Anser Charter School

Faculty Bios

Sarah Gorringe – AAYC Teacher
Sarah Gorringe has her BA in Elementary Education and holds an Endorsement in Early Childhood Education. She has followed Anser since its beginning and was thrilled when her twins names were drawn in the kindergarten lottery.  All three of her children now attend Anser. Getting to work with kindergartners now is icing on the cake! Speaking of cake… before teaching at Anser, Sarah made custom cupcakes and cakes out of her kitchen. She loves all things creative and tackles any creative challenge that comes her way. Her favorite times with her husband and kids include camping, enjoying Boise’s parks and events, riding bikes, and making art.

Sarah Brownsten Kindergarten Teacher

Sarah Brownsten has her BA in Elementary education, and an MA in Literacy and Reading. She was “born and raised” at Anser completing her student teaching in the Anser Kindergarten program, and then accepting a position in 2011. Outside of the classroom Sarah enjoys doing hot yoga, hiking, and spending time with her corgi, cats, and husband (not necessarily in that particular order). After a long day her favorite thing to do is to “hermit” with a good book or, let’s be honest, a good TV series on Netflix

Tara Arellano- Kindergarten Teacher

Tara joined the Kindergarten Crew in 2015. She has extensive early childhood education experience in multiple settings. She earned her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education from BSU. She enjoys working with young students and helping to foster their love of learning. When not teaching she enjoys spending time with her family.

Jessica McGinnis 1st Grade Teacher
Jessica McGinnis graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis with a BA in Elementary Education and a minor in American Indian Studies in 1994.  She taught dance and homeschooled her oldest son for many years before returning to the classroom.  “I believe education can be a transformational experience and see myself as a life-long learner.  I enjoy the intellectual and emotional challenges and rewards of being an educator.  I am so thankful to have a job where I can be joyful and curious each and every day.”  In her free time Jess enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, biking, experiencing live music, writing poetry, and playing the ukulele badly but with gusto.

Kathy Schatz- 1st Grade Teacher

Let me start by saying that I am thrilled to be a part of Anser and to have the opportunity to be an Anser Crew Leader.  My educational background includes a degree in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education.  I teach from a Constructivist’s approach and understand the art of facilitating learning opportunities in ways that target, support, and challenge each learner’s needs.  My teaching experience includes heading  the  K-1 program at Idaho State University’s Partnership Lab School in conjunction with Pocatello’s School District 25.  I believe in educating the whole child in ways that inspire and support them as lifelong learners and productive, creative, compassionate citizens of the world.

Jennifer Trople- 2nd-3rd Grade Teacher
Jennifer Trople joined  Anser during the 2009-2010 school year. She previously taught for nine years in Washington state, and two in Munich, Germany. While in Germany, she and her husband, Dallas managed to visit 18 countries. They decided to move back to Boise, where Jennifer grew up, to be closer to family. When she is not inhabiting school, Jennifer can be found riding her bike, hiking, creating art, or on her couch reading or plotting her next adventures with Dallas and their jungle cat, Mowgli. Jennifer currently holds a Master’s in Education, as well as National Board Certification in Early-Childhood Literacy.

Kelly Selvage 2nd-3rd Grade Teacher
Kelly has been an Anser crewmember since 2008.  She is on the 2nd-3rd team. Her B.A. degree was earned from Boise State University in Elementary Education. Kelly worked as a Title I Teacher in elementary schools for more than five years. Kelly enjoys a busy life outside of teaching by keeping pace with three children, a fishing husband and the family dog. Kelly’s interests include reading and cooking and discovering new hobbies.

Jennica Navarro- 2nd-3rd Grade Teacher

Jennica teaches second and third grade. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Boise State and has been teaching since 2013. Being a Colorado native Jennica has a true passion for outdoor activities and often enjoys hiking in the foothills. When she isn’t exploring the great out outdoors, Jennica enjoys getting lost in a book as well as experimenting in the kitchen. She is truly enjoys being a part of the Anser community.

Heather Banuelos- 4th-5th Grade Teacher
Heather received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Certified Kindergarten through 8th grade from Boise State University. Her teaching experience includes preschool as well as elementary and middle school students. Heather began her teaching career in her home running a preschool and broadened her experience working with preschool and school-age students at the YMCA, writing and implementing curriculum for various programs there. She has been working at Anser since 2011 as the Community Based Curriculum Director and Junior High Electives Coordinator for two years.  She is excited to be part of the 4th-5th teaching crew and to continue her teaching career here at Anser.  Her biggest accomplishment is her family, husband Sal and two beautiful daughters Sydney and Olivia, who inspired and supported her in her return to college to finish her teaching degree late in life. She enjoys a busy life outside of Anser by keeping pace with her girls, a busy husband, a dog, and three chickens. Heather’s interests include camping, reading, cooking, sewing, and spending time with friends and family.

Nicole Pape 4th-5th Grade Teacher

Nicole joined the Anser crew in the fall of 2008, and currently teaches a 4th/5th grade crew.  Before coming to Anser, Nicole taught literacy and other education classes at Boise State University; supervised student teachers in areas schools; and taught elementary and high school in Idaho. She earned a B.A. both in English and in Elementary Education, and an M.A. in Education/Reading from Boise State University. During her leisure time Nicole enjoys running in the foothills, reading, drinking coffee, eating chocolate and spending time with her husband, Jim, and two daughters.

Dolly Higgins- 4th-5th Grade Teacher

After several years of teaching arts-based electives and CBC modules at our school, Dolly officially joined the Anser staff in 2009. Dolly brings a background in counseling and research psychology–and a love of American history–to the classroom.  She earned her BA from Harvard University, but feels she’s learned the most from the loves of her life—her husband Brian and their four children. Dolly is currently completing a Master of Education degree with an Endorsement in Mathematical Instruction.  When she’s not busy at Anser, Dolly enjoys traveling, creating weird stuff, watching old movies, acting silly, and gardening.

Jia Acree- 6th Grade Teacher
Jia joined the Anser crew in 2012. Jia received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Boise State University, as well as an endorsement in Literacy Education. She enjoys teaching 6th gradebecause the students are at a pivotal age, learning who they are and who they want to become. The Anser vision is truly what drives her teaching. While not at school she enjoys skiing, swimming, biking, reading, and being creative with her son.

Destin Tonkin- 6th Grade Teacher

Destin joined the Anser Crew in 2015. She did her student teaching at Anser before teaching for two years in Star. She has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Boise State University. When not teaching Destin enjoys all of the fantastic outdoor activities Idaho offers, including camping, horse back riding and hiking. She enjoys these activities with her husband and two children.

Junior High Teachers

Allyson MaynardScience
Allyson joined the Anser crew in 2012. After teaching 7th grade science in southern Vermont and Maine, she made a big move to Boise, and she is looking forward to learning more about Idaho and the mountain west region.  Allyson received her undergraduate degree at Bates College, ME, and after a few years of traveling and teaching from the east coast to Oregon to Costa Rica and back, she completed her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies and certification in Middle Grades Science at Antioch University New England, Keene, NH.  Allyson loves to hike, Nordic ski, and kayak – all perfect ways to get to know a new place and new landscape. She is happy to be a member of the Anser community and proud to call herself a crew leader in the junior high.

Diane Williams – Social Studies
Diane Williams has been a teacher at Anser Junior High since its inception. She teaches Social Studies, a little writing and social justice. Diane has her Masters of Reading from Boise State University, is a Boise State Writing Project Fellow, a founding member of the Holocaust Educators Network, a Fulbright Fellow, American Pioneer Teacher of the year, recipient of Fund for the Teachers Grant, and an Idaho Human Rights Educator of the Year. She’s married to the most patient and wonderful husband in the world, and has joyfully raised two uniquely diverse children. When not at school, you ca find Diane walking the foothills and greenbelt with her delightfully spoiled pooch, RUdy.

Kelly Mcleod – Math
Kelly joined the teaching team at Anser in 2004, after having been a parent from the first years. Previously, Kelly worked for the Discovery Center of Idaho, running a variety of educational programs. Kelly graduated with honors from the College of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Biology; she also has her Master’s in Educational Technology from Boise State. She is the proud mom of three Anser graduates: Connor, Ethan and Lauren. She and her husband Mike love to be outdoors with their kids, where they pursue skiing, camping, hiking, fishing and white-water rafting. She feels so very fortunate to be part of Anser and admires the passion and excellence her colleagues bring to their profession

Shannon Twenter– Language Arts
Shannon Twenter joined Anser in the 2013-14 school year as the Junior High Language Arts teacher. She is thrilled to be teaching at an Expeditionary Learning school and to join the professionals of Anser who have a proven track record of success with their students and this model. She received her undergraduate degree from Truman State University in Sociology and Anthropology, with a minor in International Studies. She also received her Master’s Degree in Education from George Mason University in Curriculum and Instruction focusing on Literacy.  She taught for 8 years, prior to coming to Anser – 3 with the KC Public School System and 5 with the Baltimore City Public School System. She also was involved with other non-profits that worked on education in diverse ways like the Baltimore Urban Debate League and Sylvan Beach Foundation.  She is an avid kayaker, outdoor enthusiast, and arts/dance lover.

Dani Zepplin – Spanish and Electives

Dani joined the Anser crew in 2012.  She teaches Spanish to students in sixth through eighth grade, is a Junior High crew leader and Electives coordinator.  Dani is a Wisconsin native and holds B.A. degrees in Elementary Education, Spanish and a certificate in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  When not in the classroom, she can be found exploring the outdoors by bike, skis, kayak or on foot.  Dani is proud to be part of the Anser community.


Siler McCraw- Student Support Specialist

I obtained my Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas in 2006 and I have worked in Elementary and Junior High school settings ever since.  I see the position of the Student Support Specialist as a bridge that connects student’s social and emotional needs with the school, the family, and the community.  When not working, I  like to spend my time with my husband and my kids.  I also love to read, go running, and laughing as frequently as possible.


Anne Moore CBC-Visual Arts Instructor

Anne is the Art Educator for for grades K-6 and teaches Visual Arts within the CBC program.  She enjoys work creating a unique and powerful art program that connects with our local community, empowers students to take risks and better know themselves, and one that develops an appreciation for the value of all art forms in our world.  Anne joined the Anser Crew in 2003, where she taught kindergarten for 11 years. She also spent time as a technology teacher and created a visual and performing arts program for our kindergartners called the AAYC (Anser Arts for Young Children), so the transition into Visual Arts Instructor was an exciting possibility and easy decision. Anne received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Boise State University. She has a son, Myron and is married to David. As a family they enjoy; music, art, hiking, camping, biking, gardening and reading.

Denice McPhillips, CBC Coordinator

Denice facilities Community Based Curriculum opportunities for all students K-8. She works with parent volunteers as well as community members to provide rich service, adventure and performance opportunities for students. She also performs registrar and administrative tasks in support of the school. Denice enjoys crafts, spending time with her family and friends.

Rebekah Wherry- CBC STEM, Innovation Lab Teacher and 3rd Grade Math

Rebekah joined the Anser Crew in 2015. She has a background in teaching science content and has a passion for sharing her knowledge with her students. In the Innovation Lab and STEM classes Rebekah uses an inquiry approach to projects related to Science standards as well as a variety of STEM activities. She provides a space for exploration, experimentation and discovery for her students in the exciting STEM fields. Rebekah enjoys spending time with her family when she is not busy teaching.

Alyssa Goade-MunchPhysical Education
Alyssa has been teaching P.E. at Anser since 2002. Prior to that, she taught P.E. and health in Twin Falls, ID, Lolo, MT and Boise. She loves watching her kids play sports, running, teaching aerobics, and being with kids. She is married and has three lovely children: Ollie, Edie, and Emme. She teaches classes at the YMCA as well.

Amber Van Vooren- 4th Grade Math

I am new to the Anser community.  I am so excited to join such a wonderful team.   I will be teaching 4th grade math this year.  In addition to this position I am currently pursuing my masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in math education from Boise State University.   I’ve lived in the Boise area since summer 2014, and I’m loving every minute of it.

Exceptional Child Services Staff


Kari Kerfoot, Exceptional Child Services Teacher (Kindergarten-MC)
Kari has been an Anser ECS crew leader since 2012.  She is also the proud parent of EC student, Marcus and new baby girl, Bria.  She is excited for another great year at Anser!  Kari graduated from BSU and is certified in Elementary Education and Special Education.  Kari has special education experience in other Idaho school districts and at various levels of support.  Kari will also assist in coaching the Anser girls’ basketball team(s) and has had several years of coaching girls of all ages.


Terry Wibbels, Junior High  Special Education Math Teacher

Terry assists in Kelly’s 7th and 8th grade math classes. She is married to Mark Wibbels and they have two sons, Mac and Leo.  She began her professional life as an applications engineer teaching workshops in the US and Europe until 1988 when she joined the Peace Corps where she taught secondary math and physics in Fiji.  She started at Anser as a parent in 1999, when Mac was a second grader, and has thoroughly enjoyed watching both boys grow up and graduate from Anser. Volunteering here inspired her to go back to school, and she completed her Master’s of Education (NNU) in May 2014.  She loves living in Idaho where we have so many opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure and is delighted to be working with this remarkable community of learners and looking forward to an exciting year of junior high math.

Boise School District Professional Crew

Boise School District Provides a cadre of professionals to support students at Anser including a Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Psychologist.


Michelle Dunstan- Education Director/Principal
Michelle became Anser’s Education Director in 2015 after completing her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Boise State University. Michelle has been connected to Anser Charter School since 2005 by student teaching in the Anser Jr. High, then serving as the Community Based Curriculum Director for two years. At that time, she went on an adventure with her family to the southwest and taught 4thand 5thgrade children from the Ute and Navajo Reservation. Fall 2010 brought her back to Anser to teach on the Middle Childhood team.  She has a B.A. in Elementary Education with a full reading endorsement and a M.A. in Education Leadership through Boise State University. She has a passion for reading and inspiring readers, plus a passion to support teachers in their craft! Michelle enjoys her family, reading, having coffee with friends and riding her bike in Boise.

Heather DennisOrganization Director
After ten years as an Anser parent, three years serving on the Anser Community Board and four years on Family Council Heather joined the Anser staff in August 2010. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Developmental Psychology. Her career has spanned the non-profit sector at organizations such as the Early Childhood Autism Project, Community Living Opportunities where she served children and adults disabilities to the Center for Community Change, a national non-profit dedicated to social justice issues. She feels very fortunate to have joined the Anser staff where she can continue to dedicate her time to creating positive change for families and her community. Born and raised in Idaho she enjoys camping, snowboarding and spending time with her husband and three children.

Tiffany Keeley, Fiscal Manager
Tiffany joined Anser as Fiscal Manager in 2014. She has a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from Boise State University. She grew up in Oregon, but loved Boise so much she never left. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys watching her kids play soccer and basketball, running with her dogs in the foothills, and listening to Dave Matthews Band music.

Jessie Deason, Office Manager- Lunch Program Coordinator
Jessie began as a parent volunteer at Anser in 2012 when her oldest son started kindergarten. Volunteering has evolved into a wide variety of staff positions. Jessie is currently the front office manager and the school lunch program coordinator. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, and spoiling her two cats, Zito and Posey.

Stacie Knudsen- Office Manager

Stacie joined the Anser Admin Crew in 2015. She manages the very busy front office where she supports the work of the Education Director, Organization Director, Teachers, students and parents. Stacie came to Anser from the West  YMCA where she managed the very busy Aquatics program. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her extended family in Oregon.

Nancie Swanke- Kitchen Manager
Nancie began working at Anser in September of 2011 as a School Support Staff person. She now prepares Anser’s lunches for our hot lunch program, assists with the facility and keeping our students safe at drop off and pick up time. She enjoys sewing, cooking, “puttering” around her house and long walks with her two children.