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About Us

Staff


Marvin Thorman

Principal

Phone (208) 459-1627 Ext. 124

mthorman@gemstate.org

Marvin has worked in both boarding and day academies, giving him background to help make GSAA, which has both boarding and day students, a premier Adventist Christian school. Team is a concept with which Marvin is very familiar, having served as part of volunteer fire departments for 15 years, eight of them as the captain of a local fire station. Family vacations have centered around camping, canoeing, hiking, and backpacking. Marvin and his wife, Lisa, have two sons. Their son Marlin and his wife Trisha live in Spokane,

Washington. Son Russell and his wife Birgitta live in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Lisa is a musician with a Masters in piano performance and enjoys teaching piano. Marvin says that ministry gives him purpose

and fulfillment.


Cynthia M. Hastings

Vice Principal for Finance

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 144

chastings@gemstate.org


Karen Davies, B.S.

Registrar, Librarian, Living Skills

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 110

kdavies@gemstate.org

Karen has enjoyed working for teens and their families at Gem State Adventist Academy since 1989 when she joined the GSAA family as Registrar and Administrative Assistant. Today she serves as Registrar and Librarian. Karen enjoys spending time with her husband Greg and their daughter and son who are graduates of GSAA, reading, cooking, growing houseplants, gardening, hiking and her many pets.


Todd Driver, B.S.

Academic Director, Athletic Director, PE, Health

Phone (208) 459-1627

tdriver@gemstate.org

Todd graduated from PUC with a graphic arts degree and worked in that field for 25 years. He began teaching the 7th and 8th grades at Caldwell Adventist Elementary School in 2007, and has been with Gem State Academy since 2009. Todd has a real burden to help students learn personal accountability. He wants students to develop an internal drive to seek their own relationship with God. It is his desire that students actually own their beliefs in and about God. He loves sports of all kinds, but spends most of his time with Jujitsu, snow skiing, and snowboarding. He is an avid reader and a student of health. When he is not at work, he enjoys playing video games and traveling with his wife Denise and his two kids Sierra and Tristan.


Matthew Fitting, B.S.

Residence Hall Dean

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 106

mfitting@gemstate.org

Matthew has served on the Gem State faculty as the Head Residence Hall Dean for the past three years. Dormitory life is a large part of who he is. His dormitory residency began his freshman year of high school and is still ongoing. Matthew is committed to leading young people toward a personal relationship with Christ and assisting them in becoming well rounded, self-motivated, Godly people. It is his goal to educate students in Christian values and to motivate them positively in their physical, social, and academic environments. Matthew and his wife, Patricia, are the proud parents of twin girls, Aubrey and Autumn born in 2011. When he is not with his family or working, Matthew enjoys sports, board games, reading, camping, summer camp and youth ministry


Butch Burfeindt

Plant Manager, Maintenance

bburfeindt@gemstate.org


LeeAnn Burfeindt

School Work Coordinator

(208) 459-1627

lburfeindt@gemstate.org


Danelle Eckright

Food Service Assistant

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 115

deckright@gemstate.org


Patricia Fitting, B.S.

World History, US History, Government

(208) 459-1627

pfitting@gemstate.org

This is Patricia's third year teaching at GSAA. She teaches World History, U.S. History, and Government. Before moving to Idaho with her family four years ago, she was the Head Girls’ Dean at Monterey Bay Academy. Patricia attended Portland State University, obtained a B.S. in History, and then went on to Southern Adventist University for her teaching credentials. History is one of Patricia's passions, and she feels privileged to be teaching at GSAA. The most important thing to Patricia is to reflect Jesus Christ and for each student to have a personal relationship with Him. She is married to Matthew Fitting, GSAA’s Head Residence Hall Dean, and they have twin four-year-old daughters, Aubrey and Autumn. Patricia enjoys watching football-Go Patriots!, cooking, swimming, volleyball, reading, playing games with friends and family, and learning about U.S. History.


Jane Mills

Administrative Assistant

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 123

jmills@gemstate.org

Jane joined the GSAA family last year as Administrative Assistant. Steven, her husband, is a recent transfer from the Review & Herald Publishing to the Pacific Press Publishing. Since moving to Idaho in June of last year, she has enjoyed the unique sights and feels of the West. A few notable things she has learned since being here has been what a sugar beet looks and smells like, goat-heads vs. bicycle tires, what an inversion is, and how to dodge tumbleweeds. Jane has three daughters and one son ranging in age from 24 down to 17. She is a graduate of Shenandoah Valley Academy and attended Southern University. Some of her most enjoyable things to do are travel, hiking, reading, and just being with family.


Kimberley Mitchell, B.F.A., M.A.

English, Speech, Art, Senior Project

(208) 459-1627

kmitchell@gemstate.org

Kimberley is enjoying her 12th year as part of the GSAA family. She is a graduate of Gem State as are her two children, Amanda (Class of 2006) and Travis (Class of 2009). When not teaching or grading papers, she enjoys time with her family while walking in the mountains or on the beach, watching football, playing with her cats, riding four-wheelers and fly fishing on camping trips, or sharing books and movies. Her goal is to make Jesus real and accessible for all her students, opening up choices for now and eternity.


Tonya Rogers, B.S.

Accountant

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 120

trogers@gemstate.org

Tonya Rogers graduated from Walla Walla University with a BS degree in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting. She worked as Assistant Treasurer for the North Pacific Union and Oregon Conference for nine years. Once kids began to come along, Tonya ran an accounting business from home and took on the role of a stay at home mom. Three years ago, Tonya and her family moved to Idaho when her husband began working for the Idaho Conference. With all three kids now in school, Tonya decided to take the opportunity to go back to school and in March of 2014 became a certified and licensed EMT. She is currently working for the City of Horseshoe Bend as an EMT as well as the Accountant for Gem State Adventist Academy. In her spare time, Tonya enjoys hiking, camping, biking, traveling and reading.


Dan Ross, A.S., (M.A. in progress)

Business, Economics, Computer Apps., Publishing, Consumer Math

(208) 459-1627

dross@gemstate.org

Dan is pleased to be in his fifth year teaching at Gem State Adventist Academy. He joined our team with over 25 years of private-sector business experience, most recently as the founder and president of DRE, Inc., an architectural design and drafting firm. His aim is to help students employ sound biblical principles in today's business settings. Currently, Dan is working on his M.A. through Andrews University and is privileged to serve as treasurer for the Caldwell Adventist Elementary School. Dan and his wife, Dene Sue, are church planters, bible teachers, and lay evangelists. Dan regularly speaks at churches throughout the Idaho Conference. He served for six years as the president of the Northwest Chapter of Adventist-laymen's Services and Industries (ASI). His pastimes include bible study, travel, home design, remodeling, and landscaping.


Cecilia Simmons, B.A.

Music

(352) 812-3782

csimmons@gemstate.org

A recent graduate of Southern Adventist University, Ms. Simmons comes to Gem State Adventist Academy with teaching certifications in music and German. In addition to completing her necessary studies at SAU, Ms. Simmons also spent a year abroad studying German in Austria. An accomplished flutist Ms. Simmons’ love of music is surpassed only by her love for God. Her greatest desire is to use music as a medium to reach the hearts of her students for Christ. Ms. Simmons seeks to be a mentor wherever she goes and has worked with the First Year Experience staff at SAU as a freshman mentor for three years. She brings her love of the outdoors and her own unique brand of enthusiasm to the Gem State Adventist Academy music department.


Geoff Starr, B.A., M. Div.

Bible, Chaplain

(208) 459-1627

gstarr@gemstate.org

Geoff teaches Bible and pastors the Academy Church. He and his wife (Miranda) and 2 children (Ben and Katie) enjoy building relationships with the students and showing the love of Jesus in practical ways. He enjoys backpacking, kayaking, Mountain biking, basketball, football, and any other sport. Geoff lives by the saying "you don't stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing".


Marta Stone, B.A.

Spanish

(208) 459-1627

mstone@gemstate.org

Marta returned to GSAA part time in 2009 to teach Spanish, but spent six years as a full-time teacher here from 1996-2002 before her career-switch to motherhood. As a student at Walla Walla College (now University), Marta spent one fun and rewarding year in Spain as a student in the Adventist Colleges Abroad program. She encourages her students each year to broaden their experiences and view of the world by living in another culture. Marta and her husband John have lived in Caldwell since 1996, and have two children: Anna and Everett. Marta's hobbies include reading, playing piano, writing, and being creative with the computer. Her goals as a teacher include making Jesus and His love the most important aspect of education, and helping students USE, at least in a limited way, the language they have studied, rather than simply knowing ABOUT it.


Norman Tagalog

Food Service Director

(208) 459-1627 Ext. 115


Glen Wahlman, B.S., M.S.Ed

General Science, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology

(208) 459-1627

gwahlman@gemstate.org

Glen began teaching in 1984-85 as a student missionary in the Marshall Islands. A graduate of PUC with a degree in biology in 1987, he continued teaching overseas for 3 more years in the islands and a year in Russia. In Russia he met his wife and he now has 2 teenage sons, Dennis and Vadeem. In America he has been teaching for 19 years in California, Kansas, and Oregon. In addtion to the sciences, he is endorsed to teach math, history, art, and English. He enjoys teaching the natural sciences and uses art, technology, and animals to help students learn and succeed in school. His favorite time is being in the classroom working with students and living the Christian lifestyle. May the Lord bless him as he continues to minister to our young people.


Mark Waterhouse, B.A.

Algebra 2, Geometry, Physics, Calculus, Pre-Calculus

(208) 459-1627

mwaterhouse@gemstate.org

This is Mark’s third year at Gem State Adventist Academy. He taught math for the prior four years in Salem, Oregon, and the previous six years in Redding, California. Before that, he taught elementary school for 3 years. He and his wife LaVonna have two children at Caldwell Adventist Elementary School. Jenna is in third grade, and Jeremy is in first. Mark loves the outdoors, camping with his family, landscaping, all sports, drafting/designing, geocaching, 4-wheeling, and building just about anything. His goal at Gem State Academy is to not only teach a knowledge and appreciation of mathematics, but to show how God is evident in every aspect of math.


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