Pam Cayton – Founder and CCC Director

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Originally from Australia, Pam lived and worked in Nepal for ten years where she taught English to Nepali and Tibetan children in the Kathmandu Valley. After moving to California with her family in 1988, Pam founded Tara Preschool in 1989, which she then expanded to Tara Redwood School in 1996, with the aim of educating the whole child. The purpose was not only to convey the joy of learning but to provide a foundation for the emotional and inner development of each child. Working with the school's staff, Pam researched, created and implemented strategies for awakening compassion, wisdom and social responsibility in the minds and hearts of children. In 2009, Pam began to tour the world to share her methods with educators and parents. To date, she has presented the Seven Steps at workshops in 10 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. pam@tararedwoodschool.org

Bev Gwyn —CCC  (Creating Compassionate Cultures) Head Educator

Pre school instructor at Tara Redwood School

Bev Gwyn was born in Quebec, Canada and holds BA degree in Teaching from University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She has travelled extensively around the world and has lived in Tibet, India and Nepal. She is a student of the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Yeshe and is one of the founders of the Vajrapani Institute in Boulder Creek.

Bev has been with Tara Preschool since 1992. She helped develop our beautiful CCC curriculum for 3 - 4 year old children which  she is still implementing after so many years. She is our senior preschool teacher and she has worked as a high school counselor early on.

Her favorite activities involve reading, meditating, gardening and being with friends.  bev@tararedwoodschool.org

Adela Lopez– Head Teacher for the Rainbow Class (Preschool, 24mo–3yrs).

Adela Lopez, tara redwood school educator



Olivia Gieringer- Teacher Aid for the Rainbow Class (Preschool)



Regina Selix-Lead Teacher for the Mandala Class (PK, 3-4 yrs old)
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We feel very fortunate to have Regina join us. Regina has a degree in Education from UCSC and she has been a certified Montessori teacher since 2004.  Regina not only brings a wealth of teaching experience with her, but she is also bilingual and will bring a rich Spanish language program into the classroom as well.
Michelle Namasya Carpenter –Lead Teacher for Element Explorers Class (TK- K)

Michelle Namasya Carpenter has been teaching for eleven years. She is a Certified American Montessori Society (AMS) Teacher. In 2005, she created her own cooperative home school group and she founded an intentional living community focusing on sustainability and children. Namasya is an avid traveler, spending 4 years of her early adulthood traveling within the US, living abroad, and sailing throughout the world before settling down in Santa Cruz to start a family. She is a mother of two amazing children, ages 10 and 17. She believes in creating community. She is a certified Integral Hatha yoga teacher, certified Spiritual Practitioner, and is a Master Potter and teacher of pottery. She is a lifelong student and enthusiast of dance, and studied African Dancing in Ghana.

She is absolutely in love with nature, taking opportunities to meditate outside, swim in rivers, climb trees, and hike in the redwoods. She is a professional percussionist and has been an active member of a local band for the past 12 years. Namasya feels passionate about teaching children and inspiring them to see their own light within themselves, and helping them to recognize their innate connection with nature. namasya@tararedwoodschool.org

Margaret Ames- Teacher Aid for Element Explorers (TK-K)
Jenny Waterbury-  Head teacher for Global Citizens class (1st– 2nd grades)

Jenny Waterbury has been teaching and working with children for the past 13 years in multiple settings. Jenny earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Asheville, and her M.A.T. in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has experience working as a general education teacher as well as a special education teacher. She has taught in multiple Montessori schools as an Upper Elementary teacher and a Primary teacher. Additionally, Jenny recently earned a diploma from the North American Montessori Center in Lower Elementary. She is incredibly passionate about curriculum design, social and emotional learning, and creating a classroom culture of kindness and acceptance.

Jenny is an avid hiker and nature lover. She enjoys music, reading, riding horses, and traveling. She is happiest spending time outdoors with her husband, daughter and their two dogs. 

Lisa Dreyer Campiglia – Lead Teacher for Earth Stewards Class (3rd.–5th. grades)

Lisa has been a member of the Tara community for over 20 years, since 1993 when she joined the school as a parent with her 2 year old daughter. Soon after she founded the Santa Cruz Adventure Trails Wilderness Camp. She has worked as a head teacher in the older Elementary class at Tara since 2005. She brings with her years of integrating CCC into her class and has Montessori Elementary Certification, a California Teaching Credential, and a Masters in Education. Lisa has an academic focus by hands-on field studies, field trips, and daily forest immersion. The global curriculum will educate the students in the interconnected nature of the planet and will focus on natural resources, indigenous studies, sustainability, and preservation of animals. Her Compassion in Action projects will supplement global programs that promote preservation and ecological recovery. Lisa has been teaching the Earth Stewards class for the last 10 years and has a Masters in Education, BA in Environmental Science, a California Teaching Credential, and a Montessori Credential. Lisa received her undergraduate education from UC Santa Barbara and her Masters in Education from UC Santa Cruz.She has also been coaching soccer at Soquel High School and teaching Capoeira at the Santa Cruz Dance Company for many years.

When Lisa is not working you can find her at the beach, in the ocean, in the Capoeira studio, or in the forest. You will also find her with her dog Rocket who has grown up at Tara too.  lisa@tararedwoodschool.org

Lace Tupper- Aftercare Program at the Redwood Campus


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Jessica Steurer 

Director & Office Administration



Ted Ruiz-  School Shuttle Driver

Ted is our beloved bus driver, loyal to Tara Redwood School for nearly a decade. He is a Santa Cruz local who loves to joke and entertain our students during commutes.

Enrichment Course Instructors

Tara Redwood School has a curriculum that allows access to wonderful resources we have in our families and community.
We are committed to make the students' learning as experiential and stimulating as possible.
Every parent volunteer is a professional in the enrichment course they teach.


Matt Cleaver –  Music Instructor

Matt Cleaver Tara Redwood School music teacher Matt is a parent alumni of Tara Redwood and he has been teaching band for several years off and on. He is prolific with a variety of instruments from trumpet to guitar to drums.

Elizebeth Rains - Movement and Dance Education