Staff Directory

Adair, Deb Business Manager
Adams, Glenn Special Education
Ardern, Kara Reading Specialist
Photo of Kara Ardern I graduated with a B.S in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho. I have been teaching since 2000 and am thrilled to be teaching at West Park Elementary. I have taught inLansing,MI,Seattle,WA,Madison,Connecticut, and most recently,MoscowID.My experience includes teaching first through fifth grade at one time or another in the last fourteen years. This is my fifth year teaching Title 1 reading. I aim to provide a nurturing and caring environment where children can feel proud and successful with their reading skills.
Assefi, Homa Language / Cultures
Barnes, Robin Physical Education / Wellness
Photo of Robin Barnes

Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Health, University of Idaho
Master of Science in Recreation, University of Idaho

Barr, Lorne Building / Grounds / Maintenance Supervisor
Photo of Carly Bean

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Political Science, University of Idaho
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Idaho

Bizak-Marr, Karen Sign Language Interpreter
Photo of Michelle Bledsoe

Hi, my name is Michelle Bledsoe. I am new to West Park Elementary as of this fall of 2011. I am currently working here mornings and then I am at another school in the afternoon. While at WestPark, I have had the privilege of working with the kindergarteners up on the U of I campus. I also work individually with 2nd and 3rd graders on the mainWestPark campus. While I am new to WestPark, I am not new to teaching. I began my career in Boise with experiences as a kindergarten teacher and a special education teacher. I then moved to Ventura, California, where I taught kindergarten and first grade.   After marriage I returned to Boise where I taught special education students for several years. After traveling around to a few different locations with my husband’s job and having 3 children, I returned to teach special education in Bend, Oregon in 1999.  My family and I then moved to Moscow in late January of 2002. After having my 4th child and then substituting for 2 years, I returned to teaching special education in theMoscow school district in 2006. While with the district, I have spent time in every school except Paradise Creek andLena with my longest stint being at McDonald. I have even spent time with the preschoolers. I love teaching young children. The initial excitement for learning that is visible in the 5-8 year old child is so fun to experience. The special part about teaching the special education student is being able to connect with specific children over several years and thereby gain a lasting memorable relationship with them. Having them run up and greet me on the street later when they have left me and are in high school or beyond brings me is a special joy.   I am thrilled to be working at West Park this year as I have the privilege of working with a fine staff and wonderful young students. I also look forward to whatever future teaching adventures my life leads me to.

Photo of Pat Blount

Bachelor of Science in Math, Jacksonville University
Master of Education, University of Idaho 

Photo of Linda Bradway

Linda Bradway comes from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but has called Moscow her home for the past 26 years.  A graduate from L.S.U. with a master’s from the U of I, Linda has spent the past 21 years teaching fifth grade in Moscow.  

        Linda has four children with her husband Dan who are now ages 28 – 33.  Her son, Caleb, lives in Moscow, but all three girls are scattered about.  Kate is in New Zealand where she just gave birth to a beautiful daughter who will join big brother Niko in the family.  The twins, Emma and Magnolia, live in Oregon.  Dan is a microbiologist at WSU running three BL3 labs for the Veterinarian School.

        Linda’s hobbies are running, yoga, cooking jambalaya and crab etoufee for friends, and reading a good book.

Brooks, Carrie Curriculum Director
Byrne, Sue Speech/Language Paraprofessional
Photo of Sue Byrne

I am a Wisconsin transplant who has worked as a Speech and Language Parapro at West Park for the past six years. I hold university degrees in Forestry and Music.  My interests include performing music (particularly African and sacred), biking, dogs, and gardening.  I especially enjoy incorporating music and word-play in my work with my students.

Cardwell, Christina K+ PM Lead Teacher
Hello!  In 1987, I graduated from Saint Mary's College of California with a BA in Psychology.  I  became employed with the County of Solano as a Juvenile Group Counselor, where I worked with at risk youth for two years.  I was eventually promoted to Probation Officer and worked with many populations both juvenile and adult, as well as Supervisor of Probation Officers.  I met my husband, who is a retired police officer, while working in Solano County. Since moving to Moscow in January, I have worked as a substitute teacher in the Moscow School District.  I am very excited to be working in the PM K+ class and looking forward to a wonderful year!  My husband and I have a daughter serving in the United States Army who is currently based at Fort Carson in Colorado, and another son and daughter here with us in Moscow.  We love outdoor activities, sports, gardening and playing with our new Australian Shepherd puppies.
Cole, Becky School Psychologist
Photo of Krista Curnes

I am a 1986 graduate of Lewis-Clark State College with a major in elementary education and a minor in mathematics. Since receiving my Idaho state teaching certificate, I have taught third grade for 22 years. I began at Midway Elementary School near Rigby, followed by six years at Camelot Elementary School in Lewiston. I came to Moscow in 1996 to teach at Russell Elementary School. I am currently teaching at West Park Elem. and working on my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction through the University of Idaho. In keeping with current certification requirements, I am technology, math, and reading certified. For the past 13 years my third grade classes have been nationally certified as Model and Master Classrooms through the Reading Renaissance program.

Photo of LaDene Edwards

It has been my good fortune to be a part of the Lena family for the last 19 years.  I feel incredibly lucky to work at a school where the parents, staff and students are so supportive of music education!

If you ever have questions about what we are doing in music, please, feel free to call or email me or we can set a time to meet.  I would be happy to talk to you about any aspects of what it is we do at Lena.  There’s not much that I like better than talking about music!

Engelbrecht, Tamara Instructional Paraprofessional
Photo of Tamara Engelbrecht

This is my eleventh year working for the Moscow School District.  My job title is Special Education Parapro.  The majority of my time has been here at West Park, but I have also worked at Russell Elementary as well as Lena Whitmore.  I am originally from the Coeur d’ Alene area.  My experience working with children is greatly varied.  I owned and operated an in home childcare for eight years, served as a Children’s Pastor at the Church of the Nazarene for 4 ½ years, and was a Parapro for Children’s Village (a crisis nursery and shelter for abandon, abused, and neglected children) for 2 years. My husband and I just celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary.  We have three grown children, who are all married.  We also have four precious grandsons ranging from seven years to seven months of age.  My husband and I are very family oriented and we greatly enjoy camping, hiking,  4-wheeling, and just spending time with our family and friends.  I enjoy reading, sewing, crafting and scrapbooking. I have a heart for children.  My greatest goal is to assist them in being successful.  It is the most rewarding blessing to be even a small part of their success.

Fisher, Rick Warehouse / Delivery
Photo of Kris Freeland

I received my Associate of Science in Data Processing from OKCCC and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary education with certification in grades K-8 from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. I also completed courses for my reading endorsement with an emphasis on emergent literacy. Other classroom experiences include third grade, seventh grade, computer lab instruction for second through sixth grades and several years teaching pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten. I have lived all over the United States, and in 1994, my husband and I began calling Moscow home.

Garnett, David Adventure Club Director
Photo of Jodi Garrett

I graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Vocal, Instrumental, Music  Education in 1987. After living in Chehalis Washington for 6 years my husband Tom, our two boys and I moved back to Moscow where he teaches band at the Junior High and High School. I started working for the Moscow School District in 1999. I started my current job here at West Park Elementary in 2009. When I am not at school passing out band aids, calling home about forgotten lunches, and generally helping out staff and students, I like to quilt and read.

Gerke, Charlie Drug-Free Coordinator
Photo of Charlie Gerke
Gourley, Gale Network Support Specialist
Green, Allen Activities Director
Photo of Allen Green
Photo of Lexie Hamma

I am a WSU graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Science. When I’m not at school handing out band aids and making phone calls home my hobbies include travel, reading, swimming, and playing with my dog Lambeau. I’m newly married to Lance Hamma, 5th grade teacher at McDonald Elem. I’m thrilled to be part of the Lena Whitmore family. 

Harris, Greg Transportation Supervisor
Photo of Charlotte Hawley

I was born and grew up in the Moscow area, attended Moscow schools and graduated from MHS.  I attended NNC (Nampa, ID) and UI with an interest in Social Work. I have worked part-time at West Park since 1994, most of that time as a recess aide. I like being outdoors, whether it is at recess or in the yard at home.  I live on a farm and enjoy the changing seasons around my home.  I am also a grandma and love the time I can spend with my grand-kids.

Photo of Betty Heidelberger

I graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1976, with a B.A. in Psychology. I worked at the Idaho Teen Lodge, a residential group home for delinquent boys, for one year after receiving my undergraduate degree. After having two children, and doing some substitute teaching and aiding in two northern Idaho school districts, I returned to school and pursued a graduate degree from the UI. I completed my course work for an M.Ed. in Counseling in 1991. I was employed by the Moscow School District after completing a one-year internship in Counseling at McDonald School under the mentorship of Donna Ham. I am in my eleventh year of Counseling in the Moscow School District. The first two years I split my time between Russell and Lena Whitmore. For the next eight years I was at Lena Whitmore full-time. Currently, I divide my time between Lena Whitmore and West Park Elementary.

Photo of Barbara Heimgartner

I am Barb Heimgartner  and have been the Head Cook at Lena for 24 years & love working with the teachers & staff at Lena & our kids.  I have 3 grown children.  We farm outside of Juliaetta with our son Chad. My oldest Leah, is a school teacher at Deary, & my middle daughter Lynn lives at Latah & is a busy stay at home (not much really) mother.  I have 10 wonderful grandchildren from 2 to 14 that keep me on the go, currently my oldest is a freshman at Deary & a starter on the VB team that is headed to State VB.

I enjoy golfing, going to all the grandchildens sporting events, and working in my yard & garden.

Helbling, Phil PE / Wellness / Career Coordinator
Photo of Phil Helbling
Photo of Jennifer Hightower I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1991 and my Master of Arts Degree in Counseling in1993. I hold the Pupil Personnel Services Credential K-12 for counseling inIdaho, and I am a Licensed Practical Counselor in the State ofIdaho. I have been a youth counselor since 1993, both in private practice settings and in the high schools. I have been the counselor at Paradise Creek Regional High School since 1994 and at West Park Elementary since 2000. My counseling specialties (education and practice) have focused on mental and relational health for children and families, sexual health and education (including sexual abuse victims and recovery), and grief/trauma issues specifically related to children. I am married and have three (mostly grown) children.  My hobbies include riding horses, playing soccer, skiing, mtn. biking, surfing, traveling and thoroughly enjoying the great food my husband cooks!
Photo of Cherisse Hill

I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Western Montana College. I have been teaching Kindergarten through fifth grade since 1994. I also teach the Enrichment class in the afternoon here at West Park. I have held many leadership roles in the past such as Administrative Intern and Grade Level Chair. I have two children, and have been married since 1992. I am originally from Great Falls, MT and moved to Moscow in 2006, but have spent a lot of my career in Lancaster, CA.

Hime, Donna Office Assistant
Photo of Donna Hime
Photo of Brenda Howard

This is my third year at Lena as a Title I aid. Previously I subbed in the district for 8 years. I received my Elementary Ed degree from Northwest Nazarene University. Baking, scrap booking, reading, and spending time with my family are several things which I enjoy.

Humphreys, Jeanette Instructional Assistant
Photo of Jeanette Humphreys
Photo of Roxi Klas

I work in the Kitchen YUM!  I have two children Jeremy and Alyssa who attend the  University of Idaho.  Jeremy is a pole vaulter for Uof I. I like to snowboard, and play softball.  I also like Zumba and Yoga.  I like to read and quilt as well.  I have fun cooking and serving you lunch.

Krestian, Erin Late Night Coordinator
Photo of Shirley Leendertsen I graduated from Lewis-Clark State with a B. S. in Elementary Education and a minor in reading. I have taught in the St. Maries and Potlach School Districts. I received my M. Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Idaho and have been an exchange teacher to Scotland. After being home with my children for a number of years I began teaching first grade at Russell in 2000 and moved to West Park two years later. My husband John and I live in Palouse on his family farm, and we have three children.
Photo of Vicki Leidholm I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University Moorhead. I am originally from Underwood, North Dakota, and after teaching five years in my home state I moved to Lewiston and have been teaching in Idaho ever since. I taught first grade for 14 years at Camelot Elementary in Lewiston. I now commute to Moscow to teach at West Park. In my spare time away from school I enjoy gardening, scrapbooking, and reading.
Loree, Tiffany Instructional Assistant
Photo of Tiffany Loree
Photo of Stephanie Lucks I am excited to be part of a wonderful staff and school. This is my second year teaching at WestPark in the Special Education field. I received degrees from the Universityof Idaho in both Elementary Education and Special Education, and I worked hard to also earn a Minor in Music with a Vocal Performance emphasis. I moved toBoise to complete a year of student teaching at Longfellow Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary. I stayed in Boise to substitute teach as well as teach Extended School Year at Morley Nelson Elementary. I am currently working on my master’s in Special Education from the Universityof Idaho. I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, playing basketball, scrapbooking, and taking and editing numerous photos during my free time. I love to be involved in choir ensembles and singing.  I also am an avid traveler, having been across the seas to Greece, Italy, France, Monaco, and England. I am delighted to keep learning and to be part of the Moscow School District and the Moscow community again.
Photo of Monica Lyons Monica is a current counselor and psychologist at both Russell and West Park Elementary Schools.
Photo of Susan Mahoney

I am the Title I reading teacher at Lena Whitmore Elementary School. I teach supplemental reading to kindergarten - 5th grade students in small group settings. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry, a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental performance, Idaho Elementary certification (K - 8), and an Idaho Literacy Endorsement (K - 12). I am currently working on a Masters of Education through the University of Idaho.

I live on 5 acres on the north side of Moscow Mountain with my husband Ron, son Pat (Junior at UI), son Jared (Freshman at UI ), grandson Brandon (Senior at MHS), granddaughter Hannah (Sophomore at MHS), and a menagerie of animals (5 chickens, 3 cats, 2 pigs, 1 dog, and 1 snake).

When I'm not teaching I enjoy reading, gardening, hiking, XC skiing, mountain biking, roller-blading, golfing, cooking, playing the piano, and fishing. My family and I are building a primitive cabin on the Prince William Sound in Alaska and we go there every summer right before school starts back up to fish, escape technology, escape modern conveniences, and just unwind and relax.


Photo of William Marineau I am honored to be the Principal at West Park Elementary. Being with the students at school and helping them achieve success is heartwarming. Each school day brings another opportunity to work alongside our 43 friendly, knowledgeable staff to help each unique student learn skills that are well above and beyond set standards. I began my career in education in 1982 teaching middle school in Portland, Oregon, moved to the High school level in Spokane, WA and then Middle school in Moscow, ID. I have a BS Ed. degree in industrial arts, a M.S. Ed. in Industrial Technology and licensure in Educational Administration. I have worked with students in all grade levels in both public and private schools. I have taught adult education courses in methods, pedagogy and creativity at the university level, for the State Department of Education, and in workshops throughout the northwest and Canada. I studied outdoor expeditionary learning for two summers on the Juneau Ice Field in a program funded by the National Science Foundation. I was also educational director and teacher for the two week, Japanese, Tohoku High School, Home Stay Program for six summers. When I am not at West Park I can usually be found outdoors; whitewater rafting, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing or working in the yard. I enjoy photography, creating art, music and working with my hands. I have three wonderful adult daughters who I cherish and enjoy spending time with.
Markley, Rick Physical Education Specialist
Photo of Rick Markley

I graduated from Washington State University in 1982 with a B.S. in Physical Education (K-12 endorsement) and a minor in Business Education. After graduation I was fortunate to be hired by the Moscow School District to teach elementary physical education. I have taught elementary physical education in the Moscow School District for 20 years. In 1989, I received my Masters Degree in Sports Science from the University of Idaho. In my spare time I love to fly-fish, golf and refinish antique furniture.

McClaine, Kaelyn K+ Assistant
Hello! I am so excited to be working in K+ this year!  I graduated from the University of Idaho in 2012 with a degree in Elementary Education and was working as a lead preschool teacher for the past couple years.  I love being a wildcat this year! When I’m not busy working with the students here I enjoy many outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and mountain biking. I also love painting and reading when I get the chance. I also have recently started providing foster care and usually have a couple little guests roaming around my house!
I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a major in Elementary Education/Reading and a minor in Elementary P.E.  After living in several different cities our family settled down in Moscow and have been here for over 25 years.  I have five children with the last three born here in Moscow.  I have worked with children of all ages for most of my life, my very favorite being the Kindergarten through 2nd grade years.  When I have free time I love to garden, cook, or work on my latest crafting project.
Mead, Kris Speech/Language
Photo of Kris Mead My name is Kris Mead and I am the speech language pathologist for 1st-3rd grade students at West Park Elementary. I also provide services at Russell Elementary and Moscow High School. My husband and I have lived in Moscow since 2002. I have worked as a speech language pathologist in public schools since 1988. When I am not working my husband and I enjoy traveling, skiing, golfing, reading and being with our families. We love living in Moscow and are big U of I fans!
Meier, Mark Network Technician
Photo of Mary Karin Miller

I have been a teacher since 1979. I have taught in Washington, Idaho and the Caribbean.

Mitchell, Mathew Network Support Specialist
Photo of Judy Mock

I was born in Missoula, Montana in 1957.  I went to the University of Montana where I earned my teaching degree in 1980.  We moved to Idaho in 1981 and raised our two daughters, Christy and Brianne. I completed my masters at the University of Idaho in 1993 while my daughters were at Moscow Junior High. Three years ago I completed my National Board Certification.

          My oldest daughter, Christy, is 33 and works for Schweitzer Engineering and Brianne is 32 and graduated in elementary education at the University of Idaho in 2002. Brianne got married in September of 2003.  She and her husband, Nick, have two daughters, Shyla who is nine and in third grade here at Lena and Ashlyn who just turned four.  They are very dear to me and I enjoy spending my summers with them. We had a blast swimming, camping, boating, taking my yellow lab, Sadie, for walks, gymnastics, visiting local parks, watching the grizzly bears at WSU, and just hanging out!   My husband, Lynn, works at Interstate Aviation as a mechanic and has his private pilot’s license.  He is now working towards his instrument rating/commercial pilot’s license. 

I worked for three years at Russell Elementary, one year as a classroom aide and two years as the science/art generalist.  I was offered the 6th grade classroom teaching position here at Lena in 1990 and taught 6th grade until 2011.  I am excited about teaching 5th grade for my second year! 

My name is Gena Moore and I am the Title I Paraprofessional at West Park Elementary. I am very excited to join the Wildcats this year and to bring some of my own strengths to the Title I team. In 2007, I graduated from The University of Montana with a B.S. Degree in Recreation Resource Management and I am currently studying Elementary Education at Lewis-Clark State College. Much of my background has been spent in outdoor education, developing non-profit after school programs, team building, coaching and special education. During my spare time I can often be found on one of Idaho's beautiful rivers, with either oars or fly rod in hand. I am looking forward to an excellent year and getting to know the students at West Park!
Photo of Victoria Morasch I am very excited to be on staff district-wide with Moscow School District as the English as a New Language (ENL) teacher! My home base is here at West Park where I teach in the mornings and afternoons.  However, at Russell Elementary is where you can find me most often after school catching up on lesson prep. Although I teach at most schools in the district, I am only a phone call or an email away: 208-818-6703 or  This year (2014-15)  is my fourth year teaching in the public school sector and my third year with Moscow School District.  During my teaching career, I have taught language classes ranging from ENL, Basic Writing, and Spanish. I love the mysteries of language and helping others to put the pieces of the English language puzzle together J  I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Moscow School District teaching team in giving your child the best in his/her learning experience!
Morris, Stacy Curriculum Secretary
Photo of Janet Mundell I have lived in Pullman, Washington since 1981. I graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree from Washington State University. I have worked for the Orofino School District for the past between 1998 and 2010 as a Speech Language Pathologist and Special Education Director. I have two children and 5 grandchildren. I enjoy music, reading, gardening, quilting and doing “do-it-yourself” home improvement projects.
Photo of Faye Nagler  

I grew up in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada and received both my Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees there. I became certified to teach K-8 elementary education through the University of Idaho. I am also endorsed in library science and secondary earth science. I moved with my husband and two daughters Idaho in 1991. I am very passionate about teaching science and math with younger students and am excited to be teaching enrichment at West Park Elementary. Our program goals are to teach curriculum developed content, emphasizing core content standards for the State of Idaho, integrating other subjects (reading, writing, math and social studies) into the first and second grade programs.



My web site:

Photo of Kaci Neely I was born in raised in Moscow by my loving parents, Wayne and Jan Pitkin. I attended Russell Elementary, MJHS, and graduated from Moscow High in 1990. I have worked for the Moscow School District for approximately 21 years as a custodian. I worked a majority of the years with the great staff at Russell Elementary, until I was transferred to another great staff at West Park Elementary.  I have 3 kids, Pat, who lives in Lewiston and loves his job at Roger's Toyota , and my 2 daughters, Deven and Kayla.   Deven is going to college at Rainy River College in Minnesota, and Kayla attends Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston.  I am married to Larry Neely, who also works for the Moscow School District as a Building Maintenance Tech. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, drawing, and learning about local history. I have enjoyed working with the staff, parents, and the wonderful kids at West Park. They all make my days very enjoyable with their short chats, hugs, smiles, and continuous “Thank you’s”.   that I have worked for the school district for almost 21 years and that my son Pat lives in Lewiston and , my daughter Deven is, and my step-daughter Kayla
O'Leary, Lisa Instructional Paraprofessional
Photo of Lisa O'Leary BS Biology, BS Education, LMP My education and professional background has been in Secondary Science and adult career education. This is my fifth year at West Park Elementary as a Special Education Paraprofessional. I love being in the elementary school setting and find it both fascinating and rewarding to work with special needs children. I particularly have enjoyed helping these children learn to speak and learn with the use of music. I have taught one of my students to play the 3-stringed lap dulcimer. Though challenged in many ways, this student is motivated and talented in music and musical expression. It is so much fun to help children learn what they love!
Packard, Angie Administrative Assistant / Board Clerk
Photo of Molly Pannkuk

I have taught in theMoscowSchool Districtsince 1990.  I have taught at Lena Whitmore for the past 16 years, teaching the sixth grade and now first grade.  I have my B.A. in English Literature fromUniversityofCaliforniaat Davis, a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. as a Wright Fellow from theUniversityofIdaho.  I earned my National Board Certification in 2007.  First grade is an extraordinary year of growth and learning and I am excited to share the experience again with this year's students and families. I live in Moscow with my husband, Chris.  We have two grown children, Meg and Ian.  We have a dog, two cats, and a chicken.   When I am not spending time thinking about my students, I love to read, to garden, and to walk or bike or hike or swim in the great outdoors.  I play marimba with Sesitshaya Marimba Ensemble which you may have seen at the Farmers Market or another community event.

Pengilly, Mimi Food Service Coordinator
Richards, Shannon Special Services Director
Schmidt, Patricia Instructional Assistant
Photo of Patricia Schmidt
Photo of Maurene Schroeder I have both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education and have taught in Nevada and Idaho. My teaching experience has been in preschool, kindergarten, third grade, fourth-fifth combination, ESL, private tutoring, and Title I reading. I have five children; and currently seven grandsons.  We have lived on the Palouse since 1983. Bike riding, spinning, reading, and quilting are all hobbies that I enjoy.
Shook, Gayle Instructional Assistant
Photo of Gayle Shook
Smallwood, Lisa Special Ed Secretary
Photo of Julie Spangler I graduated from the University of Idaho in 1977 with Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-8 and Exceptional Child (Special Education) K-12. I taught kindergarten in Cottonwood, Idaho from 1977 to 1984. I was Chapter One reading specialist for the Troy School District for grades K-6 during the 1984-85 school year. I taught kindergarten and sixth grade the following year before moving to West Park. I taught Kindergarten for two years, and have been a First Grade teacher here since 1988.
Photo of Lisa Steckel

In 1982, I graduated from The College of St. Catherine with a B.A in Music Performance in voice and piano and a Music Education degree with an endorsement in K-12, vocal and instrumental. After graduation, I studied German and voice. I then taught elementary music and reading at St. Thomas Elementary School in Minneapolis where I began an elementary choir. After moving to Idaho, I completed my student teaching credential and I began teaching elementary music in the Moscow School District at West Park in 1990.

Photo of Luella Stelck

Most of my youth was spent playing on the banks of the Mississippi River where summer swimming and winter skating took up most of my free time. After graduation from Washington State University I spent the next 12 years teaching in a small private Christian school. I have been teaching in the Moscow School District since 2007, and now hold a Masters of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho. I live in Deary, Idaho and enjoy preserving the fruits and vegetables my husband grows around our home.

Photo of Debra Stephens

My name is Debra Stephens and I am the Special Education teacher for grades K-2 here at Lena.  My husband and I moved to Moscow from Florida in the summer of 2011 because of a great job opportunity at the University of Idaho. We have two teenage boys, Daniel and Ryan. Daniel is a sophomore at the University of Idaho and Ryan is also a sophomore at Moscow High School. We love the small town atmosphere here in Moscow and hope that we can make this our home for years to come!

            I obtained my Masters Degree in Education and Special Education Endorsement from Central Michigan University.  I have taught 3rd grade as a classroom teacher and grades K, 1, 2, and 4 as a special education teacher.  This will be my 5th year of teaching and I am truly excited about teaching your child as well as developing a partnership with you to help them be successful!

            Please feel free to stop by anytime before or after school. I would love to meet you!  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call the school or email me. My email address is:

Photo of Susan Strout I spent the last 2 years as the K+ Aide at Lena Whitmore Elementary. Prior to that position, I was lead teacher (21 yrs) in the Pre-K classroom at Eastern Washington University Children’s Center, working with 4, 5 and 6 yr. olds. I am excited to be teaching the A.M. K+ class at West Park and am looking forward to an exceptional first year as a Wildcat! When not at school, I enjoy working in the backyard with my husband, flower gardening, raising pet chickens and spending time with family – especially my granddaughter!
Hello!  I graduated from the University of Idaho with my degree in Elementary Education in 2002. Since then I have taught in the K+ program, Preschool, the Title I reading program, 4th and 5th grade, and am currently teaching Kindergarten. I love working at West Park. My husband and I have two boys. I enjoy music, reading and spending time outdoors with my family.
Photo of Anita Thorsteinson I love my job!   There is no better way to connect with children than through books!   I feel so fortunate to be able to work with so many cool kids and caring teachers here at West Park. I grew up in a tiny town on the Canadian border, in Minnesota.  In 1993, I graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of MN-Morris (English major with a secondary education teaching license).  Also in 1993, I had the opportunity to do my student teaching overseas, in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  My husband and I moved to Moscow in 1998, after he joined the faculty in the psychology department at the University of Idaho.  We have two children:  my daughter Sarah is a sophomore at Moscow High School, and my son Eric is a 6th grader at Moscow Middle School.  Both are West Park alumni!
Photo of Kira Ulrich I am thrilled and honored to join the first grade team at West Park elementary! I graduated from the University of Idaho in the spring of 2013 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. During the 2013-2014 school year,  I worked for the Moscow school district as a braille paraprofessional. My husband and I have lived in Moscow for five years and we absolutely love it here.
Verlin, Serean Activities Secretary
Photo of Kathy Vietmeier I received a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Idaho in 1993 and a Masters in Reading and Literacy from Walden University in 2010. I have taught second grade at West Park since 2000. I was a Special Education aide for 4 years at West Park and was a substitute teacher for the Moscow School District and Troy elementary School before that. Being at West Park is a thrill for me because it is a small, unique, and caring school and I am an "alumni" of West Park. In fact, my first year teaching was in the very same room that I was in when I came to West Park as a student all those years ago!
Waring, Vicki Intermediate Special Ed
Photo of Vicki Waring

I have been working with children for almost 20 years, ranging in ages from 4 years old at Head Start to high school students. My husband has always said I was crazy, because I liked being knee deep in kids. I worked with 2 autism kindergarteners in Washington, after that experience I became interested in special education. I already had my Elementary Education degree from University of Idaho, so I started my Special Education degree and at Lewis and Clark University and finished 4 years ago.

            I have been married 24 years to my husband, Curt, who I met while living in Anchorage Alaska. We have 3 children, Jenn, who lives in New Your and trains dogs at the American Kennel Club. Daniel, lives in Lewiston with his wife Ashley, they are both working on degrees from Lewis and Clark State College. Dan wants to be a computer technician and Ashley is working on her teaching degree. Jason my youngest is in Lewiston with me and my husband; he is still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

            Some of my hobbies are walking with my dogs, playing softball and gardening. But my favorite hobby is walking on the Oregon Coast beaches and looking for “Treasure.” The treasures I like to find are shells, rocks, new beaches and of course anything that looks interesting to me. I pack it all up, bring it home and display all my treasures around the house.

Weaver, Lynn Instructional Assistant
Photo of Lynn Weaver
Williams, Laura Instructional Assistant
Photo of Laura Williams
Zabriskie, Nancy Instructional Assistant
Photo of Nancy Zabriskie