Mike has been a student of sign-language since 1989, when he worked at Camp Tatiyee in Pinetop, Arizona. He continued his studies when the camp finished at a local college in Arizona. He served a Deaf Program mission for his church in Chicago, Pennsylvania and New York, and learned a great deal mainly due to immersion in the deaf community. When he returned, he moved to Utah and began interpreting at Utah Valley State College. This allowed him to expand his vocabulary and have a variety of experiences in a wide range of classes. He continued working there until 2001 while also doing free-lance interpreting and running EverSmith Inc., an interpreting agency with his wife, Jerusha.
In 2001, Mike went to work full-time as a staff interpreter for Network Interpreting Services in Idaho. He passed RID CT certification, and in 2002 RID CI certification. His most recent achievements are the RID NIC Advanced certification, and the SC:L legal certification Specialty Certificate. He continues to love interpreting and sign-language. It’s perfectly suited to his eclectic personality, and, as he has a wide range of interests and hobbies, he is able to have a wide range of experiences through interpreting. The situations he encounters never fail to challenge or impress him--he has found his career for life.
Vice-President - Renee Higbee
Renee Higbee's first introduction to Sign Language and Deafness was in 1999 when her son was born. She is a wife and mother of two school age children. As an advocate for individuals with hearing loss, Renee has served on various boards and committees throughout Idaho such as Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind, ID Infant Toddler, and ID Hands and Voices among other organizations.
Renee received her BS in Educational Interpreting in 2011 from Idaho State University, is an EIPA Qualified Educational interpreter, and has 8 years of interpreting experience in a variety of settings including, Ed K-12, post-secondary, community, religious and music/theater.
She is passionate about educating and encouraging future educational interpreters. She has served as Visiting Clinical Professor at Idaho State University Meridian campus in the Sign Language Studies and Educational Interpreting department and is currently an ASL Adjunct Professor at Boise State University in the World Languages department. Renee co-published her first article in Gallaudet's Deaf Education magazine in 2013 entitled "Educational Interpreters: Meeting the Communication Needs of Children with Cochlear Implants" and looks forward to future research contributions in deaf education In her spare time, Renee enjoys camping, hiking and overnight backpacking with her family and friends.
Karen Nelson has been interpreting in education for over 23 years and started interpreting in the video relay setting two years ago. She has earned her NIC and a 4.5 on the EIPA. Karen loves to learn and her next goal is to become a tri-interpreter by learning Spanish.
Karen has 2 daughters who live with her in Boise, and she loves dancing.
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Jayne was first introduced to sign language and the deaf community about 16 years ago. She jumped in with both feet and a true passion to learn ASL in order to start language learning as soon as possible with her three children, two of which are Deaf. She knows she has found her calling in K-12 Educational Interpreting, where she has enjoyed working for the last six years. In June 2008 she received an EIPA score of 4.0, then went on to graduate in August 2011 from a K-12 Educational Interpreter Program through the University of Northern Colorado. After graduating she took and passed the EIPA Written Knowledge Test. Then in order to continue growing and learning within the Interpreting profession she joined both RID and IRID then subsequently was successful in becoming Ed: K-12 certified.
Jayne thoroughly enjoys socializing in the Deaf community, playing softball, relaxing with her family and interpreting at her local church which she's been doing for about 10 years.
Melanie is currently an educational interpreter in the Boise School District. She has worked in the Nampa and Boise Schools for 14 years. She has worked primarily in the elementary setting, but has also been involved in Special Education, Jr. and Sr. High School levels. She is also working in the video relay setting and has done so for the last 5 years. Melanie graduated from Idaho State University with a B.S. in Educational Interpreting and has her NIC certification.
Melanie enjoys golfing, hiking, running and is an avid football fanatic. She also enjoys spending time with her two young boys and husband.
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Kristy began interpreting nearly fourteen years ago
following graduation from the ITP program at Western Oregon University in
1999. Since then, she has mainly worked
as an educational interpreter, working in both K-12 and postsecondary
environments. She also does freelance
work and has done some video relay work.
For the past five years, she has worked as a staff interpreter at the
College of Southern Idaho. In addition
to interpreting, Kristy also has a Master’s degree in Anthropology and works as
an adjunct Cultural Anthropology instructor.
Kristy is NIC certified and enjoys interpreting. She is excited about her new PDC position and
looking forward to serving on the board.
Emily was first exposed to sign language in High School. With the encouragement of her teacher she went on to major in Deaf communications in college.
She has a variety of interpreting experience including, religious, educational, and video relay.
Emily is nationally certified through RID and holds NIC-Advanced certification.
Shannon has been interpreting professionally since 2004. She has experience interpreting in the college setting, community free-lance interpreting and video relay. Shannon earned National Interpreter Certification (NIC) in March 2011 and thoroughly enjoys interpreting.
Growing up in a family with many deaf family members, she was raised with being part of the deaf community. She did not plan on being an interpreter, however, working at the College of Southern Idaho gave her the opportunity to take a new career direction. Shannon currently teaches American Sign Language at the CSI Refugee Program and in the Sign Language Studies program at the college campus, which provides a great career along with interpreting.
Shannon graduated from Boise State University in 2004 with a Masters degree in Instructional and Performance Technology. She has enjoyed being the chairperson of the Fundraising Committee and looks forward to continued involvement with IdahoRID for many more years.
Mike Holman is a computer "nut." Mike has been working with computers since high school (20+ years ago). Mike started working on Apple II and currently enjoys developing websites and creating multimedia for hearing and Deaf. Mike has an Associate's degree with ITT-Tech in Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology. Mike is currently working on his Bachelor's degree in Web Development.
Mike has been interpreting for over 20 years. Mike has developed his signing skills primarily with Deaf associates. Mike has interpreted in the educational (20+ years), freelance (12+ years), and Video Relay Service (1 year). Mike plans on using his technological abilities and apply them where ever they are needed and of benefit.