Mission & History

Empowering children to make a positive difference in the world.

Tara Redwood School provides a curriculum and environment that nurtures the innate positive qualities within each child. The school strives to stimulate an intense interest in and joy of learning and an opportunity for each child to fully explore their particular area of interest.

We provide a program that addresses not only our students’ various talents but, just as importantly, their emotional and inner development. Our school strives to develop the ‘whole child‘ — mental, physical and spiritual.

The approach we use is an integration of Montessori and Creating Compassionate Cultures.


Tara Redwood School History

Tara Redwood School traces its history back to March 1989 as Tara Daycare.

Yama Yeshe

Yama Yeshe

Inspired by her teacher Lama Yeshe, the founder of the school Pam Cayton was motivated by a desire to help initiate an education program that not only prepared children academically, but also emotionally and spiritually. This program is known as Universal Education.

The Tara Daycare opened its doors at the Land of Medicine Buddha in the redwoods of the Soquel foothills. The daycare soon became a full-fledged preschool. After the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989, the preschool moved to Pam’s home nearby, where it remained for the next eleven years.

In 1996, a Montessori based program for kindergarten and first grade began back at the Land of Medicine Buddha.

This was a natural continuation of the preschool. By 1997, the school was serving children through the third grade.

In 1997, development of the playground began. Nestled in the redwoods by a gurgling creek, this magical spot is now comprised of a soccer field, a basketball court, a series of wonderful wooden climbing and play structures, and various other play areas.

Pam Cayton

Pam Cayton

In August 2000, the preschool moved from Pam’s home to a converted house at the Land of Medicine Buddha, adjacent to the kindergarten and elementary classrooms. The school came full circle, back to the place of its origin.

In 2012, Tara added a campus in Soquel Village.

This campus houses our K-5 classes, and the Wisdom Way After School Program.

Tara Redwood School has evolved into a wonderful community of children, teachers, parents and alumni.