Each week we feature “Meet the Staff Mondays” to help viewers (and even our own staff members) learn more about the folks who work behind the scenes, out in the community, and in front of the cameras here at Idaho Public Television. Today we would like to introduce one of our newest employees, Education Specialist Ashley Marotz.
Our Carol Beres sat down with Ashley to learn more about the role she plays on the IdahoPTV education team. “I’m providing the educational resources to the community, families, and teachers in the Boise area.”
Check out the Kids menu on our website to see all the resources and programs we provide — it’s a lot! From games and activities, to watching programs with your kids, to managing screen time, to Science Trek, a science-based program for elementary-aged kids, it’s available for free.
Ashley hails from the Midwest. “I grew up in Michigan, and then I moved to Idaho Falls in high school. My dad got a teaching job there. And then I came to Boise for college and I haven’t left since.” She earned her degree in elementary education and worked in the Middleton School District for a few years. “I did three years teaching kindergarten and loved it, but I wanted to try something different. They were so fun, but then I would go home and just be ready for bed at 6:00,” she laughs. “I love education and I love working with kids. And when I left the classroom, I knew I wanted to do something in education, but I didn’t know what that would be. Then I was looking through the state website and I found this position.”
The Gem State’s great outdoors are where Ashley likes to spend her free time. “I really like cross-country skiing. So I used to downhill ski a lot, but then it got expensive…I started [cross-country] skiing with my mother-in-law…me, my husband, his mom, my sister and her fiancé: we take all our dogs out and go cross-country skiing. We usually go to Whoop ‘Em Up [Loop] in Idaho City…it’s great for the dogs. Our dogs love it.”
Fun fact: one of Ashley’s dogs is named Waffles. Ashley adds, “I like to tell people her backstory because it’s pretty funny (to me at least). She and another dog (their names at the shelter were Janet and Michael Jackson) were found on a farm in Ontario and turned in by some angry farmers after she had killed almost 20 chickens. She had obviously just had puppies…so I like to think she was just protecting her young. Although she did sneak into my sister-in-law’s coop and pluck one of their chickens (it lived and I cried)….so most likely she just hates chickens.”
Ashley’s favorite part of the state is a place where you can enjoy some majestic scenery. “In Michigan, it’s very flat. I remember being really excited when I came to Idaho and there are big mountains everywhere…I really like going to the Sawtooth Mountains, they’re really beautiful.”
Chocolate is the way to Ashley’s heart when it comes to snacks. “My purse is full of chocolate right now. I’ve got Kit Kats and Reese’s in there,” she laughs. But she doesn’t mind a salty snack. And Zoboomafoo is tops on her list as far as PBS Kids characters go. “My sister and I would watch it every day. A month ago she sent me a video with the theme song and we still know it by heart.”