Mrs. Kim Mikolajczyk – Principal
Kim Mikolajczyk, principal of McDonald school loves the students, families and staff she works with each day. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Idaho, her Master’s Degree from Eastern Washington University and her Education Specialist degree from University of Idaho. After serving as the school counselor at McDonald for 10 years, Kim now leads our school. She brings a wealth of knowledge about the children, their families as well as working closely with staff and programs within the school and community. Her positive and proactive approach along with getting to know and enjoying each student helps make McDonald Elementary a fantastic place to be!
Kim grew up in Vancouver, Washington, in her large family of seven children. She came to Moscow to attend the University while on a Track scholarship and has never left! She enjoys exploring new places, exciting foods and playing on the St. Joe river in the summer with her husband and two children while out of cell phone range of anyone else.
Miss Jillian McGough – Kindergarten
Miss Jillian McGough was born and raised in Moscow, ID where she attended McDonald Elementary from Kindergarten through 6th grade. Once a duck, always a duck! She received her Bachelor’s degree with a Blended Certificate in Early Childhood Development and Education from the University of Idaho in 2016.
Jillian enjoys hiking, camping, surrounding herself with friends & family, reading, cheering on the Green Bay Packers and scrapbooking. She has a Standard Poodle named Mr. Francis and enjoys exploring the PNW together.
Miss McGough enjoys getting to know each student and his or her families. In Kindergarten, the students are like sponges. It is exciting to see all the social and academic development that happens throughout the year.
Mrs. Heidi Palmer – Kindergarten
Heidi Palmer hails from The Dalles, Oregon and earned a degree in K-8 education and early childhood education from Western Oregon University in 1999. In 2009 she graduated from University of Idaho with a Master’s degree in Special Education.
In the fourth grade, Mrs. Palmer visited her aunt in San Francisco. While there she toured her aunt’s work place, which was a training center for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Over the next several years she raised four guide dogs. It was an awesome experience!
For Mrs. Palmer, being a teacher is a very fulfilling career. She loves watching the children grow socially, as well as academically throughout the course of the year and for years to come. She loves the enthusiasm for learning that Kindergarten children demonstrate each and every day. Check out Kindergarten’s website: http://www.mcdonaldelementarykindergarten.weebly.com
Mrs. Emma Riely – Kindergarten
Emma Riely teaches Kindergarten at McDonald Elementary. She earned double Bachelor’s Degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education at Central Washington University.
When she is not teaching, Mrs. Riely absolutely loves organizing other people’s houses. Every time she goes back home for the holidays she helps her mom organize an entire room and take tons of her stuff to the thrift store (she has a lot of stuff!) Her and her husband love to run and always do an organized run on Thanksgiving.
Mrs. Riely enjoys spending time with kindergarteners because they are hilarious and adorable! Check out Kindergarten’s website: http://www.mcdonaldelementarykindergarten.weebly.com
Mrs. Kristine Fitze – 1st Grade
Kristine Fitze earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education at University of Idaho. Following graduation she achieved her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Fitze has taught at McDonald Elementary since 2001.
She loves the outdoors such as camping, fishing, boating, hiking, hunting and walking her 2 Yorkshire Terriers. She also loves baking fruit pies, reading and scrapbooking. She currently is working on writing children’s books and is hoping to get published at some point. Her sister, who teaches art in The Dalles, Oregon does the illustrations.
Mrs. Fitze loves making a difference in a child’s life in some small way. It is always good when she is teaching and a student says or does something that teaches her something too!
Mrs. Brenda Iverson – 1st Grade
Brenda Iverson was born and raised in Moscow, where she attended elementary, middle school and graduated from Moscow High School. She went on to attend the University of Idaho and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. In 2003, she completed her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Mrs. Iverson and her husband, Ken, have two grown children; Emily and Kirk. Mrs. Iverson and her husband live on a farm outside of Moscow where they grow lentils, winter and spring wheat, barley and garbanzo beans. Her hobbies include; crafts, boating, traveling, watching sports and spending time with her family and friends.
Mrs. Iverson enjoys being in the classroom and getting to know each child. She loves the excitement and enthusiasm students bring each day. She truly enjoys her career; “Teaching is a fun and rewarding job!”
Mrs. Katy Laun – 1st Grade
Katy Laun was born in North Dakota and lived many places, including Texas and Colorado. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work Colorado State University. In addition, she earned her Master’s Degree in teaching from East Carolina University.
Mrs. Laun enjoys cooking, exercising, skiing, moves and coffee! She also loves to travel and experience new places with her husband.
When asked what she loves most about teaching, Katy said she loves getting to know the students and families. It is an honor and joy to be a part of each student’s educational journey.
Mr. Lance Hamma – 2nd Grade
Lance Hamma teaches 2nd grade at McDonald Elementary. He was born in Montana and achieved his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Physical Education from the University of Idaho. In addition, he earned his Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Idaho.
Mr. Hamma loves swimming, kayaking, rafting, hiking and chasing after his son. He loves sports especially the Green Bay Packers, of whom he boasts that he is part owner. Ask to see his Green Bay certificate if you don’t believe it! Oh, Mr. Hamma LOVES brownies.
He loves working with children. Mr. Hamma states “they are funnier, more forgiving, energetic and capable than we can imagine.” Check out the second grade website http://grade2quacks.weebly.com/
Mrs. Jana Horne – 2nd Grade
Jana Horne was born and raised in Texas. She received her Bachelor’s degree in science from Texas A & M University – WHOOP! She earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho.
Mrs. Horne loves the outdoors and spending time with family and friends. When time allows, she enjoys gardening and knitting. When she was younger she enjoyed playing sports. Basketball is her favorite sport.
Jana has one child, Connor and a lovable Golden Retriever named Dusty. Mrs. Horne has rafted the Canning River in Alaska north of the Brooks Range and rafted the Middle Fork of the Salmon with a group of friends.
Mrs. Horne stated “I love the challenge of making school fun and successful for every child.” Check out the second grade website http://grade2quacks.weebly.com/
Mrs. Emily Spellman – 2nd Grade
Emily Spellman teaches 2nd Grade at McDonald Elementary. She was raised in a town outside of Philadelphia and moved to Moscow at the age of ten. She graduated from Moscow High School and went abroad to Nepal for her first semester in college. She learned lifelong lessons in Nepal and it was there that she decided to become a teacher after teaching English songs to kids in the villages. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a Master’s degree in Education along with a literacy and gifted & talented endorsement.
Other than her love for teaching, Mrs. Spellman loves to run, hike, backpack, travel and volunteer for the Humane Society of the Palouse. She has volunteered there for 20 years and been on the Board of Directors for the shelter for over ten years.
Emily enjoys spending time with her family and is married and has two young children, Maya and Reid. She is proud to admit that she is a McDonald Duck alumnus along with her husband. She stated that once her youngest child enters school her whole family will be Ducks, “once a duck, always a duck!”
Mrs. Spellman loves getting to know the students. She likes the opportunity to support them in their learning career and creating a safe and inviting environment for them to grow.
Mrs. Pepper Abbott – 3rd Grade
Pepper Abbott teaches 3rd grade at McDonald Elementary this year. She achieved her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Idaho in Elementary and Special Education.
Mrs. Abbott loves being outdoors! She enjoys hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, four wheeling, soccer, rock climbing, snowboarding and camping. If after all of this she has any spare time, she loves to quilt and knit, but top on her list is spending time with her husband, children and dog.
Some interesting facts that you may not know about Mrs. Abbott is that she spent four summers in Naknek, Alaska working in the roe room of a fish processing plant. She also fought wild fires for seven summers.
Mrs. Abbott loves knowing that she makes a difference in each and every student that she teaches.
Read more about what is happening in Mrs. Abbott’s 3rd grade class at http://abbott3.weebly.com
Mrs. Ashley Payton – 3rd Grade
Ashley Payton currently teaches 3rd grade at McDonald Elementary. She was born and raised in Post Falls, ID and attended University of Idaho where she achieved a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance along with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Concordia University.
After marrying her high school sweetheart in 2014, they went on an amazing honeymoon to Maui, Hawaii where they biked down the world’s largest dormant volcano at 10,000 feet. The ride was 26 miles long, all downhill with an amazing view of the entire island.
Mrs. Payton loves that teaching gives her a direct impact on the future. School was a very positive experience for her as a learner and she strives to make that experience happen for more and more learners today. She loves that as a teacher, and admits that she is a lifelong learner and is constantly changing and perfecting her craft to make it better and better for her students. Check out Mrs. Payton’s classroom website at http://mrspaytonsclassroom.weebly.com/
Mrs. Krysta Swanger – 3rd Grade
Krysta Swanger grew up in Cheney, Washington. She achieved her degree in Elementary Education at the University of Idaho (GO VANDALS!) in 2010. She did her student teaching in kindergarten and 2nd grade but after working a few years in kindergarten, she decided to become a substitute throughout Moscow School District. She fell in LOVE with McDonald Elementary and began teaching 3rd grade here in 2014. To see more about Mrs. Swanger’s class, go to her website at http://www.mrsswanger.com
Mrs. Swanger and her husband, Scott love to spend time with their cat Stiles. Both of their families live nearby so they also enjoy spending time with them. They enjoy camping and going to concerts.
Not only does Mrs. Swanger love teaching her students, but she is constantly learning new things from her students as well.
Mr. Wes Bascom – 4th Grade
Wes Bascom teaches 4th grade at McDonald Elementary. He grew up in Eastern Oregon and achieved his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Washington State University and his teaching certificate at University of Idaho.
Among Mr. Bascom’s many hobbies, he enjoys drumming/music, outdoors backpacking and camping. He has lived and taught in three Northwest states, Costa Rico and Mexico.
Mr. Bascom enjoys watching the lights turn on when a student interests or understanding “clicks”.
Mrs. Wendy Thompson – 4th Grade
Wendy Thompson was born in Tucson and moved here when she was three years old. She has been teaching at McDonald Elementary since 1999. She graduated from Moscow High School (Go Bears!) and went to the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!) where she earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Master’s of Education degree.
Her passions include anything related to friends, family and sports. She and her family are a huge baseball family who takes their children everywhere due to sporting activities. Between baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and dance, she stays very busy. In case you didn’t notice, Mrs. Thompson is a big fan of the UI Vandals, Seattle Mariners/Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Boston Red Sox.
She loves everything about teaching and it is the one thing that she can do to make a difference in a child’s life. She enjoys seeing the “lightbulb” go on when students start to “get it”. It keeps her busy and on the go, but she values every minute of it. McDonald School is such a great place to be. It truly is “home away from home”.
Ryan Walquist – 4th Grade
Ryan Walquist grew up in Eden Prairie, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. In 2000, he graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. He received his Master of Arts in Teaching at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. He also attended Champlain College in Burlington, VT and the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
When Mr. Walquist isn’t teaching he enjoys hiking and camping with his family, designing and building furniture and playing hockey. He states that he has always loved a good adventure. In his teens he rode his mountain bike 500 miles from Boulder to Durango, CO with two friends. In his 20’s he toured through half the countries in South America. In his 30’s he got married and started a family. Now in his 40’s he is moving to Idaho and teaching at McDonald!
When asked what he loves most about teaching, Mr. Walquist states that in the classroom, everyone has the opportunity to be both a teacher and a student and he loves the interesting and inspiring things students teach him. Every day is an adventure!
Mrs. Lee Berg – 5th Grade
Lee Berg teaches 5th grade at McDonald Elementary.
She has lived in Moscow almost all of her life. Her dad served in the army and moved here when she was very young. Her parents believed that Moscow was the perfect place to raise their family. The University of Idaho provided a wonderful opportunity for her mom to become a teacher and fulfill her dreams. At the age of six, Mrs. Berg knew that she wanted to become a teacher, just like mom. There has never been a question about her path in life.
When she has spare time, she enjoys working outside in her yard or taking a walk. Her three dogs keep her very busy. Mrs. Berg has a Boston Terrier and two Newfoundlands. Her three children are grown but she and her husband always find time to visit them as often as possible.
Mrs. Berg looks forward to each new student arriving at McDonald Elementary. It is such an honor for her to have the opportunity to work with them and teach them new things. She states, “It is also very hard to say goodbye when our school year ends.”
Miss Heidi Broenneke – 5th Grade
Miss Heidi Broenneke was born and raised in Moscow. She received her BS in Elementary Education at the University of Idaho.
She enjoys hiking, paddle boating, going to concerts and singing. She is a Seattle Mariner enthusiast and has been chosen as one of Idaho’s Ultimate Northwest fans the past five years! She has a cat, Felix (namesake of Mariner Felix Hernandez) and Shishka.
What Miss Broenneke loves most about teaching is spending time with her students. She is the best version of herself when with them. Teaching provides her the opportunity to foster relationships that have a lasting impact.
Mrs. Staci Erickson – 5th Grade
Staci Erickson comes to McDonald Elementary from Yuma, Colorado. She moved to Moscow in 2015 after graduating from Chadron State College in Chadron, NE with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.
Her passion is very simple, teaching! She loves working with kids and seeing them progress in their education. She reads a variety of books and loves to write poetry.
Mrs. Erickson made a huge change to her life when she moved to Idaho in 2015. She decided to follow her family to Moscow to be closer to her oldest sister and since the move it has been wonderful living here. She enjoys exploring new towns and places and seeing the beautiful scenery. She is excited to claim this state as her home.
The thing that she loves most about teaching is seeing the students grow and learn. It is gratifying to see the students take the information that has been given them and have them apply it in their lives and throughout their education careers. She enjoys making those connections with students that allows for the fun, learning environment.
Mr. Aaron Schiffelbein – Counselor
Aaron Schiffelbein was born in California but grew up in western Washington in Kent, a suburb of Seattle. He achieved his BA in Communication from Washington State University followed by MA in School Counseling from the University of Idaho.
Mr. Schiffelbein enjoys collecting and listening to vinyl records along with camping and being outdoors. One of his favorite things is going to concerts. He has seen a few of his favorite bands 15+ times in concert (and counting).
He loves the joy and energy students bring to school with them each day. One of his favorite things about the work he does is seeing students make new connections and learn more about what makes them uniquely who they are.
Ms. Stephanie Sant – Movement
Stephanie Sant teaches Movement at McDonald Elementary. Movement is a non-competitive creative dance class where students explore, create, respond to and perform movement and dance works. Ms. Sant received her Associate of Arts degree from Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. Upon completion of her Associate’s degree, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music and in 2005, a Master’s degree in Education, both from the University of Idaho.
Ms. Sant loves to sing for community events and occasionally sings the National Anthem at sporting events. She participates in the Palouse Choral Society choirs. In addition to her work at McDonald Elementary, she teaches Choir, Jazz Choir and Opera group at Moscow High School.
Among some of Ms. Sant’s favorite things about teaching is interacting with students, watching them learn and develop from year to year.
Ms. Maggie Tappana – Movement/Enrichment
Maggie Tappana was born in Sandy, OR. She earned a BA in Theatre Arts at Eastern Oregon University and a MFA in Theatre Arts at University of Idaho. Her passions include Theatre, Arts Education & Integration, Cooking and Photography.
Maggie is a theatre artist, member of Screen Actors Guild and an advocate for arts education and integration. She spends her free time adventuring with her family. Her great accomplishment is her two-year-old son, Benjamin.
Watching students as they make personal connections to new ideas is one of Ms. Tappana’s favorite things about teaching.
Mrs. Lisa Carscallen – P.E.
Lisa Carscallen was born and raised in Moscow and graduated from Moscow High School in 1989. #GoBears She graduated from University of Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in Health Education.
Mrs. Carscallen’s passion and hobbies are currently her kids who are both in Moscow High School. Both children are “3” sport athletes so this keeps her and her husband constantly on the go supporting them in their athletic and academic achievements. They also like to camp in the summers and travel to visit family. She planted a garden for the first time this past summer and now considers it her “new” hobby. She is active in the Moscow School District where she is on the board of the Moscow Bear Boosters.
Mrs. Carscallen has coached high school volleyball, basketball and softball and while coaching the Moscow High School girl’s basketball team they finished 3rd in 2004, 2nd in 2007 and she was named IEL coach of the year in 2004. In addition she was named Idaho Elementary Physical Education teacher of the year in 2013 and has served on the executive board of SHAPE-Idaho.
For Mrs. Carscallen, the best part of teaching is seeing the smiles on student’s faces when they learn a new skill or concept. You can see how proud they are in their accomplishments. She loves hearing stories from parents who tell how excited their children are to talk about things they have learned in P.E. She knows it is her job to help children excel and bring their knowledge home to share with their families. Physical Education is a lifelong education, we all need healthy bodies and minds for a lifetime. Mrs. Carscallen feels that she is so lucky to get to be the one who can start children off on a path to a healthy lifestyle!
Read more about what is happening in P.E. at: http://duckspe.wordpress.com or scan the code to go directly to Mrs. Carscallen’s blog!
Mrs. Kathy Stefani – Music
Kathy Stefani, a Moscow native, has taught elementary and secondary music for many years. She joined McDonald Elementary in 2016.
She plays numerous instruments and is an Orff Level I specialist. Kathy currently serves as President-Elect for the Idaho Music Educators Association. Mrs. Stefani is the recipient of numerous grants and she and her programs have been recognized by the Grammy Foundation. The love of music came late to Mrs. Stefani and her hope is to instill that love in her students early on.
Mrs. Geri Ray – Special Education
Geri Ray grew up in Bellingham, Washington and earned her Bachelor’s degree and teaching certification at Western Washington University. She has her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and continues growing professionally by earning from Portland State University and University of Idaho.
In her spare time, Mrs. Ray loves taking pictures of her family along with gardening, ceramic painting and making jewelry. She finds mowing the lawn to be one of those crazy things that help relieve stress.
For Mrs. Ray, teaching is never a boring moment and she hopes her work with students will help people remember her. They will!!
Mrs. Becky Adderson – Special Education
Rebecca Adderson is new to McDonald Elementary in the Special Education department. She grew up among the wheat fields and sports activities of a small community in eastern Washington. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education at Lewis-Clark State College and is certified in both Elementary Education and Special Education.
When she is not teaching, you may find Mrs. Adderson curled up on the couch reading a good book! She loves to read.
She finds working with students with special needs a passion that she is called to do and it brings her fulfillment. When asked what she loves most about teaching, she responded “the students!” They are what drive her to work her hardest and do her best every day. “If they can, then I can too!” is her motto.
Ms. Shahna Paul – School Psychologist
Shahna Paul is the newest member of McDonald Elementary coming onboard as the School Psychologist. Shahna grew up in Troy and graduated from there in 1986. Ms. Paul has lived in Greenwich, CT, New York, NY, Liberty, NY and Los Lunas, NM before returning to her home State. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Services, Ed. S in School Psychology all at the University of Idaho. In addition, she achieved another Ed. S in building administration at NNU.
When Ms. Paul was asked what her passions are, she stated “I love, love, love the fall, football and pumpkin spice lattes”. She also enjoys fishing, traveling and camping. She learned how to paddle board this summer.
Ms. Paul loves that education is something that no one can take away. Knowledge and academia is all yours.
Mrs. Patty Pancheri – Reading Intervention
Patty Pancheri has been teaching since 1995 at McDonald Elementary where she works in the Gifted/Talented department and as a Reading Specialist. She achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction emphasis on math instruction with a Gifted and Talented Endorsement from the University of Idaho.
She has many interests and hobbies, including spending time with her family, reading, gardening and hanging at Priest Lake with family.
The best part of the job for Mrs. Pancheri is meeting and working with students from all grade levels. She loves the energy and enthusiasm they bring to our learning communities.
Mrs. Karen Tripepi – GT
Karen Tripepi was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a B.S. Horticulture degree from Penn State, a B.S. Elementary Education from University of Idaho and a M. ED from University of Idaho.
She has been at McDonald Elementary since 2000, as a classroom teacher in fourth and sixth grade and a reading specialist since 2013. She loves seeing kids get excited about reading and talking to them about the books they are reading.
Outside of school, Mrs. Tripepi enjoys reading, traveling to new places and spending time with her family, especially her two little granddaughters.
Mrs. Janet Mundell – Speech Language Pathologist
Janet Mundell grew up in Glen Burnie, Maryland and has worked for the Moscow School District for five years. She has held positions as Speech Language Pathologist and Special Education Director. She graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Washington State University.
When not teaching, she enjoys music, cooking, reading, gardening, crafting and doing “do-it-yourself” home improvement projects. Mrs. Mundell has two children and five grandchildren.
She loves working with children and it shows in her everyday attitude.
Mrs. Faye Nagler – MSD District Elementary Librarian
Mrs. Nagler was born and raised in Canada and moved to the USA in 1996. She has a Masters in Science, Certification in K-8 Elementary Education from the University of Idaho and an Endorsement in Library Sciences and Secondary Earth Science. She serves as the District Elementary Librarian, responsible for all four elementary school libraries including the expansive McDonald Library.
Mrs. Nagler is passionate about encouraging literacy in young readers and providing students and staff with the tools and resources to become effective users of information and lifelong lovers of reading. In the afternoons she also teaches STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) to First and Second Graders at West Park Elementary.
When not balancing books or teaching robotics she loves doing anything near the water, volunteering in the community, reading (of course), traveling as much as possible, worrying about her two adult daughters and trying to manage her two crazy dogs.
– Moscow School District Developmental Preschool
Mrs. Amy Lichte – Moscow School District Developmental Preschool
Amy Lichte was raised in Moscow, ID and graduated from Moscow High School. After high school she pursued a degree in Early Childhood Development and Education from the University of Idaho.
Amy enjoys creating things when she has time at home and making things for other people as gifts. She loves spending her spare time with her daughter and husband. Since graduating, she spent a couple years in Western Washington where she worked with a young child with disabilities while her husband was in the Navy. In 2016, Amy and her husband returned to Moscow to be closer to family and for family to spend more time with their young daughter.
Mrs. Lichte enjoys teaching and the daily challenges that arise. They keep her on her toes. She is constantly learning new things and strategies on how to work with different students. She loves spending her days with children and they always surprise her with things that they pick up on and share with her.
Mrs. Lindsey Wagner – Moscow School District Developmental Preschool Speech Language Pathologist
Lindsey Wagner is the Speech Language Pathologist in the Developmental Preschool. She received a Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Idaho State University in 2011.
She loves running, hiking, camping and reading. She and her husband have been married three years and have traveled to Panama. They just bought their first house and have a sweet 15 years old kitty.
Mrs. Wagner loves knowing that her interventions are helping a child communicate and that those skills will help them their whole life…is the very reason she does what she does.
Mrs. Rachel Lambert – Preschool Assistant
Rachel Lambert was born into a military family and lived all over including twelve years in Europe. She has been in Moscow for 20+ years and calls this lovely town home.
Mrs. Lambert has 6+ years’ experience working in early education, mostly with preschool, ages two to five and has attended many hours of training including special education.
She is a mom of three very active and busy children. Her hobbies include watching them in all of their many sports. When she gets time to herself, she loves to read. The last couple of years she has been learning how to garden and enjoy the many berries & fruits that she has been learning to grow on her own. Her children love to help her come up with new ways to cook their home grown vegetables.
Rachel has been learning American Sign Language and has loved being able to use this form of communication not only in the classroom, but at home with her own children. She is teaching her five-year-old ASL so he may be able to communicate with the deaf community.
Mrs. Lambert loves watching the excitement of young children learning something new and reaching goals. She enjoys supporting them and making a difference in some small way as she learns from them as well.
Mrs. Karen Bizak-Marr – Interpreter
Karen Bizak-Marr was born and raised in Tacoma, WA with 5 brothers on four and a half acres…lots of space to roam and enjoy backyard exploring!
Mrs. Bizak-Marr has a BA in Recreation & Park Management (Western Washington University), BS in Wildlife Resources (University of Idaho) and PostBac Teacher Certification K-8 (Lewis-Clark State College).
She enjoys traveling, reading (mysteries, fantasy, science fiction), arts & crafts (painting, jewelry, etc.), teaching and learning about science and the environment and visiting any kind of museum.
Karen worked 11 years for the National Park Service before meeting her husband and settling down in Idaho. During her first job at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, she enjoyed learning how to go caving. She has also climbed to the top of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Her two sons were born deaf and she has become knowledgeable about deafness and sign language. She believes in supporting differently abled students and their parents to the best of her ability.
She loves working with the staff and students at McDonald Elementary. There is a wonderful spirit of collaboration to try to do the best for each and every student. It’s a very positive environment.
Mrs. Stephanie Bontrager – Building Assistant & Playground Supervisor
Stephanie Bontrager was born and raised in Spokane, WA. She earned a Business Management degree at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. She moved to Moscow in 2011 with her husband Scott, three boys and a yellow lab, Bailey.
Mrs. Bontrager spends a lot of her time running her three sons back and forth to sporting events and other activities. She loves outdoor adventures including hiking, paddle and traveling.
Stephanie enjoys the variety of things that she gets to do on a daily basis at McDonald Elementary. She loves the people she works with and seeing the kids every day.
Mrs. Vickie Brandner – Secretary
Mrs. Brandner was born and raised in Blytheville, Arkansas and moved to Colorado in 2002. She worked at the Lone Star School District in Otis, Colorado until moving to Moscow in 2015.
When asked what brought her to Moscow, she will loudly exclaim GRANDBABIES! Vickie has two grandsons who live in Clarkston and if you can’t tell by talking to her, they are her pride and joy. She loves being Grammy.
Mrs. Brandner and her husband, when not working, spend a lot of their time exploring the Palouse. This has been a great move for them and she is very proud to be a part of the Moscow community and McDonald School.
Mrs. Jan Brooker – Special Education Assistant
Jan Brooker is a special education paraprofessional at McDonald Elementary. She has worked in a variety of settings with infants, preschoolers, elementary school age children and young adults and their families. Jan has a BASc in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood and Special Education from the University of Guelph in Canada.
Jan was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. She lived in both central and western Canada before moving to Moscow Idaho more than 20 years ago. When she isn’t at work Jan enjoys outdoor activities including canoeing, camping, and gardening. Mrs. Brooker lives in Moscow with her husband and their two high school aged daughters, a dog, cat and hens. She also enjoys visiting their daughter who lives in Canada.
Maarn Crepeau – Reading Specialist
Maarn Crepeau was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where she grew up hiking and skiing in the mountains close to her home. She and her friends and family would go up to the mountains before school or after school, and on every Saturday! She received her degree in Behavioral Science and Health Research from the University of Utah – Go Utes!
Mrs. Crepeau loves living in Moscow. She has traded in her downhill skis for cross-country skis and likes all of the places where she and her friends can hike in the summer and cross-country ski in the winter. Mrs. Crepeau likes to sing and play the piano. She likes to speak different languages. She also loves to read, read, read!
Mrs. Crepeau especially likes McDonald Elementary because it is a school that is full of super-duper students who also like to read, read, read!
Joanne Eastburn – Head Cook
Joanne Eastburn was born in California and raised in Seattle, WA. Her interests include sewing, building miniature houses & furniture, camping and gardening.
She has two grown sons and two grandsons that live too far away!
Joanne loves working at McDonald with the students and watching them grow up (as much as a 5th grader can).
Ms. Debbra Flomer – Special Education Assistant
Debbra Flomer was raised on a farm in Moscow, ID. Her interests include the outdoors, gardening, making cards, cross stitching and going to the cabin on the lake.
She worked at Macy’s so long (for 17 years) that she is known as the Macy’s lady! Debbra has a black multi-poo and she is her little princess.
Ms. Flomer loves working at McDonald with the people. Everyone is so nice and friendly and the children are a delight to work with.
Mrs. Sheryl Gomez – Special Education Assistant
Sheryl Gomez grew up in the mountains of Salmon, ID on a cattle ranch. She received her B.S. in Zoology/Secondary Education from the University of Idaho.
Mrs. Gomez loves the outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing along with cooking and baking. She has three children and love spending time with them. Sheryl also enjoys to whittle and carve things out of wood. In fact, she makes wooden spoons and other utensils.
The students and the staff at McDonald are just amazing and make everyday a great day to go to work.
Mrs. Joanne Heckel – Office Aide & Playground Supervisor
Joanne Heckel came to McDonald Elementary in 2017; she recently relocated to Moscow from Jackson Hole, WY. Mrs. Heckel had previously worked as a youth ski instructor as well as a preschool assistant. Mrs. Heckel enjoys traveling – she’s been to 16 countries in 4 continents and has sailed across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. She loves being outdoors and going on adventures with her husband and dog Penny. She is excited to be part of the McDonald Duck family!
Ms. Tami Hurst – Special Education Assistant
Tami Hurst was born and raised in Texas. She attended the University of Idaho and earned a degree in Sports Science and Athletic Training.
Ms. Hurst loves being a lifeguard during the summer and her favorite thing about McDonald is the office staff.
Mrs. Tammi Kozlowski – Special Education Assistant
Tammi Kozlowski was born in Niagara Falls, NY. One day her parents packed up everything and traveled across country to settle in Omak, WA.
Mrs. Kozlowski loves to read, camp, hike, fish and her horse which she rescued in 2012. Tammi has two fabulous children and has been married since 1997. In case you don’t know her, she loves to laugh.
She enjoys McDonald Elementary and loves the students and the staff.
Mrs. Fabiola Lugo – Special Education Assistant
Fabiola Lugo was born in Lima Peru and has been in the United States for twelve years.
She earned her Business degree at the University San Martin of Porres, Lima Peru, a degree in Marketing from the Association de Ventas and an Associate degree in Child Development in the United States.
Fabiola enjoys camping, hiking, yoga, fishing, dancing, singing, reading and cooking. She states that her life’s passion is helping people and being part of the community. She likes to volunteer at her church to coordinate activities and help people in need. Mrs. Lugo enjoys providing support to Family Promise of the Palouse and Alternatives to Domestic Violence.
Fabiola loves teaching because it is very rewarding and she can make a difference in somebody else’s life.
Mr. Jack McCown – Night Custodian
Jack McCown is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, but grew up and spent much of his life in California’s Central Coast region.
Jack’s interests are camping, fishing, mountain biking, recreational gold prospecting and metal detecting. He has one daughter who he is very proud of. Mr. McCown has written two novels and five screenplays!
McDonald is a great place to work and he enjoys the staff and students.
Holly Monson – Kindergarten Aide
Holly Monson was born and raised in Tempe, AZ. Holly and her husband moved to Moscow in August 1997 so he could attend law school. Moscow became their home.
Mrs. Monson loves to plan and decorate for events. They have four children and two dogs, one rabbit & one veiled chamaeleon.
Working at McDonald School in Kindergarten is always the highlight of the day!
Mrs. Aimee Nielson – Reading Specialist
Aimee Nielson has spent most of her life in Meridian and Boise, ID. She graduated from Boise State University with a degree in Political Science – GO Broncos!! She has lived in Moscow since 2014 and loves it here.
She enjoys spending time outside with her family and likes to go camping & exploring North Idaho. She has one son and two daughters which keep her busy most evenings and weekends with soccer on one of the fields in the area.
Aimee loves working at McDonald Elementary because she believes we have the best staff and the BEST students here. She enjoys helping kids develop a love of reading.
Mrs. Kelly Perry – Reading Specialist
Kelly Perry hails from Missoula, MT and enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Perry and her family lived in Spain for five years prior to moving to Moscow. She used to be a civil engineer but wanted a job where she could really make a difference.
She loves the positive atmosphere at McDonald Elementary and how everyone is always there to help one another.
Mrs. Connie Pope – Playground Supervisor
Connie Pope was born in Eric, PA and moved to Utah at age 3 where she grew up. One of the most memorable things she did in school was participate in Odyssey of the Mind when she was in 5th grade. Her group won at the state level and then traveled to Iowa for the world competition. It was also her first time on an airplane!
She married her high school sweetheart and is now The Pope’s wife. They have four amazing daughters! Connie enjoys spending time with her family, which inevitably means being a chauffeur to schools, practices, games, friends’ houses and whatever else they can think of. She is very excited for her oldest to gain her driver’s license. She also enjoys camping, four-wheeling, swimming, reading, going on dates with her husband, watching her girls participate in sports and dancing in the kitchen with her girls to very loud music.
Connie has been at McDonald since 2013. She loves coming to work and seeing the kids and staff.
Mr. Vince Rathbun – Day Custodian
Vince Rathbun works at McDonald Elementary as the day custodian. He was born and raised in Moscow, ID. His educational history includes Gunsmithing and USMC.
Vince interests includes his cats, hunting, fishing and just being outdoors. Mr. Rathbun proudly served in the USMC. He has one daughter, eight cats and a dog.
When asked what he loves most about working at McDonald Elementary he stated that he likes the people he works with.
Ms. Lori Ray – Aide
Lori Ray was born and raised in Moscow, ID. She will graduate from the University of Idaho in December, 2018 with a BS in Elementary Ed.
Ms. Ray enjoys her children and it an Emergency Medical Technician who worked with Latah Search & Rescue Council.
Lori loves working at McDonald and feel the students are wonderful.
Mrs. Valerie Roberts – SLP Assistant
Valerie Roberts completed all twelve years of public school in the Moscow School District and is a proud graduate of Moscow High School. Mrs. Roberts earned an associate degree from Lewis-Clark State College. Following a career of 35 years on staff at the University of Idaho, 28 of which were serving students and faculty in the College of Graduate Studies, she retired.
Mrs. Roberts has three children, all of whom graduated from Moscow High School, and always looks forward to spending time with their families, including the three grandchildren. Her husband is a bus driver for the Moscow School District and then is the chauffeur for the summer travels in their motorhome. She also likes sewing and doing home projects as well as being a percussionist in her church band.
Valerie believes there isn’t anything better than working with children. She is fulfilling her long time desire to work in elementary education and is excited to be a part of the Speech and Language program.
Mrs. Holli Rehder – Kindergarten Aide
Holli Rehder grew up in Cottonwood, ID. She enjoys spending time with her family, running and watching her boys at their sports activities.
One of the things that she loves about working at McDonald Elementary is seeing the kids smile as they learn something new each day.
Mrs. Linda Rogers – Secretary
Linda Rogers was born in California, then moved to Elk River as a child when the road between Bovill and Elk River was still gravel! Her dad wanted to get away from all the people in CA at that time, and boy, did he! Soon after, the family moved to the country between Deary and Troy on a small farm. Wonderful place to grow up – Linda had her own horse, cows, cats, and dog. After graduation from high school, the University of Idaho was her next home. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics.
Linda and her husband have one daughter; she teaches kindergarten in Chicago’s Chinatown. Anything out of doors – animals, trees, yard work, and taking trips through our beautiful country are on the top of her list.
Mrs. Rogers has been a secretary at McDonald Elementary School since 1990. Before that, she was a secretary for an elementary school in the Whitepine School District for four years. The McDonald staff is great to work with and the children are fantastic!
Mrs. Jeanne Sanford – Library Assistant
Jeanne Sanford began her career at McDonald School in 2011 and joined the library in 2014. One of her favorite quotes by Dr. Seuss is “You’re Never Too Old, Too Wacky, Too Wild, To Pick Up a Book, and Read to a Child.”
Mr. Sean Sullivan – Special Education Assistant
Sean Sullivan was born in Simi Valley, CA. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 2000 and earned a degree in PE & School & Community Health Ed.
He worked as a PE teacher for five years in Ventura, CA and has worked throughout Moscow School District as a para professional. Sean loves the students, parents and the fun, supportive staff at McDonald Elementary.
Ms. Kayla Ware – Special Education Assistant
Kayla Ware was born and raised in Moscow, ID. She attended McDonald Elementary as a student. Once a duck, always a duck!
Ms. Ware loves linguistics and learning new languages. She is almost fluent in French and is advancing in American Sign Language.
Kayla loves how supportive all of the staff is at McDonald Elementary and loves working with all the students who attend.