north campus faculty

Wade Ortego

Mr. Wade Ortego
Head of Schools

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 close to 30 years and have three boys: Matthew, Elijah, and Jedidiah.

Church Affiliation: The King’s Congregation


Mrs. Kajsa Wilkins
North Campus Dean

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


Mrs. Savannah Servatius
Pre-Kindergarten Instructor

Coming Soon


Mrs. Juli Price
Kindergarten Instructor

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.


Mrs. Emilie Hughes
1st Grade Instructor

B.S. Elementary Education with an Emphasis in teaching reading, Grand Canyon University

My name is Emilie Hughes and I am delighted to be a part of the Ambrose North Campus family as the First-grade teacher. With a passion for fostering a love of reading and learning, I graduated from Grand Canyon University with a degree in Elementary Education and a specialized focus on teaching reading. My educational journey has equipped me with the tools to create engaging and inclusive learning environments that empower students to reach their full potential. I have loved being a part of the Ambrose community and making meaningful connections with students, parents, and fellow educators. I am inspired by the staff of like-minded Christ followers who set high expectations for studnets and partner with studnets to help them reach high goals. I look forward to sharing my dedication, experience, and enthusiasm with all of you, and I can’t wait to be a positive force in the lives of the students I will have the honor of teaching.


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.


Mrs. Madison Romano
3rd Grade Instructor

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.


Ms. Michelle Nielsen
4th Grade Instructor

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


Mr. Jackson Williams
5th Grade Instructor

M.Litt, Modern History, The University of Saint Andrews; B.A., History, Oklahoma Baptist University

I was born in South Dakota and spent most of my growing-up years in Branson, Missouri, with two loving parents and three amazing younger siblings/best friends. I attended a classical Christian high school, where I developed a strong Christian worldview and a deep love of learning, particularly in history and literature. After spending some time away from Christian education, I yearned to reenter an environment that encourages Christ to be the central focus in the classroom. The Lord has called me to The Ambrose School to partner with parents and faculty to inspire and guide your children as they learn and delve into the Christian faith.

I love traveling and have fostered a deep appreciation for the various cultures I encountered. I often spend time in God’s creation, whether hiking, reading in a hammock, or simply sipping some sweet tea on the porch. Growing up in a large family, I have always had an affinity towards board games, enjoying the camaraderie and competitive nature they encourage. I am thrilled to be a part of The Ambrose School and learn alongside your children about truth, goodness, and beauty. 


Mrs. Mindy Crager
6th Grade Instructor

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!

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Ms. Hannah Pirc
Music Instructor

B.A. Music and Communications, Thomas Edison State University, 2023

I am so excited for the opportunity to teach music at Ambrose. I was homeschooled classically, and being at Ambrose reminds me so much of my education! I believe that music is an important part of every child’s education, and I am so excited for the opportunity to help each and every student grow in their musical ability wherever they are at in their skills for the purpose of glorifying God.

Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to teach. I have had the opportunity to be a private piano teacher for over 7 years, teaching students ages 4-80. As part of my education and professional development, I have studied methods of teaching music to children, including overcoming learning challenges to allow every student to love music. I love helping each child be successful and explore the wonders of music for the goal of honoring Christ.

When I’m not teaching, I love reading God’s Word, spending time with friends and family, and playing flute, piano, and ukulele.


Mrs. LeAnn Schiebout
Art Instructor

Coming Soon

Stephanie Gillenwater

Mrs. Stephanie Gillenwater
Homework Club Coordinator

I am a mother of 4 students at The Ambrose School North Campus. For three years, I homeschooled three of our children, and for one of those years, I had the opportunity to homeschool while we traveled the western states in our RV. My husband and I are both Idaho Natives. Our family loves all outdoor activities, including swimming, paddleboarding, fishing, rafting, floating, hiking, riding bikes, ATVs, camping, and skiing.

The Ambrose North Campus has been an incredible school with an amazing community!  I love volunteering in my kids’ classrooms and am very excited to help students improve and practice their study habits at Homework Club this year.


Mr. Jared Campbell
Latin/3rd-6th Instructor

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


Mr. Justin Meissner
7th Grade Instructor

B.A. Humanities, Dordt University 2012; M.A. Celtic Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David 2015

I have always enjoyed teaching. No matter what my job was I would always find a way to teach in that position. I have grown up all over the world (perk of a military family) and have been blessed with a family and small private school in Minnesota that, although was not overtly classical, raised me and taught me with a classical mind. I have had the opportunity to teach a wide range of ages, skills, and classes. This has given me a love for teaching and curriculum design. Learning is an amazing process that God has given us and it is a wonderful part of life that we should enjoy no matter the subject or difficulty. 

After spending 12 years in California my family and I moved to Idaho during 2020. We are active members of our church where my wife and I serve in the young adult ministry.  When we as a family are not out in nature we enjoy board games, storytelling, and hosting events with friends and family. My wife is an amazing artist and I, when I have the time, enjoy writing, wood building projects, and athletic performance. We are so blessed to be here at Ambrose and to serve God with the students here.

Church affiliation: Compass Bible Church


Mrs. Brooke Jacobs
Administrative Assistant

I am a mother of 4 students at The Ambrose School North Campus. For three years, I homeschooled three of our children, and for one of those years, I had the opportunity to homeschool while we traveled the western states in our RV. My husband and I are both Idaho Natives. Our family loves all outdoor activities, including swimming, paddleboarding, fishing, rafting, floating, hiking, riding bikes, ATVs, camping, and skiing.

The Ambrose North Campus has been an incredible school with an amazing community!  I love volunteering in my kids’ classrooms and am very excited to help students improve and practice their study habits at Homework Club this year.


Mrs. Stefanee Otazua

Coming Soon


Mr. Adam Syphers
Physical Education Instructor

Coming Soon