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STARBASE-Idaho employees and instructors

Meet the STARBASE-Idaho employees and instructors!

Courtney Taylor – Director for STARBASE-ID

Education is not just my job, it is my passion, and a part of who I am. I have worked in elementary education for over 17 years, most of which was spent teaching 4th and 5th grade. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Elementary Education/ESL K-12 and two Master’s degrees, one in Bilingual Elementary Education and the other in Educational Leadership.

When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, running, and nerding out to all things sci-fi and fantasy.

I joined the STARBASE Idaho team in June of 2018, excited to help young learners expand their knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, STEM as the new Director. My favorite thing about working for STARBASE is being part of a team that inspires students to continually seek knowledge and adjust perspective, persevere in the face of adversity, and create and achieve goals both large and small.

 “Be the change you wish to see in the world”-Mahatma Ghandi

Lana Brenneman – Business Manager of STARBASE-ID

Hello all, my name is Ms. Lana Brenneman. I have been the Business Manager for DoD STARBASE Idaho for almost three years since our initial startup in 2017.  I have a background in teaching, accounting, and administration. I hold degrees in Drafting, Interior Design, Cosmetology, Early Child Development, Culinary Arts, and Secondary Education. Sponsored by the Idaho Military Division I am also working to complete my Certified Public Manager Program through Idaho Division of Human Resources and expect to graduate in May of 2021.

I also admire watching our teaching staff motivate our fifth-grade audience from six local school districts while exploring STEM opportunities. DoD STARBASE Idaho serves students that are historically underrepresented in STEM and our program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.

“All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

Jan Zatloukal – Instructor of STARBASE-ID

Beginning in January 2018 it has been an incredible experience to witness the continued evolution and growth of the STARBASE Idaho program. Teaching here gives me the opportunity to supplement Treasure Valley classrooms with hands-on lessons which promote a lifelong interest in STEM topics.

On off-days you can find me hiking through the foothills, walking along the greenbelt, and making the most of the 206 sunny days we see every year in Boise!

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” -Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Amy Cook – Instructor Assistant for STARBASE-ID

I have been with Starbase Idaho since we opened to students in 2018. I have worked with elementary school students for over 10 years, mostly as a special education paraeducator.

In my spare time I love to find fun and exciting things to do with my husband and 3 kids. I really enjoy reading and the great outdoors. My favorite thing about Starbase is the opportunity students have for hands on experimentation.

“A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.” – Helen Keller

Kim Avella – Instructor Assistant for STARBASE-ID

August 2018 brought on an exciting opportunity and adventure to my teaching world.

While my degree is in Early Childhood Education, and I have had the honor of working with Pre K for 20+ years, I am happy to transition from working with littles hands-on learning and teaching, to elementary 5th grade hands-on, minds-on learning and teaching. The view from the classroom is a spectacular sight to witness with the STARBASE program- especially when kids learn that Math and Science aren’t that scary.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my kids and catching up with family that we don’t get to see often enough. I also cannot wait until I/we can get back to Disneyland, rodeos, and the fairs!

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

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