Head of School – Tamela Irons

Head of School – 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.

Business Manager – Cressie Ivers

Business Manager – Cressie Hesse

Cressie has lived in Bozeman since 2003 and graduated from Montana State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Business / Marketing. Prior to joining BSS, she was the Finance Officer at Bozeman High School. Cressie has three young boys who are the center of her universe.  When not at work Cressie enjoys gardening, camping, biking, and exploring Montana as a family.  She also loves a good cup of tea, plants, audiobooks, and bird watching.

Administrative Assistant – Trish Johnson

Trish moved from Colorado to Bozeman in 2008 after graduating from the University of Colorado- Boulder. She attended MSU for her nursing degree and has been a nurse in various capacities for 10 years, most recently as a school nurse. She is taking a break from nursing in order to spend more time with her two kids who attend BSS. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places with her family, hiking with her dog, sipping tea, and watching cheesy rom coms.

Upper Elementary

Lead Teacher – Alison Tierney

Lead Teacher – Alison Tierney

Alison has been an educator for over 30 years and has experience with children of all ages, from infants to high school students. She has served as both a director and teacher at various Montessori schools throughout Western Montana. 

Alison has a B.A. in Religion from the University of Puget Sound and an M.ED. in Montessori Integrative Learning from Endicott College. She holds AMS certifications in Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary. 

Alison loves spending time in nature and can usually be found communing with flowers and trees. Wild swimming, gardening, houseplants, renaissance and baroque music, science fiction, and mythology are a few of her many interests. She has four children-all of whom attended Montessori schools- and three grandchildren. Alison is thrilled to have found her professional home in the BSS community.

Teacher – Dani Stern

Dani has been dedicated to teaching for nearly 30 years. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in communications, she decided to abandon her plans to live and work in New York City after her “stint” in Colorado where she fell in love with the mountains. There, she realized her calling for education and she soon set out to earn a second degree in education from the University of Colorado. After teaching for two years, initially in a traditional classroom environment, she found her home in Montessori when she stumbled upon the Bozeman Summit school in 1999. She never looked back. Her love for all things Montessori has only grown deeper as she witnesses the gifts of being able to meet children where they are in a magical, stimulating, and beautiful environment. When not in the classroom, you can find Dani spending time with family and friends exploring the mountains, rivers, the lakes, live music, traveling, and breaking bread. Dani is also certified in Montessori elementary education from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

Lower Elementary

Lead Teacher – Mikal Begnoche

Lead Teacher – Mikal Begnoche

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 - Elizabeth Eilen

Assistant Teacher – Elizabeth Eilen

Originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I moved to Bozeman in 2017, to pursue a degree in Elementary Education from MSU. Throughout my life, I have developed a strong affinity for working with children. My experience spans seven years working at summer camps in Wisconsin and Montana, and four years in the Bozeman and Livingston schools working as a paraprofessional, outdoor education teacher, and most recently a math teacher. 

In the classroom, I fuse my passion for the outdoors and art into engaging lessons, fostering exploration and learning. Beyond school, I love to cycle, rollerblade, cook, and I am actively involved in Eagle Mount’s adaptive ski program.

Early Childhood

Lead Teacher – Robyn West

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.

Assistant Teacher – Emily Tesmer

Photo and bio coming soon!

Assistant Teacher - Gabby Jahner

Assistant Teacher – Gabby Jahner

Gabby is currently in the process of pursuing  a B.S. degree in psychology from Montana State University.  She is excited to explore and expand her knowledge in the early education field, and be able to cultivate relationships with the children along the way. Gabby attended Bozeman Summit school as a child. She grew up in, and is fascinated by the Montessori method of teaching, and all there is to learn throughout it.  She is thrilled to be back at the school helping children inherit the same amazing experience she received. 

Gabby is a native to Bozeman and is passionate about all the things life has to offer. She enjoys being outside, and spending time with her friends and family. She is constantly learning and taking in as much as possible, experiencing the many adventures that come along her path.

Assistant Teacher – Paige Morecraft

Photo and bio coming soon!