north campus faculty

Wade Ortego

Mr. Wade Ortego
Head of School

B.S., Business, Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee; M.Ed., Abilene Christian University.

As a leader in classical Christian schools, my great passion is to assist families in the education of their children toward a Biblical worldview that acknowledges Christ as the author and perfecter of the Christian faith. I am committed to the classical Christian model of education and enjoy introducing families to its many benefits. I put a strong emphasis on maintaining and building a student culture. 

I was most recently Headmaster of the Classical Christian Academy in Post Falls, Idaho. Prior to that, I led the Classical School of Wichita in Kansas. 

My wife, Rachel, and I have been married for 23 years and have three boys: Matthew, age 17; Elijah, 16; and Jedidiah, 5.

Church Affiliation: The King’s Congregation

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Mrs. Kajsa Wilkins
Dean of North Campus

B.A., Piano Performance, University of Idaho

I have been surrounded by classical Christian education for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents were involved in teaching and leading in the classical Christian world, and I graduated from a K-12 classical Christian school. After having children of our own, my husband and I felt that God called us to educate our children with a Biblical foundation-and that classical Christian education is the model that best provides this. We wanted our children to not only seek and be given knowledge, but to follow Christ’s command in the Great Commission-to not just be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word.

My husband and I both have degrees in music and followed his operatic career around the country for the first 15 years of our marriage. This led us to many cities, but we were in New York for the longest period. There, I was hired to teach music by the only classical Christian school in Manhattan, and both of our children were able to attend. After several years of teaching, I began to feel called to be in administration. God provided an unexpected opportunity through the Covid lockdowns. My husband was no longer able to perform, and we began looking for the next steps. An opening arose in Wichita, Kansas at the Classical School of Wichita, and I became their Director of Academics and Fine Arts.

I am thrilled to be stepping into the role of Dean of the new North Campus! Ambrose has been a staple for a long time in the world of classical Christian education, and it is so exciting to see how God is blessing the fruits of their labor! I am eager to further the mission and vision of The Ambrose School with this campus and reach even more families, growing the community throughout the city. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Hab. 2:14

My husband, Bray, and I have two teenage children, Hobbes and Madeline. They are in high school and are excited to experience all Idaho has to offer! As a native of Idaho, I am so happy to be returning to the mountains and rivers of my home state and to get to share it with my family.

Church Affiliation: The King’s Congregation

Dr. Heather Jennings
Academic Dean

Ph.D. in English literature, University of California Davis; M.A. in English literature, Boise State University; B.A. in government, Patrick Henry College.

My engagement with classical Christian education spans nearly twenty years, from taking courses on the literature and history of Greece and Rome in high school from Andrew Kern, a leading thinker and teacher in the cCe movement; to teaching 5th then 12th grades at The Ambrose School; to writing my dissertation on habits of learning in medieval England. I appreciate how classical Christian education situates learning as an expression of loving God with all our minds, equips students to be life-long learners by approaching education not simply as dispensing information but as the formation of habits, teaches students to make connections among all subjects they study, and prepares students to be culture-makers by engaging with the art and ideas that have shaped our world.

I grew up in Boise, Idaho, and spent the past six and a half years in the Sacramento and beautiful San Francisco Bay areas, pursuing my doctorate and teaching at the University of California Davis and Sonoma State University. My husband Brian and I have two preschool aged daughters; we love to read and discuss what we’ve read, entertain, do CrossFit, and spend time in beautiful surroundings by camping, mountain biking, hiking, and traveling.

Church Affiliation: Holy Trinity Anglican Church

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Mrs. Madison Romano
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

I have been co-teaching third grade at our previous Christian in California for the last three years. I have a tender heart for children and the Lord and I feel so blessed to have this new adventure at Ambrose.

I believe classical Christian education is a vital component in a child’s life as I feel strongly that they need to be exposed to and taught the truths of the gospel.

My husband and I have two boys who will also be attending Ambrose in the fall.

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Mrs. Juli Price
Kindergarten Teacher

My husband Josh and I have three beautiful children and I began homeschooling them when we were making our transition from Asia back to the United States. I had the blessing of instructing my children from pre-k through sixth grade. Over the years I have taught 5th/6th grade, pre-k/k, and directed at classical homeschool co-ops. I am so excited to be a part of our growing Ambrose community.

My husband and I both grew up in western Montana in the Bitterroot Valley, but since our wedding we have been on a journey that has taken us around the globe. Josh served in the Navy for nearly thirty years and as a family we have had the opportunity to live in France, Virginia, California, the Philippines, and Hawaii. We are so thankful for the opportunity to have experienced so many different locations and cultures, the adventure has shaped us greatly. Before we moved to Idaho, we lived for eight years in the tropics. Our favorite way to pass the time was on the water: sailing, surfing, and swimming. While it was difficult to say goodbye to the beach, moving to Idaho drew Josh and I back to our mountain roots, reminded us that there are four seasons in most of the world, and revived a passion for the winter sports we enjoyed as kids. Over the past few years our children have fallen in love with new sports such as skiing, mountain biking, and running cross country.

As I moved around the world and observed how God uses education to empower people to change lives, communities and societies, He lit a fire within me for children’s education that still burns bright.

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Mrs. Clara Duhm
1st Grade Teacher

Coming Soon

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Mrs. Marybeth Johnston
2nd Grade Instructor

My husband, Riley, and I chose to send our children to the Ambrose school in 2016 after we had visited the school. We were so impressed by the academic model and how every subject has God’s truth interwoven throughout. We are so blessed to have had our four daughters enrolled at Ambrose since 2016 and are thankful to be able to see the benefit of this strong foundation.

I began working at The Ambrose School in 2018 as an administrative assistant to the Grammar School Dean and Head of School. I have also spent a lot of time at Ambrose subbing in grammar school classrooms, volunteering in classrooms, and jumping in to help anywhere needed. I am very excited for the opportunity to teach 2nd grade at the North Campus!

As an Idaho native, I am thankful for the diverse outdoors we have access to — I enjoy hiking and exploring with family and friends and spending lots of time outside. My husband and I also enjoy doing house projects together, playing games as a family, and spending time playing with our puppy, Juniper.

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Ms. Sheri Rogers
3rd Grade Teacher

B.A., Liberal Arts with minor in Bible, Biola University

I have taught 1st through 8th grades in the public school system. At age 16 when I had the opportunity to assist a family with homeschooling on the mission field in Indonesia, I knew then that I wanted to become a teacher.

I helped start a middle school at Ambleside School from 2006 – 2008, a Christ-centered school based upon the philosophy of Charlotte Mason. I taught all subjects using well-rounded curricula. I had the freedom to share my faith with students and bond with families on a daily basis. It has always been my dream to get back into teaching in the Christian school system. It’s a real honor to have the opportunity to spend the rest of my career teaching in a Christian school. I believe this is God’s calling for me to work at The Ambrose School.

I have recently moved from California and made Meridian, Idaho, my home. I love decorating! My favorite hobbies are traveling, studying Spanish, and spending quality time with friends and family. I love going for walks with my Havanese, Roxy.

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Mrs. Michelle Nielsen
4th Grade Teacher

I have spent most of my adult life as a teacher in some capacity. I spent many years in the classroom at private schools, serving in children’s ministry and AWANA at my church, in the pool teaching children and adults how to swim, as well as running summer camp programs. I also spent some time developing preschool curriculum at more than one daycare.

I was introduced to classical curriculum when I decided to homeschool my youngest in second grade, and I fell in love with this method of learning. It wonderfully weaves together all of the subjects, from math to music, from literature to history, from science to art, all to reveal God and His perfect creation. I continued to homeschool through fifth grade using classical curriculum, and even spent those years operating a curriculum book store and teaching parents how to use the classical method in their home.

God has graced me with love and the ability to connect with children. It is my mission to lead them in the discovery of God and the beauty of His creation, our connection to the world around us, and His tremendous love for His children.

I grew up in Sandy, Utah, and moved to Boise in 2000. I have three beautiful children, Regan (28), Victoria (19), and Aiden who will be a freshman at Ambrose. I also have two grandsons, Sawyer (6) and Forrest (2). I love the outdoors, wildlife, and nature. I also enjoy reading and learning.

Church Affiliation: Calvary Chapel Boise

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Mr. Justin Meissner
5th Grade Teacher

B.A., Humanities, Dordt University 2012. M.A., Celtic Studies (Oral Literature), The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, 2015.

I am excited to be a part of the Ambrose School. I have lived all over the world, having been born in the United Kingdom and living in four different countries before I was three. I have a great appreciation for the cultures of the world. For me, classical education embodies the Christian worldview and a love of learning. We are embarking on a new Great Awakening, and one that is ushering forth by training children to love God, know him, and make him known.

I have probably one of the more unique career histories. While I have largely been in education, I have always been challenged by unique jobs and skills. I was a magician after college, and later became a tour guide and educator for SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo. I have taught early Victorian American history in a fully functional Victorian home, dissected squid with camps, and gave presentations on a functional tesla coil. I have learned multiple languages, including Elvish at one point. No matter where I have been I have always found myself teaching. I love the world God has given us and am so privileged to embody that joy and love of learning with your children. Most recently I worked as an educator for an outdoor trade based academy teaching Viking and early medieval studies and training athletes for differing sports.

I pray that no matter what we learn that students will always see the compass point back to Christ. Who is in everything, and in our midst at Ambrose. Let us embark on the discovery of the world God has made and rejoice and be glad in it.

I am married with two children, thus far. My wife Bree and I moved from California in 2020 and I am so glad to be in Idaho. My two eldest children, Cedric and Finley attend Ambrose. When not at school, you can find me outside, making instruments out of random items, teaching high level sports performance, memorizing scripture and celtic daily prayers.

Church Affiliation: Compass Bible Treasure Valley

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Mrs. Mindy Crager
6th Grade Teacher

It is my great joy to be able to teach 6th grade at The Ambrose School!

I lived in Europe for 17 years helping my husband plant churches in Rome, Italy, and Manchester, England. I was trained as a teacher at the classical Christian school where my children attended and taught in the Grammar School for many years there. I found a true blessing in instructing children to think well, write thoughtfully, and to discern the knowledge and wisdom of God at Covenant Christian School in Stockport, England from 2006-2016. We moved back to America in 2018 and immediately found our school community here at Ambrose!

I have a husband who is a pastor of mission and discipleship at a local church here in Boise. I have four children, two of whom graduated from the Ambrose School in 2020 and 2022, and two who are still in the Upper School. I have great admiration and devotion to this school, especially for the deep love of Christ taught here. I pray that I will serve the school community and our class family well!

north campus

Mrs. Megan Monteiro
Music Teacher

B.A., Music Industry, Northwest Nazarene University

I am a musician, music teacher, and music business manager from Nampa, Idaho. My early music experience was in church and participating in the local university music ensembles, where my father was a teacher. I went on to win a degree in Music Industry at Northwest Nazarene University, where I was a tutor and teaching assistant in music theory, music history, and ensemble management. I’ve worked successfully as an international tour manager, event planner, and music festival coordinator, but opportunities after college led me to branch out into teaching and entrepreneurship. Alongside running a private music studio, I am a founding member of Working Faith Institute, Idaho’s only Christian center for entrepreneurship in the trades. From a background in homeschool Christian education, I care deeply about facilitating the work of those who are enlisted into building Christ’s Kingdom.

Church Affiliation: The King’s Congregation

north campus

Mrs. Shelley Lahti
Art Teacher

I have had the opportunity to work with a large age range through my previous jobs as a nursery worker, nanny, children’s ministry helper, and preschool teacher. God has given me a passion for art and teaching His children how to capture the beauty of His creation. As a first year teacher at Ambrose I very much look forward to getting to know all of the students, parents, and experience the culture of a classical Christian education.

My elementary and middle school years were all spent at a private Christian school, where I was educated on God’s love as well as the tangible expressions of His brilliance in all subjects. I have friends that graduated from Ambrose and told me about their wonderful experiences, so I’m very honored to get to be a part of this school.

I’m a Boise native, loving the city and community. My husband and I got married in the fall of 2020, and since then have been taking lots of opportunities to bike the green belt, hammock at parks, paint, and explore more of what Idaho has to offer. I’m so excited to get to create works of art while also learning with the students and to have fun while doing so!

Church Affiliation: Calvary Chapel Boise

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Mr. Jared Campbell
Latin/3rd-6th P.E. Teacher

B.S., Human Resource Management, University of Maryland Global Campus, 2018

Teaching and helping children has always been a part of my life. Currently, my wife and I have five children that we love nurturing and edifying so that they can be effective adults. My goal at Ambrose is to not only aid children in understanding how things work but also how everything points back to God. Education is and always will be important, but using that education and the building blocks given to you through academia can help us be effective tools for God’s glory.

I have been deeply involved in linguistics and language learning in general for the past 12 years. I served in the United States Army as an Arabic cryptologic linguist where I was used in an intelligence capacity. During that time I studied and practiced many other languages so that I could both be effective at my job as well as communicate with individuals that without an understanding of their language, I could not. I hope to share my love for languages and connecting with people of other cultures with the children in my class.

My wife Emely and I have lived in the Treasure Valley for three years, and have lived in Germany, Texas, Maryland, and California. Our kids ages range from 1-11 and each has unique and God given talents that give us daily joy for the blessings God made them to be.

Church affiliation: Compass Bible Church Treasure Valley

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