M.A. in Teaching from Walla Walla University
B.S. Religion and Biblical Languages from Walla Walla College
Minor in Music from Walla Walla College
Michael Lee is a Montana native who considers himself a life-long student. He loves learning and has often said that if he could be a professional student (and make a living that way), he would do it. Teaching seemed to be the next best thing. Michael received his bachelor's degree in Religion and Biblical Languages with a minor in Music from Walla Walla College. He immediately entered grad school at Walla Walla University (nee Walla Walla College) and finished his Master of Arts in Teaching. Since graduating, he has taught part time or full time in Thailand, Washington, Hawai`i, Montana, and Idaho and has worked in youth ministry or some form of administration in Washington, Montana, California, and Idaho
Michael's absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with his wife, Ada, and his 3 children, Andrew, Kaia, and Liam. His favorite things to do with his family (and also in his very rare alone-time) include: traveling, mission work, rock climbing, hiking, skiing, trampolining, reading, playing board games, visiting national parks, singing, playing ukulele, and eating.
Michael feels blessed to have the opportunity to teach at Sandpoint Junior Academy and lead/guide his incredible students not only to better themselves and learn more about the world around them, but to develop a personal and meaningful relationship with their Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It is the reason he got into teaching in the first place.
Brandi Poncy was born and raised in Walla Walla, WA. She went to Walla Walla University and graduated in 2004 with a BS in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. She took a year out her sophomore year to teach third grade in the Marshall Islands, Micronesia. After graduation, she taught first grade in Bangkok, Thailand for two years then returned to teach 5th - 8th grade in Pendleton, OR for one year. She then moved to Sandpoint, ID in 2007 to teach and has been here ever since - 13 years. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and being outside.
Position: Music Teacher
Highest Degree: Bachelor
Major Field: Music Education
Janice Wall joined Sandpoint Junior Academy in 2017 teaching music, choir and drama. She has a Bachelor of Music Education and an extensive teaching history having taught kindergarten to college level band, choir, strings and drama at various schools since 2001. Jan is more than a passionate teacher, she is also a talented musician and holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. In addition to teaching at SJA, Jan also teaches music at the Sandpoint Music Conservatory and through private lessons.
Position: Teacher's Aide/Teacher
Jere Fillman was born in Sacramento, CA. and obtained his Education Degree from Pacific Union College with an emphasis on special education. After graduating he did student teaching for one year then went on to teach 1 – 3 grades in Nappa Valley. He has been married to his wife Terri for 35 years and they have 2 grown children. Jere was a case manager in Georgia for 15 years before moving back to Idaho and accepting a teaching position for 1 – 5 grade Special Ed at Valley View Elementary School. Jere started at SJA during the 2019/2020 school year and accepted a full time teacher’s aide/teacher position for grades 1 – 8 in 2020. Jere loves working with kids, watching them learn and teaching PE and games. Outside of school he enjoys mountain biking and horseback riding.
Position: Art Teacher
Art Teacher Certification
Debbie Roberts was born in Sandpoint, Idaho. She is married to husband Dale of 49 years, also a native of Sandpoint, both are life-long residents of Bonner County with 2 generations proceeding them & 3 generations following them. They have 3 daughters along with their 3 sons-in-law, 12 grandchildren of which 5 are grown & married, equaling 17 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Debbie is a self-taught artist, she started seriously drawing at the age of 17 and then moved into other art mediums, selling many oil paintings on metal & canvas. She began to teach Art at private schools in 1987 and has been giving group & private art classes for 35 years. Creating & selling her art in various mediums. After her last grandchild was born in 2010 she took Art college courses and earned a certificate to teach Art. She figured she should probably have a credited certificate after all the years of teaching to confirm she was doing it right.
Her main purpose is to glorify God in all she does. It’s a blessing & an honor to teach a subject she loves & to be able to pass this onto others so they too can glorify God and discover the joy of Art! She began teaching art at SJA this past fall of 2021.
When not teaching art she enjoys spending together-time with her family, camping, fishing, & quilting.
B.A. in Business Administration from Walla Walla University
Minor in Communications from Walla Walla University
A native of the Northwest, Cristina was born in Montana. As a teenager, her family relocated to Washington where she attended Cascade Christian Academy. She graduated from Walla Walla University with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Communications. After graduating, she moved to Northern Idaho and married her college sweetheart on the shores of Priest Lake. She resides in beautiful Sandpoint with her husband and two children. Cristina loves to travel and has been to the Marshall Islands on a mission trip and has toured Europe. She loves art, spending time with her family, and the outdoors for snowboarding, biking, camping, boating, and gardening. She enjoys working at SJA and being part of its Christ-centered, family atmosphere.