Click on a Staff Member below for more info
My name is Tessa Bennett. I am a first grade teacher and have been teaching everything from preschool to 3rd grade for 15 years. My hobbies include camping, fishing, watching movies, and spending time with my family.
My name is Sue Bixler
I am teaching fourth grade.
I have been teaching for so many years I can’t count.
My hobbies are loving all farm animals (goats, cats, dogs, cows, horses, etc.).
My favorite things about teaching Idaho History, Science, and the why’s from students.
I look forward to parents, new staff, and the love of another group of students this year.
I have a Master’s degree in Geological Science from Idaho State University.
Hall 100 Tutor Room
Hi! My name is Lyrissa Brown, and I am excited to join the Oregon Trail team for the 2023-2024 school year. I am the computer aid specialist. My teaching philosophy encompasses holistic lifelong learning. I challenge learners to fulfill their potential through instructional repetition, individual practice, and never giving up! Outside the classroom, I can be found reading, walking, and spending time with friends and family.
Hello! I’m Dana Christensen and I am happy to be teaching Kindergarten at Oregon Trail! I have a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and am working towards my teaching certificate at College of Southern Idaho. My teaching experience includes 11 years of piano lessons, 3 years of online English classes for kids and lots of volunteering in schools and church. I have been raising my 6 kids at home for the last 20 years and love using that experience to help our Oregon Trail students!
Hi Trailblazers! My name is Rachel Christiansen and this is my first year as the librarian at Oregon Trail. I’ve loved reading my whole life and I’m so excited to be here and be able to pass that love of reading onto all the wonderful students! I am a mom to four great kids, three boys that are students here and one two year old little girl. I love to spend my spare time with my husband and kids going on walks, watching movies and playing board games and card games!
My name is Mrs. Coombs and I have been teaching for a long, long time. I went to Utah State University where I received my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with a minor in Language Arts. I spent most of my career between Kindergarten and 3rd grade. When I’m not teaching, I am mom to my beautiful daughter Abby, 2 Boston Terrier dogs, 2 cats, and most recently a Leopard Gecko! Our family likes to travel when we can, and we have been very lucky to have been to exciting places like; Hawaii, Disneyworld, Bahamas and Mexico. I also love taking pictures and reading.
I am looking forward to a great school year!
I am a mom, a reader, a writer, an artist, a walker, a traveler, and much more. I LOVE school…working with students and their families, the creativity involved, the constant energy in the building, and working with others who feel the same way. It has been and will always be a calling on my heart.
I have a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University (Mass Communications/Agriculture). I have two children who attend/attended the Twin Falls School District. I like reading, crochet, and being outdoors, and I coach baseball and occasionally basketball for the Twin Falls Parks and Rec department. I’m also a member of an animal rescue group and have several pets of my own including cats, dogs and leopard geckos. This is my first year as a 4th grade teacher and I am so excited to get to work with students in a new setting.
Hello fellow Trailblazers! I am Amber Kelley, and I am very excited to teach 2nd grade at Oregon Trail this year. I love working with children and helping them grow into the leaders we know they are. A few things about me are that I earned my bachelor’s in Child and Adolescent Development from Sacramento State and am currently working towards my teaching certificate at the College of Southern Idaho. My favorite hobbies are reading, baking (chocolate chip cookies are my specialty), and watching movies with family and friends. I am very excited to see what this school year brings.
My Name is Rachel Kirchmeyer. I am from North Bend, Wa and moved to Idaho four years ago. I went to college in Ne at Chadron State College. This will be my ninth year of teaching. I have loved working with kids for most of my life. This is more than a job to me, it is a chance to influence the future in a positive way. I love to do art projects and spending time with friends. I also like to stay active by running around with my two dogs, swimming, crossfit, and yoga. My husband and I love to explore new places and find some great food to try.
Mrs. Lopez is married and has two daughters. She enjoys going on family vacations, preferably to a tropical beach. In her spare time she likes to read. She grew up in Illinois, close to Chicago, but has lived in Idaho all her adult life. She is fluent in two languages and understands and can read a bit in a third. Her goal is to someday be fluent in all three. Her favorite time of the school year is in the Spring, when she can see all her students begin to blossom into little readers. What gives her the most joy is seeing her students enjoy coming to school every dayl. She hopes to make a positive impact on all her students and foster their love for learning.
Mr Matlock grew up loving school. In fact, he loved it so much that he decided to keep coming to school for a career! One of Mr Matlock’s primary goals is to create a positive school experience so that everyone is able to look back at their elementary school years and say they were fantastic years!
I graduated from Southern Utah University and have taught Physical Education for the past 12 years. This is my first year with the Twin Falls School District, and I look forward to this great opportunity. I love sports and enjoy spending time with my wife(Alishea) and four boys(Peyton, Dawson, Witten, and Leighton). I love my Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Orioles, New York Knicks, and Duke Blue Devils. I’m excited for this year and to get to know everyone here at Oregon Trail Elementary.
I have lived in Twin Falls for 14 years. My husband and I have 2 kids, a dog, and 2 birds! My oldest went to Oregon Trail and is now in middle school! My youngest is starting 1st grade this year at Oregon Trail too! I’m excited to be a Title 1 Para and to be part of the Oregon Trail staff!!
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education through Western Governors University. My husband and I own an aircraft maintenance business and have been married since 2007. We have two awesome kids who love taekwondo, and we love cheering them on! I have two cute dogs, Jet and Harper, and love living a country lifestyle. I have a passion for second grade and love helping my students find their own strengths and build their confidence in learning. Oregon Trail is the best place to learn and I am excited to be part of the amazing things that happen here!
Hello Trailblazers! My name is Mrs. Navarrete and I have been here at Oregon Trail Elementary, teaching first grade since 2013. I am married and have 3 amazing boys, who have kept me busy over the years. In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family. We like to do a lot of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and boating. We also like to travel and especially go watch the NFL, NBA, NHL,or MLB games. I also enjoy reading, baking, and crafting.
I am so excited to be your Music teacher this coming school year! I graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. I am certified to teach K-12 band and choir. While qualified to teach other grade levels, I have found the most joy as I lay the foundation for our students’ music learning in our elementary schools. I hope to help students find their voice and confidence as they sing, move, play, create and learn about music, and I hope to encourage students to become life-long music learners. While in the Twin Falls School District I have taught at Oregon Trail Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, I. B. Perrine Elementary, Pillar Falls Elementary and now I find myself back at the amazing school which is Oregon Trail. I am looking forward to a great year of music making! Check out my website for periodic updates on what your student is learning in music, and information for upcoming performances and performance-based groups for our school. Go, Trailblazers!
I home Schooled my children from 4th grade thru graduation. Started with TFSD in 2012 working in the IRC at Oregon Trail for 7 years, then became a Special Ed clerk. I am beginning my 5th year as a Sped clerk this year.
For four years, I worked for the Twin Falls School District as a paraeducator in an ERC classroom. I obtained my degree and am now working as a speech therapist (SLPA), and loving every minute of it. Oregon Trail is my home school, but I also could be spotted at other elementary schools in the district as well!
My name is Ms. Strom and I have been teaching for 10 years. Prior to teaching third grade I taught 5th grade for six years. I am a graduate of Idaho State University (undergraduate degree) and Northwest Nazarene University (graduate degree). When I am not teaching I enjoy reading, spinning, playing cards with my grannie, being with my family, watching Washington State Football, and relaxing with my fur babies (Winter and Opal). One of the best things about teaching is making meaningful connections with students and families. Have a great year Trailblazers!
I am happy to be part of the Trailblazer team, helping students reach their full potential. I have experience working with a variety of students from all different backgrounds and abilities. When I am not working with students, you may find me volunteering within the school (PTA) or community. I am a wife, mother and pet-parent, who enjoys spending time with my family going on new adventures.
Hello, my name is Shannon Van Horn. I am a special education teacher. I have a background that includes working with children with challenging behaviors both in the classroom and in the community. I love helping children who struggle with social skills learn to be successful in building friendships, advocating for themselves, and having successful community outings with their families. I hold an associate’s degree from Portland Community College, an Associate from North Portland Bible College, a BA from Warner Pacific College, and a Master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. I look forward to serving the families of Oregon Trail Elementary.
Hello! I am new to Oregon Trail Elementary for the 2022-2023 school year, but stoked to be part of the Trailblazer family. I hope to encourage learning, teamwork and a fun environment for all of my students. Outside of school I enjoy camping, fishing, hunting, accompanying my family in the mountains, as well as hanging out with my husband and kids. I enjoy crafts and painting, animals and scoring a good deal on clearance racks. I can’t wait to see what this school year has in store for my students and wish everyone the best year ever!