Meet our Staff
Jason Hillman, Principal
Mr. Hillman earned a bachelor’s degree in economics for secondary education from Boise State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Idaho. He also completed the special education director certification through the University of Idaho.
Some fun facts about Mr. Hillman:
- He is an outdoorsman and enjoys camping, fishing, and hunting.
- He has been married for 27 years and is the proud father of four children (three adults and one still in high school).
- He has a dog named Fido that is a little too energetic at times!
- He likes tinkering with woodworking in his garage and creating woodworking projects.
- He served a two-year mission in Japan, where he learned to speak Japanese.
- Played four sports all four years in high school – Football, Wrestling, Track and Baseball – earning 12 varsity letter awards.
- As a cub scout (10 years old), he was selected to represent all cub scouts in the state and give the annual scouting report to the Idaho state governor and the state legislature.
Chad Longley, Instructional Coach/International Traveler
Chad grew up in the town of Woodinville, Washington, located about 20 miles northeast of Seattle. He attended Western Washington University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2001 with a degree in history. In 2011, Mr. Longley earned his master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Idaho.
Mr. Longley’s 19-year career in public education has been in the states of Idaho and Massachusetts; he has served as a middle school social studies teacher, department chair, instructional coach at the elementary and middle school levels, and most recently as the personalized learning administrator for the Nampa School District. Mr. Longley will be working remotely as an instructional coach for NOVA in a part-time capacity as he travels internationally.
Some fun facts about Mr. Longley:
- He is a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan!
- He was the lead in his school play in 8th grade.
- His favorite subject in school was Spanish, and he studied it for six years, including at the college level.
- His favorite show is “Seinfeld.”
- He loves fantasy football.
- He is a car fanatic!
- He has coached basketball since he was 17 years old.
- He has traveled to 37 states and 5 countries (and growing!).
Angela Luque, Secondary Science Teacher
Secondary Science Teacher
Angela is the secondary science teacher for Nampa Online Virtual Academy. During her 17 years in education, she has served in a variety of roles: K-12 teacher, ISAT coordinator for the state of Idaho, substitute principal and college professor.
Ms. Luque earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Boise State University, a master’s in teacher education with an emphasis in secondary education from Eastern Oregon University, an educational specialist degree from Northwest Nazarene University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from University of Phoenix.
Some fun facts about Ms. Luque:
- She enjoys camping, fishing, white water rafting, and hiking.
- She is married to a wonderful man and has two children. Her oldest is 19 and her youngest is 17.
- She has two dogs and a HUGE tortoise.
- She plays seven instruments.
- She loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoying the beautiful state that we live in!
Christy Patee, Middle School Math Teacher
Christy was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. She graduated from Northwest Nazarene University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in K-8 education and played on the women's soccer team. In 2012 she earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in mathematics from Concordia University. She has taught for 11 years, mostly at the middle level, and was a K-5 math interventionist while living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ms. Patee is excited about being the 6-8 grade middle school math teacher for NOVA!
Some fun facts about Ms. Patee:
- She has been married for 12 years and has two young children.
- She enjoys traveling and exploring unique places, being outside, and learning new things.
- She loves all things sports and a good, quality maple donut.
- She played the clarinet and French horn for marching band during high school.
- Her biggest pet peeve is people who overfill their drink cups with ice, dump the ice back out, and continue the process until they have the “perfect” amount of ice.
Courtney Craner, 4th/5th Grade Teacher
Courtney is the 4th and 5th-grade teacher for Nampa Online Virtual Academy. She has worked for the District for six years as a 4th-grade teacher, technology integrator, and school positive behavior coach at Central Elementary. Ms. Craner has also served on several different curriculum & instruction teams for the district. She has a passion for teaching and works hard to build a relationship with every single student and their families.
Ms. Craner earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Boise State University and a master’s degree in mathematics education from Walden University. She currently is working on her educational specialist degree in educational leadership at Northwest Nazarene University, with plans to pursue her doctorate following the completion of this program.
Some fun facts about Ms. Craner:
- She loves spending her free time spoiling her niece and nephew.
- She played soccer for 14+ years and was able to coach during her first few years of teaching.
- She loves crafting and being creative.
- She has enjoyed the challenge, given by her students, to become “ famous” this Summer, and ruining the app for them by showing up on their pages every day.
- Everyone who knows her knows that she is obsessed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Jacqueline Martinko, 2nd/3rd Grade Teacher
Jacqueline is the 2nd and 3rd-grade teacher for Nampa Online Virtual Academy. She has taught at Willow Creek Elementary in Nampa for five years as an English as a second language specialist/co-teacher. She also was a substitute teacher in Nampa for a year in all grades and subjects K-12. She has worked for a preschool for refugees, students with hearing impairments and language difficulties, in West Ada as a paraprofessional, and in Boise Independent School District as a substitute teacher. Her first two years of teaching were spent in Bruneau and Grand View.
Ms. earned her Bachelor of Education degree in elementary education and a Spanish minor from the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!). She earned her Master of Education in curriculum and instruction specializing in English as a second language from the University of Phoenix.
Some fun facts about Ms. :
- She owns, and likes to share with her students, a collection of books numbering well over a hundred.
- Her favorite animal is a sloth.
- She loves Dutch Bros coffee.
- She enjoys dancing in the styles of the 1920s-1950s – ballroom, and country swing.
- She has been working at Lakeshore Learning Store in Boise for almost seven years.
- She collects silly socks. It’s a family tradition.
- She played clarinet from fifth grade through college, was a drum major in high school and a proud member of the Sound of Idaho Marching Band.
Kurt Eshelman, High School Math Teacher
Kurt is the 9th-12th grade mathematics instructor for NOVA and will be part time this year. He has taught mathematics for over 20 years, during which time he has served as a 6-12 mathematics teacher and as mathematics department head and developed an advanced mathematics program. His first teaching experience was in a middle school, but he has spent most of his time teaching at the high school level. He currently is an off-campus adjunct for Boise State University and Northwest Nazarene University. Mr. Eshelman obtained his BA in mathematics from NNU and has focused graduate courses in mathematics and physics. He has been teaching at Victory Charter School for the past 13 years.
Some fun facts about Mr. Eshelman:
- He is an Idaho native, born in a farmhouse in Ada County.
- He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have two adult daughters.
- He is a trained hostage negotiator.
- He is a private pilot.
- He likes the outdoors and enjoys fly fishing when he gets the chance
- Chasing a golf ball has become his newest pastime
Marcus Oakes, Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Marcus is originally from Boise. He has lived in Idaho his life, with some time in both Arizona and Utah (where he went to school and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology). He recently finished his master’s degree through Boise State. Mr. Oakes has been teaching for three years and is excited to be able to teach so many different classes all at once! He is a history buff who loves learning everything he can about history, and especially the subjects he teaches. His favorite areas of history are U.S. history and government, ancient civilizations - specifically in the Western hemisphere – and linguistic history.
Some fun facts about Mr. Oakes:
- He is married with two kids and two puppies.
- His love for music and sports is second only to his love for his family.
- He is a big Lakers fan and an even bigger Boise State fan!
- Growing up he played baseball, basketball, football and ran track.
- He plays guitar and a little piano, writes his own music.
- In his free time, he writes mystery books.
- His weekends usually consist of binge-watching Netflix and playing video games while his family is asleep.
Jennifer Ballard, Kindergarten/1st Grade Teacher
Jennifer is the kindergarten and 1st-grade teacher for Nampa Online Virtual Academy. She grew up in Boise and has taught for seven years, including first grade, second grade, and fifth grade. Last school year she taught first grade at Endeavor Elementary. Ms. Ballard has a passion for teaching and loves working with children.
Ms. Ballard has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University-Idaho and an ESL endorsement from Southern Utah University. She would love to someday go back to school and earn a master’s degree.
Some fun facts about Ms. Ballard:
- She has been married to her sweetheart, Thomas, for six years.
- She loves playing with her puppy, Lady.
- She enjoys traveling and has visited Mexico, Guatemala, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, and Italy.
- She is learning how to garden and is desperately trying to keep her plants alive.
- She loves hiking, baking, reading, watching movies, and all things Christmas.
Tobey Bobo, Secondary Special Education Teacher
Tobey is an Idaho native who has spent her entire life enjoying outdoor life in Idaho. She grew up in Gooding and moved to Boise in 2004 to finish college. Tobey was a single mother, worked a part time job, and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Sociology in 2006. She worked briefly in the juvenile court system but did not love that there was no opportunity to make an impact on a child’s life. She spent the next six years working as a PSR in a self-contained school for children with behavioral challenges, and it was there that she knew she had a passion for working with children. She took an alternate route to get her special education teaching certification.
Ms. Bobo has spent her teaching career in the Nampa School District; four years working with EBD students at Gateways, three years at Columbia High in the Extended Resource Room, and she is beginning her fourth year at Union High School. She will be part time at NOVA and part time at Union High this year, teaching special education.
A few fun facts about Ms. Bobo:
- She used to be terrified of horses and now she has three and drives them all over the Western U.S. while her daughter performs in a PRCA specialty act.
- She loves to fish but has never hunted or shot a gun
- She has learned to applique bead and loom bead while making her daughter’s costume.
- Her children are 19, 13, and 6
- She has three horses, two dogs, a cat, and a rabbit – just a few critters away from a petting zoo.
- She only watches baseball games or movies on TV, unless her kids force her to watch something else.
Georgia Thies, Secondary English Language Arts Teacher
Georgia was born in Boise and grew up in the Wood River Valley. She moved back to Boise after high school to attend Boise State University, where she majored in the history of art and visual culture with a minor in visual arts. She then spent a year realizing there wasn’t really anything to do with that degree, so she returned to BSU to complete a graduate certificate in secondary education, where she was certified to teach secondary English and K-12 Art.
After teaching 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English at Payette High School for two years, she got sick of people asking why she was teaching English when she didn’t have a degree in English or education, so she returned to BSU a third time to get her master’s degree in teaching English language arts. At the same time, she accepted a position at Nampa High School, where she taught 9th and 10th grade English for five years. During this time, she also developed an interest in educational technology, completing NNU’s HACK program and earning a graduate certificate in technology integration from BSU.
A few fun facts about Ms. Thies:
- She is married to Mr. Buckridge, who also teaches English at Nampa High. They have a two-year-old daughter named Zelda (yes, after the video game).
- They have a whole menagerie of pets, which currently includes two dogs, four cats, and twelve chickens. At previous points in time, it has also included a snake and a rabbit and will hopefully eventually include a few horses and some goats.
- She loves any type of game, including video games, board games, and strategy games, ranging from solitaire to the “Legend of Zelda” and “The Witcher” series to Warhammer.
- The newest addition to her family is a kitten named Dandelion, after the bard in “The Witcher,” and she spent the first several months of the kitten’s life correcting people and telling them Dandi was a boy only to find out that Dandi is, in fact, a girl.
- Her family on her mom’s side is descended from John Hart, who signed the Declaration of Independence for New Jersey.