When was the last time you had/did a coolant exchange ?
Exactly where on the gauge did the needle go at "overheat" ?
Did the engine overheat and blow coolant out the cap relief valve ?
Did it overheat because the coolant was low in the first place ?
Did your system supply some or plenty of heat over the winter ?
Have you checked for coolant flow through the purge line ?
Have you noticed any coolant puddles under the car or wet spots on engine parts ?
Is this a sudden occurrence, or have you noticed a tendency for the gauge to move higher during normal driving?
Is the water pump belt, tensioner, drive pulley OK ? (Oooopppss.....Sorry, Joe.)
BTW, The thermostat has nothing to do with the amount of heat in the heater circuit - in the Northstar cooling system (and many others) the heater circuit is the FIRST to receive hot coolant - way before the thermostat opens and allows any flow through the radiator.