Schedule a Tour (208) 806-2880 Now Registering K-8 For 2023/2024
A Tuition Free Public Charter School

Cheryl Zimmerman

Cheryl Zimmerman and her husband Paul moved to the valley in 2007. She has two children of her own, two dogs and two cats. Cheryl has worked in education and family programming for the past 16 years in various areas serving the families and youth of the valley.

She owned her own state-aligned preschool for 11 years with an after school program and summer camp that ran year around. Cheryl then went on to the Wood River YMCA and became the Associate Director of Child Care. She volunteered and coached Girls on the Run and Boys Soccer. For the past three years, Cheryl has been a substitute teacher for BCSD as well as a first grade summer school teacher.

She has a love and passion for the youth in the valley and is looking forward to having the opportunity as a long term 2nd grade substitute to serve and be part of the Syringa family.

Shannon Harris


Shannon grew up in Shoshone, Idaho, graduated from Shoshone, and after college, was hired by the Shoshone School District in the administrative office. She and her husband Mark raised two daughters that also graduated from Shoshone School. The whole family while attending school competed in sports, including rodeo, which took them on many special adventures, and now the adventures continue with following grandchildren that are competing in many sports and activities, all the while maintaining high honors academically.

Shannon and her husband live in Gooding, Idaho at the present time. Her husband has been a self-employed farrier, oldest daughter is the SLP for Gooding School District and youngest daughter is a High School English Teacher for Shoshone School District. She and her oldest daughter have a greenhouse where they raise heirloom vegetables organically. Gardening is a large part of her life, and chasing grandchildren from ages 5 to 15, along with a rigorous work schedule. It all keeps life full of healthy energy!

She is excited to be a part of The Syringa Mountain School!

Michael Luke


Michael grew up in Meridian Idaho and was immersed in sports and the great outdoors from an early age. His favorite memories include mowing his grandparent’s lawn in exchange for some cash, rootbeer, and stories of life in rural America. After playing football for a year at Santa Barbara City College, Michael got homesick and moved back to Idaho, fighting fires in the summer and chasing ducks in the winter. He soon stumbled upon an ad to work for the Minnesota and Iowa Conservation Corps, and in hindsight, is what compelled him into a future with cheerful expectation.

With some grant money from the Conservation Corps, he enrolled at a university on the prairie of southwest Minnesota and completed his bachelors degree in Environmental Science. To get through schooling, he worked as both a farmhand, a youth sports coach, and as a resource at a library/study center on campus. It was at this library, which catered toward education majors, that gave Michael an imagination for a career as a teacher. After internships at both Conservation districts and watershed districts, he applied as a paraprofessional at a local public school while also coaching their Junior High baseball team and serving lunches to students.

Gravitating back again to Idaho, Michael looked for a spot on the map that offered the best hiking, fly-fishing, and snowboarding opportunities, and moved promptly to the Wood River Valley after taking a job as a youth coordinator at the Wood River YMCA. Around this time Michael started a company called Luke2Nature premised off the broaden and build theory to make outdoor education exciting by means of treasure hunts, garden poetry, and children’s books on nature. After seeing an ad as a substitute teacher at Syringa Mountain School, he applied and was soon introduced to the high caliber teachers at Syringa, and the Waldorf teaching method. When the Farm and Garden position opened up, it appeared like a path was stretching out smooth before him, and he now feels so blessed to do work that provides meaningful outcomes in the beloved Wood River Valley. Michael has achieved a K-8th CSI-NTEP, Idaho Teacher Certification.

Kelly O’Neill


Kelly fell in love with the Wood River Valley years ago. She gave up her custom design and sewing business to become a teacher. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies from Boise State University. She continued her education by obtaining a teaching certification and an ENL (English as New Language) endorsement.

Her love of travel has taken her around the world but there is no place she loves more than Idaho, being in the mountains and on the rivers. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and is passionate about skiing. In her free time, she loves to backcountry ski, dance, roam around the mountains and explore the rivers. In the summer you will find Kelly surfing waves and renting gear at Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade with her loving husband Damon and their cat Daisy.

Kelly is thrilled to be part of the Syringa Community. She is excited to share her love of teaching and the outdoors to make creative and curious learners.

Sarah Seppa


Sarah moved from Buffalo NY to the Wood River Valley in 2002 where she met her future husband Jon. In 2008 they married and moved to Seattle where Sarah attended Bastyr University and received a Master’s degree in Nutrition and became a Registered Dietitian. After the birth of their son Silas in 2012, they moved back to the valley in 2013 and Sarah started working at St. Luke’s. She became a Certified Diabetes Educator in 2015 and their daughter Norah was born in 2016.

Sarah is passionate about ensuring her children have access to the outdoors, arts, and music through a Waldorf-inspired education model. She enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and downhill and nordic skiing with her family and friends. She currently works for St. Luke as the director of Community Engagement and manages the Center for Community Health.

John Casey

Roster Openings: 2023-24

Syringa Mountain School has roster openings for the 2023-24 school year in most classes. If you are interested in joining us please fill out the form below to reserve a spot. It is “first come first serve”. We will get back to you within 10 business days to let you know if you have a roster spot or waitlist.