|Mrs. Sarah Westcott||Human Bio, Earth Science||Bachelor of Science in Education, summa cum laude, State University of New York College at Cortland, 1993. Doctor of Chiropractic, magna cum laude, New York Chiropractic College, 1998. Teacher, The Ambrose School, 2014-present. Adjunct faculty, College of Western Idaho, 2012-present.
My husband and I chose the Ambrose School for our children after researching the classical curriculum. With many years of education between us and a Christian walk, a classical Christian curriculum made sense to guide them at every stage spiritually and academically. We feel that Ambrose is the best way to prepare our children for the road ahead. What is housed in the beautiful halls of this school can be defined as one of those rare examples of things done right for the right reasons. God’s wisdom and guidance are sought on a daily basis here at Ambrose. This will be my second year teaching in the Upper School where each day brings blessing to me through our community of believers.
My hope for my students is that they learn to fully appreciate God's hands as the divine weaver of the story of man and fully respect that He is the ultimate Creator of all things beautiful and good. Practically, my hopes include fostering an environment where students, knowing they are loved, can feel comfortable yet challenged as they are trained in learning to seek the truth, to recognize beauty and to exemplify goodness.
My husband of 14 years, Aaron, works for the J.R. Simplot Company as a Solutions Architect. We have three willful children who make us laugh: Emma (8th), Asher (5th) and Ben (4th). We do our best to love them and educate them in seeking the Lord’s will for their lives.
Church Affiliation: Eagle Christian Church, Eagle
|Mrs. Anita Wasdahl||5th, 6th, 9th & 10th grade Latin||Liberal Studies II, San Diego State University. I classically homeschooled my children for 15 years, before teaching Latin, Mathematics, and English at a Christian school in San Diego. I arrived at The Ambrose School in 2004.
I have the joy of working alongside a staff who seeks to encourage students in both excellence and in the love of a higher good. It is my privilege to be an active participant as students begin the shift from culturally based assumptions to Christ centered assumptions. Over the years, I have had the blessing of watching Ambrose students, including my own children, challenged and encouraged in all areas of their life.
My husband, Mark, and I have five children, the three youngest have graduated from The Ambrose School. We also delight in our four grandchildren. During the chillier months, I love reading books at Barnes and Noble, while enjoying a cup of hot coffee, and during warmer weather, I enjoy biking the greenbelt. Mark can often be found scorekeeping in both the basketball and volleyball Archer games.
Church Affiliation: All Saints Presbyterian Church
|Mrs. Bethany Wheeler||7th Grade Humanities, Greek, House Governess||B.A., Youth Ministry and Preaching, Lincoln Christian College; M.A.,
Theological Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I was a teacher's assistant for four years while in college, and worked at a church for two years. This is my first year at Ambrose.
I chose to teach at Ambrose because I love their pursuit of excellence, character, biblical worldview, and critical thinking skills. I love classical education because it grounds students in the past. They are reading primary documents and learning about the philosophy and circumstances of people in the past, so they can learn
from history. It is absolutely necessary that as a culture we critically analyze the messages we are receiving, engage in thoughtful dialogue, and make informed decisions. Classical education enables students to do this by teaching logic and encouraging discussion. Most importantly, as a Christian classical school, I love that students are being trained to think biblically about the world around them. God's Word brings life and is profitable for every aspect of our lives: family, finances, health, etc. There is no greater joy than to help students ground themselves in the Word of God and speak God's truth into their lives.
My husband Cliff is self-employed as a tutor, and I love how we get to share some of the same dreams and vision in life. We have a three year old boy named Alexander who loves Star Wars. We enjoy traveling, cooking, watching superhero movies, and going for walks as a family. I'm passionate about holistic health and healing the body through food.
|Mr. Jordan Tucker||7th Grade Humanities, House Governor||In 2012, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy from Northwest University, which is situated in Kirkland, WA. While I was there, I enjoyed small class sizes and personal relationships with my professors. Both of which aided me greatly in my academic journey. Currently I am pursuing a Master of Arts in English, Rhetoric and Composition at Boise State University.
In addition to attending university in Washington State, I also grew up there. My childhood was isolated to the small town of Poulsbo, an antiquated fishing village of Norwegian decent. As an only child with one parent, I developed a very strong bond with my mother. To this day, we still have an irreplaceable relationship; one that I cherish deeply.
My teaching pedagogy and why I have chosen to instruct at The Ambrose School involve one another. One of my most basic commitments is that true education necessarily flows out of the gospel of Christ. For if the Lord is forced into the basement during educational pursuits, then education fails to be genuine. If the Triune God of Christianity is who He claims to be, then this entire universe, including all educational endeavors, fit within His reality. It is here at The Ambrose School that the King of the cosmos can break into the learning process.
|Mrs. Sandi Francis||8th Grade Humanities, 7th Grade Physical Science||BA, History, University California Santa Barbara, Single-Subject Teaching Credential in social studies - Chapman University, California. I have taught at The Ambrose School since 2009. I previously taught 10th grade World Studies and 8th grade U.S. History, Literature, and Drama for six years in California public schools.
I strongly believe that a classical Christian education is the very best type of education. The goal for the students at The Ambrose School is to love the good and pursue the excellent. They become lovers of learning and are encouraged to think and learn independently. Students learn a Christian worldview which is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life. This Biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God and is the foundation of everything we say and do.
My husband, James, and I moved to Idaho seven years ago with our two children in hopes to continue their private school education. We feel so blessed to be a part of the Ambrose family.
|Mrs. Jenny Rallens||BA, Liberal Arts and Cultures, New Saint Andrews. I began teaching at The Ambrose School in 2008.
I love teaching at a classical Christian school because everything we teach is grounded in God's Word, and because we are teaching students about the great ideas, beliefs, cultures, and art from Western History that are critical for understanding our world today. I believe that a teacher is called not only to educate his students' minds by filling them with historical dates, math facts, and the ability to analyze Shakespeare, but (more importantly) to educate their hearts, souls, and whole persons as well. As a teacher, I am responsible to train my students to know and love their Lord, their neighbor, the world, and their work.
Mrs. Rallens is currently enrolled in a PhD program in the Theology Department at the University of Oxford where she is studying Medieval memory under renowned C.S. Lewis scholar, Dr. Michael Ward.
Mrs. Rallens will continue to speak internationally at classical Christian education conferences and we look forward to her return to The Ambrose School.
|Mr. Joe Gerber||9th Grade Humanities||B.A., History, Boise State University; B.B.S., Biblical Studies, Calvary Chapel Bible College; Masters Social Work, Northwest Nazarene University. I started teaching at The Ambrose School in 2013.
I chose to teach at The Ambrose School because of the profound focus that Ambrose places on teaching the students to love that which is good, beautiful, and true. At The Ambrose School, there is an appreciation for embodied practices meant to move one’s worship toward God. Discipleship involves not only the information provided to another soul but also the proper formation of that soul through the development of a student's affections. This focus at The Ambrose School is especially suited to the joy that I receive not only in learning but also in growing in my relationship with Christ in a community of like-minded believers. My philosophy of teaching is that learning to love God is not mutually exclusive of learning about God's wonderful creation. To love God is to love to learn because God made all things to say something very important about Himself. The more we discover truth, the more our hearts will be transformed into the source of all truth, God.
I am married to my amazing wife, Janice. We have three sons, Josiah (6) is in Kindergarten at The Ambrose School, Joshua (4), and Jonah (3). We love living in the Boise area because we both grew up here and being close to family and friends is very important to us.
Church Affiliation: All Saints Presbyterian Church
|Mrs. Amanda Patchin||10th Grade Humanities||B.A., Literature, Boise State University, 2004. M.A. Literature, Boise State University, 2011. I taught at Boise State and the College of Western Idaho for five years. I began teaching at The Ambrose School in 2013.
I have chosen to teach at Ambrose for a number of reasons. First, this is the education I want to offer my sons. The school's emphasis on developing virtue and glorifying God is a great treasure. Second, I have long been convicted of the need for truly Christian education in our culture; to participate in this mission is an honor. Finally, my own love for the great books and for the great conversation makes the practice of teaching at The Ambrose School a continual joy. Prior to joining Ambrose, I owned a bookstore and coffeehouse and then taught writing and literature at BSU and CWI.
I hope my students come to love reading complex works of literature, the fire of a controversial discussion between people who respect each other, and the richness of the Western tradition.
My husband Jared and I have been married for 10 years and have two sons who are in the Grammar School at Ambrose. We love our home in Boise and appreciate the rich community our city offers. In the summers and on the weekends you will find me reading and writing books, or rock climbing and running in the great outdoors.
Church Affiliation: Christian Life Fellowship
|Mrs. Bobbie Post||11th Grade Humanities||B.A., Social Sciences, Seattle Pacific University; Secondary Education Teaching Certification - State of Idaho; MA, Reading and Literacy, City University. I began teaching at The Ambrose School in the Fall of 2006. My teaching experience includes seven years of homeschooling, 10 years of substitute teaching and 12 years of full time teaching, four of which were at the public schools and the rest at Ambrose.
I choose to teach at a classical Christian school because I believe that it is the best way to truly educate young people. We teach from primary documents. We teach Christian worldview that is integrated in every part of our curriculum. The classical Christian method frees students to think, to question and to challenge every thought that comes their way and to measure it by the standards of scripture, tradition and the great thinkers throughout history. My philosophy of teaching is based in the scripture that says when a student is fully taught, he will be like his teacher. Because of that truth, my goal is to continually turn the gaze of my students toward Christ. I consider it one of the highest privileges of my life to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of our students at The Ambrose School. Last year, I was privileged to lead one of our exchange students to Christ. It doesn’t get better than that.
I am married to Mark Post, mens/missions pastor at Eagle Christian Church, and we have three adult children - Ryan, who is married to Emily, Alex, and Jaynie. I grew up in this area and am happy to be able to serve in Christian ministry in the place that I love.
Church Affiliation: Eagle Christian Church
|Mr. Tom Velasco||12th Grade Humanities, 20th Century Culture and Thought||B.A., History and Philosophy, minor in Latin, Boise State University. I have been teaching at The Ambrose School since 2000, including a five-year hiatus as associate pastor of a local church.
I have taught Humanities, Latin, Greek, Logic, Rhetoric, Pre-Algebra, History, and writing. Currently, I teach 12th grade Humanities as well as Summa Civitas and 8th grade Logic.
Dorothy Sayers’ essay, “The Lost Tools of Learning,” sparked my interest in classical Christian education, and as a philosophy major, I valued the Socratic model of instruction for the importance of thinking analytically and critically over the mere imbibing of information. I also believe that education necessarily implies an “immersion” if you will. I cannot compartmentalize my life and think of myself as a teacher only when in the classroom. Every moment I have with these kids is an opportunity to teach, or inspire, or provoke to good deeds. Deuteronomy 6:6-10 lays out for parents their responsibility as teachers of their children. This same responsibility is laid upon me as well, since I have been entrusted to aid them in this task. We must speak to them while sitting, while standing, while walking on the road. In short, we must look to every moment as an opportunity to teach them about the Lord and the good things He has done. I cannot think of teaching as a 9-5 job that I can escape from. I must immerse myself in it.
I am from southern Oregon, but have lived in Boise for 20 years now. My mother and brother both followed me out here and now live in Nampa. I enjoy just about everything, from movies, to backpacking in the Sawtooths, to playing football.
Church Affiliation: Calvary Chapel, Boise
|Mr. Ken Hosier||Biology, Chemistry, Physics||B.S., Biology, minors in Chemistry and Zoology, University of Idaho; M.A., Teaching, George Fox University. I began teaching at The Ambrose School in the fall of 2005, along with coaching the boys varsity basketball team. Previously I worked for 5 years as an organic chemist.
Sir Isaac Newton said, “I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” I choose to work at a classical Christian school because I want help students develop the same sort of reverence about the world around them.
My philosophy of teaching is that students are unique individuals who will learn in a variety of ways. Our goals as teachers should be to create lifelong learners who pursue the truth of Christ with the same vigor and passion we show towards the subject matter we teach. I am dedicated to teaching students how to think logically and actually apply their knowledge rather than just simply regurgitate facts.
I married my beautiful wife, Jen, in the year 2000. I have two children - Kaelyn, who is currently enrolled at The Ambrose School and my son, Evan, who will be joining her soon. I love living in the Treasure Valley because it serves as a gateway to the great outdoors.
Church Affiliation: Riverside Community Church
|Mrs. Carol Thompson||Algebra I, Geometry, Math Survey||B.B.A., The University of Texas at Austin. I have taught at various schools across the country and in England during my husband’s Air Force career. This is my third year at The Ambrose School.
Over my years of teaching and homeschooling my children, I have become more and more convinced of the value of a classical Christian education. This approach to education teaches our children to desire knowledge, to love knowledge, to develop critical thinking skills, and not to have the laziness of the mind that is prevalent in our culture today. Sharpening their minds will set them on the course so that they can reach the ultimate goal, recognizing truth and knowing and loving Christ.
My goal for my math classes in this classical Christian model is to help the students develop and deepen their understanding of math concepts, and to appreciate the beauty of the systems designed by God. When students see math in this light, as opposed to a just a set of processes to be applied, they can begin to imagine how the philosophers/mathematicians throughout history discovered truth, reason, and beauty in mathematics. They may even begin to discover it for themselves.
After much moving around and living the military lifestyle, our family has made Idaho our permanent home. Our children, Casey and Dylan, are currently 9th graders here. We enjoy the standard Idaho activities: hiking, skiing, camping and such. After living many places, I really appreciate the beauty of the area and, most of all, I’m thankful for the blessing of this school.
Church Affiliation: Foothills Christian Church
|Mrs. Cheryl Gammon||Rhetoric, Summa Civitas, Writing Lab||M.A., English, Fort Hays State University, 1999; B.S. English, Speech, Theatre and 7-12 Education, Southwest Baptist University, 1997. I taught upper school English, speech and theatre in Missouri and Kansas previous to writing for an attorney in Boise. This year marks my first year teaching at The Ambrose School.
Gerard Manley Hopkins proclaims in Pied Beauty, “Glory be to God for dappled things—“ and after a rapturous cataloging of intricacies and variety found in creation and trades, Manley ends by reminding us, “He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.” Through Christian Classical Education methods, I teach students to identify intricacies and to esteem all that is good, beautiful and true. Students learn how to daily glorify God, the author of all goodness, beauty, and truth, by living virtuous lives. I teach this, not because such living earns salvation, but because such living is how we acknowledge God’s grace. Put another way, we need God’s grace to live virtuous lives, for as the 12th century monk, William of Thierry, noted, “What is virtue? It is the daughter of reason, but still more of grace.”
My husband and I married 14 years ago, and we enjoy our three boys who attend The Ambrose School. Our family stays active in the outdoors, enjoying Idaho's pied beauty, and you are most likely to find us hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, or fly fishing.
Church Affiliation: All Saints Presbyterian Church
|Mrs. Nichol Starr||Rhetoric, Comparative Civilizations||Bachelor of Arts in History, magna cum laude (minors in Religious Studies and Psychology), Washington University in St. Louis, 1998. Doctor of Jurisprudence, Vanderbilt University, 2001. A former employment/education law attorney, I classically homeschooled our four children for seven years before joining the Ambrose faculty in 2016.
Words are noble, precious things. As I often tell my students, they are to be used carefully, concisely, and always (always!) with an acute understanding of their power to bring joy or pain. I am honored by the opportunity Ambrose has given me to teach students to write with both winsomeness and wisdom. And as many of my students will tell you (since I share them daily), the Puritan prayers from The Valley of Vision are a constant encouragement to me; it is appropriate, therefore, to include a relevant excerpt here: “Make me to abhor that which grieves thy Holy Spirit, to suspect consolations of a worldly nature, to shun a careless way of life, to reprove evil, to instruct with meekness…, to be gentle and patient towards all men, to be not only a professor but an example of the gospel, displaying in every relation, office, and condition its excellency, loveliness and advantages.” I trust that our great Teacher God will make these characteristics a reality in my classroom, despite my many weaknesses. My hope and prayer is that students learn to delight in words, and ultimately in the Word.
My husband Bryan and I have four children; three are currently enrolled at Ambrose, and our youngest will join them in kindergarten next year. We love watching them grow into their God-given passions, and we are thankful for the role their teachers at Ambrose play to help cultivate in them a lifelong desire for both academic excellence and Godly virtue.
Church Affiliation: All Saints Presbyterian Church (PCA)
|Mrs. Teresa Pauls||Upper School Math||B.S.E. Mathematics, Truman State University; M.A. Education, Lindenwood University
I have taught all levels of math from 7th grade up through AP BC calculus. My 20 years of experience have been in the public schools in Missouri, Hailey, Idaho, and in the Boise School District.
I chose to come to Ambrose because of the decline in academic standards and rigor in mathematics education and lack of morals in the public schools. Our boys have attended this school and have developed into critical thinkers and solid believers in their faith in Christ. I desire to be a part of a community that develops these attributes in the classical Christian environment. My calling is to develop a strong math curriculum that builds confidence and conceptual understanding in mathematics.
I am married to Timothy Pauls, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. We have two boys - Nathan, who attends West Point Military Academy and Noah, who is currently a senior at Ambrose.
Church Affiliation: Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod
|Ms. Kathleen Clausen||7th grade composition, Graphic Design, Yearbook||B.A. History, minor in Biblical Languages, Concordia University Irvine; Masters in American Studies, University of Dallas. Before starting at The Ambrose School in 2016, I taught Latin and History at classical schools in Dallas.
I love classical Christian education because it closely follows the advice given by Paul to the Philippians: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” At The Ambrose School, I get to witness students following Paul's advice. They are studying great pieces of literature and moments in history, highlighting examples of truth, nobility, and loveliness every day. In doing so, they are being prepared to face the hardships of life graciously and to be a light in a world that so desperately needs it. It is a privilege to be a part of this great endeavor of directing students towards the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, while keeping them rooted in the fact that this triad culminated in the death and resurrection of Christ.
I am very excited to be back in Boise, where I am surrounded by family, mountains, and now the Ambrose community. When I’m not teaching, you will likely find me hiking in the Sawtooths or chatting about life and good books with friends at a local coffee shop.
Church affiliation: Lutheran Church Missouri Synod – Christ Lutheran Church, Meridian
|Mrs. Kristian Westom||7th Grade Math, 8th Grade Composition||B.A., Business, minor in English, Baylor University; Secondary Teaching Certification- Texas and Idaho. My teaching experience includes two years in small Christian schools, eleven years homeschooling, and three years substitute and full-time teaching in public schools.
When I was first introduced to classical Christian education in 2011, it was with the sense of coming home to the way education should truly be. One of the things I appreciate most about classical Christian education is that it not only teaches students skills and knowledge, but also teaches them to reflect on deeper issues which helps shape who they become. Through the academic discipline, students learn how to learn, so they are well prepared to tackle any new challenge where learning is required. But more importantly it shows students how to be people of faith, morality, and courage in whatever occupation they pursue. Keeping a sense of awe and wonder in God in the classroom creates a foundation to love learning and interact as a community of grace. I am teaching 7th grade math and 8th grade composition and am thrilled and humbled to be part of the role Ambrose plays in students’ lives.
My husband, Brad Westom, works with Mission Aviation Fellowship. We spent 18 years living in Africa serving with MAF. We have three daughters, two of whom recently graduated from Ambrose. Karisa is currently at Whitworth University, Elisa is attending Westminster University, and Brianna is a sophomore at Ambrose. Some of my favorite free-time activities include hiking, taking walks with my family and our two dogs, and curling up with a good book.
|Mr. Chris Moore||Latin, Greek||B.A., Classics, Summa Cum Laude, The University of Texas at Austin; B.A. Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude, The University of Texas at Austin. Having just graduated from the University of Texas in the Spring of 2017, I am beginning my teaching career at the Ambrose School this fall. I will be teaching Latin and Greek, along with helping out with the boys basketball team.
Simply put, I believe the classical Christian approach to education is the most conducive to teaching students what – and how – to think. The classical texts have stood the test of time; they have nourished the mind of man regardless of time period or cultural bias. The student is taught to put all truth to careful, rational scrutiny. The Christian God, as the source of absolute truth, provides the lens through which students filter various arguments, and arrive at truth.
I love sports of all sorts. I grew up playing basketball, and love the solitude provided by shooting around in an empty gym. I’ve lived in Austin, TX my whole life, and no one there understands why I am moving to, what is in their estimation, a state of nothing but potatoes. As much as I love a good potato, I’m looking forward to the skiing, hiking, fishing, and whatever else takes me into the Great Outdoors to prove to the people back home that Idaho has more to offer than this starchy delicacy.
|Mrs. Mandi Moore||Physical Science||B.S. Multi-Disciplinary Science, Texas Tech University – College of Education; Texas Educator Certification – Secondary Science Composite (Grades 6-12); M.A. Physical Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
While prayerfully researching education options for our oldest child, my husband, Tim, and I became convinced that classical Christian education was the most effective method for raising our children to love the Lord whole-heartedly, think deeply from a Biblical worldview, discern truth, effectively communicate the gospel, and deeply influence the world. This conviction led us to serve on the founding board of Cross Classical Academy (CCA), the first of its kind in the Heart of Texas region, in order to make Classical Christian Education available to families of our community.
Our daughter and son attended CCA and I served as Administrator from 2010 through 2015, when my husband accepted a cardiology position at St. Alphonsus and we relocated to Idaho. Our family is grateful for the opportunity to continue our journey in classical Christian education at The Ambrose School, where we are deeply committed to the school’s mission and are daily blessed by the community of exceptional staff and families. I am excited to participate in the work to extend Ambrose to more families in southern Idaho through the new Shared Instruction Program.
As native Texans, it has been a delight to experience for the first time the many activities Idaho has to offer. From spending time outdoors hiking, mountain biking, running, rafting, snowmobiling, and skiing to savoring restaurants and fine arts productions downtown, our family ENJOYS Boise life and the amazing people who call it home.
All Saints Presbyterian Church, Boise
Cross Classical Academy – Board President