Mr. Chris Browne
7th Grade Humanities
10th Grade Co-Teacher
M.A., History, Latin minor, Boise State University; B.A. History, Philosophy minor, Boise State University
I joined The Ambrose School in 2011. I embraced classical Christian education for two primary reasons. First, it maintains the proper goal of education, which is not to merely train good technicians or accountants, but to cultivate virtue in the lives of students. If you can cultivate virtue in a student so that he rejoices in the Lord always, loves his neighbor as himself, and does all things as to the Lord, then you will as a result get a good technician or accountant. However, if you set out to only train a good technician to the neglect of the moral character of the student, you run the risk of only producing what C.S. Lewis called “a more clever devil.” Also, classical Christian education is vastly superior to the modern approach to education because through the Trivium it utilizes the student’s natural developmental stages to produce a student equipped to both think and articulate great ideas.
I am an Idaho native. My wife, TJ, and I live in Boise with our two daughters, who both attend The Ambrose School. We love Boise because of the great Christian community and the many recreational opportunities here. In the summer I work as a river guide on the majestic Hells Canyon portion of the Snake River.
Church Affiliation: Faith Community Bible Church, Boise
Mrs. Kristian Westom
7th Grade Humanities
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 girls in humanities and 8th grade composition and am thrilled and humbled to be part of The Ambrose School.
My husband, Brad, 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. 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.
Mrs. Sandi Francis
8th Grade Humanities
7th Grade Physical Science
B.A., History, University of California, Santa Barbara; Teaching Credential from Chapman University. Lived in Bonn, Germany and studied at Akademie Niederburg. Taught 10th grade World Studies and 8th grade U.S. History, Literature, and Drama for six years in California public schools. I have been teaching at Ambrose since 2008.
I strongly believe that a classical Christian education is the very best type of education. My goal is for my students to love the good, and pursue the excellent. I teach my students through a Christian worldview which is the framework of truth and reality. It is based on the infallible Word of God which is the foundation of everything we say and do. I am blessed every day to be a part of this community.
My family and I have lived in Idaho 16 years. My daughter and son are both Ambrose graduates.
Dr. Matthew Stewart
9th Grade Humanities
Ph.D., History, Syracuse University; M.A., American Studies, University of Wyoming; B.A., History, Geneva College. In addition to teaching assistant appointments during my graduate work, I taught for four years at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, Virginia and for a year at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.
In my most recent encounter with Augustine’s Confessions, the introductory material informed me that Augustine’s library was almost burned down around 430 AD. I was struck by what could have been otherwise: this book that has served the Christian Church for centuries might not have outlived Augustine. One fire would not destroy The Confessions now, but it is not guaranteed that it will be read meaningfully by us or future generations without schools like Ambrose. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach at a school that values the life of prayer, intellectual engagement, and worship embodied so well by Augustine in The Confessions. The practices of close reading, Socratic discussion, and thoughtful writing cultivated at Ambrose can help Christians better “care for words in a culture of lies,” in the words of Marilyn Chandler McEntyre. Christians—followers of the Word made flesh—bear witness to Christ when they take care with their words, and Ambrose is a place where I have seen that happen.
I grew up in Maryland and am married to Katie, who grew up in Boise. We were both happy to move to the Treasure Valley in August 2018. Two of our children, Donovan and Lucy, will be starting kindergarten in the Bridge Program at Ambrose. Robert, our youngest, is still a toddler. I enjoy the idea of playing sports or getting immersed in projects involving fine wood and have done so on occasion. More commonly, I enjoy walks with Katie, chasing my kids around in the backyard, and good conversation with friends.
Church Affiliation: Nampa United Reformed Church
Mr. Nick Duncan
10th Grade Humanities
2012- BBA in Entrepreneurship Management from Boise State University, 2016- Masters of Divinity in Global Studies from Liberty University School of Divinity. A major focus of study for me was how the New Testament authors, specifically Paul, were partially influenced by Greco-Roman philosophers, literature, and rhetoric. As such, I was able to study the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and literature that we cover in 10th Grade at Ambrose from a biblical perspective. This works well for 10th Grade Humanities as the main question we focus on for the year is “How did God prepare the world for the coming of the Christ?” We answer that question in every Greco-Roman work we cover.
I taught at the College of Western Idaho for four years and for the school year 2017-2018 I taught Greek 1 at the Ambrose School and I currently teach 10th Grade Humanities.
I have chosen to teach at the Ambrose School because I honestly believe it offers the best education in the Treasure Valley. I am so convinced of that truth, that I enrolled my children before I ever taught here; I was a father at Ambrose before I ever became a teacher. After seeing the quality of teachers, administration, and the constant pursuit of teaching Christ in all aspects of my children’s education, I knew that the Ambrose School was home for me and my family.
I’m happily married to my wife Jorie, and have two children: Grady and Ainsley.
Church affiliation: Elder at Valley Life Community Church
Mrs. Amanda Patchin
11th 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
Mr. Tom Velasco
12th Grade Humanities, Logic, 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
Dr. Bill Miller
12th Grade Co-Teacher
Raised in central Arizona, I received an engineering degree from Brown University. I served as a campus minister with CRU for seven years at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, and Osh State (Kyrgyzstan). I completed a M.A. in Politics and Ph.D. at the University of Dallas’ great books program. After grad school, our family lived in the Czech Republic for 8 years where I was a lecturer at two different universities. Returning to the US, I taught at a Christian great books program in Minneapolis. Then, I worked with several start-up companies managing educational content development projects, until joining Ambrose in 2019.
In graduate school I experienced meaningful conversations with the great thinkers of Western civilization, fellow students, professors and the Truth of the Scriptures. My view of reality expanded; I was humbled and challenged to communicate with clarity, kindness and grace; and I received wisdom. The skills, knowledge and wisdom came with responsibility and implications for every area of my life—from how I parent to how I manage work projects to how I serve in the church. I long to see God impart that kind of education to other young men and women. I pray He’ll use me as a vessel to that end.
Lisa and I have been married 25 years and have two sons: Caleb (22) and Joshua (19). I enjoy watching and discussing movies, traveling, hiking, working out, and watching football (NFL and EPL). My lesser loves include cooking and sharing good food and drink with others, including coffee and ice cream.
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. I have taught a variety of science and math courses over the course of 13+ years. I have also served as Athletic Director (2 years), coached Boy’s Varsity basketball (11 years), and Girls Varsity volleyball (2 years). Prior to my teaching career 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 to help students develop the same sort of reverence about the world around them and to develop rightly ordered affections in regards to creation (wonder and worship).
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. Using the tenets of classical education blended with modern laboratory practices and methodologies, I strive to develop science proficiency and a love of the subject. I want to strike the right balance between rigor and support, encouraging students to buck hedonistic tendencies and be resilient when faced with challenges.
I married my beautiful wife, Jen, in the year 2000. I have two children – Kaelyn and Evan who are currently enrolled at The Ambrose School. I love living in the Treasure Valley because it serves as a gateway to the great outdoors.
Church Affiliation: Riverside Community Church (Elder – 3 years)
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, both graduated from The Ambrose School. 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. Caitlyn Yates
7th Grade Math Logic, 8th Grade Algebra 1, Essentials of Mock Trial, and B Team Coach
B.S. in Mathematics, Biola University and Torrey Honors Institute, 2017.
I joined Ambrose faculty in 2018 after teaching previously for one year at a classical Christian school in Texas. My childhood education consisted of a little bit of everything: private Christian school, public charter school, and homeschooling. My sophomore year in high school, my parents enrolled me at Ambrose. I quickly fell in love with classical education because I personally experienced how it changed me. It strengthened my faith, molded my loves, and grew my intellect. Although I pursued a degree in mathematics, my love for classical education prompted me to continue my classical education in college through the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola. I discovered my love for teaching in high school where I had the opportunity to be a TA. After teaching a full week of math lessons my junior year, I realized that not only did I enjoy teaching but I felt that God was calling me to share the education I had received with the next generation of students.
My passion is the integration of faith and mathematics. Throughout history, most great mathematicians were also theologians and philosophers. This is because they not only saw all knowledge as integrated and centered on Christ, but they saw a deep connection between the subjects— a connection we have greatly lost in modernity. I believe that classical education can be extended beyond humanities to the math classroom as well. Just as we ask big questions of Great Books, we can also ask questions of mathematics and discover truths about creation and the Creator. I believe that a mastery of mathematics can be achieved by anyone. I strive to teach students how to think critically and problem solve rather than memorize procedures they likely do not understand. I hope to expose students to the beauty and creativity in mathematics and pass on a love for the subject and for its Creator.
I met my husband Brandon at Biola University (in math class!) and we were married in 2017. I was born and raised in Boise and am grateful to be back in the Treasure Valley. When I’m not teaching, you’ll find me paddle boarding with Brandon, trying new recipes and restaurants, traveling, or working on projects around our house.
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 is a graduate of West Point Military Academy and Noah, who is currently a student at MIT.
Church Affiliation: Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod
Mr. Rick Strader
Upper School Drama & Media
I started on the stage at the age of seven playing Pooh Bear in Winnie the Pooh in a children’s theatre production. From there I performed on stage at the Springer Opera House in Columbus, GA in over 45 musical productions (mostly as a chorus member and small roles). At 16 I went to audition for summer stock in NY on a dare and found myself being contracted for the next seven years and into my college years as a professional actor. I went on to travel across the US in national touring productions. I have performed as Snoopy, King Arthur, Mordred, Artful Dodger, Oliver, Dauntless, Peter Pan, MC (Cabaret), Puck, Hamlet, Joseph, John the Baptist, Job, Tom Sawyer and 10 characters in a show called Greater Tuna to name a few.
I have been a director of over 120 plays and musicals over the years, as well as in roles as production mgr., stage mgr., tech. director, set designer and lighting and sound design. I have been in front of and behind the TV and Movie camera as well. Locally I have worked with Idaho Shakespeare, Opera Idaho and Ballet Idaho along with directing productions for over 15 years at Northwest Nazarene University.
My media and film experience has spanned the years with parts in the acclaimed TV series North & South along with other performances for the likes of PBS and local advertisements in various cities. I have been on the production side or on screen in films shot in Columbus, GA (Green Berets), Fort Worth, TX (Logan’s Run), and Montgomery, AL (Norma Rae).
I met my wife Melissa when I was stage manager for Ballet Idaho. We have been married for 23 years and have a son Nickolas attending the University of Idaho.
Church Affiliation: First United Methodist
Mrs. Kathleen Meregaglia
7th Grade composition, Greek
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
Ms. Lisa Partridge
7th Grade Composition, 9th Grade Writing, 11th Grade Thesis Editing
B.A. English Teaching, Boise State University; Idaho secondary teaching credential. I am pursuing a M.St. in Classical Christian Studies through New Saint Andrews College. My teaching experience includes six years overseas at a mission school in Kiev, Ukraine, and three years at a rural Christian school in Idaho.
I am convinced that classical Christian education is currently the best form of education available. Classical Christian education is Christ-centered, which means everything done in school, from studies to sports to interactions with others, is rightly placed in submission to Christ. Education is about shaping our loves, and schools like Ambrose are training grounds for learning how to love the Lord our God and live in community with one another. Students are equipped to live as children of God—to be sweetness and light amidst brokenness and corruption—by developing clear thinking, becoming rooted in wisdom, and understanding the world through a biblical lens.
I have lived in Idaho since I was a little girl, and I enjoy a number of activities including lifting, hiking, gardening, reading, learning, and (oddly enough) cleaning and organizing just about anything.
Church Affiliation: Ustick Baptist Church
Mrs. Emily States
Physical Science & Biology Teacher
B.S., Nursing, Pacific Lutheran University. R.N., Maternity/Obstetric Nursing.
My family has been a part of Ambrose since 2008. Both our children, Jackson (14) and Selah (16) have attended Ambrose since Kindergarten. As part of the Ambrose community, going on 12 years, I have been doing my best to love and support the students and faculty at Ambrose; predominantly on a volunteer basis, but also as a Preceptorial Instructor. When Christ first called the disciples, he said: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”(Matt.4:19). I have entrusted my children’s education to The Ambrose School because it is a community that is dedicated to following only Christ and in turn offering itself to be used by Christ to equip and inspire the students to be “fishers of men.” I have joined the Ambrose School faculty to further engage in this process. My desire is to use this opportunity to help students come closer to understanding that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Also I aim to show how God’s attributes and glory can be revealed in the study of His creations (Ps. 19:1).
I have been blessed to be happily married to my husband Shawn, for 21 years. We are both Idaho natives. We love our state, and take full advantage of all its abundant outdoor activities. We own two hefty bulldogs that are destroying our home, and we are building a herd of pack llamas that will help us pursue our mountain adventures!
Church Affiliation: Faith Community Bible Church.
Dr. Nathanael Filippelli
Orchestra, Junior High Orchestra, Junior High Choir
D.M.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, the University of Iowa; M.M. in Piano Performance, Missouri State University; B.M. in Music Performance, Evangel University; piano studies with Ksenia Nosikova, Edmund Battersby, Peter Collins, and Linda Ligate; choral conducting with Timothy Stalter; violin study with Larry Dissmore; composition and music theory with John Akins, Michael Eckert, and Matthew Arndt; musicology with Christine Getz and Marian Wilson Kimber.
I am excited to be joining the Ambrose family this fall, moving to Meridian from Williamsburg, Iowa. With its emphasis on character and virtue, classical education represents the future of our country amidst looming ignorance—a reformation in its own right that I am honored to participate in.
I began studying music when I was four-and-a-half years old. As a teacher I am most satisfied when great music comes alive to students, and they discover their God-given potential to create the beautiful.
My wife Ashley and I have one child, Jonathan Nehemiah, who just turned one. We look forward to getting to know the Ambrose community, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Idaho.
Mrs. Julia Kapsoff
Devoveo, Gaudeo, Junior High Strings
MM, Music Education, Boston University; BMUS, Voice Performance, University of British Columbia
I began teaching music at The Ambrose School in 2013 but my musical journey began at age three through violin lessons. Over the past 20 years, I have taught violin, voice, and piano privately, and have been involved with church music in various capacities. Before joining The Ambrose School faculty, I developed curriculum and taught Music Education, Physical Education and Computer Technology in a Christian school setting. Since arriving at Ambrose, I have immensely enjoyed the wide and varied role of teaching in both the grammar and high schools.
I value education that encourages one’s best effort, that demonstrates how to think critically and debate, which embraces challenge, which pursues possibilities that lie beyond what is readily apparent, and that searches for God’s fingerprint in all places. Although I am still discovering how deeply music fits within the classical Christian view, I believe that a classical Christian education provides the best framework to pursue life-long learning goals as well as spiritual growth and stability in a secular environment.
I moved to Idaho in 2007 with my husband, Dan, and two children, Sasha and Devon. Both attend The Ambrose School. We love to travel, and I enjoy sports, especially hockey.