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Do you have questions only a teacher can answer? Want to know about real life in the classroom? Contact a Troops to Teachers Mentor! Mentors are current teachers who are Troops to Teachers clients. They can give you an insider's perspective on what to expect in the classroom and the transition from the military to teaching.

Click on a state below to see a list of mentors in each state in the Lewis and Clark region:

Lewis and Clark Region map North Dakota Montana South Dakota South Dakota Idaho Wyoming


Harold Nevill

  • United States Navy – Lt. Commander
  • Enlisted as an E-1 in 1976 and retired as an O-4 in 1997
  • Recipient of TTT $10,000 bonus while teaching in a high need school
  • Teaching at Professional-Technical Education Center in Boise School District
  • Completed eighth year of teaching in 2005
  • Subject – Electronics
  • June 2005 – travels to Japan on a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship to study how electronics is taught in that country

Education: BS, Sociology (University of New York); MMA, Masters of Management & Administration (Metropolitan State University); MA, Education – Curriculum & Instruction (Boise State University); enrolled in EdS program, Education Specialist Certification, scheduled completion summer of 2006 (Boise State University).

Thad Biggers

  • United States Navy – Lt. Commander (enlisted for 6.5 years)
  • Retired July 2005
  • Subject – 7/8 Science, Chemistry, Algebra II and Geometry  (Certified 7-12 Math and Science, and Administration)
  • Currently teaching at Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls

I live in Jerome, ID and teach secondary math and science at Xavier Charter school in Twin Falls. I taught math and science in VA for two years prior to moving to ID. Here in ID, I have been both a teacher and principal, and am presently (and happily) back in the classroom full time. TTT was a very helpful program for me, and greatly aided my transition from the Navy to the classroom.

James Freeman

  • United States Army – CW4
  • Retired October 1986
  • Spent 27 years in the Army as a Nuclear Weapons Technician. Spent a lot of time overseas, much of which was unaccompanied.
  • Subject – 7/8 Math and 7/8 Advanced Algebra
  • Taught at Parma Middle school for 15 years
  • Member of ITAG-SAGE (Idaho The Association for the Gifted – State Advocate for Gifted Education)
  • Long time member of the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics, National Education Association and the Idaho Education Association

Education:  BA, Mathematics with minor in Computer Science (Carroll College, Helena, MT)



Bradley S. Warren

  • United State Air Force – Master Sergeant, Retired – January 2006
  • Teaching at Great Falls High School – Great Falls, MT
  • Subjects:  Automotive Technology & Girls Consumer Mechanics
  • Decided to become a teacher after volunteering at DoDDS school in Belgium

Education:  Earned GED.  Qualified for Montana teacher’s license in four vocational areas based on a combination of experience prior to and during his military career.


Frank Egan

  • United States Army – Captain
  • Regular Army: 1984-1991
  • Teaching at Sheyenne Valley Area Vo-Tech Center, Valley City, ND
  • Subjects – CISCO CCNA, Fundamentals of Web Design, IT Essentials (Computer Maintenance and Repair)
  • Member of AMVETS and American Legion; State VFW Commander

Education: BA in History, North Dakota State University, Teacher Training at Valley City State University

Gary Simmons

  • Army National Guard
  • Sergeant Major (E-9), Retired 31 July 2001
  • Teaching at Wing Public School in Wing, ND since 1972
  • Subjects – Business and Computer classes, grades 7-12

Education: BS in Business Education - Mayville State College; Master's Degree in Education Administration - University of North Dakota

Bill Cox

  • United States Air Force
  • Senior Master Sergeant (E-8), Retired 31 Oct 2002
  • Teaches JROTC at Minot High School
  • Recipient of TTT $5,000 stipend to complete teacher training

Education: Associate Degrees in Personnel Administration, Instructor Technology, & Aerospace Science; BS from Regents College in Psychology, Education & Business Management; MEd in Educational Leadership from North Dakota State University


Bill Eldridge

  • United States Air Force – Chief Master Sergeant (E-9)
  • Retired in January 1995 after 30 years of service
  • Recipient of TTT $5,000 stipend to assist in completing teacher training
  • Teaching at Douglas Middle School in Box Elder, SD
  • Subject – Mathematics; absolutely loves it!
  • Completed ninth year of teaching in 2005

Education: Completed his Education Degree at Black Hills State University, 1999


Brett Burtis

  • United States Marine Corps – Lt. Colonel
  • Combat Engineer & Recruiting Officer; retired in October 2005
  • Teaches 6th grade math & science, Tongue River Middle School, Ranchester, WY
  • Recipient of Troops to Teachers $10,000 bonus

Education:  BS in Forestry, Pennsylvania State University; MBA, National University; completed teacher training online through Northern Plains Transition to Teaching program, Montana State University; currently enrolled in MSU’s Master’s of Education program



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Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013