Our adolescent program (grades 7-8) offers a unique combination of academic work and field experiences within a small, safe community.

Our teachers are Montessori trained. Under their guidance, students participate in rigorous, individualized work.

Students also have regular opportunities for creative expression, and are encouraged to organize community projects.

Through knowledge and experience, our adolescents develop a better understanding of their roles in the larger society. They leave our program prepared to succeed in any high school environment.

Meet the Teachers

Ms. Kelly - Rose Peak - Middle School Social Studies & English

About Me

What is your experience and training and how did you come to our school?

I have many years of university credits collected over the years culminating in a BS in Education from UNR. I also have many years of work experience that really comes in handy when doing projects and real world activities with students. I started out my education interested in human development and business and have worked with Head Start and Visiting Angels as an assistant to the elderly. I have also been a kitchen manager an innkeeper, bookkeeper and maintenance inspector,  among other things, so I really felt a connection to the Montessori Adolescent curriculum that values each of these “works” and teaches the whole child with real world work.

Why do you believe in our public charter Montessori school?

Our school focuses on community and has a strong dedication to the Montessori Method. These are very important to me and they are why I believe our school is special.

What are your beliefs about guiding all children- those that struggle and excel?  

Working with our “head and hands” in hospitality, occupations and creative expressions with integrated projects is a natural way to learn and each student can find value and a deeper connection to the work.

What does partnering with parents and community look like for your classroom?  

We partner with community members in many ways and are frequently inviting experts and role models into the class to share information and knowledge with the students in a meaningful way. We also look for opportunities to venture outside the class in a virtual way or as field experience. This connection to community helps give meaning to the work students are undertaking.

What is the method in which you grow professionally and personally?                   

All people can continue to grow from whatever level they are at, so it is important for guides to model growth and help students celebrate successes and to help them be resilient in the face of adversity. Reflection and observation are both important practices in the classroom, and outside the classroom, that promote growth on all levels.

Where do you see yourself and HDMS in 5 years?

As HDMS grows, we strive to keep Montessori practices active and serve the whole child.

Ms. Nia - Star Peak - Middle School Math & Science

About Me

What is your experience and training and how did you come to our school?

I earned my Bachelor’s in Integrated Elementary Education from the University of Reno, Nevada in 2015. I taught in Washoe County School District for four years. I have taught mainly middle school math, but have also taught EL courses. I’ve taught at RISE Academy for two years (Government, English, and Algebra). I was a tutor and substitute for a long time before that. I have also worked closely with school counselors at various middle schools while I finish my Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in School Counseling.

I heard about the theories of Maria Montessori at the beginning of my college career studying

Early Childhood Education and thought it was a beautiful way of thinking about teaching, learning, and children. When the opportunity to come to HDMS presented itself I knew I had to give myself the opportunity to try something very different from what I am used to. I will spend summer 2019 in the NAMTA/AMI Adolescent Montessori Training at Compass Montessori in Golden, Colorado, to extend my knowledge of Montessori philosophy.

Why do you believe in our public charter Montessori school?

After learning about the philosophy of this school and the design to reach student of all backgrounds, while teaching them skills that go beyond a math classroom and themselves, I believe this to be a great place for students.

What are your beliefs about guiding all children- those that struggle and excel?

All children should be seen as individuals, that being said, they all have the ability to grow no matter where they are. Having a curriculum that is diverse allows students to find their interests and learn by doing hands-on projects.

What does partnering with parents and community look like for your classroom?

Parents are encouraged to be a part of the adolescent team and join the class if possible. Community involvement is imperative to a Montessori program and ideally, will have a role in making students work meaningful and giving the varied experiences.

What is the method in which you grow professionally and personally?   

Professionally, through reflection, observation, and continued development through trainings, observations, reading research and working with colleagues. It is important to step out of my comfort zone and learn from what works, what doesn’t, and continue to try new things this applies to my personal growth along with never being fully satisfied with where I am at, always growing.

Where do you see yourself and HDMS in 5 years?

I look forward to learning how to create interdisciplinary curriculum. As HDMS grows I hope to grow and learn with my team.

Ms. Sandy – Middle School Assistant