The Primary Program is the foundation of the Montessori educational system.
Montessori children thus have repeated opportunities to explore materials, become engrossed in their activities, and experience regular states of concentrated focus.
Our materials are scientifically designed to teach multiple skills and to enable children to problem solve, using their hands and senses. Thus they can independently repeat activities and achieve mastery.
We invite you to come see our community and look forward to becoming an integral part of your child’s learning experience!
Meet the Teachers
My name is Chrissy Quintieri and I am a primary teacher in the Tuscarora Classroom. I have a B.A. in environmental science and ecology and a Master’s degree in education. I earned my Montessori primary diploma from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) in 2012. I have been a part of the High Desert Montessori community for over 10 years now. I love working with children; each day is different and new. I enjoy seeing each child reach his or her true potential through the Montessori curriculum. When I am not in the classroom, I like to spend as much time as possible with my family. During the winter all of our free time is spent on the mountain snowboarding. When the weather is warmer, I like running and organic gardening.
My name is Kristy Orenstein and I am a primary guide in the Toiyabe Classroom. I graduated from Marlboro College with a B.A. in Child Psychology/Educational Psychology and Writing. I am currently completing my Master’s degree in Education and my AMI training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. I have been a part of the High Desert community for over six years, as a parent, assistant, and currently, as a guide in the Toiyabe Classroom. Before moving to Reno, I worked with adjudicated adolescents in wilderness programs in New Hampshire and Maine. Then I moved to Tahoe and taught preschool at a state preschool in Tahoe Vista. It has always been my passion to find a way to reach all children, despite their back ground or circumstances, and help them to achieve their maximum potential. In my free time, I enjoy the outdoors with my family. We love to hike, camp, ski and play bluegrass music.
My name is Katrina Reinhardt and I am the teacher/guide in the Humboldt classroom, joining the HDMS family just recently, in August of 2016. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from the University of Santa Cruz in 2000. After my daughter was born I decided to study child development and once I completed my required early childhood education units, I was lucky enough to get hired as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in Felton California. It was there that I fell in love with the Montessori method and I began taking the teachers training program. In 2011 I recieved my Montessori Certification and Credential. I went on to become a head teacher in Milpitas California. I became a director of a Montessori preschool in Sunnyvale, and then took another Director’s position in a Montessori school in Cupertino. I decided that I wanted to teach again, so when I got the position here at High Desert Montessori school, my daughter, Shanti and I moved to Truckee. I currently live in Truckee, Ca with my daughter Shanti. On weekends you can find me hiking with my family, taking yoga classes, skiing, painting, cooking, or taking rode trips in our VW bus.
I’m Pamela Chavarria and I am a primary teacher in the Beowawe classroom. I graduated from the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2009 with an AMI diploma (ages 2-6), and I just completed my 11th year teaching at High Desert Montessori School. I fell in love with the method/philosophy because of the profound respect Dr. Montessori had for children and their developmental stages. In addition to teaching, I find it rewarding to serve as a translator for our Hispanic families. My oldest daughter has been a student at HDMS since 2003 and the newest addition to our family attends the infant/toddler program. In my free time I enjoy baking and spending time with my family.
Ms. Maria – Primary Assistant
Ms. Kayla – Primary Assistant
Ms. JP – Primary Assistant
My name is Lisa Kapellas and I am a primary teacher in the Toquima Classroom. I have a B.A in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a MEd in Early Childhood Special Education from UNR. I completed the Montessori primary and lower elementary programs through the American Montessori Society (AMS). When I am not working, I enjoy travelling the world and spending time exploring the Tahoe area with my dog.
Ms. Stefanie – Primary Assistant
Ms. Dominique – Primary Assistant
Ms. Sunny – Primary Assistant
Ms. Jen – Primary Assistant
Ms. Stacey – Primary Assistant