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 Adolescent Team

Ms. Robin - Adolescent Humanities

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

After working at Mountain View Montessori for three years, I fell in love with the Montessori teaching philosophy and decided to go back to school to get my teaching degree. I received my Associate of Arts from Feather River College in Quincy, my Bachelor of Arts, with a focus on English, from Sierra Nevada College in Incline, and my Master of Education, with a focus on curriculum and instruction, from the University of Nevada, Reno. After receiving my teaching degree and working at High Desert Montessori School for a year and a half, I went to the AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Huntsburg, Ohio.

Why do you believe in our public charter Montessori school?

Our school is a hidden gem within our community. Having a charter school to offer a Montessori education to all students, no matter their socioeconomic status, is amazing! Our diverse environment offers a solid education that focuses on the entire child, the community, and the earth and all of its inhabitants.

Ms. Jessica - Adolescent Math

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

I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education. I majored in Mathematics and took several courses in Special Education and Art as well. I was given the opportunity to complete my first year of student teaching at High Desert and I instantly fell in love with Maria Montessori’s teaching philosophy. I knew right away that the Montessori education is exactly what I want to foster for children, seeing the whole child. Later I was offered the position full time as the middle school math teacher and Ceramics teacher. Now I am looking forward to attending Montessori training and learning more ways to provide guidance for the children. Guidance to develop a love for learning and for one another.

Why do you believe in our public charter Montessori school?

I believe in our public Montessori school because we offer an extremely unique and special educational experience to all children, many that never would have the opportunity otherwise. The most impactful thing I have learned within my time at HDMS is how important is it to always see the whole child. Support a love for learning but also support what it means to become an adolescence and the challenges that come with that. We will always help a student from any background or ability to find their passion and place within their community.

Mr. Larry - Adolescent Science

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

One of the most remarkable moments of my life was the summer when I was helping with the construction of our family cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Tuolumne County, California.  My mother brought me a letter sent from the University of California at Berkeley that stated I was accepted to attend the University that Fall.   That was an awesome letter!  Once I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology at Berkeley, I moved to Newport Beach to attend University of California at Irvine graduate school to study Secondary Science Education.  One benefit of living in Newport Beach was that I was able to go surfing every morning during the summer and work nights at Disneyland.  I have been teaching high school and middle school science off and on since then.  

Because of my enthusiasm for the outdoors, I moved to Wyoming where I completed a Master’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Wyoming, worked on a buffalo ranch outside of Laramie, and chaired the science department at Cheyenne East High School.  Oh yes, I also did a lot of fly fishing.  Because of my love for science and research, I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where I completed a doctorate in Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan followed by six years of postdoctoral training in neuroscience and stem cell biology.  After all of that, I was back in the classroom teaching high school and middle school science.

It has been a pleasure to move to Reno to be close to my family and teach science at local charter schools, including The High Desert Montessori School. 

Why do you believe in our public charter Montessori school?

It is clear that the High Desert Montessori School shares a commitment to child-centered developmental education—and the life-changing transformations that result from that commitment.   Care of self, care of others, and care of the environment is a big part of their education.   I look forward to providing opportunities to explore choice and unique learning opportunities for our adolescent learners in the area of science and environmental education.  I will be working closely with the team at HDMS and Washoe County School District to deliver the best possible Montessori school experience for our students.

Ms. Monica - Adolescent Program Assistant

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

I have been a parent at High Desert Montessori school since 2009.  I feel very fortunate to have found HDMS while searching for a small community with hands-on learning for my three children.  When my youngest child started preschool in the primary program, I decided that after 9 years of being a stay at home mom, it was time to go back to work.  I have been employed at HDMS as an Adolescent Assistant since 2018. 

I have found that I really enjoy working with youth and it’s my passion.  I have been a volunteer soccer coach of multiple soccer teams, both recreational and competitive in our community for 10 years.  I have both an E license and F license along with many other certifications.  I volunteered for 2 years at our local co-op Preschool.  I have my Substitute teaching license and have completed an AMI Adolescent Montessori training course.  I have my Associates Degree and many more credits that I plan to put toward my BA in education in the near future.

Why do you believe in our public charter Montessori school?

I believe it’s important to have a public Montessori charter school because it provides many students with the opportunity for a Montessori education that they otherwise could not obtain due to finances.  Our community provides students with a diverse, well rounded education.  Montessori education has been an amazing experience for my children.  I’m happy that my children and others are free to explore their educational interests while obtaining the same general education that the district offers.  I feel the Montessori philosophy supports my parenting style of raising healthy, strong, hardworking and independent children.