Co-Founder & Executive Director
Emily is a master’s level counselor, certified in both mental health and school counseling, and has more than a decade of experience in the schools. She has extensive experience with at-risk youth, particularly pregnant and parenting teens and juvenile offenders.
“I am passionate about building a creative, therapeutic and accessible educational experience for our most vulnerable young adults and their children. I believe in a school counseling program that collaborates with social workers to provide students with their most basic needs first, followed by high-quality, intensive therapy for all students who seek it, both individually or in groups.”EMILY BERGSTROM
Co-Founder & Director of Academics
Deborah has had a 20 year accomplished career as a master’s level educator and site administrator at the secondary and post-secondary level. She has comprehensive experience in teaching students of all ability levels, ages 13 to adult, creating innovative programs for at-risk students, especially pregnant and parenting students, and has an exemplary record with student success.
“I am confident that Cardinal Academy is the critical intersection of a rigorous and relevant academic program and a caring, supportive community that pregnant and parenting students need in order to achieve excellence in academics and be successful in parenthood, and in life.”DEBORAH HEDDEN-NICELY
FACULTY & STAFF
I am originally from Northern California. I grew up by the ocean and redwoods, which is where my love for the outdoors began. Outside of work my favorite thing to do is spend time with my family and friends. We love camping, hiking, being at the lake, snow skiing/shoeing, traveling and pretty much anything that you can do outdoors. In my free time I also enjoy reading, making family photo albums, listening to true crime podcasts and walks with my dog. I chose Cardinal because I was looking for a place to make a difference in young parents’ lives. I wanted to work in a place where I could build relationships and help provide hope for the next generation. Cardinal Academy is a very special place and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Student Transportation & Trainer
I was born and raised Idahoan. I grew up in rural Idaho, attended college in Washington while I was playing volleyball and finished my Bachelors in psychology from Boise State. I went on to complete my Masters of Science in Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. I am a past President of the Idaho School Counselors Association and was honored to serve on the American Counseling Association’s school counselor advisory committee in 2017. I currently serve as the State Board of Ed, State Department of Ed Liason for the Idaho School Counselors Association. I have presented at several state conferences as well as the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment in Washington, DC. I enjoy traveling, playing and coaching volleyball. My husband and I own 2 food trucks and a mobile bar service so that keeps us plenty busy! We have 3 fur babies, Lola, Leo, and RubyCat.
Family & Consumer Science
I am from Chicago and have lived in Wisconsin and Washington before moving to Meridian. I went to school at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and studied psychology and child development. I received my Masters in teaching from George Fox and have taken over 40 hours in Personal Finance courses.
I love to spend time with family and friends. We love to have barbecues, play lawn games, go on hikes, play Pickleball, go bowling and travel to new locations whenever we have the chance. I am happiest when I spend time with my grandsons who are one year and three years of age.
Cardinal is the ideal location for me. I thought I was done teaching after a very difficult year with Covid. I feel like I have found my new home and have been given an incredible opportunity to work with the staff and students at Cardinal. The future looks bright and I’m excited to see all that we will accomplish together.
BOARD of DIRECTORS
Patricia Kempthorne has dedicated her work life and her life’s work to building a family-consciousness in her family, workplace, and community. In 2014 she was awarded an honorary doctorate in Administrative Policy from the University of Idaho. A champion for families and children, she was able to shine a spotlight on the issues closest to her while serving as Idaho’s first lady from 1999 to 2006. Mrs. Kempthorne volunteered her time to ensure that Idaho continues to be the best place to raise a family. In 2005, she created the Twiga Foundation, Inc. – a non-profit dedicated to continuing that work in organizations through educating them about work-life fit, flexibility, and effectiveness for working parents.
Jason Hudson is the Government Affairs Director of the Idaho AFL-CIO, serving as the full-time lobbyist to the Idaho Legislature, as well as the lobbyist to Idaho’s federal delegation to the US Congress. He works with the Idaho Governor’s office and state administrative agencies on policy matters related to worker rights, worker safety, and building good jobs in Idaho. He educates members and affiliates about participation in government and the political process, and develops and implements electoral programs to support pro-worker candidates for public office.
Emily McClure is a Boise lawyer, lobbyist and mom to three children. Her practice, McClure Policy LLC, focuses primarily on government affairs in the fields of education, health care and natural resources both in Idaho and across the West. An advocate for children, she has contributed on behalf of a variety of clients to numerous statutes and regulations aimed at benefiting Idaho’s kids, and has worked closely with her clients to improve the legislative climate for charter schools, innovative educators and students.
Hannah Gayle founded Boise State’s Young Parent Mentor Program, a peer and faculty mentor program for teen mothers that are pursuing their undergraduate degree. She is a Boise State graduate with her degree in Economics and a certification in Nonprofit Management. She is also a graduate of Booth Marian Pritchett School. She currently works for a charter school that equips engineers (students) with the knowledge, skills, and character to succeed in college and the future world. Hannah Gayle is an Intervention Specialist that is skilled in mental health, special education and de-escalation techniques.
Dr. Olschanowsky, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Boise State University. She became involved in the education of at-risk youth through her involvement in diversity and inclusion efforts for computer science. She designed and implemented a service learning course to expose, recruit, and engage students from historically excluded backgrounds to computer science. During this course, university students develop lesson plans and engage high school students in problem solving using computer science. This class has been successfully implemented as a collaboration with the Booth Marian Pritchett School.
Greg Richmond founded the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and served as its CEO from 2005 through 2019. He serves or has served on the boards of the Perspectives Charter School, St. Walter Parish elementary school, and Mother McAuley high school. He has served as a consultant to the Colorado League of Charter Schools, Missouri Public Charter Schools Association, and the national Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools. He was a founding board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and was inducted into the National Charter School Hall of Fame in 2017. Currently, he serves as Superintendent of Schools for the Arch Diocese of Chicago.