Faculty & Staff

Meet Our Team!


Laura Banda, Executive Director

Laura is the proud mother of Aggie Alumni. She has twenty years experience as an educational leader. She has served as both a state and district educational trainer and mentor. Laura has ten years experience as a classroom teacher. She also has served ten years as a principal at an award winning TK-6th grade elementary school. She has been recognized three times for Honorary Service Achievements. Laura holds a Masters of Science in Instructional Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction. She also has a Masters of Education, Educational Leadership and Management. Laura is a Certified Business Officer in School Business Management. She comes to Cache Valley from California.

Laura has served on our Governing Board and is extremely familiar with CCID mission and goals. She wrote policies and procedures for CCID, prior to becoming our Executive Director. Laura has extensive principalship experience, including helping to establish a new elementary school. We have the utmost confidence in Laura's expertise and dedication to CCID's success that she will continue the culture of collaboration, mentoring, and teamwork.

Mrs. Banda would also like our families to have her contact information should you have any questions or concerns. She can be reached at 435-258-7097 or laura.banda@ccidschool.org


Audrey Gifford, Office Manager

Audrey comes to CCID from multiple states. She was born and raised in Texas, then went to BYU for a Bachelors in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership. She was then accepted into an Army internship through Purdue University with the Child, Youth and School Services. It was there she was able to serve military families in Alabama, Washington, and Colorado as a Program Specialist. She moved to Cache Valley in 2015, fell in love with it and plans to never leave. Audrey spent her first two years in Logan as a Staffing Manager/Recruiter for a local company. She loved her job but couldn’t miss an opportunity to serve families again.

Audrey has a son and daughter that she spends all her time with when not at school. She loves being outside, exploring, and playing with her kids.



Lynda Bear, Receptionist

Lynda was born and raised in San Jose, California. She moved to Cache Valley 12 years ago so that her husband could attend USU. She has a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Music Therapy from the University of the Pacific. Her love of music started at a young age when she discovered musical theater. Her main passion is singing, but she also plays the piano and guitar. Lynda is the mother of four children who all attend CCID. She enjoys reading, baking, traveling, and going on adventures with her family.



Jay Larsen, Special Education Teacher

The mantra for my life is summed up in four words: inspire, encourage, uplift, and bless. These words have shaped my life’s goal to have a positive influence in the lives of the students and families I work with. I endeavor to be a teacher who is not afraid to get messy and be vulnerable. I believe in experiential learning and hope to show students by example that growth happens in moments of risk and vulnerability. I believe that as humans we develop and grow our ability to learn throughout our whole lives. I hope to inspire and show students how to become lifetime learners, and to see the world from more than one perspective.

I am a Utah native and have returned to the Valley after living and working in New York for the past few years. I received a B.S. in Child Development from USU and a Master’s in Education from Bank Street College. It is wonderful to be back in beautiful Cache Valley, and I am so excited to be a part of the inspired team here at CCID.



Martha Silos, School Counselor

Martha's beliefs about all students is that they are able to take on any challenge when given the support and encouragement.

Martha completed her Bachelors of Science at Utah State University in Family, Consumer, and Human Development. During that time she completed her undergraduate practicum at Logan High School in the counseling department and found her passion in helping students. This changed the course of her life to the direction of school counseling. Martha completed her Masters of Psychology in Education in School Counseling at Utah State University.

Martha greatest accomplishment is her family. She has been married for 22 years, has three adorable babies ( 21,19, and 16) and three awesome step-children (29, 27, and 24). Her family has taught me compassion, temperance, peace, how to love in all situations and this has carried over in all aspects of her life.

Martha loves being outside but is not a camper. She would be a forever student if she could afford it. Martha like to bake and her husband's cooking.



Rob Christensen, 7th Grade Teacher

Mr. Rob is a father of 8 children. He has become a student advocate who believes that every child has the potential to contribute to society in his or her own way and style. His objective as a teacher is to find within each student that which is his or her passion and then help them drive that passion. Mr. Rob is a mathematician with a master’s degree in education. "I look forward to being engaged alongside your children in their educational pursuits and passions.”


Sean Wallis, 7th Grade Teacher

Teaching is in Mr. Wallis’ blood, his grandma, grandpa, and Father have all taught in various forms, from Middle School, College, and even private lessons. Mr. Wallis discovered his love for teaching after he had already graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s of Science, majoring in History. After teaching in various forms post college, he realized that he wanted to make secondary education his career. He went back and got a second Bachelor’s in Education.

Mr. Wallis has taught 7th and 8th grade for the last six years. His focus is on the student. Mr. Wallis believes that education comes down to student engagement and enthusiasm and that student choice is the major influence in these things. Mr. Wallis also believes that a safe environment, where every student feels secure and respected is imperative, as well as making his classroom a fun place that kids want to be.

Along with this, Mr. Wallis is an award winning oil painter that shows in galleries and museums across the country. Mr. Wallis will be working closely with the art department to integrate the arts into his curriculum.

Mr. Wallis is very excited to be a part of the CCID family!



McCall Armstong, 6th Grade Teacher

I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Communication Disorders and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies from Utah State University. I was then fortunate to be able to spend a summer teaching various education skills to refugees in the Salt Lake area. My most fulfilling job has been working at a special needs preschool.

I am the oldest of 22 grandkids, that’s my favorite title! I am a big kid at heart which is why I have spent the last 8 years being a nanny and substitute teacher in Cache Valley while simultaneously pursuing my education. The three things I highly value are independence, education and enjoyment; this I learned from my grandma. I was not a typical learner and had to work hard to succeed, so it is my goal to encourage children to think “outside of the box.” My favorite mottos include, “Always Do Your Best,” and “Make Me Proud!”

I am so excited to join the CCID Team!



Sarah Cochran, 6th Grade Teacher

Sarah was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated from University of Texas- Tyler with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies emphasizing in Early childhood- sixth education, Special Education, and English as a Second Language. After teaching in Texas for a year, Sarah relocated to Colorado Springs where she taught at a STEAM school for several years. She loves teaching in beautiful Cache Valley! She is excited to have found a school that aligns with her teaching philosophy and has a STEM focus. When Sarah isn’t snuggling with her kitties, she loves to read, play piano, paint, and learn new things.


Carly Norman, 5th Grade Teacher

Carly was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2010, earning two Bachelor degrees—one in Education and the other in Human Development and Family Sciences. Since graduating from Oregon State, Carly has worked in classrooms of all ages, from preschool through high school. She also taught at the Child Development Center at Nike World Headquarters, and has been a mentor and coach of college students as well.
Carly has a growth mindset and a passion for motivating her students to develop strong communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. She strives to help her students expand their individual talents, and to connect with and respect the world around them.
Hiking, yoga, snowboarding, running and exploring nature are some of the ways Carly enjoys spending her time. She also loves listening to music, cooking, watching movies, and reading. In her spare moments, Carly enjoys pampering her two sweet cats, Bella and Sophie.



Jade Yardley, 5th Grade Teacher

Jade grew up in Blanding, a small town in Southeastern Utah. Her childhood was spent outdoors, and it was there she learned the value of hard work. She grew up loving and becoming proficient at hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, and camping. Along with these outdoor activities, Jade spent endless hours in the gym or on the field playing volleyball, basketball, and softball. She truly loves getting out and playing the game.
Upon graduating from high school, Jade knew that the next chapter in her life was to become an elementary school teacher. After her first year of college, she married her sweetheart, Josh. With his support, she graduated from Utah State University with a BS in Elementary Education and an Elementary Education License. Jade is truly grateful for her experience at USU as it provided her with the necessary tools and experiences she needs to guide the students at CCID.

She is thrilled to be working with the great group of professionals at CCID. Her teaching philosophy is constructed on the fundamental principle that the goals of the teacher and the goals of the students can equally be met through an effective teaching environment. In this positive learning environment, students can gain a sense of community, personal empowerment and self-worth, communication and problem-solving skills and will be full contributors in their academic experience. The following could sum up her teaching philosophy; this is not my classroom, but our classroom.



Bill Graham, 4th Grade Teacher

I am a naturally curious individual who likes to tinker with things and figure out how they work. I think we all start out this way, with a drive to determine how the world around us works. Many students lose this initial impulse as they progress up the educational ladder, especially when classroom focus is directed towards memorizing individual subject information. My aim as a teacher is to instill in my students an unwavering and lifelong curiosity about the world, from the biological to the cultural, and to build from memorization to acquisition of knowledge. My own interests are a mix of science, ecology, painting, gardening, and music, which I incorporate into lesson planning and student engagement. I earned a B.S. in Horticulture and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education, both from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



Jake Grossman, 4th Grade Teacher

I strive to create a classroom environment that expects student success. I do not wish to shape students into what I want them to be, but empower them with tools and skills so they can be successful and shape who they want to be. Students will accomplish many things if they dare to learn and grow, to fail, and fail forward. I aspire to engage students to be curious and wonder; to reflect and want to know how things work and why; and, more importantly, what the implications are. I do not want them to be content on another’s hearsay. If we can challenge them and support them, they may find the solutions to issues facing their families, communities, and even the world.

I graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and an emphasis in Psychology. My wife and I love to travel, we’ve been to several western states, and as far as Southeast Asia. We delight in the natural scenery here, and are fond of the arts and shows at USU, as well as the theatres in Logan.



Jessica Aebischer, 3rd Grade Teacher

I grew up in Clayton, Washington before moving to Logan to attend Utah State University. I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and obtained my Utah teaching license. I am passionate about science and discovery. I love to explore and learn new things every day. I believe that asking questions is how we learn. My goal as a teacher is to help students feel comfortable asking questions and then searching out the answers. I am excited to be teaching at CCID and to help the students discover more about the world around them!



Natty Quiroga, 3rd Grade Teacher

Natty is a native of Healdsburg, located in the beautiful wine country of California. After completing her BA in Communication Science and Disorders at CSU Chico, she came to Logan to receive her Masters of Education in Bilingual-Bicultural Deaf Education with an emphasis in American Sign Language from Utah State University. Once graduated, she decided to stay in Cache Valley and find a school that would help her thrive.

She has always wanted to help children, and their families to think outside of the box that is a traditional classroom, and adopt a more hands on approach. For this reason, she is thrilled to be teaching at CCID and further the idea of project based learning, and STEM. In her spare time, she enjoys discovering new hiking trails around Utah, and playing in Bear Lake with her two dogs.



Molly Olson, 2nd Grade Teacher

Molly is a proud wife to her high school sweetheart and mother to two adventurous boys who both attend CCID. She graduated from USU with a degree in Natural Resources. She loves to spend her time exploring nature, creating, gardening, or learning new things. She grew up the daughter of a teacher who believes in meeting a child where they are at and walking with them through their education. She loves spending time with others and tries to see each person for the amazing individual that they are.



Chantal Wahlquist-Greenwood, 2nd Grade Teacher

Born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I enjoy playing volleyball and racquetball, as well as reading. I love traveling and learning more about new places, people, and cultures. I especially enjoy spending time with my family and my fiancé and am excited to be getting married to him this summer!

I graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in social studies and recently returned from Italy where I had the opportunity to complete part of my student teaching. This is my first year as a teacher and I am excited to be joining CCID. I have wanted to be a teacher ever since third grade when I had a teacher who believed in my potential and encouraged me to challenge myself. I want to encourage my students and instill that same sense of confidence and belief in my students to help them reach their full potential. I believe in the importance of teaching the whole child and helping to prepare students to be successful not only in their academics but in their lives.



Kim Hebert, 1st Grade Teacher

As an educator, I am passionate about ensuring the best possible success for every child. My experience, both academically and professionally, has provided a unique perspective on how children learn and develop throughout their educational career. My educational philosophy focuses on the process of learning, instilling a sense of curiosity, flexibility, and creativity that will inspire lifelong learners. Cultivating an exciting and engaging classroom environment is key to success. The most successful kind of learning happens when you are having fun, exploring something new!

I am originally from Colorado, but I have had the privilege of calling Logan my home for the past 5 years. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies Education with a minor in Linguistics. When I am not at school, you will find me baking, hiking, or on a plane ready to be immersed into a new cultural experience!



Mickie Rigby, 1st Grade Teacher

From the time, she was little, Mickie knew she always wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from Weber High School in North Ogden, Utah, she moved to Cache Valley to attend Utah State University. Mickie fell in love with Cache Valley during her time at Utah State and decided to make it her home. Her desire to educate the whole child in authentic ways is what attracted Mickie to CCID. Mickie graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and early childhood education. When she’s not at school, Mickie enjoys quilting, playing with her nieces and nephews, being outdoors with her friends, and playing the piano.



Maria Lindsay, Kindergarten Teacher

I am excited to return to CCID and teach our kindergarten students. I love contributing and being part of the excitement in young children’s first school experiences as they learn to read and discover their own ideas about the world. I have been teaching in Cache valley during the past five years in kindergarten through eighth grade and as a Beverly Taylor Sorenson Art Specialist. I’ve also worked in education for Utah State University Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art and the Opera By Children program.

After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, I spent many years working as a professional artist. I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree in art education with a K-12 endorsement from Utah State University, and I changed my emphasis from working in my own studio to working in a classroom with students. My enthusiasm, dedication and belief that students have the ability to discover, think critically and love the creative process remains stronger than ever, and I am excited to incorporate these ideas into the kindergarten core curriculum at CCID.



Camie Palmer, Kindergarten Teacher

I grew up on a ranch in rural northern Utah. I learned quickly that hard work and perseverance were vital for success. This has clearly been the case in my teaching career. I have successfully taught grades K-2 for the past 44 years. Through my experiences, I found teaching five year olds was a passion. Five year olds are delightfully curious and enjoy learning through movement and exploration and a variety of hands-on activities. My philosophy is to educate the total child academically, emotionally, physically, and socially. I was mentored by two amazing women, Joan Bowden and Alice Chase, that encouraged me to be honest and forthright when collaboratively working in an early childhood environment. After graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Social Studies, I realized that my love for five year olds required an Early Childhood degree. I completed an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Dance. My love for movement has been an important part of daily curriculum in a kindergarten setting. I was the classroom host teacher for Artsbridge (Reading in Motion) program at Utah State University, which led me to become an Artsbridge professional mentor.

I am jumping into the CCID educational family with enthusiasm and experience that will give students the foundation they need to become successful active learners!



Holly Conger, Art Specialist

With a professional background in fine art, theater, dance, and as a performing musician Holly believes that the arts and the creative process are a critical part of utilizing 21st Century skills. She considers the ability to think creatively and to express ourselves in genuinely unique ways to be what sets us apart from artificial intelligence in the future workforce. Holly strives to inspire students at CCID to unlock their unique creative potential and to have confidence in expressing themselves.

Holly earned her BS in Art and her Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from USU. Before coming to teach at CCID Holly worked in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services for 7 years. In that time she was the program coordinator of USU ArtsBridge, she developed and taught an arts integration course to elementary education majors, she was the assistant to the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Endowed Chair, and a professional development partner with the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program.

Holly currently paints, sings and plays guitar in the local band “Juniper Junction.” She and her husband Ryan are parents of two daughters, a dog, and a cat.



Christine Burningham, Music Specialist

Christine graduated in 2012 from Utah State University where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Music Therapy with an emphasis in Music Education and a minor in French. She has additional certifications in Orff Schulwerk and Kodály methods of music education for children. Her clinical internship was held at Sunshine Terrace in Logan, Utah where she helped individuals with varying needs from ages 3-99. She is currently finishing her Master of Arts in Music Therapy degree from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Christine has 5 children, one grandchild, and over 20 years of experience working with children in the home, some with special needs, and helping in the school environment. She has volunteered over the past 15 years in Head Start classrooms, Elementary School classrooms, and a Special Needs Institute class. She is the Historian for the Utah Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association and in her spare time Christine enjoys spending time with her family, baking, cooking, scrapbooking, walking, reading, knitting, and playing the Native American Flute.



Sandra Ashby, Support Staff

In or out of the classroom, my dad was a teacher: our family hiked in Bryce Canyon, explored Arches, and swam in the Great Salt Lake. Working in the orchard and garden, we learned early on where food comes from because we helped plant it, water it, weed it, pick it, and can it. From piano lessons—which were not optional—we learned that hard work can create beauty as well as competence. I learned how it feels to write a song, do a cartwheel, catch a fish, or dress up in a funny Munchkin costume and sing in an auditorium full of strangers.

My mother taught me to read when I was small, sealing my fate as a bookworm. She also gave me my first chemistry lessons by showing me how to form loaves that rise and to stir the jam so it won't burn. My love of language led me to spelling bees, German classes, and eventually a degree in English. More recently, I have satisfied my STEM side by enrolling in an accounting certificate program. I am happy to be at CCID, where children and adults alike can immerse themselves in the learning process.


Alanna Christensen, Support Staff

Alanna has a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a vocal emphasis. She was the music teacher at Century Elementary School for a year, and has also had experience as a substitute teacher. In addition to singing, she plays piano and ukulele, and loves theater, both from the stage and the audience. She loves exploring and learning about humanity, cultures, and people (including herself) through different forms of art, including books, music, movies, and of course theater. She enjoys going for walks, especially surrounded by nature, and could stare at the sky for hours; if she could have any superpower, she would choose the power to fly.


Rachel Hall, Support Staff

I have spent most of my life living in Cache Valley. I was born in Northern Idaho and lived just outside Glacier National Park in Montana when I was young. I still miss the trees and bald eagles.

I have been working in elementary schools for the past 10 years, I was an Americorp VISTA for 5 years. I was primarily stationed in kindergarten, mainly focusing on phonics and early literacy. I also created and ran whole school events such as an art program, book fairs, food drives, Fun Run, Heritage Festival, Student and Employee of the Week. I have been volunteering with PTA, Community Council and many other school activities for almost 20 years.

I am curious and creative and love to craft, especially using odds and ends or leftovers and upcycling them. I enjoy reading, it's fun to find a new author I enjoy and reading everything they have written. I live by the mantra "See a need, Fill a need"

I find great fulfillment working with children, helping them to learn and grow. It is so exciting when they make connections and their world expands.


Kristi Schenk, Support Staff

Kristi was born and raised in Cache Valley. She was in the first graduating class from Ridgeline High School. She has a passion for music and has been playing the flute for 8 years. Kristi was part of the marching band for 4 years doing both flute and color guard.
She has an excitement for kids and loves to learn and play along side with them. She enjoys to be outdoors or at the lake as well as likes to go boating, ride roller coasters, and watch scary movies.


Marie Rose, Support Staff

Born and raised in England. I knew from the moment I set eyes on my newborn sister at the age of 5 that working with children would be my calling in life. After leaving school I went onto further education to make that dream a reality. I studied to become a preschool teacher and continued in studies to further my education within the special needs area. I worked within a preschool until 2002 when I moved to San Diego to be married. I have lived in this beautiful valley for 10 years. During this time I have worked with children in my own home and then onto a school in the Life Skills Department.

My husband and I have 3 grown children and 2 young. We enjoy spending time together making crafts and being outdoors. I believe there is no greater calling for me than to be working with these young minds, to see their discovery and be part of that. I'm proud to be part of the C.C.I.D team and to work with your little ones on their path of learning and adventure.


Liz Scott, Support Staff

I was born and raised in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I have recently relocated to Logan so my husband, can attend USU for his graduate degree.

Even at a young age, I always had a passion to work with children. It wasn’t until my first year out of high school that I realized that I wanted to be a teacher. I have had experience as a teacher’s aide, substituting and after-school care programs in both the private and public school setting.

I have a passion to educate the next generation. I am currently studying early childhood education with hopes to graduate and dedicate myself to helping children have the best early education experiences possible. I look forward to being apart of a great team at CCID.


Louise Sozio, Support Staff

Louise was born in Montreal, Canada, and her first language is French. She recently moved from Southern California with 18 years of experience as a Special Education Aide in the Resource Program. She now feels at home at CCID as Support Staff in kindergarten.

Louise has four grown children and ten grandchildren. She loves to travel and explore new places. She enjoys spending time at the beach and in the beautiful Cache Valley mountains. Louise feels at home in Logan and is happy living near her family.


Taylor, Wiser, Support Staff

I was born in Preston Idaho, but relocated to Logan, UT at a very young age. When I was 13 years old I moved to Saint George, UT where I graduated from Desert Hills High School. I have finally made my way back to Logan where I can be close to my family and fulfill my dream of helping children learn and grow.


Tamra Neilson, Support Services

Tamra was raised in North Carolina and appreciates every opportunity she has to get back to the trees and the green mountains. Tamra enjoys sunshine, traveling, baking, hiking, spending time with family & friends, reading, and exploring new places. She is happiest when she is watching her two awesome children participate in their various activities or walking on a beach with her husband.


Cara Crump, Support Services

Coming soon!


Whitni Hesselgesser, Support Services

Coming soon!


Samantha Pooler, Kitchen Manager

I grew up in Atlanta Georgia, then moved to Charlotte North Carolina and spent 9 years there with my husband and our 5 children. Our family made the move Utah in August 2015 and finally found our home here in Cache Valley August 2016. I absolutely love the South but we are really loving this beautiful state and are extremely fortunate to live here.

My occupational back ground is actually focused in the restaurant industry. I was a Restaurant Manager for a popular spot in Atlanta for 10 years. A few years ago I started feeding my passion for child nutrition and volunteered in a local charter school while continuing my education in Child Nutrition and Public Health with emphasis on Real Food.

I am so excited to be working for such a great school and look forward to feeding the kids yummy, non-processed health foods.



Peggy Craney, Kitchen Aide

Coming soon...


Stacy Kohler, Kitchen Aide

Coming soon...


Katy Anderson, Kitchen Aide


Juan Hernandez, Facilities Manager

I have been living in Utah for 29 years. Before moving to Utah I lived in California and Idaho for a few years. I was born in Mexico and came to the US in 1988. I moved with my parents and family to Utah where all of us live here in Cache Valley. We felt that this place was the right one since we enjoy the good people and everything there is to find here.

I have two sons who are currently enrolled in college at Utah State University where I used to work before coming to CCID School.

I have worked at a variety of jobs in the valley where I have learned a variety of skills that help me accomplish my job as a Facilities Manager; however, the one that stands out the most is working with USU as an Area Coordinator. While I worked for USU, I took care of the grounds and managed a group of part time workers. In the winter we took care of the snow and made sure to make campus as safe as possible. In summer we made sure that campus was as beautiful as possible.

I am extremely excited to work for CCID Charter School because I enjoy the challenges-and opportunities-that working here brings; including all the wonderful kids and the tight-knit community of teachers, volunteers and staff.

I will do everything I can to help The Center for Creativity, Innovation and Discovery accomplish all its goals and I’m proud to be part of its success.