Meet the Staff

Mrs. Kim Mikolajczyk

Email: [email protected]

Kim Mikolajczyk, principal of McDonald school loves the students, families and staff she works with each day. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Idaho, her Master’s Degree from Eastern Washington University and her Education Specialist degree from University of Idaho. After serving as the school counselor at McDonald for 10 years, Kim now leads our school.

She brings a wealth of knowledge about the children, their families as well as working closely with staff and programs within the school and community. Her positive and proactive approach along with getting to know and enjoying each student helps make McDonald Elementary a fantastic place to be!

Kim grew up in Vancouver, Washington, in her large family of seven children. She came to Moscow to attend the University while on a Track scholarship and has never left! She enjoys exploring new places, exciting foods and playing on the St. Joe river in the summer with her husband and two children while out of cell phone range of anyone else.

Classroom Teachers

Mrs. Heidi Palmer

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Heidi Palmer hails from The Dalles, Oregon and earned a degree in K-8 education and early childhood education from Western Oregon University in 1999. In 2009 she graduated from University of Idaho with a Master’s degree in Special Education.

In the fourth grade, Mrs. Palmer visited her aunt in San Francisco. While there she toured her aunt’s work place, which was a training center for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Over the next several years she raised four guide dogs. It was an awesome experience!

For Mrs. Palmer, being a teacher is a very fulfilling career. She loves watching the children grow socially, as well as academically throughout the course of the year and for years to come. She loves the enthusiasm for learning that Kindergarten children demonstrate each and every day.

Mrs. Brandi Urie

Email: [email protected]
Class Website:

Brandi Urie was raised in Boise, Idaho but moved to Moscow in 2000. She has considered the Palouse her home ever since. She graduated from the University of Idaho in 2010 with her B.S. Education and looks forward to completing her Master’s degree with them as well (Go Vandals!). Shortly after graduation, Mrs. Urie taught abroad for two years in Kumamoto, Japan, where she worked with students as young as 3 and as old as 75.

Mrs. Urie enjoys reading, gardening, painting, and the occasional cross-stitch project. She can often be found heading out on grand adventures with her husband, Ryan, her daughter, Alora, and toddler son, Taran. Teaching kindergarten has been a lifelong dream for Mrs. Urie. She loves the unique and inspiring ways kindergarteners engage with their learning community and hopes to instill in all her students an enduring love of learning.

Mrs. Kristine Fitze
1st Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Kristine Fitze earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education at University of Idaho. Following graduation she achieved her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Fitze has taught at McDonald Elementary since 2001.

She loves the outdoors such as camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and walking her Yorkie. She also loves baking fruit pies, reading and scrapbooking.

Mrs. Fitze loves making a difference in a child’s life in some small way. It is always good when she is teaching and a student says or does something that teaches her something too!

Mrs. Gena Hudelson
1st Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Gena Hudelson grew up in Northern Virginia near Washington D.C. along the Blue Ridge Mountains. She earned her BS in Recreation & Resource Management from the University of Montana and her Elementary Education certificate with an endorsement in Literacy from Lewis-Clark State College.

When not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family outside. Whitewater, rafting, dry fly fishing and camping on the river are her favorite activities. In the winter, Gena and her family can be found on the ski hill on the weekends. She also loves to cook, work on photography, travel when she can and explore with her little ones.

Mrs. Hudelson has been a professional whitewater rafting guide since the age of 17. Within that time, her greatest accomplishment has been floating through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River four times. That is a total of 65 days spent in the bottom of the Grand Canyon! It has become her most treasured places to visit. Oddly enough, she has yet to see it from the top of the rim.

Gena loves providing an atmosphere that promotes an excitement for learning! She enjoys making her classroom feel like a community that encourages acceptance and believe in students finding their individual interests through the power of reading.

Mrs. Mitzi Wright
1st Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Mrs. Mitzi Wright was born and raised in Hutchinson, KS. She met her husband while in college in Missouri and spent nine years in Oklahoma before moving to Idaho in 2003.

She graduated from Ozark Christian College with a degree in Christian Education. She taught two years in a private school, teaching third grade and Kindergarten. In 2002 she completed her elementary education certification at the University of Oklahoma. When she moved to Idaho, she subbed in various districts for two years before working in the Troy School district from 2005-2018. She spent seven of those years as a one on one aide and recently six years as a second grade teacher.

Mrs. Wright enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, roller skating, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with her family. She is the youngest of seven children. Her siblings range from 12-24 years older than her. Her family consists of the three amigos, herself, her husband, Eric who is a mental health counselor and her daughter Macie who will be in first grade. Mitzi is a world traveler and did a small stint in roller derby.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Mrs. Wright stated that teaching is rewarding and she loves to inspire the excitement of learning, creativity and helping students to think for themselves. She enjoys seeing students be sponges by soaking up what they learn and use it to share with others.

Ms. Jana Horne
2nd Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Jana Horne was born and raised in Texas. She received her Bachelor’s degree in science from Texas A & M University – WHOOP! She earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Idaho.

Ms. Horne loves the outdoors and spending time with family and friends. When time allows, she enjoys gardening and knitting. When she was younger she enjoyed playing sports. Basketball is her favorite sport.

Jana has one child, Connor and a lovable Golden Retriever named Dusty. Ms. Horne has rafted the Canning River in Alaska north of the Brooks Range and rafted the Middle Fork of the Salmon with a group of friends.

Ms. Horne stated “I love the challenge of making school fun and successful for every child.” Check out the second grade website

Mrs. Emily Spellman
2nd Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Emily Spellman teaches 2nd Grade at McDonald Elementary. She was raised in a town outside of Philadelphia and moved to Moscow at the age of ten. She graduated from Moscow High School and went abroad to Nepal for her first semester in college. She learned lifelong lessons in Nepal and it was there that she decided to become a teacher after teaching English songs to kids in the villages. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a Master’s degree in Education along with a literacy and gifted & talented endorsement.

Other than her love for teaching, Mrs. Spellman loves to run, hike, backpack, travel and volunteer for the Humane Society of the Palouse. She has volunteered there for 20 years and been on the Board of Directors for the shelter for over ten years.

Emily enjoys spending time with her family and is married and has two young children, Maya and Reid. She is proud to admit that she is a McDonald Duck alumnus along with her husband. She stated that once her youngest child enters school her whole family will be Ducks, “once a duck, always a duck!”

Mrs. Spellman loves getting to know the students. She likes the opportunity to support them in their learning career and creating a safe and inviting environment for them to grow.

Mrs. Pepper Abbott
3rd Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Pepper Abbott teaches 3rd grade at McDonald Elementary this year. She achieved her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Idaho in Elementary and Special Education.

Mrs. Abbott loves being outdoors! She enjoys hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, four wheeling, soccer, rock climbing, snowboarding and camping. If after all of this she has any spare time, she loves to quilt and knit, but top on her list is spending time with her husband, children and dog.

Some interesting facts that you may not know about Mrs. Abbott is that she spent four summers in Naknek, Alaska working in the roe room of a fish processing plant. She also fought wild fires for seven summers.

Mrs. Abbott loves knowing that she makes a difference in each and every student that she teaches.

Read more about what is happening in Mrs. Abbott’s 3rd grade class at

Mrs. Krysta Swanger
3rd Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class Website:

Krysta Swanger grew up in Cheney, Washington. She came to Moscow to attend the University of Idaho in 2006. GO VANDALS! After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and working a couple years as support professional in Kindergarten, she decided to become a substitute for Moscow School District. She fell in LOVE with McDonald Elementary and began teaching 3rd grade here in 2014. Then in 2021, she earned her master’s degree in Learning Design and Educational Technology from Western Governor’s University.

Mrs. Swanger and her husband, Scott love to spend time with family. Their young children, Cameron and Carlee keep them very busy at home. Much of their extended families live nearby, so they get to spend a lot of time with siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They also enjoy camping, traveling and going to musicals and concerts.

Mrs. Swanger strives to get to know her students on a more personal level to better help them in the classroom. She hopes to get to know families to promote open communication between home and school. She believes in a balanced teaching approach and meeting students’ needs in different ways. Not only does Mrs. Swanger love teaching her students, but she is constantly learning new things from them as well. To see more about Mrs. Swanger’s class, go to her website at

Mr. Wes Bascom
4th Grade

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Class website:

Wes Bascom teaches 4th grade at McDonald Elementary. He grew up in Eastern Oregon and achieved his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Washington State University and his teaching certificate at University of Idaho.

Among Mr. Bascom’s many hobbies, he enjoys drumming/music, outdoors backpacking and camping. He has lived and taught in three Northwest states, Costa Rico and Mexico.

Mr. Bascom enjoys watching the lights turn on when a student interests or understanding “clicks”.

Mrs. Merina Rainville
4th Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Mrs. Rainville was born and raised in Saratoga, CA and come from three generations of teachers. She has a B.A in music from San Jose State University where she sang in the chamber choir and got to sing backup for the Rolling Stones on their last tour. Merina received her master’s in teaching from Santa Clara University and is a certified Waldorf teacher.

Merina lives in Moscow with her husband Danny, daughter Maisie, and an Australian Shepherd, Junebug. In her free time she loves napping, watercolor painting, and exploring Idaho with her family. Mrs. Rainville loves being a Duck not only because of the wonderful community, but also as it allows her to put into practice her belief that every child has the right to a good education!

Mrs. Wendy Thompson
4th Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Wendy Thompson was born in Tucson and moved here when she was three years old. She has been teaching at McDonald Elementary since 1999. She graduated from Moscow High School (Go Bears!) and went to the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!) where she earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Master’s of Education degree.

Her passions include anything related to friends, family and sports. She and her family are a huge baseball family who takes their children everywhere due to sporting activities. Between baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and dance, she stays very busy. In case you didn’t notice, Mrs. Thompson is a big fan of the UI Vandals, Seattle Mariners/Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Boston Red Sox.

She loves everything about teaching and it is the one thing that she can do to make a difference in a child’s life. She enjoys seeing the “lightbulb” go on when students start to “get it”. It keeps her busy and on the go, but she values every minute of it. McDonald School is such a great place to be. It truly is “home away from home”.

Ms. Heidi Broenneke
5th Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Miss Heidi Broenneke was born and raised in Moscow. She received her BS in Elementary Education at the University of Idaho.
She enjoys hiking, paddle boating, going to concerts and singing. She is a Seattle Mariner enthusiast and has been chosen as one of Idaho’s Ultimate Northwest fans the past five years! She has a cat, Felix (namesake of Mariner Felix Hernandez) and Shishka.

What Miss Broenneke loves most about teaching is spending time with her students. She is the best version of herself when with them. Teaching provides her the opportunity to foster relationships that have a lasting impact.

Ms. Staci Brandner
5th Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Staci Brandner comes to McDonald Elementary from Yuma, Colorado. She moved to Moscow in 2015 after graduating from Chadron State College in Chadron, NE with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.

Her passion is very simple, teaching! She loves working with kids and seeing them progress in their education. She reads a variety of books and loves to write poetry.

Ms. Brandner made a huge change to her life when she moved to Idaho in 2015. She decided to follow her family to Moscow to be closer to her oldest sister and since the move it has been wonderful living here. She enjoys exploring new towns and places and seeing the beautiful scenery. She is excited to claim this state as her home.

The thing that she loves most about teaching is seeing the students grow and learn. It is gratifying to see the students take the information that has been given them and have them apply it in their lives and throughout their education careers. She enjoys making those connections with students that allows for the fun, learning environment.

Ms. Caitlin Murray
5th Grade

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Ms. Caitlin Murray found her way to Moscow from Redmond, Washington in 2011. Although she originally hails from the East Coast in North Carolina, she happily transitioned to the Pacific Northwest in 2005. She found her passion in teaching young learners right here on the Palouse and graduated from the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!) in 2018 with a BS in Elementary Education.

Ms. Murray enjoys reading with her own little learner at home, taking her dog for long walks, or tending to her many house plants which she jokingly refers to as ‘the jungle.’ She loves animals, the outdoors, swimming, and trying out the latest coffee crazes. You might hear her say “everything is better with chocolate,” but she insists she recognizes the importance of eating a balanced diet.

Teaching fulfills one of Ms. Murray’s greatest life purposes: helping her students discover new interests and safely explore their own natural curiosities. She considers herself a lifelong learner and takes pride in helping kiddos foster a sense of agency while discovering themselves and the world around them.

Specialty Staff

Mr. Aaron Schiffelbein

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Aaron Schiffelbein was born in California but grew up in western Washington in Kent, a suburb of Seattle. He achieved his BA in Communication from Washington State University followed by MA in School Counseling from the University of Idaho.
Mr. Schiffelbein enjoys collecting and listening to vinyl records along with camping and being outdoors. One of his favorite things is going to concerts. He has seen a few of his favorite bands 15+ times in concert (and counting).

He loves the joy and energy students bring to school with them each day. One of his favorite things about the work he does is seeing students make new connections and learn more about what makes them uniquely who they are.

Mr. Lance Hamma
Physical Education

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Lance Hamma teaches PE at McDonald Elementary. He was born in Montana and achieved his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Physical Education from the University of Idaho. In addition, he earned his Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Idaho.

Mr. Hamma loves swimming, kayaking, rafting, hiking and chasing after his son. He loves sports especially the Green Bay Packers, of whom he boasts that he is part owner. Ask to see his Green Bay certificate if you don’t believe it! Oh, Mr. Hamma LOVES brownies.

He loves working with children. Mr. Hamma states “they are funnier, more forgiving, energetic and capable than we can imagine.”

Ms. Stephanie Sant

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Stephanie Sant teaches Movement at McDonald Elementary. Movement is a non-competitive creative dance class where students explore, create, respond to and perform movement and dance works. Ms. Sant received her Associate of Arts degree from Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. Upon completion of her Associate’s degree, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music and in 2005, a Master’s degree in Education, both from the University of Idaho.

Ms. Sant loves to sing for community events and occasionally sings the National Anthem at sporting events. She participates in the Palouse Choral Society choirs. In addition to her work at McDonald Elementary, she teaches Choir, Jazz Choir and Opera group at Moscow High School.

Among some of Ms. Sant’s favorite things about teaching is interacting with students, watching them learn and develop from year to year.

Mrs. Kathy Stefani

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Kathy Stefani, a Moscow native, has taught elementary and secondary music for many years. She joined McDonald Elementary in 2016.

She plays numerous instruments and is an Orff Level I specialist. Kathy currently serves as President for the Idaho Music Educators Association. Mrs. Stefani is the recipient of numerous grants and she and her programs have been recognized by the Grammy Foundation. The love of music came late to Mrs. Stefani and her hope is to instill that love in her students early on.

Mrs. Geri Ray
Special Education

Email: [email protected]

Geri Ray grew up in Bellingham, Washington and earned her Bachelor’s degree and teaching certification at Western Washington University. She has her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and continues growing professionally by earning from Portland State University and University of Idaho.

In her spare time, Mrs. Ray loves taking pictures of her family along with gardening, ceramic painting and making jewelry. She finds mowing the lawn to be one of those crazy things that help relieve stress.

For Mrs. Ray, teaching is never a boring moment and she hopes her work with students will help people remember her. They will!!

Mrs. Jordan Roesler
Special Education

Email: [email protected]

Jordan Roesler is a special education paparprofessional at McDonald Elementary. Jordan has worked with children in an educational setting ranging from infants to high school for 17 years. She has a BS in Psychology from Washington State University and a masters in teaching from City University – Seattle.

Jordan is a born and raised Idaho native. In her free time, you can find her with a good book in her hand. Jordan also enjoys going to WSU football games, traveling, camping, swimming and any other activities with her busy family.

Ms. Vickie Green

Email: [email protected]

Vickie Green was born in Seattle, WA, but grew up in Council, ID. When her two sons started high school, she enrolled in LCSC, earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with endorsements in special education and reading. After teaching a couple of years, she became interested in the assessment part of special ed and in helping students work through difficult problems. She enrolled in the U of I’s school psychology /counseling program and completed her internship in a remote village in Alaska. Ms. Green taught at the U of I and served as a district special education coordinator in Nashville before returning to Council where she served as their elementary principal for the past four years.

A desire to return to her passion of working with, and hopefully helping students who view school as a difficult and sometimes, incomprehensible world, find the strategies and skills to make it more manageable and enjoyable, led her to apply for the school psychologist position in Moscow. (That, and the fact that the Moscow/Palouse area is one of her all-time favorite places!).

Ms. Green has nine grandchildren and lives with her two German Shepherds and a fat cat.

She loves to bike, run (slowly), and is working on completing her dissertation (also slowly).

What Ms. Green loves about teaching/education are the opportunities to help children connect their interests and learning styles to find success in school and beyond.
Mrs. Patty Pancheri
Reading Intervention

Email: [email protected]

Patty Pancheri has been teaching since 1995 at McDonald Elementary where she works as a Reading Specialist. She achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction emphasis on math instruction with a Gifted and Talented Endorsement from the University of Idaho.

She has many interests and hobbies, including spending time with her family, reading, gardening and hanging at Priest Lake with family.

The best part of the job for Mrs. Pancheri is meeting and working with students from all grade levels. She loves the energy and enthusiasm they bring to our learning communities.

Mrs. Melissa Harmon
Extended Learning

Email: [email protected]

Melissa Harmon is officially a Navy brat. She was born in Winter Harbor, Maine, however, she spent the majority of her “growing up” in Fontana, CA. Most recently she has lived in North Carolina. She received her B.A. (2008) and M.A. (2009) in Education from the University of California, Riverside.

Mrs. Harmon enjoys drawing, sewing, beading, quilting and baking. She has a Cricut Maker that she loves to play with and is an avid reader.

She has traveled around the country and has visited/lived in a few other countries. Melissa has been to Mexico, Spain, Turkey and Germany. She has moved across the country twice and has a very large family of 35 cousins, 5 aunts and uncles, 4 brothers and sisters, 11 nieces and nephews. She and her husband have been married since 1990 and they have two daughters.

Teaching is Mrs. Harmon’s dream job. She has wanted to be a teacher forever and her favorite game was “school”. She loves helping students learn new things and find joy in school. All kids have something that they excel at and she wants to be the teacher to help them find it. Being an advocate for her students makes it worth every struggle.

Mrs. Faye Nagler

Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Nagler was born and raised in Canada and moved to the USA in 1996. She has a Masters in Science, Certification in K-8 Elementary Education from the University of Idaho and an Endorsement in Library Sciences and Secondary Earth Science. She serves as the Enrichment Teacher at West Park guiding the First and Second Graders in STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, art and math); and also is the District Elementary Librarian, responsible for all four elementary school libraries.

Mrs. Nagler is passionate about encouraging a love of science, technology, and literacy in young students and providing students and staff with the tools and resources to become effective users of information and lifelong lovers of learning.

When not balancing books or teaching robotics she loves doing anything near the water, volunteering in the community, reading (of course), traveling as much as possible, worrying about her two adult daughters and trying to manage her two crazy dogs.

Mrs. Julia Goddard
Moscow School District Development Preschool (located in McDonald Elementary)

Email:  [email protected]

Julia Goddard was born in Texas but moved to Pullman in the 4th grade and has lived on the Palouse ever since. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology; Minor in music from WSU (2003) and a Master’s degree in teaching from WSU (2005).

Both parents were music teachers, instilling a love for the arts. She studied piano, voice, flute, ballet and modern dance. Now she loves incorporating music into the classroom to support young learners.

Mrs. Goddard has three children who have been or are McDonald Ducks. She supports all of her children at area sporting and dance events. Boating as a family, international travel to beach locations are other things she enjoys.

Julia has taught as a general classroom teacher and gift/talented teacher. She has owned an area preschool for 17 years before deciding to return to the classroom. Her mom taught at McDonald Elementary for 14 years. She loves working with the staff who are so incredibly dedicated to children.

“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein

Mrs. Lindsey Wagner
Moscow School District Development Preschool SLP (located in McDonald Elementary)

Email: [email protected]
Class website:

Lindsey Wagner is the Speech Language Pathologist in the Developmental Preschool. She received a Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Idaho State University in 2011.

She loves running, hiking, camping and reading. She and her husband have been married three years and have traveled to Panama. They just bought their first house and have a sweet 15 years old kitty.

Mrs. Wagner loves knowing that her interventions are helping a child communicate and that those skills will help them their whole life…is the very reason she does what she does.

Mrs. Rachel Lambert
Developmental Preschool Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Rachel Lambert was born into a military family and lived all over including twelve years in Europe. She has been in Moscow for 20+ years and calls this lovely town home.

Mrs. Lambert has 6+ years’ experience working in early education, mostly with preschool, ages two to five and has attended many hours of training including special education.

She is a mom of three very active and busy children. Her hobbies include watching them in all of their many sports. When she gets time to herself, she loves to read. The last couple of years she has been learning how to garden and enjoy the many berries & fruits that she has been learning to grow on her own. Her children love to help her come up with new ways to cook their home grown vegetables.

Rachel has been learning American Sign Language and has loved being able to use this form of communication not only in the classroom, but at home with her own children. She is teaching her five-year-old ASL so he may be able to communicate with the deaf community.

Mrs. Lambert loves watching the excitement of young children learning something new and reaching goals. She enjoys supporting them and making a difference in some small way as she learns from them as well.

Support Staff

Cheyenne Allen
Building Aide

Email: [email protected]

Cheyenne Allen grew up in a small yet huge tourist town called Lava Hot Springs in Southeastern Idaho. She graduated high school from Marsh Valley.

She loves animals and arts & crafts along with cheerleading. Mrs. Allen makes personalized cups, mugs, etc. with her cricut and sells them.

She enjoys watching the kids grow and learn new skills at McDonald Elementary.

Ms. Liz Ausband
Building Aide

Email: [email protected]

Liz was born In Meadville, PA. but grew up outside of Washington DC. As I child she studied ballet at The Virginia Ballet Company and after high school left to perform in Tulsa, OK with her first professional company. Liz eventually landed in Las Vegas where she performed with Nevada Dance Theatre and danced in Las Vegas shows including EFX, Gallup Extreme Magic, with the hypnotist Marshall Sylver, and the Folies Bergere. She even made two appearances on The Drew Carey show.

After 13 years of professional dancing Liz moved to Missoula, MT and got her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology. She worked on projects in Montana, Yellowstone Park, and on the Blackfeet Nation where she got to handle all sorts of furry creatures including swift fox, squirrels, snowshoe hares, chipmunks, voles, skunks, and mice.

Liz loves to hike, garden, and travel. Her son Sam is a Moscow High School bear, and her husband Dave works at the U of I in the wildlife co-op unit. She joined the McDonald family in 2019 where the kids make her laugh every day and she is happy to be a part of their lives and watch them grow and flourish.

Mrs. Vickie Brandner

Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Brandner was born and raised in Blytheville, Arkansas and moved to Colorado in 2002. She worked at the Lone Star School District in Otis, Colorado until moving to Moscow in 2015.

When asked what brought her to Moscow, she will loudly exclaim GRANDBABIES! Vickie has two grandsons who live in Clarkston and if you can’t tell by talking to her, they are her pride and joy. She loves being Grammy.

Mrs. Brandner and her husband, when not working, spend a lot of their time exploring the Palouse. This has been a great move for them and she is very proud to be a part of the Moscow community and McDonald School.

Ms. Debbra Flomer
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Debbra Flomer was raised on a farm in Moscow, ID. Her interests include the outdoors, gardening, making cards, cross stitching and going to the cabin on the lake.

She worked at Macy’s so long (for 17 years) that she is known as the Macy’s lady! Debbra has a black multi-poo and she is her little princess.

Ms. Flomer loves working at McDonald with the people. Everyone is so nice and friendly and the children are a delight to work with.

Ms. Makayla Gilkey
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Makayla Gilkey was born and raised right here in Moscow.  She is currently working on her degree in Special Education.  She likes volleyball, hockey and hanging out with friends.  Makayla is a former Duck and proud of it!  She enjoys working with the loving and helpful staff at McDonald Elementary.

Ms. Lori Hanna
Food Services

Email: [email protected]

Lori Hanna was born in Moscow and lived in Potlatch through mid 4th grade. She soon moved to the big city of Kent, WA through junior year of high school. Her dad had an engineering job so they moved to Rochester, WA to start her senior year. She graduated from Rochester High School. Ms. Hanna went to Centralia College and double majored in Botany/Forestry with a minor in Fine Arts. After college she worked for the Weyerhauser Company and then moved on to Safeway as Floral manager and front end retail management for 34 years. She also owned a small business Espresso business for 14 years.

Lori enjoys white water rafting the Salmon river every summer along with antique collecting, gardening and floral arranging. Ms. Hanna purchased a small farm to be near her cousins in Potlatch. They have reinstated the Potlatch Mountain Home Grange and put it on the historic registry. They are slowly restoring it back to its original glory, a work in progress. Ms. Hanna’s family consists of her daughter, son in law, two busy grandsons, chickens, goats, dogs and cats. She is a fourth generation Idaho native.

She loves McDonald Elementary and the warm and friendly staff and serving the student’s breakfast and lunch everyday.

Ms. Chloe Hansen

Email: [email protected]

Chloe Hansen was born in Moscow during her parent’s time at college but grew up primarily in McCall, ID. She came back to Moscow to study English and Art and finished her time at the U of I in 2023.

Ms. Hansen loves poetry, plein air and figure dancing. She likes to read, craft and play tennis and basketball on weekends. She designs rosters for shows at local businesses in her free time.

Chloe has an identical twin who lives down the street from her. She loves spending time with her and they have an uncontrollable, occasionally annoying, tendency to respond in unison.

She likes making material feel accessible to students, affirming their capabilities and motivating a confident mindset in tackling any challenge.

Ms. Sue Henry
Food Services

Email: [email protected]

Sue Henry was born in Walnut Ridge, AR but grew up in Deer Park, WA. Ms. Henry enjoys spending time with family, fishing, camping and kayaking.

Her family used to be dairy farmers in Clayton, WA.

Sue enjoys the people she works with and all the cute little faces.

Ms. Kaeli Houck
Literacy Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Ms. Tami Hurst
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Tami Hurst was born and raised in Texas. She attended the University of Idaho and earned a degree in Sports Science and Athletic Training.

Ms. Hurst loves being a lifeguard during the summer and her favorite thing about McDonald is the office staff.

Mrs. Wendy Johns
Literacy Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Wendy Johns was born and raised in Ephrata, WA, a small town in central Washington. She is the youngest of 8 children and loved growing up in such a big family. Even though her brothers and sisters are all over the country, they are still close and appreciate the invention of group texting.

After graduating high school, Wendy attended Brigham Young University-Idaho where she studied clothing and textiles as well as general studies. It was there at BYU-I where she met her husband Allen Johns. During the first couple years of marriage, Allen and Wendy moved to different cities for school or work but decided to settle in Moscow for Allen's work. They both have loved this area from the beginning and have been here for 15 years. They have four kids and are having fun raising them here in Moscow going to the many delicious places to eat, attending great schools, and enjoying the outdoor opportunities for fun and adventure.

Wendy enjoys everything outdoors--camping, hiking, biking, and running. She also enjoys playing basketball and watching her kids play sports and dance ballet. Wendy enjoys reading, singing, quilting, and making fabric dolls. She also loves gardening and working in the yard. She loves spending time with her family--playing games, traveling, watching movies, watching sports, and having dance parties in the kitchen while they cook and bake together.

What Wendy loves most about working at McDonald is seeing the kids she works with every day. She loves their smiles and excitement when they learn something new or work through a challenging concept or skill.

Ms. Sarah Johnson
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Sarah Johnson grew up in New Prague, MN and moved to the Palouse in 2004. She graduated from Pullman High School and received an AA from SFCC.

As a child she loved playing with hair and make up and has always wanted to help others. She is a mom to three wonderful children, has been married for ten years, has two dogs and two cats.

Mrs. Elly Jones
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Jones was born and raised in Moscow, ID. She enjoys animals, art, music and cooking. Her son taught her to play minecraft so they can have a fun thing to share. Now her daughter plays too and she can understand what they are talking about when they speak the lingo.

One of her favorite things about McDonald Elementary is the positive and helpful atmosphere.

Ms. Oakleigh Kearby
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Mr. Morgan Knerr
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Morgan's passions are music, art and poetry.  He is a singer/songwriter.  He is pursuing his dream of being a touring musician.  Mr. Knerr's mother is the band teacher at the high school.

Morgan was asked what he loved most about working at McDonald, "fantastic coworkers, great kids, working with his choir teacher Ms. Sant and his passion for helping people.

Mrs. Joanie Maag
Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Joanie Maag has lived in Moscow all her life. At one time she wanted to move away, but now she absolutely loves this town.

Mrs. Maag has taken a Hunter’s Education course because she loves fishing and wants to try hunting. She loves to bake and during her free time, you will find her in the kitchen baking up goodies.

Since 2017, Joanie and her family have been working towards getting a service dog for her daughter who has autism. Her daughter should receive the service dog soon.

Mrs. Maag loves the staff at McDonald as everyone is so friendly and kind. In addition, she loves working with the students and seeing them succeed. McDonald School is a warm, inviting and safe place for kids to learn.

Mr. Tim Madsen

Email: [email protected]

Mr. Tim Madsen grew up in Coeur d'Alene, ID until he moved to Moscow in August, 2022. He has an AA from North Idaho College in American Sign Language studies and a BS in ASL/English interpreting from Troy University.

His passion is linguistics and he spends a lot of free time translating, teaching himself other languages and learning the origins of English. He loves reading in the winter months and going to the lake in the summer.

Tim has a huge family; seven siblings, five of which are married, six nephews and five nieces. He and his wife are expecting their first child.

He loves working at McDonald Elementary, of course, because of the kids! Having the opportunity to support Deaf and hard of hearing children in their most accessible language.

Mrs. Ricki Martin
Literacy Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Ricki Martin was born in Provo, Utah and lived there until she was 12. Her family moved to Costa Rica for a year, and later moved to Poway, California (just north of San Diego) where she went to high school. When Ricki married, she and her husband moved to Pullman. They loved the Palouse so much they never left!

Mrs. Martin has an associate's degree in Social Work from Ricks College (now BYU Idaho) from way back in 1991. After she married, she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. She has four boys. She earned her bachelor's in July of 2019 with a degree in Marriage and Family studies.

She loves to hang out with family and play games. Ricki loves to travel with her sister, cook and bake. She also has taught an early morning seminary class for the high schoolers that attend her church.

People remember Mrs. Martin most because of her name. She gets a lot of "Ricky Martin the famous singer' jokes! She was actually named after her Dad, Rick who happens to be her hero.

She loves working at McDonald because two of her children attended school here. She volunteered here a lot during those years, and still has lots of friends in the building. She loves the atmosphere at McDonald Elementary and feels privileged to have a small part to play in helping students learn to be better readers.

Mrs. Shannon McLuen
Building Aide

Email: [email protected]

Shannon McLuen was born in Missoula, MT. She then lived on Maui, HI where she went to elementary school. She moved to Moscow, ID in 7th grade and is a proud graduate of Moscow High School--Go Bears!

She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a BA in Business Administration. While in in college she met her husband of over 20 years while both were playing on the golf team.

You can find Ms. Shannon at a number of sporting events. She loves sports, especially supporting her two daughters. Besides sports, Ms. Shannon enjoys DIY projects and spending time with friends and family, especially their annual trip to Priest Lake.

McDonald Elementary has such a family-based atmosphere that once her youngest graduated from McDonald she knew she wanted to still be a part of the Duck family. Working with the students is such a delight, especially building relationships with them and hearing their stories. They definitely bring a smile to her face each day!

Ms. Avery Phelps
Instructional Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Avery Phelps is from Boise, ID and graduated from the U of I with a degree in Sociology. She is currently getting her teaching license for Elementary Education.

Avery likes to go camping, kayaking and anything outdoors. She has six brothers and sisters. Ms. Phelps did competitive cheerleading growing up and her life goal is to have a bulldog.

She loves the family at McDonald Elementary. They make her feel at home. She also loves seeing the students grow and celebrate all their achievements.

Mrs. Connie Pope
Instructional Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Connie Pope was born in Eric, PA and moved to Utah at age 3 where she grew up. One of the most memorable things she did in school was participate in Odyssey of the Mind when she was in 5th grade. Her group won at the state level and then traveled to Iowa for the world competition. It was also her first time on an airplane!

She married her high school sweetheart and is now The Pope’s wife. They have four amazing daughters! Connie enjoys spending time with her family, which inevitably means being a chauffeur to schools, practices, games, friends’ houses and whatever else they can think of. She is very excited for her oldest to gain her driver’s license. She also enjoys camping, four-wheeling, swimming, reading, going on dates with her husband, watching her girls participate in sports and dancing in the kitchen with her girls to very loud music.

Connie has been at McDonald since 2013. She loves coming to work and seeing the kids and staff.

Mr. Vince Rathbun

Email: [email protected]

Vince Rathbun works at McDonald Elementary as the day custodian. He was born and raised in Moscow, ID. His educational history includes Gunsmithing and USMC.

Vince interests includes his cats, hunting, fishing and just being outdoors. Mr. Rathbun proudly served in the USMC. He has one daughter, eight cats and a dog.

When asked what he loves most about working at McDonald Elementary he stated that he likes the people he works

Mrs. Michelle Richards

Email: [email protected]

Michelle Richards was born in Coventry, England then moved just outside Toronto, Canada when she was in elementary school. (She gets a kick out of people trying to place her muddled accent.)

She graduated from Brigham Young University in 2007 with a degree in Communications. It was there that Michelle met her husband, who is a proud McDonald Duck. After six years in Las Vegas they found their way to Moscow and enjoy playing games, reading and watching/quoting movies with their three amusing children and gigantic extended family - many of whom attended McDonald!

Working in the office at McDonald is a dream come true for Michelle – as a little girl she wanted to be a secretary when she grew up! She loves the school’s supportive environment and hearing the hilarious things students (and staff) say. It’s never the same day twice!

Mrs. Jeanne Sanford

Email: [email protected]

Jeanne Sanford began her career at McDonald School in 2011 and joined the library in 2014. One of her favorite quotes by Dr. Seuss is “You’re Never Too Old, Too Wacky, Too Wild, To Pick Up a Book, and Read to a Child.”

Mrs. Julie Schott
Food Services

Email: [email protected]

Julie Schott was born in Texas, but grew up in Santa Fe, NM. She loves reading and trail running. She has 3 red-headed children. She started working at McDonald Elementary in 2022 and it is her first "real" job after ten years as a stay at home mom.

One of the things she loves most about working at McDonald Elementary are seeing the kids!

Mrs. Johna Walden
Math Paraprofessional

Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Walden grew up on the Coeur d'Alene reservation in DeSmet, ID. She went to Potlatch High School and University of Idaho.

She loves cross stitching and photography. Mrs. Walden was a high school teacher for ten years and has three wonderful children. McDonald Elementary has amazing kids!

Mrs. Lyndee Walker
Nursing Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Lyndee Walker grew up in Moscow, ID….Go Bears! She graduated from Moscow High School and went to LCSC for Medical Assisting.

Mrs. Walker enjoys camping, hiking, reading, home projects and traveling. She breeds goldendoodles and usually has puppies at her house. Currently she has three children, two dogs, one bunny and too many fish and frogs to count.

When asked what Lyndee loves the most about working at McDonald Elementary she states that she loves the kids. Being able to interact and help the students is what makes every day special. The adults are great, the kids are fantastic!