/// Our Staff ///

At Idaho Rising Stars,  we strive to bring you talented coaches that have the passion and drive to teach kids how to have fun and strive for excellence at the same time. We know our campers are driven and talented, and we want to let them shine!

Kerith Telestai

Kerith Telestai

Program Director,
Choreographer

Brian Telestai

Brian Telestai

Technical Director,
Acting Coach

Education
2003 - Bachelor of Arts; Liberal Studies/Education: Westmont College

              in Santa Barbara, CA
2011 - Masters of Education; Integrating the Arts in the Classroom:

              Lesley University in Cambridge, MA

Professional Experience
Kerith inspires kids to reach for the stars both in and out of the classroom.  After graduating suma cum-laude in 2003, Kerith taught 5th grade in Santa Barbara, CA.  About the same time, she joined a rock band playing electric violin and singing vocals.  Within 4 months of forming, the band signed to Epitaph Records.  Over the next 3 years, Kerith co-wrote and recorded two records, toured extensively in the entire US, Canada, and UK, and performed on some of the most prestigious rock tours in the world including the Take Action Tour, The Kerrang! Tour, and The Vans Warped Tour.  Currently, Kerith teaches 5th grade at Siena Elementary in the Meridian School District where she heads up the annual 5th grade musical, "Down To Earth", and she plays electric violin & sings in her band at church.  Kerith’s passion for the arts is mirrored in everything that she does, in and out of the classroom.  Her combination of real-world experience, academic excellence, and amazing dance and vocal talent make her a great teacher and a wonderful camp director.  Rarely will you find someone of her caliber dedicating their life to teaching others how to perform.

 

Awards/Achievements
2003 - Kenneth Monroe Outstanding Female Graduate; Westmont  

              College
2003 - Liberal Studies Graduate of the Year; Westmont College
2004 - Student Teacher of the Year; Westmont College
2005 - Commissioned by the Wharton Foundation to write California

              State Science Curriculum

2006 - Signed record deal with Epitaph Records; I Am Ghost
2006 - Wrote, Recorded, and Released “We Are Always Searching EP” by

              I Am Ghost; Epitaph Records
2006 - Awarded RIAA Certified Gold Record; Vans Warped Tour
2007 - Wrote, Recorded, and Released “Lovers’ Requiem” by I Am Ghost;

              Epitaph Records

2007 - Featured as “Musician of the Month”; Alternative Press

              Magazine
2009 - Wrote, recorded, choreographed, and directed her first

             musical, “Down To Earth”
2010 - Wrote Lyrics, recorded, choreographed, and directed the

             musical, “Weather Or Not”
2011 - Co-wrote, recorded, choreographed, and directed the musical,

             “Go With The Flow”
2012 - Co-wrote, recorded, and choreographed the musical, “Out Of

              This World”

Education (in Process)
2008 - Bachelor of Arts; Music Performance with a Vocal Emphasis:
              Hope International University in Fullerton, CA

2013 - Bachelor of Theater Arts; Emphases in design, directing,

              dramatic writing, performance, and stage management:
              Boise State University in Boise, ID

 

Professional Experience
Brian has toured the world extensively singing, dancing, and acting.  Brian was in the same rock band with Kerith, and performed along side of her playing bass, keyboard, and singing harmony vocals.  Besides modeling for Hot Topic and other multi-national clothing chains from 2004-2007, Brian has starred in musical productions (Seymore in Little Shop of Horrors; Fagin in Oliver!), acted in drama productions (Arnold Epstein in Biloxi Blues), and danced in theatrical productions to HUGE audiences (The 2008 RockHarbor Easter Production Live at The Verizon Amphitheater in CA).  Currently, Brian works as the Artistic & Communications Director for Canyon Ridge Church.  There, he leads and plays in the band (who has put out 2 albums), writes and performs in dramas, creates and produces videos, and does web design & graphic design.  Brian can also be heard locally in the Treasure Valley as a voice-over artist in local radio ads, and has been hired and/or commissioned by institutions such as Simplot and Boise State University for video and music creation and production.  Brian’s blend of unique talents and incredible passion for artistic excellence inspires others to meet their full potential, and makes him an integral part of the Rising Stars Camps.

 

Awards/Achievements

2002 - Elected Co-President of Colorado Thespian Society
2003 - Awarded “Top 8 Solo Musical Number”; Colorado Thespian Society

              Conference
2003 - Awarded “Best Group Musical Number”’ CTS Conference

2003 - Colorado All-State Choir

2003 - Awarded Presidential Scholarship; Hope Intl. University
2006 - Signed record deal with Epitaph Records; I Am Ghost
2006 - Wrote, Recorded, and Released “We Are Always Searching EP” by

              I Am Ghost; Epitaph Records
2006 - Awarded RIAA Certified Gold Record; Vans Warped Tour
2007 - Wrote, Recorded, and Released “Lovers’ Requiem” by I Am Ghost;

              Epitaph Records
2007 - Awarded “Best Local Rock Band”; Orange County Weekly Magazine
2007 - Featured/Interviewed on Fuse TV & International Music Feed
2007 - Published first photograph; Alternative Press Magazine
2007 - Featured at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; commemorating the

              history of The Vans Warped Tour
2009 - Co-Produced and recorded “Down To Earth” musical
2009 - Co-Produced and recorded “One” worship album; Canyon Ridge

              Church
2010 - Co-Founded "Rising Stars Performing Arts Camps LLC" in Boise, ID
2010 - Wrote, recorded, choreographed, and directed the musical,

             “Weather Or Not”
2011 - Co-wrote, recorded, and directed the musical, “Go With The Flow”
2012 - Produced, recorded “Me 2” worship album with Canyon Ridge Church
2012 - Co-wrote, recorded, and directed the musical "Out of this World"

Shannon Hotchkiss

Vocal Coach

Kayla

Ulrich

Rehearsal Coach
Education:
2011 - Graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, ID.

Professional Experience

​​Kayla is 18 years old and has been the Rehearsal Coach with Idaho Rising Stars for 2 years.  She has experience in high school theater, student teaching, and has had responsibilities with kids on many levels.  Kayla spent the last year touring the country with "CIY" (Christ In Youth) putting on productions for thousands of kids each weekend! Her love for students, passion for the arts, and desire to see campers succeed is undeniable.  Kayla's talents extend far beyond her years, and she demonstrates high levels of  professionality and know-how as she works with campers to develop their talents and hone the many skills they have learned.  She is a huge benefit to the campers at Rising Stars, and the kids love her energetic personality and creativity!

Education:
1989 - Bachelor of Arts; Music Education, Music Performance, Music

             Pedagogy: Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, ID
2011- Masters of Education; Integrating the Arts in the Classroom: Lesley

             University in Cambridge, MA

Professional Experience
Shannon began formal classical piano training at age 7, continuing for the next 14 years.  She began performing and competing at the age of 8, winning several competitions.  Shannon began singing shortly after.  She went on to sing and play an eight-country European Tour with the Rocky Mountain Honor Tour.  She also played in the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra.  After graduating Summa Cum Laude, Shannon began her teaching career as a jr. high band director.   She has also taught high school, and is currently an elementary music specialist in the Nampa School District, where her students perform musicals that she writes each year.  during the summer of 2011, Shannon worked for the "Weather Or Not" session for Rising Stars, and  her vocal coaching made a notable difference in the campers' abilities and confidence levels.  Shannon is passionate about providing quality musical experiences for the youth of the Treasure Valley.

 

Awards/Achievements
1985 - John Phillip Sousa Award Recipient

1988 & 1989 - Paul Douglass Teaching Scholarship Recipient
1989 - Student Teacher of the Year; Northwest Nazarene College

1991 - Nampa School District Teacher of the Year
2009 - Nampa School District Teacher of the Year