Meet the Crew


Jessica Millard Project and Finance Lead

Jessica is a graduate from the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. She is part of the Advanced Opportunities program and will graduate from North Idaho College with an AA degree in General Studies in May 2018. Jessica plans to move on to a four-year program in the aerospace field, and then to the entrepreneurial community to start her own rocket company. Jessica is currently the Project Coordinator and the Finance Lead for Project DaVinci, and she connects with mentors, reaches out to sponsors, leads team meetings, and coordinates fundraising and outreach events for the team. Being from North Idaho, Jessica enjoys the outdoors and associated activities like hunting, fishing, and camping.


Paige Pence Logistics Lead

Paige is a graduate from the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. She has completed the First Tech Challenge and has competed in the North Idaho College Math Competition for the last three years. In addition to taking high school courses, she also takes college-level classes. Paige's plan is to graduate high school in 2018, with her general Associate's Degree. After high school, she will move to a four-year college, to obtain a degree in Elementary Education. Paige is the Logistics Lead for Project DaVinci and she coordinates team functions, works with sponsors, and handles team essentials such as badges, business cards, and team shirts. She spends her free time hiking, kayaking, spending time with family and friends, and traveling to new places.


Justin Kugler Spacecraft Systems Lead

Justin is a senior at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. He is currently taking several online classes at both high school and college level. He has participated in First Lego League, First Tech Challenge, and Minds-i. Justin's goal is to complete high school with an Associate’s degree and then move forward to get a four-year degree in the mathematics field. As the Spacecraft Systems Lead, Justin is in charge of managing the design of the satellite. Outside of school, Justin enjoys skiing, biking, soccer, and camping.


Josh Simmons Quality Lead

Josh is a senior at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. He currently takes high school and college classes as part of a sate-funded dual credit program. He has participated in First Lego League, First Tech Challenge, Minds-i and Imagine Tomorrow in the past. Josh's goal after he graduates is to attend the University of Idaho for 4 years, and graduate with a bachelor's degree in software engineering and work for large software companies like Microsoft or Apple.


Joe Broder Ground Control Lead

Joe is a graduate from the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. He is also enrolled in college courses as part of a state-funded dual credit program. He has participated in many First Robotics Competitions and in the First Tech Challenge. In his spare time, Joe works on software development and plans study computer science at a four-year college after he graduates from high school.


Alauna Davidson Media Lead

Alauna Davidson is currently a sophomore at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. She enjoys playing instruments, reading, and robotics. After high school, she would like to go to college to be a nurse. As the Media Lead for Project DaVinci, Alauna manages the social media accounts. Alauna even has a pet rabbit and betta fish!


Austin Kugler Radio Communications Lead

Austin is a sophomore at the North Idaho STEM Academy. Austin is in the fast forward program and will have an associate’s degree by the end of high school. He is taking dual credit classes at North Idaho College and Lewis & Clark State College. His current goal is to major in an information technology related field, specifically as a project manager. He is currently taking web development classes to work towards this goal. Austin is Project DaVinci's Radio Communications Lead and works to develop the radio receiver kits Space Ambassadors use to listen to satellites. He enjoys skiing, soccer, table tennis, mountain biking, and coding in his free time.


Madelyn Zilm Media and Communications Lead

Madelyn is a sophomore at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. She is currently enrolled in the 8-in-6 program to graduate from North Idaho College with an AA degree at the same time she graduates from high school. Madelyn plans to move to a four-year degree program in either the secondary education or social work field. Madelyn currently volunteers at the Post Falls Parks and Rec as a day camp counselor. As the Media and Communications Lead for Project DaVinci, Madelyn creates the agendas for team meetings, keeps records of team discussions, and keeps the team updated with reminders and new information they may need to know. Madelyn loves to spend her free time volunteering her time, helping out others in the community and spending time with family.


Natalie Potter Education Outreach Lead

Natalie Potter is a sophomore at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy, and when she graduates she plans on attending BYU Idaho or John Hopkins University, and either majoring in English or Medicine. Natalie is the Education Lead for Project DaVinci and she oversees all educational outreach efforts and creates content for partner schools to use in their classrooms. As the oldest of seven children in her family, she enjoys reading, writing poems or short stories, and singing.


Joseph Benson Communications Support Lead

Joseph is a graduate from the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. Through Advanced Opportunities, he was able to graduate with a general AA degree in Spring of 2018. He has competed in FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Lego League, and placed second in the North Idaho College Math Competition. After high school, Joseph plans to obtain a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. As the Communications Support Lead for Project DaVinci, he ensures the public receives the clear direction necessary to successfully listen to Project DaVinci's satellite. In his free time, he enjoys reading and playing the piano.


Samantha Schroeder Ground Communications Lead

Samantha is an 8th-grade student at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy. She is currently competing in Invent Idaho and has been a part of this year's FLL competition. After graduating high school, she plans to attend college, likely the University of Idaho, to earn a master's degree in anthropology. She is the Ground Communications Lead and will help Project DaVinci's Space Ambassadors connect to the satellite after it is launched. She enjoys playing piano and has self-taught herself to play for two years and has taken lessons for one year.



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