Wildflower schools sit in light-filled spaces on walkable streets. They increase the presence of children and families in the community, as more narrow geographic focus supports walking to and from school, and by partnering with local playgrounds, gardens and other civic spaces that would otherwise be on-site in larger institutions. We expand our definition of “stakeholders” beyond the families we serve directly, and we work to make our surrounding communities stronger and healthier for children.
Our Teacher Leaders
Founding Teacher Leader and Primary Guide
Tamra Hopkins began her career teaching a 3-6 year old classroom at High Desert Montessori School in Reno. After teaching for 10 years, she became assistant principal. During that time, she became an advocate for students not often afforded a Montessori education. Whether it is through research, running tuition assistance programs, or establishing equity committees, her dedication to Montessori for all continues in her new role as Founding Teacher-Leader of Desert Peach Montessori School. Tamra holds a Masters Degree in Education from Loyola University, Baltimore; is an Association Montessori Internationale certified primary teacher; holds state of Nevada teaching licenses in Early Childhood Education (birth to 8 years) and School Administration; and has extensive experience working with children who are not yet peaceful.
Founding Teacher Leader and Primary Guide
Kelly Casey graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Education from University of Nevada Reno and has 16+ years of experience teaching students ages 1-18 years old. She is Montessori trained and received her Adolescent certificate in 2007. She has received professional development in STEAM education and has many years of experience running a school garden and outdoor classroom. She is excited to start this new adventure at Desert Peach with elementary students and the community of new families.
Teisha Bronner has been working with children since 2008. She has a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Master's degree in k-8 education. She discovered Montessori Education toward the end of her Master's program, and was struck by the deep respect for the child at every stage, the trust in self directed learning, and allowance for exploration and discovery, in a way that she had never encountered in traditional schools. This led her to do more research to become familiar with the Montessori method and do work to promote Montessori schools in her community. She gained an even deeper knowledge when her child began attending a local Montessori school. Teisha has lived in Reno, Nevada since 2011 and enjoys being active in her community. She has taught at schools, worked on farms, started business, done nonprofit work, and currently sells real estate in the community. Each of these endeavors has been pursued in order to bring more diversity, fill a need, bring people together, or simply to help people within her local community.
Teisha believes the people of Reno, NV deserve more choices and better access to quality education that is built on respect for the child. Her hope is that Desert Peach Montessori will better the lives of many families in the area while simultaneously serving as a shining example to others who would wish to start micro schools in their community. The positive impact is endless!
Tara C. Webster, M.S. (she/they)
Tara is a science & engineering educator, who strives for inclusive excellence through empathy, compassion, mutual aid, and community advocacy. Passionate about the educational advancement of traditionally underserved students, Tara uses outdoor science outreach to increase the representation and retention of first-generation BIPOC students in STEM. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Science & Engineering Education with an emphasis in justice-centered learning of social and political issues in post-secondary STEM education.
Outside of her professional and academic pursuits, she is a self-taught carpenter and enjoys spending time in her pollinator garden with her dogs, cat, and chickens.
Katy Chandler is the co-director of a neighborhood-based nonprofit in Reno called The Be the Change Project. She is trained as a Montessori Adolescent teacher and has taught both in and outside of the classroom for over twenty years. She is also an urban homesteader, passionate advocate of growing food and food sovereignty, and the mom of two wonderful adolescent boys.