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Faculty and Staff

Department Chair

  • Patricia Hampshire, PH.D.

    Department Chair, Associate Professor

    Dr. Patricia Hampshire is the Department Chair and associate professor in Early & Special Education Department at Boise State University. Dr. Hampshire received her PhD in Special Education at Indiana University. Dr. Hampshire teaches courses focused on early intervention, collaborating with families, child development and working with students with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Hampshire’s areas of expertise include early childhood special education, developing family-focused interventions, autism spectrum disorders, and working with individuals with severe behavior. Dr. Hampshire has worked in both the educational and clinical settings as a special education teacher, parent coach, consultant and researcher. Dr. Hampshire’s current research focuses on teaching student with autism to self-manage during homework routines through the use of iPads. Dr. Hampshire’s work has been included in Teaching Exceptional Children, Intervention in School and Clinic, and Beyond Behavior.

    Dr. Patricia Hampshire is the Department Chair and associate professor in Early & Special Education Department at Boise State University. Dr. Hampshire received her PhD in Special Education at Indiana University. Dr. Hampshire teaches courses focused on early intervention, collaborating with families, child development and working with students with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Hampshire’s areas of expertise include early childhood special education, developing family-focused interventions, autism spectrum disorders, and working with individuals with severe behavior. Dr. Hampshire has worked in both the educational and clinical settings as a special education teacher, parent coach, consultant and researcher. Dr. Hampshire’s current research focuses on teaching student with autism to self-manage during homework routines through the use of iPads. Dr. Hampshire’s work has been included in Teaching Exceptional Children, Intervention in School and Clinic, and Beyond Behavior.

Faculty

  • Lisa Beymer EdD

    Clinical Assistant Professor

    • Lisa Beymer, EdD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Early & Special Education Department. Lisa’s teaching for the department focuses on exceptionalities in the classroom and school, evidence-based instructional practices for students with disabilities, and diagnostic assessment use and analysis. Lisa also works as a University Liaison for the College of Education, supervising pre-service teacher candidates who are completing their final student teaching experiences in the general and special education classrooms. As a part of the larger Boise State community, Lisa is co-Advisor for the Teacher Education Ambassador student club which is housed in the College of Education, and the co-Founder of the Undergraduate Center for Equity and Access in Teaching (UCREATe) which provides student-led and faculty-facilitated research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Lisa’s research interests include impact of undergraduate research opportunities on educator preparation and identity, effectiveness of online teacher candidate supervision, special education teacher preparation, impact of supervisor-candidate relationship in teacher candidate development, and evidence-based practices for students with disabilities.
    • Lisa Beymer, EdD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Early & Special Education Department. Lisa’s teaching for the department focuses on exceptionalities in the classroom and school, evidence-based instructional practices for students with disabilities, and diagnostic assessment use and analysis. Lisa also works as a University Liaison for the College of Education, supervising pre-service teacher candidates who are completing their final student teaching experiences in the general and special education classrooms. As a part of the larger Boise State community, Lisa is co-Advisor for the Teacher Education Ambassador student club which is housed in the College of Education, and the co-Founder of the Undergraduate Center for Equity and Access in Teaching (UCREATe) which provides student-led and faculty-facilitated research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Lisa’s research interests include impact of undergraduate research opportunities on educator preparation and identity, effectiveness of online teacher candidate supervision, special education teacher preparation, impact of supervisor-candidate relationship in teacher candidate development, and evidence-based practices for students with disabilities.
  • Deb Carter, PhD, BCBA-D

    Professor

    Deborah Carter, PhD, BCBA-D, is a Professor in Early and Special Education at Boise State University. Dr. Carter’s areas of expertise include school-wide and individual student positive behavior support, social-emotional development, and nature-based learning. She provides training and coaching support to early childhood programs and K-12 schools implementing systems of positive behavior support. Her current research focuses on implementation of program-wide positive behavior support in early childhood and integrating social-emotional learning and environmental education. Her work has been included in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Behavioral Disorders, Assessment for Effective Intervention, Intervention in School and Clinic, The Early Childhood Education Journal, Teaching Young Children, and International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education.

    Deborah Carter, PhD, BCBA-D, is a Professor in Early and Special Education at Boise State University. Dr. Carter’s areas of expertise include school-wide and individual student positive behavior support, social-emotional development, and nature-based learning. She provides training and coaching support to early childhood programs and K-12 schools implementing systems of positive behavior support. Her current research focuses on implementation of program-wide positive behavior support in early childhood and integrating social-emotional learning and environmental education. Her work has been included in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Behavioral Disorders, Assessment for Effective Intervention, Intervention in School and Clinic, The Early Childhood Education Journal, Teaching Young Children, and International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education.

  • Jeremy W. Ford, PhD, NCSP

    Associate Professor, MIT Coordinator

    Dr. Jeremy W. Ford, NCSP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early & Special Education at Boise State University. Dr. Ford is a specialist-level trained, nationally certified school psychologist and earned his Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning (Special Education) from The University of Iowa. Dr. Ford has experience working in schools in multiple capacities across kindergarten through high school and beyond. These experiences include: Crisis intervention at an alternative school, teacher assistant for students with intellectual disabilities, school psychologist, professional development trainer, technical assistance provider, and consultant for students with autism.

    His research interests include: Curriculum-based measurement, explicit instruction, post-secondary transition and education for students with disabilities, Response to Intervention / Multi-tiered Systems of Support, and screening and progress decision-making. Dr. Ford is also the Director of The ASSIST Lab, a Vertically Integrated Project focused on expanding research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students through participation in a variety of projects related to supporting students with disabilities access an equitable education. These projects include The PEERS Program and PREP Academy. His research has been published in Assessment for Effective Intervention, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, the Journal of Inclusive Post-secondary Education, the Journal of Post-secondary Education and Disability, School Psychology Review, and Teacher Education and Special Education.

    Dr. Jeremy W. Ford, NCSP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early & Special Education at Boise State University. Dr. Ford is a specialist-level trained, nationally certified school psychologist and earned his Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning (Special Education) from The University of Iowa. Dr. Ford has experience working in schools in multiple capacities across kindergarten through high school and beyond. These experiences include: Crisis intervention at an alternative school, teacher assistant for students with intellectual disabilities, school psychologist, professional development trainer, technical assistance provider, and consultant for students with autism.

    His research interests include: Curriculum-based measurement, explicit instruction, post-secondary transition and education for students with disabilities, Response to Intervention / Multi-tiered Systems of Support, and screening and progress decision-making. Dr. Ford is also the Director of The ASSIST Lab, a Vertically Integrated Project focused on expanding research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students through participation in a variety of projects related to supporting students with disabilities access an equitable education. These projects include The PEERS Program and PREP Academy. His research has been published in Assessment for Effective Intervention, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, the Journal of Inclusive Post-secondary Education, the Journal of Post-secondary Education and Disability, School Psychology Review, and Teacher Education and Special Education.

  • Michael Humphrey, EdD

    Associate Professor

    Michael Humphrey, EdD, is an Associate Professor in Early & Special Education Department at Boise State University. Dr. Humphrey received his BA in English from the University of Iowa in 1997 and then served in the Peace Corps in Sri Lanka and Cameroon till 2000. He received his MA in Special Education in 2004 and his EdD in Special Education in 2008 from the University of Northern Colorado. His current research focuses on building teacher-efficacy in inclusive classrooms, preparing teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and improving teacher retention. Dr. Humphrey’s work has been included in Exceptionality, A Special Education Journal, Journal of Post-secondary Education and Disability, Learning Disability Quarterly, The Clearing House, and, Rural Special Education Quarterly.

    Michael Humphrey, EdD, is an Associate Professor in Early & Special Education Department at Boise State University. Dr. Humphrey received his BA in English from the University of Iowa in 1997 and then served in the Peace Corps in Sri Lanka and Cameroon till 2000. He received his MA in Special Education in 2004 and his EdD in Special Education in 2008 from the University of Northern Colorado. His current research focuses on building teacher-efficacy in inclusive classrooms, preparing teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and improving teacher retention. Dr. Humphrey’s work has been included in Exceptionality, A Special Education Journal, Journal of Post-secondary Education and Disability, Learning Disability Quarterly, The Clearing House, and, Rural Special Education Quarterly.

  • Evelyn Johnson, EdD

    Professor

    Evelyn received her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1999 and holds the position of Professor of Special Education, and CEO of Lee Pesky Learning Center, a non-profit research, training and service center whose mission is to create a pathway to learning for everyone.

    Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on three main areas: 1) self-regulated learning, 2) early detection of learning disabilities, and 3) building teachers’ capacity to implement evidence-based practices that improve student outcomes. She is currently the director of Project RESET, an IES funded project to develop psychometrically sound observation protocols to improve teacher practice. She also oversees the research agenda at the Lee Pesky Learning Center, which focuses on developing assessments and interventions aligned with a self-regulated learner framework that supports students in becoming connected, self-aware, self-determined, strategic and resilient learners. Dr. Johnson’s work has been funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, IES, NIH, CTRIN, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as by numerous local and regional foundations. She is a Field Reviewer for Exceptional Children, serves on the editorial board of Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, and is a long-serving member of AIR’s Screening and Progress Monitoring Expert Review Panels.

    Evelyn received her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1999 and holds the position of Professor of Special Education, and CEO of Lee Pesky Learning Center, a non-profit research, training and service center whose mission is to create a pathway to learning for everyone.

    Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on three main areas: 1) self-regulated learning, 2) early detection of learning disabilities, and 3) building teachers’ capacity to implement evidence-based practices that improve student outcomes. She is currently the director of Project RESET, an IES funded project to develop psychometrically sound observation protocols to improve teacher practice. She also oversees the research agenda at the Lee Pesky Learning Center, which focuses on developing assessments and interventions aligned with a self-regulated learner framework that supports students in becoming connected, self-aware, self-determined, strategic and resilient learners. Dr. Johnson’s work has been funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, IES, NIH, CTRIN, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as by numerous local and regional foundations. She is a Field Reviewer for Exceptional Children, serves on the editorial board of Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, and is a long-serving member of AIR’s Screening and Progress Monitoring Expert Review Panels.

  • Nichole Moos portrait

    Nichole Moos, MA

    Clinical Instructor

    Nichole Moos is a Clinical Instructor in the Early and Special Education Department at Boise State University. In addition to teaching, Nichole helps to manage the Idaho STEM Action Center Grant at the Boise State University Children’s Center. She received her MA from West Virginia University in Early Childhood Education, is a National Board Certified Early Childhood Generalist, and is seeking a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Boise State. Nichole has taught in early childhood classrooms across the United States the last 13 years. During this time she engaged in action research around incorporating the principles and values from the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, emergent curriculum, and authentic, child directed play. She has presented at Early Childhood Conferences throughout Idaho on creating teacher framed and child led classrooms.

    Education Building, Room 217

    Nichole Moos is a Clinical Instructor in the Early and Special Education Department at Boise State University. In addition to teaching, Nichole helps to manage the Idaho STEM Action Center Grant at the Boise State University Children’s Center. She received her MA from West Virginia University in Early Childhood Education, is a National Board Certified Early Childhood Generalist, and is seeking a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Boise State. Nichole has taught in early childhood classrooms across the United States the last 13 years. During this time she engaged in action research around incorporating the principles and values from the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, emergent curriculum, and authentic, child directed play. She has presented at Early Childhood Conferences throughout Idaho on creating teacher framed and child led classrooms.

  • Gena Nelson portrait

    Gena Nelson, PhD

    Assistant Professor, MEd and Certificate Program Coordinator

    Gena Nelson, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Early & Special Education Department at Boise State University. Dr. Nelson received her MA in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Psychology and her PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nelson has experience working with students with disabilities and their families in various capacities across preschool through high school including: high school special education teacher, early childhood caregiver support, professional development trainer, and technical assistance provider. Her current research focuses on early math interventions for students with disabilities and students who are at risk, long-term outcomes for students with disabilities, and building teacher knowledge and the use of evidence-based practices.

    Dr. Nelson is the Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation grant focused on determining the effectiveness of math interventions conducted in informal learning environments with parents and child care providers. Dr. Nelson’s work has been published in the Journal for Learning Disabilities, the Journal of Educational Psychology, Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, and The Elementary School Journal.

    Gena Nelson, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Early & Special Education Department at Boise State University. Dr. Nelson received her MA in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Psychology and her PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nelson has experience working with students with disabilities and their families in various capacities across preschool through high school including: high school special education teacher, early childhood caregiver support, professional development trainer, and technical assistance provider. Her current research focuses on early math interventions for students with disabilities and students who are at risk, long-term outcomes for students with disabilities, and building teacher knowledge and the use of evidence-based practices.

    Dr. Nelson is the Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation grant focused on determining the effectiveness of math interventions conducted in informal learning environments with parents and child care providers. Dr. Nelson’s work has been published in the Journal for Learning Disabilities, the Journal of Educational Psychology, Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, and The Elementary School Journal.

  • Juli Pool, PhD.

    Associate Professor, Undergraduate Degree Programs Coordinator

    Juli Lull Pool, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs in the Early & Special Education Department. Dr. Pool received her Ph.D. in Early Intervention at the University of Oregon. Her teaching for the department focuses on early childhood assessment, inclusive and intervention methods in preschool, and foundations of practice in early childhood and early childhood special education. Dr. Pool also works as a University Liaison, supervising pre-service teacher candidates who are completing their student teaching experience  in early childhood environments. Dr. Pool’s areas of expertise include early childhood assessment such as observational assessment, parent-completed tools, and curriculum-based assessment; and, inclusive environments and teaching methods for preschoolers. Currently, her research focuses on assessment in Montessori classrooms. She has published in several professional journals including Young Exceptional Children, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Intervention in School & Clinic, and Assessment for Effective Intervention.

    Juli Lull Pool, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs in the Early & Special Education Department. Dr. Pool received her Ph.D. in Early Intervention at the University of Oregon. Her teaching for the department focuses on early childhood assessment, inclusive and intervention methods in preschool, and foundations of practice in early childhood and early childhood special education. Dr. Pool also works as a University Liaison, supervising pre-service teacher candidates who are completing their student teaching experience  in early childhood environments. Dr. Pool’s areas of expertise include early childhood assessment such as observational assessment, parent-completed tools, and curriculum-based assessment; and, inclusive environments and teaching methods for preschoolers. Currently, her research focuses on assessment in Montessori classrooms. She has published in several professional journals including Young Exceptional Children, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Intervention in School & Clinic, and Assessment for Effective Intervention.

Graduate Assistants

  • Melissa Buck photo

    Melissa Buck

    Melissa Buck is a Boise native, who wears many different hats. She’s the founder and director of Vista Montessori School, a doctoral student and graduate assistant at Boise State University, working towards an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Melissa also serves on the board for the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. The focus of her current research is young children and trauma, and early childhood education. Melissa has a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies with a minor in sociology and a Master in Teaching in Early Childhood Intervention from Boise State University. She also holds an Idaho teaching certificate in early childhood and special education and a MACTE accredited Montessori teaching certificate for children between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years of age from Caspari Montessori Institute. Melissa knew she wanted to be a teacher at the age of 4. She formally began working with young children as a special education aide in a Montessori preschool in 2002. She founded the Vista Montessori School in 2006 and “retired” from the classroom in 2019. In her spare time, Melissa loves traveling, gardening, camping, creating art, and spending time with her husband, David, a 16-year-old son Drayson, a 20-year old “bonus” daughter, Makayla, and four fur babies: Lucy, Neishy, Zoey, and Wrangler.

    Melissa Buck is a Boise native, who wears many different hats. She’s the founder and director of Vista Montessori School, a doctoral student and graduate assistant at Boise State University, working towards an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Melissa also serves on the board for the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. The focus of her current research is young children and trauma, and early childhood education. Melissa has a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies with a minor in sociology and a Master in Teaching in Early Childhood Intervention from Boise State University. She also holds an Idaho teaching certificate in early childhood and special education and a MACTE accredited Montessori teaching certificate for children between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years of age from Caspari Montessori Institute. Melissa knew she wanted to be a teacher at the age of 4. She formally began working with young children as a special education aide in a Montessori preschool in 2002. She founded the Vista Montessori School in 2006 and “retired” from the classroom in 2019. In her spare time, Melissa loves traveling, gardening, camping, creating art, and spending time with her husband, David, a 16-year-old son Drayson, a 20-year old “bonus” daughter, Makayla, and four fur babies: Lucy, Neishy, Zoey, and Wrangler.

  • Jennifer Comstock photo

    Jennifer Comstock

    Jennifer Comstock has been in the teaching profession for 17 years. For 14 of those years, she taught and helped build the Boise School District’s Student Transition Education Program (STEP). Jennifer thoroughly enjoys working with college-aged youth, and helping them prepare for life after high school. Jennifer’s husband and two children are her greatest blessings. This year, she was extremely fortunate to receive the GA position, and have the privilege of working with Dr. Jeremy Ford in coordinating the PEERS program. Seeing a program for students with disabilities on the Boise State campus has been Jennifer’s dream for 14 years, and now she has not only written the curriculum, but has been able to teach it. Jennifer looks forward to working with the PEERS program as well as working on my doctoral program!

    Jennifer Comstock has been in the teaching profession for 17 years. For 14 of those years, she taught and helped build the Boise School District’s Student Transition Education Program (STEP). Jennifer thoroughly enjoys working with college-aged youth, and helping them prepare for life after high school. Jennifer’s husband and two children are her greatest blessings. This year, she was extremely fortunate to receive the GA position, and have the privilege of working with Dr. Jeremy Ford in coordinating the PEERS program. Seeing a program for students with disabilities on the Boise State campus has been Jennifer’s dream for 14 years, and now she has not only written the curriculum, but has been able to teach it. Jennifer looks forward to working with the PEERS program as well as working on my doctoral program!

  • Jitka Elizarraras

    Jitka Elizarraras

    Jitka Elizarraras is a graduate student in Early and Special Education. After this program, she hopes to attend a doctoral program to focus on early interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While most of her time is dedicated to studies and work, she enjoys spending free time working on art projects and spending time with family and friends.

    Jitka Elizarraras is a graduate student in Early and Special Education. After this program, she hopes to attend a doctoral program to focus on early interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While most of her time is dedicated to studies and work, she enjoys spending free time working on art projects and spending time with family and friends.

  • Aubrie Gribble photo

    Aubrie Gribble

    Aubrie Gribble is a doctoral student and graduate assistant for the College of Education at Boise State University. Her professional interests focus on self-regulated learning and its impact on students with learning disabilities. Aubrie also works as a Lead Educational Specialist at the Lee Pesky Learning Center. In this role, she provides 1:1 academic intervention services to students with learning and attention challenges. Aubrie enjoys spending her free time exploring the outdoors with her three dogs.

    Aubrie Gribble is a doctoral student and graduate assistant for the College of Education at Boise State University. Her professional interests focus on self-regulated learning and its impact on students with learning disabilities. Aubrie also works as a Lead Educational Specialist at the Lee Pesky Learning Center. In this role, she provides 1:1 academic intervention services to students with learning and attention challenges. Aubrie enjoys spending her free time exploring the outdoors with her three dogs.

  • Mali Sawyer photo

    Mali Sawyer

    Mali (pronounced “Molly”) Sawyer uses she/her pronouns. Mali earned her Bachelor in Psychology at the College of Idaho in 2019 (go Yotes!). She is currently in her last year of the Master of Counseling program and working towards becoming a school counselor extraordinaire after she graduates. Mali will be interning at Mountain View High School, Chaparral Elementary School, and North Junior High this year. This is her third year as a graduate assistant for the Department of Early and Special Education, and she’s excited to see what this year has to offer! Mali also works as a coach at Rise Volleyball Academy. She loves cultivating happy, whole, and healthy humans through the sport of volleyball. Outside of work and school, Mali loves being outdoors. She spent this summer paddleboarding, hiking, and backpacking around Idaho. Mali is an avid reader, so feel free to send book recommendations her way!

    Mali (pronounced “Molly”) Sawyer uses she/her pronouns. Mali earned her Bachelor in Psychology at the College of Idaho in 2019 (go Yotes!). She is currently in her last year of the Master of Counseling program and working towards becoming a school counselor extraordinaire after she graduates. Mali will be interning at Mountain View High School, Chaparral Elementary School, and North Junior High this year. This is her third year as a graduate assistant for the Department of Early and Special Education, and she’s excited to see what this year has to offer! Mali also works as a coach at Rise Volleyball Academy. She loves cultivating happy, whole, and healthy humans through the sport of volleyball. Outside of work and school, Mali loves being outdoors. She spent this summer paddleboarding, hiking, and backpacking around Idaho. Mali is an avid reader, so feel free to send book recommendations her way!

  • Erin Tanzer photo

    Erin Tanzer

    Erin Tanzer, MA, is a graduate assistant and doctoral student in the Early and Special Education Department and teaches courses in the Inquiry-Based Early Childhood Education certificate program. Erin received her Master of Arts in Place-based Education from Prescott College and completed the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program in field science education and place-based learning, and is seeking a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Erin supports students and teachers at all levels of their careers to make learning real and relevant for young children through incorporating place-based education, nature-based pedagogy, inquiry, and early STEM learning in all types of programs and outdoor settings. Her experience includes teaching in an early childhood program inspired by the Reggio-Emilia philosophy and nature-based learning, independent school operations and enrollment management, project-based curriculum design, and educator professional development.

    Erin Tanzer, MA, is a graduate assistant and doctoral student in the Early and Special Education Department and teaches courses in the Inquiry-Based Early Childhood Education certificate program. Erin received her Master of Arts in Place-based Education from Prescott College and completed the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program in field science education and place-based learning, and is seeking a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Erin supports students and teachers at all levels of their careers to make learning real and relevant for young children through incorporating place-based education, nature-based pedagogy, inquiry, and early STEM learning in all types of programs and outdoor settings. Her experience includes teaching in an early childhood program inspired by the Reggio-Emilia philosophy and nature-based learning, independent school operations and enrollment management, project-based curriculum design, and educator professional development.

Professional Practice Liaison Team

  • Tara Curl photo

    Tara Curl

    Tara Curl has a diverse background with a variety of professional experiences. Prior to becoming an educator, she was a franchisee for a preschool music and movement program based out of Carmel, Indiana. Tara served the government as an office administration supervisor during the 2010 census. Tara enjoyed work as a travel agent for many years, and also served in the US Army for eight years. Tara’s career as an educator started in 2016. She was a Resource Room teacher in the Boise School District for fourth to sixth grade students for the past five years. This year, she was given the opportunity to teach students in Kindergarten to sixth grade. In Tara’s free time, she enjoys traveling with her young adult/teen girls and her BFF. Her most recent trips include Cabo San Lucas for spring break and a month in Costa Rica this past summer. When she’s not traveling, Tara enjoys game nights, dinner out, and reality TV.

    Tara Curl has a diverse background with a variety of professional experiences. Prior to becoming an educator, she was a franchisee for a preschool music and movement program based out of Carmel, Indiana. Tara served the government as an office administration supervisor during the 2010 census. Tara enjoyed work as a travel agent for many years, and also served in the US Army for eight years. Tara’s career as an educator started in 2016. She was a Resource Room teacher in the Boise School District for fourth to sixth grade students for the past five years. This year, she was given the opportunity to teach students in Kindergarten to sixth grade. In Tara’s free time, she enjoys traveling with her young adult/teen girls and her BFF. Her most recent trips include Cabo San Lucas for spring break and a month in Costa Rica this past summer. When she’s not traveling, Tara enjoys game nights, dinner out, and reality TV.

  • Wendy French photo

    Wendy French

    Wendy French is a Boise State alumni educator. She is currently the Director of Special Programs for the Filer School District in Filer, Idaho. Dr. French has been an educator and director of special education for over 37 years, and has served as a university assistant professor, university adjunct professor, university liaison, and mentor for over 10 years combined, in both Washington and Idaho. Her research interests involve behavior systems, the arts in special education, as well as rural education and the impact of community partnerships on student learning.

    Wendy French is a Boise State alumni educator. She is currently the Director of Special Programs for the Filer School District in Filer, Idaho. Dr. French has been an educator and director of special education for over 37 years, and has served as a university assistant professor, university adjunct professor, university liaison, and mentor for over 10 years combined, in both Washington and Idaho. Her research interests involve behavior systems, the arts in special education, as well as rural education and the impact of community partnerships on student learning.

  • Tamesyn O'Rourke photo

    Tamesyn O'Rourke

    Tamesyn O’Rourke had the privilege of moving with her family to the Treasure Valley 15 years ago. Tamesyn loves to spend time with her husband and children riding bikes, playing board games, and riding motorcycles. Tamesyn has worked in education for 18 years and has taught students in grades kindergarten through graduate school. Tamesyn is a Boise State Alumni after earning her Masters of Educational Leadership in the class of 2018.

    Tamesyn O’Rourke had the privilege of moving with her family to the Treasure Valley 15 years ago. Tamesyn loves to spend time with her husband and children riding bikes, playing board games, and riding motorcycles. Tamesyn has worked in education for 18 years and has taught students in grades kindergarten through graduate school. Tamesyn is a Boise State Alumni after earning her Masters of Educational Leadership in the class of 2018.

  • Laura Smith photo

    Laura Smith

    Born and raised in Arizona, Laura Smith earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Early Childhood Special Education and English Language Learners. Prior to teaching, she was a case manager, providing services to adults and children with disabilities. Laura began her teaching career in 2012 as an Extended Resource Elementary Special Education Teacher and has since added Administration Designee to her role within the Boise School District. Laura is an extrovert at heart and she thrives on collaborating and working with others. Laura has enjoyed being a Liaison with the Boise State University Masters in Teaching Program for the past three years. When Laura’s not teaching, she spends her time with her four children and the newest member of her family, a black lab puppy named Maverick.

    Born and raised in Arizona, Laura Smith earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Early Childhood Special Education and English Language Learners. Prior to teaching, she was a case manager, providing services to adults and children with disabilities. Laura began her teaching career in 2012 as an Extended Resource Elementary Special Education Teacher and has since added Administration Designee to her role within the Boise School District. Laura is an extrovert at heart and she thrives on collaborating and working with others. Laura has enjoyed being a Liaison with the Boise State University Masters in Teaching Program for the past three years. When Laura’s not teaching, she spends her time with her four children and the newest member of her family, a black lab puppy named Maverick.

  • Megan Yarnell photo

    Megan Yarnell

    Megan Yarnell is an early childhood special education teacher and has worked with young children and their families in a developmental preschool program for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Studies from Boise State University. Megan believes that building relationships and encouraging student independence are essential components to creating engaging and meaningful early learning experiences. Megan has been recognized as Teacher of the Year by her school and received the Idaho DEC Early Childhood Excellence award. Megan’s teaching philosophy is that children learn when they feel connected and safe. It is the role of the teacher to nurture and support individual students within an environment where all children can explore, take risks and interact with their peers in meaningful ways.

    Megan Yarnell is an early childhood special education teacher and has worked with young children and their families in a developmental preschool program for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Studies from Boise State University. Megan believes that building relationships and encouraging student independence are essential components to creating engaging and meaningful early learning experiences. Megan has been recognized as Teacher of the Year by her school and received the Idaho DEC Early Childhood Excellence award. Megan’s teaching philosophy is that children learn when they feel connected and safe. It is the role of the teacher to nurture and support individual students within an environment where all children can explore, take risks and interact with their peers in meaningful ways.

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