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
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 two young boys who are the center of her universe and are at the beginning of their own Montessori education in a local primary program. 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 – Sierra Harris
Sierra Harris graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2021 with a degree in Business Finance. She is a Washington native who worked at a guest ranch in Paradise Valley during her summers in college and couldn’t leave the beautiful state of Montana! During her free time, she enjoys running, fly fishing, snowshoeing, sewing, and spending time with her family in Livingston. Sierra is excited to be working at such a special school with amazing students and families!
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 – 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 – 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 – Svea Wigert
Hi! My name is Svea Wigert and I am a Bozeman native who has recently graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in psychology and a minor in human and family development. Helping children grow and achieve their goals is truly one of my biggest passions and I’m super thrilled to have the opportunity to work with all of your amazing kids! I have had the pleasure of working with children in a few different settings over the past six years. Recently, I have been the minispot teacher for Camp Equinox. I teach the youngest campers, those who have just finished kindergarten and first grade, different musical dances, improv, and acting skills. When I’m not working I enjoy cuddling with my dog and cat, reading, and drinking tea! I’m so excited for this next year and the fun learning we are going to do!
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 – Autumn Walgren
I am so excited to be here at BSS. My early childhood interest began when I was working for a pediatric optometrist here in Bozeman. I loved the curiosity and their special personalities. I knew that working with children is what I wanted to do which brought me into early childhood. I worked previously at Hawk’s Nest Early Learning Center as a Lead Toddler Teacher and Site Coordinator. I wanted to learn more on how to support a child’s learning journey which lead me to Montessori teaching here at BSS.
I’m currently going through school at BYU-Idaho and plan on majoring in Psychology.
When I’m not at work, I’m with my husband exploring Montana. We have a sweet golden retriever named Timber. I enjoy being with my family, being outdoors, and anything with music!