The Stella Schola Team!
Ms. Hattie Midboe
Lead Teacher/Sixth Grade Teacher
Ms. Hattie Midboe grew up in Bellingham, WA, where she was actively involved in her school community, both as an athlete and as a volunteer. After graduating high school, Ms. Midboe pursued her dream of teaching children. She began her college education at Central Washington University, earning Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary and Middle Level Math and Science Education, with an additional endorsement in Middle Level Humanities. Passionate about being a change-maker and leader in her community and workplace, Ms. Midboe continued to pursue her education by completing a Master's degree in Teacher Leadership from Seattle Pacific University in June 2020. Ms. Midboe has been a part of the Stella team as the 6th grade teacher since 2015. She served as Stella Schola’s Technology Integration Facilitator for three years, helping educators integrate technology into their instruction. She believes integrating technology and leveraging these tools are key components of being prepared and future-ready.
Ms. Midboe eagerly took on the role of Stella Schola's Lead Teacher in Fall of 2020. Her primary role as Lead Teacher is working with parents, students, and staff to ensure academic, social, and emotional goals are being met. She has a strong team behind her and values their contributions. Ms. Midboe is committed to ensuring Stella Schola continues to be an inspiring, equitable, and safe place to learn.
In her free time, Ms. Midboe loves to read novels, hike nearby trails, play with her cat Alice, cheer on the Seahawks, and spend quality time with her friends and family. She has recently added backpacking, pottery throwing, and scuba diving to her list of hobbies.
Ms. Gwen Gossler
Seventh Grade Teacher
Ms. Gwen Gossler grew up in Cheney, Washington, and was actively involved with the volleyball team, the basketball team, and drama club. After graduating from high school in Puyallup, Washington, Ms. Gossler attended the University of Washington where she received her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Arts degree. Still craving learning, Ms. Gossler continued her education at Eastern Washington University and received a second bachelor degree in K-8 Education, with an additional endorsement in visual art.
Ms. Gossler enjoys board games, hiking, arts and crafts and spending time with her mini goldendoodle named Murphy. On the weekend you can find her at the dog park in Marymoor, playing fetch or kicking the soccer ball around with her dog. Ms. Gossler also loves to travel, and is hoping to add some more stamps to her passport over the next few years! Her love for ancient history, mythology and the arts is an asset to the Stella community.
Ms. Judy Ronning-Larson
Eighth Grade Teacher
Ms. Judy Ronning-Larson grew up in Spokane, Washington, so she has a lot of #EastSidePride! Ms. Ronning-Larson attended college at Whitworth University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and a Master’s degree in Education. Ms. Ronning-Larson is a Reading Specialist and has earned endorsements in English, Language Arts, and mid-level Humanities. In 2008 she earned her National Board Certification and in 2017 she earned her Administrative Licensure from the University of Oregon.
In 2015 Ms. Ronning-Larson, along with 14 other educators and student assessment experts authored, “A Better Path for Oregon, a New System of Assessment for Student Learning” in response to a request by then-Oregon Governor Kitzhaber to design a new system for student assessment. Following that effort, she served as a Professional Development facilitator for the Oregon Department of Education traveling around the state to help teachers understand the newly adopted Common Core State Standards and the roll out of the Smarter Balance Assessment. In 2016 Ms. Ronning-Larson was nominated by the entire Oregon Congressional delegation to serve on the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee as the rules were being written around assessment following passage of the new Federal Education Act-the Every Student Succeeds Act. From 2017 through 2018 she led the National Task Force on Assessment Education, working with national education experts to increase knowledge around equitable student assessment systems. She then worked with the Oregon Department of Education and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, as well as the National Indian Education Association, to create new social studies curriculum representing the Native American narrative in American history.
Ms. Ronning-Larson has been the head coach for multiple sports teams including middle school cross-country teams, track teams and snow sports teams. But now she spends most of her spare time in the outdoors and is never very far from an opportunity to go fly fishing.
Ms. Ronning-Larson has an outstanding sidekick named Genser (Norwegian for “jumper”), a 15-pound bundle of energy who is ½ Italian Greyhound and ½ Parsons Terrier. Together they do a lot of traveling in the outdoors.
Mrs. Susan Jensen
Mrs. Susan Jensen grew up in Bellevue, Washington and is a graduate of the University of Washington. She studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources. She loved her time at UW. Go Dawgs!
Three of her children were educated at Stella Schola. Having experienced it through the eyes of a parent, she has a unique platform to speak to the incredible school it is. She is so impressed with the student it produces, even with children of different learning styles, strengths, weaknesses, interests and abilities. They gain the love of learning, ability to effectively time manage, and a thankfulness to be a part of such a close-knit community. After experiencing the rigor, high expectations, numerous group projects and monthly writing assignments, they are well prepared for High School! And the best part is they have fun throughout!
Susan is thankful to be able to contribute to the Stella Learning Community in her role as Office Manager and Registrar. This position is a perfect convergence of her love for kids and HR background.
Mrs. Brandi Comstock grew up in Yakima, Washington where she participated in the dance team, drama club, and served a year on the student board of Washington State FHA, where she represented the state at the national convention. Mrs. Comstock attended Gonzaga University, where she met her husband, and received her Bachelor of Arts in History with Concentrations in Spanish and Women’s Studies. After graduation, and not starting school in the fall for the first time in over two decades, she decided to return to school at Gonzaga for her Elementary Education certification with an endorsement in History for students grade 6-12. Having lived in Spokane, Seattle, Spokane (again) and Port Orchard as a parent and a teacher, she finally settled into Kirkland in 2009.
Mrs. Comstock has two high school students, one of whom attended Stella Schola. In her free time she enjoys playing games with her family, baking, puzzles, arts and crafts, reading books (of any kind) and volunteering. She also enjoys day tripping across Washington with her family, glamping, and time with her friends. Brandi is excited to work at Stella as she has first-hand experience with how the Stella family has helped her child, and many others, prepare for their futures by not only creating an academically rigorous environment, but also instilling in Stella students the “soft skills” they need in order to be successful in their lives.