North Star Academy Staff





Tana Archer – Director

Tana Archer has been the Director at North Star since 2014. Prior to that she taught 3rd grade since the school opened in 2005.  She has been teaching for 15 years, nine of which were here at North Star Academy and six were with Jordan School District. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Idaho State University and her MEd from Utah State University. She holds a current Level 2 Teaching License. She has 4 children. Mrs. Archer and her husband, James, celebrated their 25th Anniversary in July 2017. She believes we never stop learning and is passionate about education and traveling.


"Be the change you wish to see in the world."  by Ghandi is one of her favorite quotes because it reminds us that we all have the power to make our world a little brighter if we just choose to.

Diana Seidel- Assistant Director/Middle School Math

Mrs. Diana Seidel has been teaching 5 th grade since 2010. She received her BA in Elementary Education (K-8) and her Masters in Science Education (5-9) from Western Governors University. She has a Level 2 license and is currently working on completing her Level 2 Math Endorsement. She is extremely excited to be a part of the North Star family and looks forward to getting to know everyone. Mrs. Seidel was born in West Virginia but spent most of her adult life in Kentucky. She and her family moved to Utah in 2008. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have 2 kids and a Havanese named Chino. Her daughter, who loves to sing and act, will be a junior this year at Alta High School and plans to go into Engineering at the University of Utah. Her son will be in 6 th grade at Summit Academy and plans to play lacrosse.


“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.”


–Dalai Lama

LIsa Hardy - Counselor

Lisa Hardy has been a school counselor at North Star Academy since 2007. She is a graduate of the University of Utah majoring in speech communication. She has a masters in school counseling degree from Utah State University.  She enjoys working with students on future endeavors and teaching social skills to get along.  A few of her personal interests include; hiking, running, camping, group fitness instructing, biking, sewing, gardening and just being outdoors.

Tiffany Benson – Kindergarten

Ms. Tiffany has been teaching since 1996.  She has a BS in Human Development, and a MEd in Early Education from the University of Utah with a hearing impaired/special education endorsement.   She has taught 2nd grade, Kindergarten and Pre Kindergarten.

Niko Evans – 1st Grade

Heather Wartman – 1st Grade

Mrs. Wartman has a double Bachelor of Science in Sociology as well as Human Development and Family Studies, both from the University of Utah.  She has earned her Level 2 grades 1-8 Elementary Education License. Heather has been teaching for 21 years. This is her ninth year teaching first grade at North Star.

Lushawn Butterfield – 2nd Grade

Miss Butterfield graduated from Utah State University with a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences and from Snow College with an AS and an AAS in Child Care Management. She has been teaching since 2000 and has taught Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade. She has been at NSA since 2013. Miss Butterfield is licensed to teach second grade with her Elementary Education 1st - 8th grade License issued by the Utah State Board of Education.

Marci Schouten – 2nd Grade

Mrs. Schouten graduated from Westminster College with a BS in Early Childhood Education.  She has been teaching since 1999 and is a level 2 licensed teacher.  She  has been teaching at North Star Academy since 2008.

Michele Spanbauer – 3rd Grade

In 1999 Ms. Spanbauer received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, with an emphasis in young adult literature, from California State University, Long Beach. She went on to receive a teaching credential, and spent four years teaching fourth, fifth, and third grades in Southern California.  She came back to teaching and taught 4th grade in Utah.  Ms. Spanbauer is currently a level one licensed k-8 teacher in the state of Utah.

Katie Thompson – 3rd Grade

Mrs. Thompson has a bachelor’s of science degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in ESL from Utah State University.  This qualifies her to teach grades 1-8.  She has taught 4th grade at NSA from 2008-2014, and 3rd grade at NSA from 2014- present.  She currently holds a level 2 license and loves teaching elementary.

Wendy Feotis – 4th Grade

Mrs. Feotis graduated from Moorhead State University, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education.   Before moving to Utah, she taught 5th grade for 7 years in La Joya, Texas and 4th grade for 5 years in McAllen, Texas. She has been at North Star Academy since it opened in 2005. She taught 4th grade for 2 years before becoming the library media specialist.  She also has a Library Media certification.

Katelyn Jensen– 4th Grade

Shelby Shaver – 5th Grade

I have been teaching at North Star since it opened in 2005. I have a BS from the University of Utah. I have taught third, fourth, and sixth grade, but love the fifth grade curriculum. My favorite event to teach is the Civil War.

The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. ~BB King

Michelle Stewart - 5th Grade

My name is Michelle Stewart. I have been teaching 5th grade since 2004. I have a B.S. in Elementary Education. I live in Draper and I am married with 2 amazing girls. My oldest daughter attends the University of Jamestown in North Dakota, she is in the nursing program and plays soccer for them. My youngest daughter is a senior at Corner Canyon High School she also enjoys playing soccer. I love spending time with my family, gardening, reading and camping. Teaching is my passion! I am so excited to have this opportunity to teach your child and learn all I can about him/her as an individual. I believe that all children will succeed in a positive learning environment. My goals this year for your student are to help them with self-discipline, self-esteem, and leaning the curriculum that will help them be successful with the rest of their school career. You and your child can look forward to many enriching experiences and accomplishments this year.

Ruth Bird – 6th Grade

Miss Bird holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She has a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the State of California with 15 years of teaching experience in the public school system. Her degree qualifies her to teach all subject areas through the Utah State Office of Education, Return to Licensure Program. She holds a Level 1 teaching license.

Wendy O'Neil – 6th Grade

Mrs. O’Neil received her Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University in 1997.  She has been teaching full time since 2012 and is a level 1 licensed teacher qualified to teach K-8.

Shana Absey – Intervention Specialist

Shana Absey has been teaching for over 20 years.  She has taught all elementary grades 1st - 6th grade. She received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University and her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University St. Thomas  in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has taught in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Utah. She played an integral part in starting up North Star Academy. She has had many roles at North Star.  She taught 2nd and 3rd grade, has been Interim Principal, and Curriculum and Intervention Specialist.  She is currently Elementary Intervention Specialist and Lead Elementary Teacher.

Mallery Marsh – Art

I graduated from Arizona State University with a BFA in Art Education. I have taught in Arizona and have been teaching in Utah since 2015. I have an Arizona Teaching License and am working on receiving my Level 1 Utah License. Besides my love of the arts and teaching, you will find me outside skiing, hiking, camping, or playing with my golden retriever!

Haley Brenchley – Middle School Math

Mrs. Haley Brenchley graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor of science degree in Elementary Education. She currently has her Level 3 Math endorsement and is qualified to teach this class through the Alternate Route Licensure Program while working on secondary education. She started her teaching career in the 2013-2014 school year. She is currently teaching7th, 8th and 9th Grade Math.

Kristen DeForest - Health/P.E.

Kristen DeForest has a B.S. in Physical Education from Utah State University and holds a current Utah State Office of Education Level 1 license for Secondary Education which qualifies her to teach K–12 grade. She received her health endorsement through UVU. She is excited to begin her second year here at North Star!

Sarah Duke - Elementary Art

I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Art History and Curatorial Studies. My career in education began in 2012. I've served in a variety of roles working with students in grades K-8 at another charter school. I am authorized to teach Elementary Art while I work towards receiving my Utah Level I License for Secondary Visual Arts with a K-12 endorsement through the Utah State Office of Education Alternative Route to Licensure program. Thanks to the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program and our wonderful administration that values arts-integrated education, I am back at North Star Academy for my second year! In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, running, cooking and traveling the globe with my husband.


Melissa Edman – Middle School Language Arts, Geography, Debate

I am very excited to be teaching 8th grade Language Arts, 9th grade Geography, and Debate this year.  This is my fourth official year of teaching, but this is my eleventh year working at North Star Academy, in which I have had many teaching opportunities.  I love sports and am thrilled to be coaching the NSA volleyball team again this year. I am also excited to continue my role as SEM Coordinator. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science and am a bona fide political junkie. My degree qualifies me to teach Geography, Language Arts, and Debate through the Utah State Office of Education Alternative Route to Licensure program. I have been married to my wonderful husband since 2009. We live in Herriman with our incorrigible cat, Bella.

Troy Fernley – Middle School Technology

I have taught at North Star Academy since 2006. Before that, I worked at Excel Academy in Denver, CO. I currently teach Computer Technology, Business Website Design, Keyboarding, Desktop Publishing, and Career Technology Education Introduction (CTE intro). I received a BA in English with an emphasis on secondary education at BYU and an MEd in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at USU.

Monette McKinnell – Middle School Science

My name is Monette McKinnell. I have five daughters and seven grandchildren (1 more in October!) who have each inspired me in their unique ways to pursue my lifelong dream to teach. I enjoy crocheting, crafts, hunting, fishing and curling up with a good book. I earned my BS in Secondary Education-Chemistry from Oklahoma State University (2014) and a AS in Criminal Justice from Salt Lake Community College (2010).  I am certified to teach in Oklahoma and am currently in the process of obtaining a level 1 certification to teach in Utah. It is very exciting to have this opportunity to share such amazing topics with our students. My goal is to inspire them with a desire to explore our world in new ways and guide them to find ways to apply the principles of scientific discovery. I want to make learning science interesting and fun!

Annaka Nay – Middle School Social Sciences

I went to Brigham Young University, where I received a BA in History Education.  I have a Level 2 License in Secondary Education, with a history endorsement.  "Study the past if you would define the future." -Confucius

Angela Peterson - Music

Angela Peterson graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree.  She holds a Utah State Office of Education Level 1 license for Secondary Education with a K-12 endorsement. She is certified in Orff Schulwerk, Level 1 and is currently working towards her theatre endorsement.

Doris Rynearson – Middle School Math

Hi, my name is Doris (Haslem) Rynearson.  I have taught at North Star Academy for the past five years. I received a BS in family and consumer sciences with a minor in math from SUU. I have been teaching for 15 years.  I am a native of Utah and was born and raised in Beaver, Utah.  I have seven children and 11 grandchildren.  I love North Star Academy and am excited to start a new year.

Emily Story – Language Arts/Science

I graduated from the University of Utah with degrees in English Teaching and Biology Teaching and I am authorized to teach English Language Arts and Biology through the Alternative Route to Licensure Program through the Utah State Office of Education. When I am not teaching I like fishing, camping, and reading!

Kathie Hermansen – Special Education

Kathie Hermansen has a BS Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from SUU (SUSC back in the day). She also earned her Special Education (Mild to Moderate) Endorsement from SUU. She has taught both 3rd and 4th grades in Jordan School District and other Charter Schools previously. She is a Special Education Teacher at NSA and has taught here since it opened. She is married and has 4 adult children, 3 of whom are married and one who is getting married this year. She has 5 grandchildren and absolutely loves being a mother and grandmother! She also really enjoys working with all of the students at NSA!

Adam White - Special Education

Adam White has a level 1 Utah Teaching License, Secondary Education (6-12), English, Special Education K-12 with Mild/Moderate Endorsement ARL Education, M.S., Johns Hopkins University School of Education Theatre Arts Studies, B.A., Brigham Young University


I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Theatre Arts Studies. Additionally, I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a MS in Education while teaching Special Education on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I also earned a license to teach English/Language Arts. Now I am utilizing a letter of authorization while applying to participate in the Special Education Alternative Route to Licensure program. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering, cooking, and hiking.