Faculty & Staff

Anser Faculty & Staff

With its exceptional and dedicated teachers, Anser is able to create a world-class educational experience. Anser’s teachers and staff, supported by parents and community, are committed to creating a rich and well-rounded learning environment in which students:

  • Exhibit autonomy, creativity and collaboration
  • Embrace diversity
  • Grow through discovery and reflection
  • Use real-world experiences
  • Create a better world

Faculty Bios

Nancy Brennan

Nancy Brennan has been in the field of education for nearly 22 years. Her experience includes teaching children from preschool through seventh grade. She feels most joyful when she is in the midst of a collaborative classroom as children learn together through real life, hands-on experiences. Nancy believes strongly in EL Education and is so delighted to be part of the Anser crew. In her spare time she enjoys reading, being creative and traveling with her husband and four children, all of whom have attended Anser Charter School. She holds a BA in Elementary Education.

JJ Garrett

J.J. Garrett has a BA in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Literacy form Boise State University. She is currently pursuing a second endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education.  She was raised in the Four Corners area and Alaska so she naturally loves the outdoors.  Her interests include bird watching, art, and music.  She enjoys spending most of her spare time reading and spending time with her five sons and her husband.  J.J. is passionate about early childhood development and  being a Crew Leader with Anser Kindergartners.

Jessica McGinnis

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.

Marissa Messmer

I am honored to be taking on the role as a 1st grade crew leader this fall. This will be my first-year teaching and am so grateful I get to start my career as an educator at Anser! I completed my student teaching at Anser Charter School with experience in Kindergarten through 5th grade, and in junior high math. After completing my student teaching experience, I received my bachelor’s degree from Boise State University in elementary education with an endorsement in mathematics. I am so excited to be able to work with this grade level this coming school year. I love all the learning and fun we get to have in 1st grade! I am originally from a small town in Nevada, with a population of about 1,000 people. My husband and I moved to Boise to finish school and have made it home. My husband and I love to go biking, float the Boise river, fish, ski, and of course watch BSU football. We just welcomed our son into this world and are having fun exploring this fun and exciting new world of parenting!

Kelly Selvage
Kelly Selvage

Kelly joined the Anser Crew in 2008. Before joining the Anser Crew, she worked at a Title 1 Teacher in elementary schools for more than five years. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Boise State University and her M.Ed in Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation from Northwestern Nazarene University. Kelly enjoys a busy life outside of teaching with traveling to see her three children, gardening, reading and meeting with her book club, and discovering new hiking trails in Idaho.


Julie Bú

Julie joined Anser the fall of 2017 as a JH Crew Leader and Spanish teacher, then in Fall 2020 joined the 2/3 team. Before coming to Anser, Julie worked for the Boise State University TRIO programs where she taught 7th -12th grade students and their families about college and technical schools, helped them apply and get into programs and apply for financial aid. Julie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Salem State University, a Master’s Degree in Bilingual Education from Boise State University, and an Ed. Specialist Degree from the University of Idaho. Julie has always enjoyed working with children of all ages, and also has a love of children’s literature and hold credentials in Literacy and Reading. After many years in education, she understands the critical need for all students to become great readers and want to be a part of their journey. She has always believed in the Expeditionary Learning foundation of Anser and feels so fortunate to be at a school whose vision is student centered.

Julie and her family have been a part of the Anser Community from the very start, when her oldest son entered Kindergarten in 1999. Julie loves to cook, read, garden, and go on adventures with my friends and family. Julie also loves animals, has three cats, rabbits, and fish.  An Idaho native, she lives on the Boise Bench with her family.


Laura Moulder

Laura Moulder

Laura Moulder was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and received degrees in both Psychology and Elementary Education and became a preschool teacher shortly after graduating.  Her next adventure brought her to Salt Lake City, Utah where she had her first experience teaching in an Expeditionary Learning School.  There she taught first grade and kindergarten. Laura joined the Anser Crew in 2017. When not teaching Laura enjoys being snuggled up at home scrapbooking, playing guitar or sewing.  She also loves spending time with her husband and stepdaughter and enjoys exploring the outdoors.


Jessie Dahlin

Jessie is venturing south from Moscow Idaho where she was born and raised and also raised her two children. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Idaho. She is currently working on a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership at Gonzaga University. Jessie has been teaching in the EL Education model for eleven years at Palouse Prairie Charter School where she was the founding 2/3 crew teacher. When she is not teaching, she loves writing, watching football, and being outdoors especially camping, hiking, and being on the water.

Nicole Pape
Nicole Pape

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 area 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.

Erin Pierson
Erin Pierson

Erin joined the Anser crew in 2017-2018. She previously taught 3rd grade for six years in Chicago, Illinois and is originally from West Lafayette, Indiana. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Purdue University with a reading specialist certification and her M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies for Social Justice & Democracy from DePaul University. Erin has a passion for inspiring students to discover their strengths and take on challenges with confidence and a sense of humor. She enjoys podcasts, biking with her husband and son, video chatting with her nieces and nephews, and discovering new wilderness gems.

Nancy Tacke

Over the years, Nancy has known Anser through a variety of roles, including parent/volunteer, family council representative, and part-time math instructor. As a 4/5 crew leader, she is excited to contribute experience and passion for state and local history, inquiry, and curriculum design. Nancy earned her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University, where she later worked for the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs in the Center for Idaho History and Politics. She loves being a thinking partner with other teachers through her affiliation with the National Writing Project. When Nancy is not teaching or thinking about teaching, her husband Chuck and four children remind her to relax and cook for them. She belongs to a book club, but only sometimes finishes the book on time.


Heather Kelly

As a recent graduate of Boise State, Heather has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English teaching. She came to Anser in 2019 as a student teacher and then as a long term substitute. The Treasure Valley has always been her home and she is excited to start her journey as an educator here. On the weekends, Heather enjoys reading in a hammock alongside the Boise River or hiking with her dog up in the mountains.

Rochelle Heathcock

I’m so happy and excited to be joining the Anser crew! My name is Rochelle Heathcock, and I will be teaching 6th grade starting in the fall. When I was 19, I was a volunteer counselor for a youth group where we went to Mexico to build houses for an impoverished area. Because of this life-changing experience, I knew that my purpose in life was to become a teacher and make a difference. I started my teaching career 26 years ago in Caldwell, Idaho. I got my first teaching job at Wilson Middle School, where I taught 6th grade for 6 years. I took 2 years off when I had my second child and went back to teaching at the elementary school level in the Meridian School District. I taught 3rd grade for 4 years, then moved to 5th grade where I have been for the last 14 years. Teaching cooking classes for kids at JUMP was also another avenue where I have been able to work with kids. I live in Boise and have 3 “kids” – Andrew, Carleigh, and Harper. I enjoy practicing yoga, hiking with our two wonderful dogs, working in my yard, reading, spending time with my kids, dancing, listening to music, and watching movies. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to get to work with the Anser staff and students!

Brooke Hanlon

Brooke is a Boise State University graduate with a B.A. in Elementary Education and math endorsement. She is originally from Southern California and came to Idaho for college and couldn’t imagine gaining a better education experience from any other school. Brooke spent some time student teaching in Junior High math at Anser, before joining the 6th grade team. When she is not teaching, Brooke enjoys painting, hand lettering, listening to country music and being outside.

Heather Banuelos – Math

Heather received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Certified Kindergarten through 8th grade from Boise State Universityin 2011. She has since returned to Boise State and received a Masters or Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction with a Mathematics Consulting Teacher Endorsement as well as an additional endorsement in Math 5-9th grade.   Heather is part of the Math Teacher Leader Network through the Boise State Regional Math Center where she works with area teachers to hone her craft with the goal of teaching her peers about the latest in mathematics instruction and best practices.  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, and her love of middle school students led her to her current position as the JH math teacher.  Heather’s biggest accomplishment is her family; husband Sal, son Sal, daughter-in-law Kailey, grandchildren Eli and Presely and two beautiful daughters Sydney and Olivia, who continue to be the light of her life.  She enjoys a busy life outside of Anser by keeping pace with her girls, a busy husband, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Heather’s interests include camping, crafting, reading, cooking, sewing, and spending time with friends and family.

Pete Enderlin – Science

Pete Enderlin comes to Anser with eight years of teaching experience. He has recently relocated to Boise with his wife, son, two dogs, and cat. Pete has moved from Maine where he taught high school science for 6 years, and before that taught in Ohio for 2 years. Pete loves the outdoors and his interests include hiking, fly fishing, birding, skiing, and photography, so naturally he is excited for this change in location. He also enjoys board games and movies. Pete earned a Master of Education from The Ohio State University in August of 2011. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Geological Sciences from OSU as well as a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Environmental Science from Dickinson College. Pete is very excited to join the Crew at Anser this fall!

Sarah Higgins – World Studies

Sarah grew up in Soda Springs, which is a lovely small town in Southeast Idaho. Where she was raised camping and fishing, and she still loves spending as much time as possible in the outdoors. She studied History, Education and Reading at the College of Idaho (Go Yotes!) where she was able to pursue a number of interests as a student there including snowboarding, backpacking, fly fishing, and teaching. She continued her education at The College of Idaho and completed a Master’s in Teaching in May of 2017 with a focus on Character Education. 

She previously held roles with middle grade students through leading outdoor trips in the backcountry or coaching sports like volleyball or track. She also worked as a coordinator for the Community School Residential program in Sun Valley. After a few years of teaching in a traditional classroom setting she followed her curiosity for international travel and moved to Taipei, Taiwan to teach English. Taipei was a perfect jumping off place for exploring East Asia, including travel to Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Other global travel highlights include the Louvre and the Sheikh Zayed grand mosque in Abu Dhabi, the Great Wall of China, snorkeling in Zanzibar and eating pretzels in Munich. Travel has enriched her life and her teaching practice. Experiencing new places has helped her feel connected to the world as a global citizen, and she can’t wait to share her passion and experience with her World Studies Crew.


Abby Wirsching
Abby Wirsching – Language Arts

Abby joined the Anser Crew in 2017. After living in California for thirteen years, she decided to begin a new adventure by moving to Boise. Her family is originally from Idaho, but she grew up as a Navy kid and has lived all over the United States. Idaho has always been home for her. In 2013 she earned her BA in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in 2015 she earned her Masters of Education and English teaching credential at the University of San Diego. She has taught both 8th and 12th grade English classes. In Abby’s free time she enjoys playing with her first nephew, reading historical fiction, exploring coffee shops, practicing yoga, and camping.

Becky Morgan

After many diverse experiences in the education world, Becky joined Anser as a 6th grade crew leader in 2017 and then as a Jr High Crew Leader in 2020. Since moving to Boise in 1997, Becky has taught at Foothills School of Arts and Sciences and at The Children’s School, tutored, developed and delivered workshops, and served as the Executive Director of the Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS).  She worked extensively with students and teachers in gardens and is passionate about getting children outside to connect with the natural world. Becky has a B.S. in Biology from Bates College and a M.Ed. (with a focus on Humane Education) from Cambridge College. Becky loves to spend time with her family and can often be found in the garden. She is an avid runner and enjoys mountain biking and skiing.

View our Specialist website at www.anserspecials.com

Anne Moore – CBC & Visual Arts Instructor

Anne is the Art Educator for for grades K-8. She enjoys work creating and facilitating unique and powerful programs that empower students in authentic ways, build confidence, connect with our local community, and develop an appreciation for the value of all art forms in our world. Anne joined the Anser Crew in 2003, she taught kindergarten for 11 years, 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) before moving into the position of the Visual Arts teacher for the entire school. She has a son, Myron who is a student at Anser. As a family they enjoy; sports, music, art, hiking, camping, biking, dancing, and traveling.

Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson – Online Learners, Second Step
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 students 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.


Richard Incorvia
Richard Incorvia – STEM / Innovation Lab

Richard earned his Masters in Teaching from Maharishi University of Management. He’s been in education for 12 years in both public and private schools where he became well known across the country as an education innovator, utilizing the latest technology to engage students. Recently he was the academic director of a STEM outreach program. He was the subject of the film What School Can Be. Also, he is a pirate.


Alissa Lauer – Adventure Teacher

I have been a part of the Anser Community for twelve years as a parent, volunteer and substitute teacher.  I have two boys that graduated from Anser and my youngest is now in fourth grade. In addition to the foundation of Expeditionary Learning, we were initially drawn to Anser by the commitment to community involvement and service. I have felt so privileged to be a part of the Anser crew and am excited to expand that experience to the Adventure teacher.  I have recently welcomed adventure into my own life by training as a raft guide, living for one month in a fishing village in Costa Rica with my family, touring through Italy and Spain, and beginning a yoga practice this last Fall. I hope to bring that sense of adventure to my new position at Anser.  

Previously I have worked as a volunteer coordinator for a locally based nonprofit and volunteered on the board for the boys’ Capital High School lacrosse team.  In my spare time I enjoy playing pickleball or card games with my husband and my boys. I also love yoga, listening to podcasts, travel and just being outdoors in Idaho. 


Tanya Rush – Physical Education

Tanya joined the Anser staff after 8 years of teaching middle school PE and Health.  She has developed several community programs with BSU Kinesiology, newly arrived refugees, local mural artist, and City Club of Boise. Other avenues established with and for the students were building a rapport with Idaho Power, Curb It, with Boise International Market, and with the Idaho Green Challenge. In addition, she has developed a club mountain bike team for three years at her previous school and created the school’s first high/middle school Ultimate Frisbee team at both schools and teach an Ultimate Frisbee class at BSU. When Tanya is not teaching, she loves being outdoors, mountain biking, hiking, playing tennis, or camping. She also loves traveling to different countries and embracing their cultures. Tanya loves doing these adventures with her spouse, daughter and two dogs, Bear and Clancy.

Nicole Geile – Exceptional Child Services Crew Leader

Nicole Geile has worked as a Special Education teacher since graduating from The University of Portland in 2006. She worked with elementary students for four years before beginning to work with middle school students in 2010. She joined the Anser crew in 2015. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with her husband and children.

Amanda Brooks
Amanda Brooks – Exceptional Child Services Crew Leader

Amanda graduated in the spring of 2016 from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education with certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education. She has worked with children with all levels of need, providing both academic and community support. Amanda has a passion for providing meaningful learning experiences and opportunities for all students.

When not at work, Amanda enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and stacking rocks on the shores of the Boise River. She lives at home with her cat-Majorca, and her chihuahua- Timmy.

Amanda is excited to be a part of the wonderful team at Anser, and she is looking forward to a great school year!

Beth Zuschlag – Reading Interventionist

Beth Zuschlag was happy to join the ECS crew as the Literacy Specialist in 2015. Prior to coming to Anser, Beth taught fifth grade in Hinsdale, Illinois. A “transplant” from the Midwest, Beth graduated from Augustana College with a psychology degree and earned her Masters in Literacy from Dominican University. The mother to four children, Beth enjoys spending time with her family and walking in the foothills with her dog, Stark. She loves being part of the Anser community!

Siler McCraw – Student Support Specialist, School Social Worker

Student Support Website

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.

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 through 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 4th and 5th grade 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 Dennis
Heather Dennis – Organization 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, gardening 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.


Danielle Kieffer – Lunch Program

Danielle began as a parent volunteer at Anser when her oldest son started kindergarten. Volunteering has evolved into a wide variety of staff positions. Danielle manages Anser’s school lunch program and is part of the admin team.


Stacie Knudsen
Stacie Knudsen – Registrar

Stacie joined the Anser Admin Crew in 2015. She provides support to the very busy front office and performs regsitrar duties. Additionally,  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.


Tamara Reames

Tamara Reames – Community Engagement Coordinator

Tamara has been an Anser parent since 2007, when the first of her four children “won the lottery!” After many years as an Anser volunteer and substitute teacher, Tamara feels like she won the lottery when she joined the staff as CBC/Electives Coordinator in 2016 then the admin team in 2019. With a BA in Social Science and a Minor in Business Administration from Washington State University, she brings over 20 years of event planning and volunteer management experience to the program. Tamara spends her free time cycling and playing music, as well as cheering for her competitive teen swimmers. She has four Anser Alumni: Carter, Aliya, Merica, and Eliana.


Nancie Swanke
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.


Chelsea Hopewell – Front Office Manager

Chelsea joined the Anser Admin Crew in 2019. She manages the front office. She was the manager of a grocery store and before that worked in daycare and as a nanny while going through college. She loves spending her free time baking, writing, and crafting. Chelsea and her friends play games like Settlers of Catan and Dungeons & Dragons. She enjoys travelling to Comic Conventions and visiting her family all over the country from CA, to Tennessee, to the Midwest. She is grateful to be able to work at such an amazing school with such supportive coworkers, as well as incredibly smart, engaged, and mindful students.


Emily Johnson – Front Office Manager, Enrollment Paperwork


Emily joined the Anser Admin Crew in early 2020, after getting to know the Anser community through her time as a substitute teacher. She manages the front office and helps take care of sick or injured students. She also processes enrollment paperwork. When not at work, Emily enjoys reading, gardening, mountain biking, camping, and building furniture.