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 Director – Alicia Kennedy
Alicia Kennedy graduated from the University of Delaware in 2006 with a Bachelors in Psychology with a focus in Child Development, and Minors in Political Science and Philosophy. Alicia brings to this position experience in office management through her role as the Executive Assistant for the City of Bozeman, and purchasing and accounting experience with Nickle Electrical Companies. Alicia’s previous work experience and passion for alternative learning environments brought her to this position to help expand education opportunities in the Bozeman community.
When Alicia’s not working, she is usually enjoying all of the wonderful outdoor activities that Montana has to offer. Alicia is the mother of two boys at Bozeman Summit School.
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.
Assistant Teacher – Ian Mascari
Ian Mascari comes from a family of Montessori educators and was himself a Montessori student growing up. He studied Philosophy and Mathematics at Thomas Aquinas College in southern California. Ian tried a variety of jobs before coming to BSS, including beekeeping, baking, and organic farming. He is delighted to return to our upper elementary classroom for another year and looks forward to working with you and your students.
Lead 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.
Assistant Teacher – Allie Lindsay
Allie has worked with and cared for children since she was very young. After moving to Bozeman in 2014, she worked at several pre-schools in the area and discovered her love for the Montessori philosophy. She joined Bozeman Summit in 2017 with a background in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. She is Montessori certified at the Early Childhood level and is continuing her Bachelors in an Elementary Ed.
Coupled with her love for children comes her love for animals. When not in the classroom, Allie can most often be found hiking and enjoying the outdoors with her dog. She also enjoys reading, Vipassana meditation, gardening, attending live music, camping, hiking and cooking.
Classroom Assistant – Ellie Curtis
Ellie grew up in Minnesota and moved to Bozeman in 2014 to pursue her education at MSU. Working with children has been something Ellie has enjoyed and done for many years, so she knew she wanted her education to involve kids. Ellie graduated with Honors in 2017 with a Bachelors in Psychology and Minor in Sociology. She’s worked as a nanny, paraprofessional, and teacher’s assistant prior to coming to BSS. She is passionate about children and loves watching them grow both academically and socially.
Outside of work, Ellie spends her time with her husband, daughter and two dogs.
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.
Classroom Assistant – Emily Winn
Emily grew up in Helena, Montana and has cared for children since she was young. She has lived in Bozeman now since 2012. She graduated from Montana State University in 2016 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education (K-8). Upon graduation, she earned her Montana State Teaching License, has been a CAP Mentor through Thrive for 2 years, nannied, substitute taught, and worked in the Upper Elementary Class at BSS as a Classroom Teacher Assistant. She is fascinated with the Montessori philosophy and hopes to pursue her Montessori Certification or gain her Masters in School Counseling.
Along with her passion for working with children is her love for the outdoors and photography. She enjoys hiking, camping, biking, fishing, taking pictures and spending quality time with friends and family. Emily is excited to be back here with the BSS community and to learn more about the Montessori philosophy!
Aftercare and Support Staff
Aftercare – Juliet Gleason
Bio coming soon.