothills. In addition to his classroom teaching responsibilities, Robbie also serves as the school's math lead and teaches P.E. to the upper school. Robbie's two children both graduated from Foothills and his family has been a cornerstone of the community for almost two decades. In his spare time, Robbie takes any opportunity to adventure in the great wide out-there with his wife, Mary Jo and their two, almost-grown, kids - Addie and Blaise. He loves the world's game and coaches for a local affiliate of the Portland Timbers, enjoys fishing, reading; pretends to garden and be handy; and rides his bike (usually in shorts) to school most days, rain or shine!

Jennifer Trudell: Jennifer is a teacher in the Early Learner preschool class and has a degree in elementary education from Boise State University.  She began working with children and educators while still in high school through a cadet teaching experience funded by the Carnegie Foundation. She studied both art and literature while attending Western Oregon State College and moved back to Boise to complete her undergraduate degree. She began teaching at Foothills School in 1996. After being introduced to the Reggio Emilia approach, she attended The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit and workshop in Fresno, California. Jennifer has presented at the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools Fall Conference, Treasure Valley Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, The National Council of Teachers of English Spring Regional Conference and has participated in the National Teachers Choice Book Awards. Jennifer's interests include reading, sewing, film history, collecting, and snuggling with her two children.

Brady Webb: Brady joined the Foothills community in 2018 as the Learning Specialist, after a 2-year post-doctoral research position at Boise State University. Brady and her family moved to Boise in 2010 when Sage International School opened, and Brady became the 3rd-grade teacher. After several years at Sage, Brady received her Doctorate of Curriculum and Instruction at BSU. Brady received her BA from Middlebury College in Vermont, with a major in French, and a Masters in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. Brady’s two children also came to Foothills in 2018, so school officially became a family affair! When not involved in school, Brady and her family are playing soccer, volleyball, skiing, running, rafting, fishing, and camping in the great outdoors!

Emily Williams: Emily Williams teaches junior high Spanish, integrated arts and social studies. She started working at Foothills in 2008. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership and is certified in Elementary Education K-8 grades. After learning Spanish while living in Chile, she returned to her hometown of Boise in 1998 and has been teaching children of various ages ever since. Prior to teaching at Foothills, she worked as the Executive Director of Boise Elementary Spanish and was a youth service learning coordinator, pre-school teacher and school-age leader at the YMCA. In 2011, Emily was selected by Partners of the Americas, representing the US Department of State, to be a Youth Ambassador Mentor in Ecuador. As an avid lover of educational travel, she has chaperoned and organized Foothills Spring Trips to Italy, Costa Rica, Belize, New York, France, Spain and multiple trips throughout the American West. Emily’s interests include spending time in the sun, watching documentaries, and traveling with her husband and three children, who are all Foothills alumni.