Mr. Joe Gerber
Upper School Dean
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 four sons and 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: Ruling Elder, All Saints Presbyterian Church
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, all graduates of 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. Nathan Dowd
7th Grade Humanities
I am a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a degree in Social Studies Education. I began my teaching career in the public school and transitioned to pastoral ministry in Ephrata, Washington, where I was an associate and youth pastor for seven years. I then took over the administrator position as Head of School at New Life Christian School in 2017. I led the transition of NLCS to the classical model while also teaching logic and 7th and 8th grade humanities.
I first came in contact with classical Christian education when I read Douglas Wilson’s The Case for Classical Christian Education. From that moment on, I have jumped fully into the classical pool. My greatest desire is to help my students develop a love for reading the Great Books and seeing God’s hand in history. I also want them to catch a passion for cCe and see what a wonderful gift they have been given by this form of education.
I am married to Rachel and we have three children Molly, Liam, and Clive. We love going for walks, fellowshipping with friends and family, and playing sports. We also love supporting Arsenal FC and the L.A. Rams. My favorite thing is reading a good book with a good cup of coffee. We are so excited to be part of the Ambrose family and live in Idaho!
Ms. Lisa Partridge
8th Grade Humanities, House Governess
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
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, attend 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. Kim Reis
11th Grade Humanities
B.A., English literature, Seattle Pacific University, with a minor in Visual Art.
In the 8th grade, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington state, I taught 6th-8th grades in several area Christian schools, and homeschooled our own children for seven years in the classic tradition. Our daughters graduated from Covenant High School, Tacoma. My husband and I both chaperoned the CHS Church History tour to Great Britain and Scotland in April. During a hiatus from the teaching profession, I pursued a national certification in Child Life (CCLS), which involved courses in child (birth-18 years) development, pediatric psychosocial and cognitive development, death/dying/grieving, coping with trauma, pediatric medical procedure preparation, and family systems. The pandemic dramatically affected the future of the Child Life profession.
However, despite the fact I was participating in a national, virtual Child Life practicum at the time, I applied to The Ambrose School because I was so impressed with its vigorous, classical course of study and commitment to scholastic excellence. I asked God to lead my life, as He always has, despite having a leg in two careers at the same time. Being offered a position at The Ambrose School was delightful, and I am elated to be teaching 11th grade Humanities- all the Great Books and Great Ideas which have always formed my north star. Above all, I give thanks to the Bright and Morning Star for leading me to Ambrose, to exciting adventures, a new home, and to meeting all of you!
Because my family is moving with me to the Boise area, I have the privilege of continuing to live with the greatest people I know. My husband is a former chemistry teacher and, now, clinical pharmacist who plays the accordion. Our oldest daughter is a nursing student at Boise State who writes poetry, and our youngest just graduated from high school and will be pursuing teaching secondary/college-level math. She loves the ocean. We have a chocolate lab named Olive, and two orange tabby cats named Stuart and Dr. Watson. I love to dance, cook, paint, grow vegetables, and learn new things.
Mr. Rob Elisher
11th Grade Humanities
B.A.s, Philosophy and Business Administration, Azusa Pacific University; M.A., Philosophy, Baylor University; Ph.D. in philosophy expected spring of next year (Baylor).
I’m grateful for the chance to do what I love—namely, to teach and learn about the deep truths of God, his world, and human existence, and to do so alongside other passion-filled people. I already have a strong sense that there is no shortage of good people at Ambrose to learn from, and that of course includes the students as well as all the many deceased ladies and gentlemen whose books we’ll read together!
My passion for worshiping with my mind was sparked while reading lots of philosophy and theology at Azusa Pacific as an undergraduate. It has carried with me through my graduate studies in philosophy at Baylor. It’s been a long road, but I’ll be finishing my doctoral work by the fall. I’m currently finishing up my dissertation on Kierkegaard’s conception of love and what this might teach us about the proper role of partiality in the moral life.
I grew up in the world of protestant evangelicalism and am so grateful for the unshakable sense of God’s unmerited favor that this upbringing instilled in me. Since my undergraduate years, I have become increasingly appreciative of historic Christianity and liturgical practice, which has opened to me (and my wife, Megan) a whole new dimension of life in Christ.
Megan and I met studying abroad in Oxford, UK, so naturally traveling has always been dear to us. We love getting acquainted with a new city by getting acquainted with its food! We love the outdoors as well, but a definite goal of ours in moving to ID is to become less “in-doorsy.” Currently, though, my favorite pastime is playing with our beautiful, short and stout 10-month-old daughter, Zoe.
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. 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. Chris Maiocca
Rhetoric Department Chair,
Summa Theologica, Classical Rhetoric
B.Th., Andersonville Theological Seminary. Summa Cum Laude. M.A., Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Upon graduating high school, I studied business management at Northeastern University and Boston College for three years. Around this time, I had a dramatic conversion to Christ and decided to shift my academic pursuits to theology. For the next four years, I was enrolled at Southern California Seminary and maintained a 3.9 GPA.
One day, driving to school, I was listening to R.C. Sproul’s radio broadcast “Renewing Your Mind” on the radio. He had a guest named Doug Wilson who was explaining classical Christian education. I had never heard of CCE, but I was immediately smitten and decided at that moment that being a teacher in this movement was the career path I would pursue.
Around this time, I sensed a strong calling to pursue graduate work at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in order to study under many of my heroes including Dr. David Wells, Dr. Gordon Hugenberger, and Dr. Walter Kaiser. I was accepted, but as a newly married man with a child on the way, I lacked the funds to attend. I prayed about this for a year and on the last day before I had to formally matriculate or else forfeit my admission, I was handed a check for $20,000 which allowed me to complete my education.
My thesis was “Martin Luther’s Understanding of Christian Education,” which was subsequently published in the Classisus Journal. I considered it a sweet providence of the Lord to have had my first written work published in the same edition that George Marsden – the great Yale scholar and my academic hero – was also asked to contribute.
Upon graduation, I worked for five years at a classical school in Sonoma County called Harvest Classical Christian School. Those were precious years of raising a family in a beautiful part of the country. This was also the birthplace of my family’s non-profit called ‘Bread for Life’ that is now in its tenth year and has raised over half a million dollars in order to build bakeries, schools, and to assist farmers in Uganda, Africa.
From there I received an invitation to create and chair a humanities department at a school in southern California called Horizon Prep which had recently converted to the classical model. These were tremendous years of seeing many young people come to the Lord while getting the opportunity to train a huge staff in Classical Christian education.
It was at this time I began developing curriculum – the centerpiece being a six-volume history of Western Civilization. This work is currently being published by Classical Academic Press and I am serving as the series editor, having the privilege of working with some of the top scholars from around the world who have joined me in this project.
I currently have four children at Ambrose and I am extremely excited to be here alongside a stellar staff and some truly amazing families.
Church Affiliation: Faith Community Bible Church
Mr. Ken Hosier
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science Department Chair
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. Teresa Pauls
Upper School Math, Math Department Chair
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: Heritage Bible 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.
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. Emily States
Physical Science & Biology
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
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.
Mrs. Jessica Custer
French I & II
I received my degree from Seattle Pacific University in European Studies specializing in French and I spent my junior year studying at the Université de Pau in southern France. After graduating from SPU I was asked to start the French program at Cole Valley Christian. I quickly learned the Lord had me exactly where I needed to be as I discovered my passion for teaching and sharing with my students the beauty God created in French cultures around the world.
After teaching at Cole Valley Christian for six years, my husband was offered a job in Singapore. We lived in Singapore for five years where both of our children were born and then moved to the Netherlands for two years. While living in the Netherlands we were introduced to The Ambrose School. We researched all the schools in the valley and knew immediately that an education from The Ambrose School would be able to compete with the high levels of education we were seeing and experiencing around the world. I knew we made the right decision to put our kids here when I stepped into my French class for the first time and met my students. It is because of them that I love my job and continue teaching!
I’ve been teaching part-time at Ambrose since 2014 and in my free time, I’m usually skiing or mountain biking with my family or hiking with my dog.
Mrs. Dori McCormick
Upper School Science
I grew up in the upper peninsula of Michigan and received my Bachelor’s degree in integrated science and mathematics for secondary education from Central Michigan University. I started my teaching career in Idaho Falls, ID and continued my education at Montana State University receiving a masters degree in science education. My husband Clay and I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and I continued to teach, for a total of 7.5 years, until we joined staff with Back2Back ministries.
Through this orphan care ministry we moved to Jos, Nigeria and served five years. During that time our family grew and we have two daughters, Tess, 3, and Hope, 1. We bought an old sheep farm in Boise to live close to my husband’s family and transition back to the United States of America. I am excited to continue my teaching career at the Ambrose School and put down roots in the area and with this amazing community. I will be teaching upper school science, specifically chemistry, conceptual physics and physical science.
I am passionate about Jesus, science and education. I love to cook/bake, play with my girls and garden. Our appreciation for nature and all the beauty Idaho has to offer has only grown while living overseas. We hope to spend as much time outside as possible, at the same time trying to mentally prepare for our first full winter in over five years.
Mr. Austin Hoffman
I graduated in 2012 with a BA in Biblical Studies from Maranatha Baptist University and in 2014 with a MA in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary. I have taught Latin, humanities, logic, and rhetoric the last six years at Charis Classical Academy in Madison, Wisconsin. I have also written for the Circe Institute, The Imaginative Conservative, and FORMA. I am excited to join the Ambrose community and aid classical education through teaching classical languages. I am passionate about helping students read the great authors in their own words, learn to think ‘with another’s mind’, and understand the connection between language and thought.
My wife Megan and I, and our two sons (“hoffspring,” as one student has called them), Judah (5) and Lewis (7 weeks) are excited to be joining the Ambrose community and moving to the Boise area. Although having a newborn certainly changes family dynamics, we enjoy walks, bike rides, hiking, reading, playing games, and building with Lego bricks and Magna Tiles. We are coming from Wisconsin so have had free ice cream on -50° days and know real cheese curds squeak. I enjoy playing guitar, reading old books, making furniture and boxes for the house, and writing.
Mrs. Kate Stucker
B.S. in Family Consumer Science from University of Idaho, 2002; M.S. in Educational Technology from Boise State University, 2005
For a decade I taught Family Consumer Science, Life Skills, and Business Technology classes at the middle school level in Meridian. For a few of those years I also worked as an Educational Technology Specialist and taught professional development courses to fellow educators at the district level as well as online for Idaho State University.
The Ambrose School has been a blessing beyond what I could have imagined for my son and our family over the last three years. Being a part of the Ambrose community I have developed an appreciation for Classical Christian Education and the foundation of truth it sets in the hearts and minds of students. I look forward to stepping back into the classroom, as the 5-Day and Bridge program Graphic Design instructor, to come alongside students and encourage them as they develop publishing skills, creativity, and take ownership over the publication of the yearbook.
I am a native Idahoan and enjoy multigenerational family time and all that comes with living with and raising our kids around our extended family. I thrive in time I can spend being creative whether it is gardening, cooking, baking, knitting, sewing, painting, or woodworking.
Mr. Tristan McGrath
7th Math, Greek I & II
M.A., Theological Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; B.S., Mathematics, University of Utah
A prominent theme in his life and writings, John Calvin often emphasized, “The world was no doubt made, that it might be a theatre of the divine glory.” My passion for education comes from a desire to see this vision enacted within the classroom. That is, my central aim is to equip students to see and savor—and to equip others to see and savor—Jesus Christ in all their learning. Whether it be things of nature (the sciences) or things of man (the humanities), I encourage students to press in so that they might discern the unique testimony that all things make concerning their Maker as they apply their minds and hearts diligently to the study of them with eyes of faith in the light of Scripture.
My passion for classical Christian education in particular lies firstly in its emphasis upon the Great Books, those stories which are a beloved treasury of human experience that fills our lives with awe, wonder, and inspiration. Moreover, I share CCE’s conviction that every student must ‘learn to think’ and receive training in the recognition of valid and invalid inference—this is even more pressing in today’s relativistic age with its relentless assault on Truth. Finally, I love CCE’s emphasis on Rhetoric which ensures students will not merely be passive participants, but active contributors, in the Great Conversation. They will learn to converse creatively, faithfully, and fruitfully, winsomely defending and advancing the cause of Christ in the public square for the glory of God and the good of man.
A Boise native, I found a ‘foreign’ wife while living in ‘exile’ (Utah) and recently returned home with her to the Idaho ‘promised land’ (Thanks be to God!). Kaitlyn and I are thrilled by the new addition of our baby Edelweiss to our family. Both these wonderful women keep me ever on my toes. For fun, I enjoy rock climbing, backpacking, skiing, strumming on my ukulele, playing with our Airedale Allen, and waxing philosophical with unsuspecting victims. In Christian circles, I have no greater joy than teaching Theology and helping others to better grasp the story of Scripture.
Church Affiliation: Table Rock Church
Mr. Bray Wilkins
B. A., Vocal Performance, University of Idaho; Fellow of Vocal Arts, Music Academy of the West; Artist Certificate, Seattle Opera.
I have had the pleasure of singing professionally across the country in both operatic, and musical theater genres. I sang with the Metropolitan Opera chorus, was a three time Fellow at the Music Academy of the West, and a former Seattle Opera Young Artist.
I have been teaching privately over the last 18 years, and have taught a wide range of ages and vocal styles. I have also helped direct and coach drama productions, master classes, and acting classes around the country.
I previously taught at the Chamberlain Hunt Academy in Port Gibson (MS), the Geneva Conservatory of Music in New York City (NY), New Jersey City college in Jersey City (NJ), and most recently was the Choral Director of the Classical School of Wichita in Wichita (KS). I also music directed their school production of Annie! last fall, and had several students place in the state choral competition.
However, I count my greatest accomplishments as being the father of two wonderful children, and somehow convincing my beautiful wife to marry me.
Church Affiliation: The King’s Congregation
Mr. Jason Young
B.A., Music, Northern Illinois University
I received my degree in Music studying the cello. I moved to Idaho and started my own private teaching studio.
I am married to Hannah and we have two boys (Athanasius & Bjørn) and a newborn girl (Jubilee). I have enjoyed teaching music and performing in the Treasure Valley.
Church Affiliation: The Well
Mr. Joel Chandler
Upper School Math
B.A., Bible and Theology with a Theology Focus, Multnomah University.
For the past ten years, I have worked in ministry, two in the mission field and eight in a church setting as the Student Ministries Pastor.
Growing up, I was the weird kid that loved math, enjoyed working on those worksheets and problems that often plagued others, and even went back to math later in life when I returned to finish my bachelor’s degree. In high school, that love continued to prosper under some of the best math teachers I had in school, including one who would become a lifelong mentor of mine. His mentorship was truly a discipleship, as he actively pointed me toward Christ and others who would do the same.
As Christ continued to pursue me in love, I found myself responding for the first time in faith, and at 17 years old, committed my life to loving and serving Him. Following high school, I continued to volunteer in various youth ministry roles until I was 21, when I began to work in ministry full time. For two years, I worked as a missionary, culminating in a six month trip to India. Upon returning, two major events occurred within a month – I began to date the woman I would eventually be abundantly blessed to call my wife, and I began to work as the Student Ministries Pastor at Cascade Park Baptist Church in Vancouver, WA. After 8 wonderful, joyful and often tireless years, the Lord began to stir in both my and my wife’s hearts the desire to move on to what was next, which brought us to Ambrose!
While I love math, I also love all things sports related, am an avid comic book fan, and love to cook and eat good food!
Mr. Jordan Tucker
House Governor, 11th Grade Comp. Civ., Bible Survey
B.A., Philosophy and Religion, Northwest University. I began teaching at The Ambrose School in 2013.
My commitment to the classical Christian model is rooted in its understanding that education is about cultivating the whole person toward the design and purpose that God has given humanity. Students are correctly understood as growing into their calling as God’s viceroys, and they are equipped to become culture builders for His glory. Moreover, the classical Christian model properly recognizes the family as the God-ordained institution for raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and it supports parents in fulfilling this beautiful responsibility. I’m firmly convinced of the vision and mission of The Ambrose School because they are biblical; and I consider it a blessing to be a member of the community.
I’m married to my wonderful wife, Ariel. We have two sons and enjoy adventure, all types of games, snowboarding, and relishing food while trying new restaurants.
Church Affiliation: The King’s Congregation