As a parent or guardian of a student attending a school receiving Title I-A funds, you have the right to know:

  • Is my child’s teacher licensed to teach the grade(s) and subject(s) assigned?
  • What is the college major of my child’s teacher(s)?
  • What degree or degrees does my child’s teacher(s) hold?
  • To request the state qualifications for any of your child’s teacher(s) and/or paraprofessional(s), please contact the school office.
  • If you would like more information about the school’s Title I-A program, feel free to contact us.

You will be notified if your child is being taught by a teacher over four or more consecutive weeks who does not meet state licensure requirements for the teaching assignment.

Jeneille Branen : Executive Director

Jeneille Branen

Executive Director

Ed.S. Educational Leadership, University of Idaho
M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, University of Idaho
B.A. Elementary Education, University of Montana
PPCS Founding Teacher
I began my career shortly after receiving my bachelor’s degree and I have been involved in several aspects of education over the past 16 years. I started my career teaching kindergarten and then third grade in public schools in Arizona. After my husband, Josh finished his master’s degree, we moved from Arizona to Illinois. I taught kindergarten and coached high school cheer leading in a small rural school. The following year, Josh wanted to pursue his PH.D, so we moved to Moscow. I worked full time on my master’s degree as a graduate assistant. The culmination of my degree in 2005 was the implementation of a community literacy education / wellness event. The project included design and presentation of literacy activities for kindergarten readiness. Aspects of the project continue to be in place in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. The project was funded by a community grant and donations. I also had the opportunity to help influence future teachers by acting as the affiliate faculty for the University of Idaho. I taught several courses that range from curriculum development to literacy assessment. In 2007, I used my expertise in kindergarten readiness and the transition to elementary school by helping a number of pre-school age children and their parents obtain the skills and knowledge to make a successful entry into the elementary classroom. I was in the role of a parent educator and preschool facilitator for Spokane Community College. I also co-developed the Good-Natured Pre-school. The camp exposed children to the natural, local environment at Virgil Philip’s Farm in Moscow while providing inquiry-based skills to understand the world around them. I am so honored to be one of the founding teachers at Palouse Prairie. I am passionate about the school and want to make a difference. My heart and soul belong to this school and I will continue to push myself as a learner in my role as Executive Director by providing and supporting students to receive a rigorous, joyful learning experience through the EL Education model. I am lucky enough to have a family that supports my passion. I am married to Josh Branen and I have two children beautiful girls that have been lucky enough to attend Palouse Prairie: Julia and Addison.

7053 - School principal (Pre-K-12)
7010 - All Subjects (K-8)

Debbie Berkana : Business Manager

Debbie Berkana

Business Manager

M.L.S. Emporia State University
M.S. Accounting, Dana College
PPCS Startup Coordinator

I have a background in accounting and information services and have had the privilege to work in a variety of places including as an accountant in a CPA firm and a large corporation, and as an information specialist with the Colorado State Department of Education and the WSU Libraries. When the school’s founding board was looking for assistance in the spring of 2009, I was thrilled to join the crew. While I may answer the phone, my main focus is supporting the amazing Palouse Prairie staff through sound financial reporting and management, so they can do their great work with our students.

I have a passion for supporting education and personal growth both at the school and in the community. You might find me teaching parenting classes or empowering people through life coaching support when I’m not at the school. I am the proud parent two young men, one of whom is a PPCS graduate, now at the University of Idaho. I am grateful for the qualities of character that were nurtured in him at the school, along with the academic rigor.

Trish Gardner : Administrative Assistant

Trish Gardner

Administrative Assistant

M.S., B.S. Biological Systems Engineering, University of Idaho
B.A. Theatre, University of Utah

I was raised in southern Idaho and spent my youth and young adulthood in the performing arts. I performed in musical theatre productions and with modern dance companies in Salt Lake City, Tucson, Chicago and New York. After returning to Idaho I pursued another passion and eventually received degrees from the University of Idaho in Biological Systems Engineering. Moscow, marriage and parenthood have changed my goals, but not my dreams. I find myself doing meaningful work supporting adults I respect and admire, and kids I cherish, in an environment of fun, challenge, and compassion. Who could ask for more?

Ingrid French : Special Education Teacher

Ingrid French

Special Education Teacher

B.A. Child, Consumer and Family Studies, Washington State University
B.S. Special Education, University of Idaho

Greetings and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to teach in such a wonderful school community. Although I grew up in Western Washington State, I have lived on the Palouse for the past 29 years. I have been married to my wonderful husband, for the past 20 years and we have made our home in the north eastern part of Latah County. My family is small, having only myself, husband and our red heeler dog named Mick. Mick is my baby and I love spending time playing with him. When I am not working, I enjoy gardening, reading, and relaxing near a body of water. I recently acquired a boat and can't wait for spring and summer so that I can go boating on the many lakes and rivers in our area. Before coming to Palouse Prairie I was fortunate to spend 7 years teaching on the Coeur d' Alene Indian Reservation in the public school system. I love Native American culture and was blessed to be a part of the community. Previous to my time in Plummer, Idaho I worked for the Moscow School District for a total of 10 years working at Lena Whitmore and at the middle school when it was still a junior high.

7029 - Exceptional Child Generalist (K-12)

Celeste Woodland : Title 1 Teacher

Celeste Woodland

Title 1 Teacher

B.S. Child Development and Family Relations, University of Idaho

I am a native Idahoan. I grew up in Buhl Idaho. Outside of school I love to craft and garden. I have three wonderful children Josh, Hallie, and Rieder, and a grandchild, Lincoln. Even as early as second grade, I developed a strong desire to become a teacher. It was my love of reading the “Dick and Jane” books, that inspired me to help others learn to read. I worked for six years as a paraprofessional for the Meridian School District supporting students with special needs in the classroom environment. In 2012, I graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Child Development and Family Relations. I was a preschool teacher at The Community Childcare Center in Pullman for three years and decided that I wanted to go back to a school environment teaching children skills to be lifelong learners. This is my fourth year as a Title One Teacher at Palouse Prairie Charter School. It is the proud smiles and celebrations of learning that make it all worthwhile.

Alissa Klemencic : 1st Grade Teacher

Alissa Klemencic

1st Grade Teacher

B.A. English, Gonzaga University
M.Ed Educational Leadership, Eastern Washington University

My name is Alissa Klemencic and I am originally from Bishop, California. Growing up in the Eastern Sierra I was spoiled with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. After graduating from Gonzaga University (Go Zags!) I spent a few years teaching outdoor education. I spent many summers at a camp near Lake Tahoe facilitating a challenge course and sharing my love of rock climbing with campers. I lived in North Carolina where I taught environmental education and discovered how much I love bugs. Taught coastal and forest ecology on the central coast of California where I made friends with raptors and learned the art of falconry. With these experiences in experiential and outdoor education it became clear that Expeditionary Learning was the model of education that I was most passionate about and where I knew I needed to be as an educator. This brought me to Moscow and Palouse Prairie. I am grateful to have been welcomed into this wonderful school community. I love seeing the ownership that our students take over their own learning and getting to facilitate meaningful learning opportunities for them. Watching the students grow as they face challenges throughout the year and the excitement they have to share their learning with the world around them continues to drive my teaching and excitement for what primary students are truly capable of.

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)

Cassie Schierman : 2nd Grade Teacher

Cassie Schierman

2nd Grade Teacher

M.A. Education, Oregon State University
B.S.Ed. Sport Science & Health Education, University of Idaho

Greetings! I am Moscow born and raised. I graduated from the University of Idaho in 2006 with degrees in Sport Science and Community Health. After graduating I moved to the woods of New Hampshire where I fell more in love with the outdoors and teaching children science through experiential learning. I came back to the West Coast and attended Oregon State University to get my M.A. Teaching. I enthusiastically returned to Moscow ready to jump into schools and incorporate my background in experiential education. I began working at Palouse Prairie in the Fall of 2013, and have loved the opportunity to work with second graders who are enthusiastic about learning and more compassionate than people twice their age (or older!). I enjoy challenging my students and giving them real-world opportunities to share their learning with the world. I am excited to continue working with Palouse Prairie and learning from our community of wonderful staff, students, and families.

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)
7126 - English as a Second Language (K-12)

David Schneider : 3rd Grade Teacher

David Schneider

3rd Grade Teacher

M.A. Education, University of Washington Bothell
B.A. English Teaching, University of Washington
B.A. Recreation and Leisure Studies, Sport Management, Washington State University

After graduating from W.S.U with a Sports Management degree, I started working at a Rec Center in Seattle.  After a few minutes in the after school program, it became clear that education would be my career.

I started at Edmonds Cyberschool in Edmonds, WA as a technology teacher.  Cyberschool (which has undergone more than a few name changes) was a public school program designed to support parents who homeschool their children.  After 5 years there, I went to a public university in Seattle that shall remain nameless to obtain my teaching certificate and Master’s Degree.  I worked in a traditional public school as a 3rd/4th/6th grade teacher in Kenmore, WA. for 11 years.  Some of the roles I undertook include organizing the district Math Olympiad, track coach, Summer Reading Program Director, WEA member of the Achievement and Accountability Workgroup for OSPI,and local union Vice-President.

I’ve been fortunate to experience innovative school cultures, strong school community tied to the greater local community.  These experiences, and learning from my students the great importance on developing character and successful habits, drew me to the vision of Palouse Prairie School and EL Education.

And shared W.S.U. roots with my wife Mary drew us back to Pullman when we decided to move from the Seattle area in search of a vibrant, welcoming place to live with less population density after taking a year off to travel and remodel our home.

As an educator, I want to make sure that students know themselves as learners, develop their interpersonal skills, take risks, problem solve creatively, think critically, and are valued for their abilities and contributions to our community.

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)

Renee Hill : 4th Grade Teacher

Renee Hill

4th Grade Teacher

Ph.D. Environmental Science, University of Idaho
M.S. Nutrition, Cornell University
B.S. Nutrition Science, University of California

I initially became involved with PPCS in 2008 as a volunteer for the board in the process of starting the school. I helped recruit the first Palouse Prairie students by calling families in the Moscow area to tell them about the Expeditionary Learning (EL) model and the new school that was soon to open. Since then I have been involved in the PPCS community in many ways. Since 2014 I have volunteered for the climbing club to help teach middle school students how to face challenges with grit and self-compassion. In teaching Art and Diversity in the middle school in 2016 I was continually impressed with how students approach difficult issues with curiosity and compassion. Over the years I have also supported students in presenting high quality expedition final products throughout the local community. In all my work in public health, nutrition, natural resource management, and the nonprofit sector in Latin America and the U.S., I have continually sought opportunities to be involved in education. I have fifteen years of experience teaching, advising and mentoring students. My K-12 experience includes co-teaching tenth grade Accelerated Biology at Moscow High School for the 2013-2014 school year, developing and teaching a Qualitative Research and Art course for the Northwest Nations Upward Bound summer program at the University of Idaho (UI) in 2009, leading an after school English as a Second Language program for K-5 students in 2001-2002, and developing a 5th grade curriculum for the University of Idaho REACCH project to teach the influences of changing climate on agricultural practices throughout the Inland Northwest. I have also developed and taught several undergraduate and graduate courses at Universities in the U.S. and Chile. When I’m not teaching, I spend my time backpacking, climbing, running, mountain biking, cooking, laughing with friends, and appreciating the beautiful world. As the fourth grade teacher at Palouse Prairie Charter School I aim to help students enjoy learning content by engaging in processes that help them more deeply understand themselves, each other and the world we live in. I am excited to join my students in their lifelong journey of self-discovery!

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)

Greg Pierce : Middle School Social Studies

Greg Pierce

Middle School Social Studies

B.A. Marine Biology, Sonoma State University
M.A. Teaching, Eastern Oregon University

​I am so excited to be a part of the Middle School team at PPCS! I have been teaching at PPCS for 5 years now and can honestly say I’ve never taught the same year twice. I started out as the K-8 PE teacher, then switched to teaching 6th grade, and am now part of the 6-8 Middle School team. Outside of teaching, the way that I experience the world, and center myself, is through rock climbing. My partner and I have traveled all over the western states on climbing trips and have climbed everything from desert towers in the Southwest to technical peaks just shy of 14,000ft in the high Sierras. Two years ago I began to share my love of the vertical world with a few middle school students at Palouse Prairie and this eventually evolved into the Palouse Prairie Climbing Club. As climbing club and its members progressed we saw a real need to expand those opportunities and so I created the Outdoor Leadership course series for our middle school. I am so excited to continue fostering a love for adventure, the outdoors, and the journey of self. I believe there are many ways of helping a middle school student discover these things, and I am thankful every day that I get to do it in a way that I am so passionate about!

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)
8220 - Social Studies (5-9)
8421 - Biological Science (5-9)

Andrika Kuhle : Middle School Science

Andrika Kuhle

Middle School Science

M.S. Science, University of New Mexico
B.S. Science, Oregon State University

I grew up in Spokane, WA with a boisterous family of five kids. After high school and living abroad in Germany I ventured to Oregon State University for my geology undergraduate. Then I attended the University of New Mexico for my MS in geology. From there I lived in Alaska, Montana, and Hawaii before settling in Moscow. I have lots of years of professional experience working as a field geologist, water and environmental specialist, university instructor, and working with children. I am a parent of two boys who attend Palouse Prairie, and I have been affiliated with Palouse Prairie School since it’s founding. I am proud of my rich content background and am intrigued by the many different ways people learn. I love understanding the world and people around me. I also enjoy anything outdoors, especially backpacking, skiing, and running. My favorite description of education is Howard Gardner’s vision of education for all human beings: “a world citizenry that is highly literate, disciplined, capable of thinking critically and creatively, knowledgeable about a range of cultures, able to participate actively in discussions about new discoveries and choices, willing to take risks for what it believes in.” I think Expeditionary Learning excels at supporting this vision of education, and I am excited to be part of the talented and committed PPCS Crew.

7320 - Mathematics - Basic (6-12)
7420 - Natural Science (6-12)
7451 - Earth and Space Science (6-12)

Rebekka Boysen-Taylor : Middle School Humanities

Rebekka Boysen-Taylor

Middle School Humanities

B.S. Geography, Portland State University, 2002
K-8 Teaching Credential, Cal State Los Angeles TEACH, 2004
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Idaho, 2019
Doctoral Student in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Idaho, present

I was born and raised in Spokane, WA and grew up in a family of teachers. After earning a B.S. in Geography from Portland State University I was accepted into Teach for America. I taught a 5th-grade summer program for students in the South Bronx, NY and was assigned to T.S. King Middle School in Los Angeles. At King, I taught reading, language arts, and ancient history. While living in Los Angeles I married Erik Taylor and together we moved to the Inland Northwest to start our family. Erik became a firefighter with the city of Pullman in 2005. I dedicated my time and energy to my family as a stay at home mama for 7 years while my children were very young.

I began my EL Education journey as a parent, volunteer, and substitute teacher during our school's first year. My daughter was part of the school’s founding Kindergarten class. I was eager to join the teacher CREW with a focus on supporting our developing readers in the school’s second year. This will be my 10th year at Palouse Prairie and my 6th year as our middle school humanities teacher. We have an incredible middle school team at PPCS and my passion is exploring connections between people, place, and history with our students. I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Idaho. In my academic research, I am particularly interested in culturally responsive teaching practices that center students, families, and communities. I believe that children learn best by doing, working in real-world formats, consulting with community members, and doing work that matters beyond our classroom.

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)

Erin Corwine : Middle School Math

Erin Corwine

Middle School Math

M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, University of Washington
B.S. Health Management & Policy, University of New Hampshire

Hello Palouse Prairie Families! My path into education has been winding, and it’s been a wonderful adventure. I spent my undergrad years in New Hampshire studying public health and epidemiology. I moved to Seattle after graduation and worked in public health research at the University of Washington. My research was conducted mostly in Seattle area elementary schools, and my time in classrooms led me to rethink my public health career. I earned my Masters of Education from the University of Washington and have been an educator in many capacities since then. I love the world of teaching math because it has helped me completely rearrange my own thinking on what it means to be a creative thinker and problem solver. Outside of my teaching life, I love to cook and preserve food and go backpacking, and I’m learning just how to cast a fly rod in our local waters. I am so happy to be back at Palouse Prairie and on the middle school team. This is my second go here- I started as an Americorps volunteer and taught Middle School Math, Title One Math and Kindergarten.

7010 - All Subjects (K-8)
8320 - Mathematics - Basic (6-9)

Zachary Lichte : Physical Education, Health and Wellness

Zachary Lichte

Physical Education, Health and Wellness

B.A. Exercise Science, Sport and Health Sciences, University of Idaho

Hello, my name is Zachary Lichte, I am husband, a father of two children, a veteran, and now I get to add
teacher to that list. It has been my dream to be a teacher since I was in the third grade. I always wanted
to help people learn to be the best person they can be. I found that a great way to do that was through
physical education. This gave me the platform to help individuals be more confident in an environment
that was fun and welcoming, and I get to play pretty much all day.

I went to the University of Idaho originally in 2009 and left in 2011 to go serve my country in the United
States Navy. In the Navy I was an Aviation Machinist Mate. My job was to tear down and rebuild jet
engines on the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz. I did this for roughly four years where I was stationed over
in the Seattle area, where I did one tour out to sea for about 9 months. I got to travel the world and see
some cool places like Rome, but I knew that in my heart I still wanted to be a teacher.

I chose physical education because I believe that it is very important to the future health of students, to
provide them with the basic skills of being a physically active adult. I would like to be part of that and
teach students how to take better care of themselves, and I believe that a way to do that is to provide
them with a good education that gives them the skills they need in order to live a healthier and active
lifestyle. I am very excited to start my journey here at Palouse Prairie Charter School and welcome the
challenges and adventure that are to come.

7511 - Physical Education (K-12)
7521 - Health (K-12)