EcoStudents Task Force

The EcoStudents Task Force manages our High Desert Montessori School (HDMS) partnership including Sustainability Curriculum, LEED Certification of the HDMS Campus, Outdoor Learning Environments, Linked Learning and Sustainable Learning Communities programs.

The Task Force is comprised of teachers, school administrators, students, parents and members of the HDMS community. Members of both Sustainable Nevada and HDMS' board of directors also serve on the Task Force.

To join the EcoStudents Task Force This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


 Tammie Stockton

TammiestocktonI’m Tammie Stockton and I am the Principal/Director of High Desert Montessori. I graduated from Montana State University with a B.A. in elementary and special education, and obtained a master’s degree from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA with a degree in curriculum and instruction and a second master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in school administration.

I have over 20 years of classroom teaching experience within Washoe County School District. I was the Dean of Students at Pine Middle School and Assistant Principal at Bennett Elementary School before coming to High Desert two years ago.

I love being an educator and know at High Desert we teach the way they learn. My husband Chris and I have five children with a second grandchild on the way! We enjoy spending time with our family hiking, boating and camping. I feel thrilled and honored to be part of such an amazing team at High Desert Montessori Charter School!

Tamra Hopkins 

TamraTamra Hopkins is taking over as the assistant principal at High Desert Montessori Charter School after teaching there for ten years. She has a Master's degree in Education from Loyola University, Baltimore and is currently a PhD student in Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Tamra is passionate about instilling sustainable living principles in even the youngest of children. Outside of work you may find her trail running, doing yoga, mountain biking, or having fun with her young son.

 Jamie Berfield

jamieberfieldpics.00 png srzJamie Berfield is an elementary teacher at High Desert Montessori School and has been joyfully teaching in the Reno area since 2007. Before moving to Reno, Jamie spent 10 years in Las Vegas, teaching K-2 students in various public schools and K-8 in multi-age, project-based, charter schools.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in 1998 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Jamie earned a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University in 2005. She has recently completed course work to gain certification in Montessori Education from the Montessori Education Training Center in San Francisco.
Jamie loves the science based concepts that Montessori employs to improve education for everyone.
She continues her education by participating in DRI in-services, using their Green boxes to engage students in science curriculum and
takes students on bi-annual camping trips focused on geology and environmental studies.
Jamie also participates in the annual Science Fairs and recently orchestrated 3 small group STEAM activities. Her non-teaching duties include serving on many school committees responsible for our commitment to sustainability through gardening and renewable energy projects as well as organizing after-school clubs like Lego League.
When not teaching, Jamie spends time improving her overall health through resistance training and diet. She works to further her knowledge and plans to travel the world. Jamie's ultimate goal: impact education like Maria Montessori did through Cosmic Education, teaching the connectivity of all things on the Earth.

Ellie Busse
High Desert Montessori School Middle School Teacher

Robin Barry
High Desert Montessori School Middle School Teacher

Kelly Casey
High Desert Montessori School Middle School Teacher

Jessica Estes
High Desert Montessori School Middle School Teacher

Terry Fowler
Board of Directors High Desert Montessori School

 Jana Vanderhaar

Jana2015Jana Vanderhaar is the founder of Verdant Connections. She has a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & the Environment in Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Veterinary Wildlife Biology from Auburn University in Alabama. She is uniquely suited to merge ecological systems with sustainable design elements. The result is a long-lasting, green outcome for local landscape projects.

Jana is a registered landscape architect (actively licensed with the State of Nevada Board of Landscape Architecture since June 2011), past President of Urban Roots and serves on the Washoe County Food Policy Council. She periodically teaches an 8-week course in Homesteading.