Education Director – Tamela Irons
Tamela Irons has been involved in education for the last 20 years. She received a B.S. with Honors in Elementary Education and a Minor in Spanish. She holds a Teacher Certification in Education K-8 with and Spanish K-12. Tamela received her Montessori Elementary 1 training at the Education Center of the Rockies and has experience teaching at the primary, lower and upper elementary levels. She has worked as a teacher trainer and has been a Field Consultant mentoring new teachers. Tamela was awarded one of the top 20 under 40 awards spotlighting Montana’s top young business professionals. She also was awarded “Excellence in Education” as one of the most influential teachers through the Bozeman Schools Foundation.
In addition to Tamela’s extensive teaching background, she loves to travel and has lived and taught in six continents. Tamela and her husband love living in Montana with their daughter who attends BSS.
Administrative Assistant – Nadine Osterhoudt
Nadine Osterhoudt discovered her love of teaching while in junior high mentoring younger students. She graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in marine biology led her to the Birch Aquarium in California. There she taught classes to all ages including Kindergarten through senior citizens and lectured at Science Education Conferences. After moving to Montana, she was an educator at the Museum of the Rockies. In looking for a good educational program for her two young children, Nadine fell in love with the ideology of Montessori and became accredited for ages 3-6 through the Caspari Montessori Institute in 2006. She joined the Lower Elementary teaching staff at Bozeman Summit School in 2010, and is in her third year at the front desk. She enjoys sharing her love of science with all three classrooms.
Nadine’s children are graduates of BSS. Her family enjoys travelling and the outdoors.
Lead Teacher – Alison Tierney
Alison has been teaching in Montessori schools since 1998 and has worked with children from birth through age twelve. She has a B.A. in Religion from the University of Puget Sound and an M.Ed. in Montessori Integrative Education from Endicott College. Alison received her AMS Early Childhood Montessori Certification from the Montana Montessori Teacher Training Institute and her Elementary Certification from Age of Montessori. She recently completed an Upper Elementary summer residency with the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA.
Alison has four children and one grandchild, and all of her children have attended Montessori schools. She is a plant enthusiast, singer, swimmer, and reader. She loves science fiction, Renaissance and Baroque music, mythology, being in lakes, rivers, and forests, and working with the wonderful team of teachers, families, and children at BSS.
Teacher – Dani Stern
When Dani discovered Montessori education in Bozeman Summit School in 1999, she never looked back. She was home. A lead teacher in the upper elementary classroom for several years, she accepted the head of school position and served in that capacity from 2006-2012. Thereafter, she tried her hand with younger children in the lower elementary classroom and has enjoyed teaching first through third grade ever since. She finds every age group special in its own unique way. Dani earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Syracuse University in Psychology. She obtained her teaching degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Additionally, Dani has her Montessori Certification in lower elementary (ages 6-9) from the Montessori Educational Center of the Rockies.
When out of the classroom, you can find Dani hiking and skiing with her family, savoring good food and laughs with friends, enjoying live music and traveling.
Lead Teacher – Mikal Tawney
Mikal earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Montana State University in 2002 and holds a K-8 Montana Teaching License. She has over 12 years of experience teaching in Montessori schools at the primary and elementary levels, ten of which were at Middle Creek, Montessori in Bozeman. She is an avid outdoors woman and is especially passionate about teaching zoology, botany, and reading. During her free time, Mikal enjoys spending time with her husband, Armand, daughter, Violet (9), and son, Hans (5) who attend BSS. She also enjoys reading and playing in the woods. Mikal is a lifelong learner and finds everyday excitement in her role as a mother, wife, citizen, and teacher.
Assistant Teacher – Kayla Lyons
KayIa Lyons graduated from Montana State University in 2018 with her Elementary Education degree and a Reading Endorsement. In addition to this, Kayla did her pre-service work in the Bozeman Public School district and is also a Peaks and Potential mentor. Kayla has always loved children and has been a camp counselor for years as well as a ski instructor in Jackson Hole. As a Bozeman native, Kayla has always loved sharing the outdoors with her family and friends through hiking, biking, boating and especially skiing. She also loves curling up with her dog, a cup of tea, and a good book. Recently she realized that the classroom is ultimately where she would like to be and can’t wait for an amazing school year at Bozeman Summit School!
Lead Teacher – Robyn West
Robyn has a passion for working with young children as they begin their educational journey. In 2014 she came to Bozeman Summit School and feel in love with the Montessori Method of teaching. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Urban Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Montessori Certification. Robyn has experience working with children with special needs and has been a lead preschool teacher for the past seven years.
In addition to education she has a degree in Apparel Design and Manufacturing and enjoys designing, sewing and all things fiber arts. She also enjoys cross-country skiing, exploring new places, riding trials bikes and camping. She has an adorable dog, Otis, who joins her in the classroom. They enjoy going on hikes, swimming in ponds and running through fields together.
Teacher – Eloise Nielsen
Born and raised in France, Eloise has a Master degree in History from University F. Rabelais in France. After obtaining her teaching license, she taught in France for five years in classrooms from preschools to 5th grade (3 to 11 yr.). It was during one of her world travels, that she met her husband here in Bozeman and settled down. Curious about the Montessori Pedagogy, she earned experiences in several classrooms (EC and preschools) before finding her place in the BSS community.
When not working, Eloise enjoys cooking, especially French cooking, gardening and reading. She is passionate about traveling and culture in general, she particularly loves Social Sciences, Arts and folk music from around the world.