Faculty and Staff
Robert E. Graves, Head of School
BA History – University of California, Davis
MAT History – University of California, Davis
Bob Graves has been involved with independent school education for over thirty years in locales as diverse as California, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and Nevada. Beginning his career as a history teacher and coach, he has also been a Dean of Students, and Upper School Director, prior to his tenures as Head of School. Bob and his wife, Julie, have three daughters.
Kris Nugent, Assistant Head of School / Director of Admissions
BA Teaching – University of Newcastle, Australia
BA PDHPE – University of Newcastle, Australia
Mr. Nugent joined the Lake Tahoe School community in 2006. In addition to teaching Health, Mr. Nugent is involved in many aspects of the School’s Athletics department and is a natural coach. Born and educated in beautiful Australia, he was bitten by the travel bug and has lived and traveled throughout the world. He settled in Lake Tahoe in order to teach and to pursue his favorite hobbies, which include alpine skiing, golf, and summertime beach BBQ’s (Australian style).
Sara Holm, Director of Studies & Diversity
BA - St Lawrence University
Masters of Science in Education - University of Nevada, Reno
Masters in Education - Sierra Nevada College
Before coming to Lake Tahoe School in 2016, Sara taught in Washoe County School District for 12 years as a K-5 classroom teacher, intervention data coach, and English Language Development co-teacher. At LTS, Sara taught kindergarten for 5 years before transitioning to her current position where she gets to work with all students teaching lessons with diverse books, exploring global holidays, and encouraging opportunities for students to build teamwork and community skills. She loves watching Bobcats gain confidence and strength through running with the 100 Mile Club and Girls on the Run. After living in Incline Village for 17 years, Sara now lives in Reno with her husband, Zack, and dog, Charlie.
Cynthia Keeler, Director of Development
Academy of Art, San Francisco
Cynthia was born and raised in the Bay Area and spent many summers and winters at Lake Tahoe. She lived abroad for ten years in Vienna, Austria where her two boys were born. She became deeply involved in the expat community as Vice President of The Vienna Family Network. She organized larger groups of volunteers and many fundraising events to support Austrian charities. She has played a large role in fundraising at the American International School in Vienna and worked as a substitute German teacher at the International School of Atlanta. After traveling the world with her family she is excited to make North Lake Tahoe her permanent home. She enjoys cross country skiing and hiking with her Labrador and paddle boarding in the summer.
Karen Laurie, Executive Assistant
Baradene College, New Zealand
Ms. Laurie joined the Lake Tahoe School administrative staff in June of 2015 but was a parent at the school for 15 years, volunteering on many committees and fundraisers. Her three children all attended Lake Tahoe School, and are all now proud Bobcat alumni. She was born and raised in New Zealand and moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992 after spending 5 years traveling and living in Sydney, London, and Chicago. She loves hiking, skiing, golfing, and spending time with family and friends.
Lauri Lenora, LCSW, Director of Wellness
BA - Northeastern State University
MSW - University of Oklahoma
Lauri Lenora has been involved in independent school education and/or mental health services for the last 25 years. In independent schools she has served as an English teacher, advisor, activities coordinator, dean, counselor, and Director of Wellness. Within the mental health community she has served as executive director of a nonprofit, a behavioral health consultant for a primary care physicians office, intake coordinator for an inpatient mental health hospital, and as a therapist in private practice. Lauri has one son and daughter-in-law, and they live in Alexandria, VA. Her other child is a furry, four-legged, Husky-Lab mix named Zeus. Lauri is thrilled to live in Reno so she and Zeus can easily get to the mountains for hiking. Lauri also enjoys yoga, walking, gardening, painting, reading, and cooking for friends and family.
Steve Pandola, Director of Technology / MakerSpace Instructor
BA Film Studies - University of California, Santa Barbara
Mr. Pandola’s professional career has spanned many industries, from film and television to web development, to hands-on pursuits like remodeling and furniture building. He has found the common denominator across all industries is an ability to problem solve and find solutions in challenging situations. After seeing his wife enter the education field, he was inspired to find a way to share his insights and experience with students, and is excited to have found a fitting position at Lake Tahoe School.
Allie Sacci, Director of Marketing and Communications
BS Business Management, Marketing - Menlo College
Allie emphatically joined Lake Tahoe School in May of 2019. Along with her ten years of administrative experience, she is also able to utilize the skills and knowledge she has obtained from her diverse background in project management, online marketing, and early childhood education. Originally from the Bay Area, Ms. Allie moved to Incline Village in 2014, where she regularly enjoys hiking, skiing, and relaxing at the beach with her family.
Kristine Schneller, Administrative Coordinator
BA Business Administration - Sacred Heart University
Ms. Kristine moved to Tahoe in 2009 and joined Lake Tahoe School after working for 9 years at a non-profit serving at-risk youth. She has been very involved with the local community and worked extensively with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Lake Tahoe and Sierra Community House. Ms. Kristine and her husband live in Carnelian Bay and love socializing with friends, skiing and enjoying all that Tahoe has to offer!
Craig Thomas, Business Manager
BS Sport Management - University of New Haven
MBA Accounting - Southern New Hampshire University
Craig has been in the Lake Tahoe area for the last 12 years. He grew up in Massachusetts and attended school in Connecticut, before packing up and moving to the West Coast. Prior to Lake Tahoe School, Craig worked for Incline Property Management for more than 5 years as their Director of Accounting. He enjoys playing sports, including golf, softball, & volleyball, as well as hiking and beaching. He and his wife, Staci, now live in Reno and are starting a family together.
Stephanie Mancuso, Lower School Learning Specialist
BS Education - University of Nevada Reno
Certification: University of Nevada, Reno
This is Ms. Mancuso's twelfth year at Lake Tahoe School. Ms. Mancuso is a coach for the LTS volleyball team and is the proud parent of a Lake Tahoe School alumna. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking and beach volleyball.
Tiana Larios, Middle School Learning Specialist
BA Spanish and Special Education - University of Nevada, Reno
M.Ed. English Language Acquisition and Development - American College of Education, Indianapolis, Indiana
Ms. Tiana is excited to be joining the LTS community. She was born in Malaysia, where she attended the International school of Kuala Lumpur, and also lived and attended schools in Peru and the Czech Republic, but she has always considered Lake Tahoe home. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and after two years of teaching in Reno and Las Vegas she became an international educator teaching at private schools in Venezuela, the Cayman Islands and Brazil. Living in different countries and experiencing different cultures sparked her interest in learning new languages and working with students with various backgrounds. Her goal as an educator is to make learning fun and challenge her students to be lifelong learners. Ms. Tiana grew up playing sports and now loves to coach. She enjoys being in nature and is especially happy to be back in the mountains where she can hike and take her fur baby to the lake.
Mark Brockway, Facilities Manager
Certification: OSHA Training, Contractor Orientation
Originally from Illinois, Mr. Brockway has been with LTS for the past twenty five years and a resident of Incline Village since 1995. He has experience in a variety of areas including sales, management, construction, and coaching sports teams. He has two sons, Steven and Kyle, who live in Japan and Austin, Texas, respectively. Like most residents of Lake Tahoe, Mr. Brockway loves the outdoors, where he spends much of his free time with his wife, Evelyn, and dog, Simba.
Bill Devine, Director of Security
Mr. Devine was born and raised in Reno, NV, and attended Idaho State University on a Track and Cross-Country Scholarship. He brings a wealth of experience, having enjoyed a 30-year law enforcement career with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, holding various assignments in Patrol, Detectives, Narcotics and Search & Rescue. Mr. Devine rose to the rank of Sergeant and holds an Advanced Certificate in Nevada Peace Officer and Standards Training (P.O.S.T.). He has also worked with private enterprise consulting on security issues. His hobbies include running, biking, backpacking, golf and spending time with his family, including three grandchildren.
Joan Skelly, PreK Director
BA Speech Communication - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
MA Rhetoric & Communication - University of California, Davis
Ms. Skelly brings a lifetime career of early education to the School. She is well-known throughout the Tahoe Basin for her early childhood education programs, and for her age-appropriate summer camps for children.
Jenna Panici, PreK Teacher / Assistant PreK Director
BA Psychology – California State University, Chico
Ms. Jenna was born and raised in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe. After graduating from college with a BA in Psychology she discovered her love for Early Childhood Education and went on to work as a preschool teacher in Chico, California. While working at the preschool she went on to get her Early Childhood Certification in California. Jenna has been working in a preschool setting since 2010, joining the LTS Staff in 2014. In addition to her passion for Early Childhood Education, she also has a love for traveling and has lived in New Zealand and Italy and has done volunteer work in Costa Rica.
Misty Berberich, PreK Teacher
University of Hawaii and Truckee Community College
ECE Certificate Level 2.1 - Nevada Registry
Diversity and Multiculturalism Certificate - Childcare Education Institute
Misty Berberich joined the Pre-K department at LTS in January of 2020. Ms. Misty moved to Incline Village in 2010 bringing her love of early childhood education with her from the Kona coast of Hawaii to the shores of North Lake Tahoe. In her 20 years of preschool classroom experience watching her students learn, grow and keep her up to date of their achievements through out the years continues to be a source of great joy. When she is not in the classroom she can be found adventuring around Tahoe with her husband Jon, two children Isabella and Jonathan and dog Honey-girl.
Andrea Berenson, PreK Teacher
BS - State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
MS - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ms. Andrea has been a full time resident of Incline Village since 2018. She started as a substitute teacher at LTS in 2020. Before that, she volunteered for the Early Childhood Education program at Incline Elementary School. Ms. Andrea was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She met her husband Randy in 2014 at The World Cup in Rio, and they have enjoyed hiking, swimming in the lake and cross-country skiing ever since.
Laurel Pandola, Kindergarten
BA - University of Colorado, Boulder
MAT - Sierra Nevada University
Before joining Lake Tahoe School in 2020, Laurel taught Kindergarten and First Grade at Incline Elementary School. At LTS, Laurel loves that her role allows her to interact meaningfully with every student. Laurel moved to Incline Village in 2011 to pursue her teaching credential at Sierra Nevada University, and begin her teaching career. After joining and loving the community, she has made it her family’s home. She is the proud mother of two girls, both students at LTS.
Aaron Gaines, Kindergarten Aide
BA Psychology - University of Vermont
Mr. Aaron has been a part of the Lake Tahoe School community as both a parent and educator, and has lived in North Lake Tahoe since 2003. Mr. Aaron discovered his love for teaching and community service at university as the co-founder of a mentoring program for children. He began his teaching career in 2017 at the Tahoe Community Nursery School and joined LTS in 2020. He loves inspiring students to be curious, creative and confident life-long learners. Mr. Aaron enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his family, volunteering, reading, mountain biking, skiing, gardening, and playing a bad guitar.
Christina Edwards, First Grade
BA Psychology - Bowdoin College
MA Elementary Education - Boston College
Ms. Edwards has been teaching First Grade at Lake Tahoe School for 16 years. She discovered her passion for teaching while working as a K-2 AmeriCorps Volunteer at Incline Elementary School in 2004, and subsequently moved to her native Boston, MA to earn her Master’s degree from Boston College. She enjoys taking advantage of the many outdoor activities Tahoe has to offer, such as hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.
Jeanee Gonet, PE & First Grade Aide
William Jessup University - Elementary Education & Psychology
Gordon College - Recreation & Leisure Studies
Miss Jeanee is thrilled to join the Lake Tahoe School community. Miss Jeanee discovered her love of working with children at a very young age. She attended Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and proceeded to spend 6 years in Beverly working for the Greater Beverly YMCA as the Associate Gymnastics & Summer Camp Director. She grew up in Grass Valley, California and in 2016 returned to the west coast, settling in Tahoe City. Last winter Miss Jeanee worked for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows as a supervisor in the kids ski school. She managed the department's private lessons & ran their recreational ski program called Mountain Camp. Miss Jeanee will also be coaching our middle school girls basketball team. She played basketball all through high school and her first year of college. Coach Jeanee has her Captain's license and over the summer she works for Obexer’s Water Sports as a waterski & wakeboard instructor. During her free time Coach Jeanee is an avid mountain biker, skier, hiker, water skier and weightlifter.
Diana Schlaff, Second Grade
BA Community Studies - University of California, Santa Cruz
Ms. Schlaff is in her 7th year teaching at Lake Tahoe School and has worked with young children for over twenty years. Diana loves teaching second grade at LTS, especially math and writing. She has also studied Spanish extensively in the U.S. as well as in Costa Rica, Peru, Cuba, and Mexico. Diana is a coach of Girls On The Run at LTS, a national program for 3rd and 4th-grade girls which promotes the empowerment and self-esteem of girls through healthy habits and exercise. When not working, Diana loves backpacking and ultrarunning. She has backpacked the 171 mile Tahoe Rim Trail 6 times!
Michelle Vaughan, Third Grade
BA Math - University of Northern Colorado
MA Curriculum & Instruction - San Diego State University
Certification: University of Northern Colorado
Ms. Vaughan is originally from Colorado and ended up in the Tahoe area in 2009 after living in Utah, Montana, Rhode Island, and California. Ms. Vaughan has been teaching since 2007; she started in San Jose, California as a second grade teacher and then moved up to Truckee. She taught second grade at Maxwell Elementary in Sparks for four years before transferring to Incline Elementary school where she taught third grade for six years. Ms. Vaughan is an avid mountain biker and skier (especially Nordic!), and enjoys spending time with her family.
Amory Bundy, Fourth Grade, Drama
BA Humanities / Literature - Sierra Nevada College
Certification: Sierra Nevada College
Ms. Bundy has been teaching fourth grade at Lake Tahoe School since 1998. She is knowledgeable about and adept at standardized test administration and is a theatre buff who believes strongly in using techniques borrowed from dramaturgy in the classroom. Ms. Bundy is indoors an "experimental chef," while outdoors she loves snowshoeing, snowboarding, camping, and kayaking. Most of all she is passionate about her family.
Heidi Breider, Fifth Grade, Lower School Coordinator
BS Economics - University of California Davis
Credential: University of San Francisco
Ms. Heidi has taught at Lake Tahoe School for seventeen years and is the coordinator of the Kindergarten through fifth grade division. She is particularly interested in cooperative partner and group activities and how the social dynamic in the classroom enhances individual learning. Ms. Heidi is the mother of three girls who attended Lake Tahoe School and Incline High School. In her spare time Heidi enjoys reading, cooking, baking and hiking the local trails with her yellow lab Trip.
Eric Berube, Sixth Grade Social Studies & Science
BA History - University of Minnesota
Ed.M. Learning and Teaching - Harvard Graduate School of Education
Mr. Berube is excited to start his teaching career at Lake Tahoe School where the emphasis on a complete education prepares students to become well rounded members of society. Mr. Berube attended the University of Minnesota where he got a degree in history, his favorite subject, and then he spent eight years serving as a Field Artillery Officer in the United States Army. The teaching, coaching, and mentoring of young men and women soon became his favorite part of being an officer and in 2018 Mr. Berube decided to transition into a career in education. He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he took any class that would help him make his future classrooms a more exciting experience for both his students and himself. Mr. Berube is an avid hiker, camper, and outdoors enthusiast and hopes to explore all the incredible Lake Tahoe adventures with his dog Leif.
Patrick Casey, Middle School Social Studies
BA History - University of Nevada Reno
MAT History - Sierra Nevada College
Mr. Casey joined the Lake Tahoe School community in 2020 as the Middle School Social Studies teacher. He is also the coach for the mighty MS Bobcat Volleyball Team! Mr. Casey has been in private education for over 20 years as a teacher, administrator, and coach. Mr. Casey, his wife Kathy, and their daughter Parker enjoy traveling to beaches, Modern Family, and their dog Max. He is an avid cyclist, guitar player, and bass fisherman.
Aundrea Dolan, Middle School Science
BS Marine Geology - Eckerd College
MS Coastal and Marine Systems Science - Costal Carolina University
NGSX Teacher Certification
Ms. Dolan is thrilled to be joining the Bobcat community to inspire a love for and curiosity of the natural and artificial worlds through science. Ms. Dolan started her career specializing in coastal erosion and nearshore geophysics, having contributed to research in volcanology, shark ecology, limnology, and continental shelf hydrodynamics. Through these experiences, and in addition to a seasonal park ranger position at Arches National Park, Ms. Dolan discovered her passion for communicating science and exploring the universe alongside curious minds. In 2017, Ms. Dolan transitioned into the field of education and has explored countless questions and curiosities with her students since. She is an active member of the NSTA, CASE, NSSTA, The Smithsonian Institute, NatGeo's Educator Society, AGU, the NEA, and the AAAS. Outside of school, Ms. Dolan loves to spend time with her fiancé, George, their husky-mix puppy, Petra, rock climb, garden, bake, and root on the Seattle Seahawks.
Patrick Fleming, Middle School Math
MS Environmental Education - University of Montana, Missoula
BA Political Science - California State University, Long Beach
Mr. Fleming has been an educator for over fifteen years. Prior to moving to Incline Village, he instructed at both private and public schools across the globe, including Cambodia, Montana, and Virginia. After moving with his family to Lake Tahoe in 2004, he worked in the finance industry for a decade. His love of teaching kept him “moonlighting” as a private math tutor and ski instructor for many years, so he is delighted to be back in the classroom teaching his favorite subjects: math and outdoor education. Outside of school, his family enjoys all that Tahoe has to offer, especially skiing, paddling, mountain biking, and music.
Lisa Gumina, Middle School Language Arts
BA Psychology - Moravian College
MA Education - Widener University
After a bit of time in the New York finance world, Lisa headed back to school for her masters in education and her teaching journey began at an IB middle school in Cherry Hill, NJ, and then onto an independent high school in Southern California. These years were filled with memorable opportunities including teen resiliency research, an East Asian studies fellowship, and mindful education practices. Recently, she co-created a gap program for high school graduates and serves as a teacher coach and mentor. Her professional journey continues here at Lake Tahoe School where she is happily back with middle school students. Originally from New Jersey, by way of Hermosa Beach, California, Lisa and her husband moved to Lake Tahoe in 2022 to enjoy all things outdoors - in fact, she recently added mountain biking to her list. In addition to being a very proud mom to two awesome children who love visiting Lake Tahoe, understanding cultures through experiences, history, and the arts is a priority in her life.
Eric Harssema, Middle School Spanish, Middle School Coordinator
BS Outdoor Education - Ohio University
Masters in Education - Sierra Nevada College
Señor Harssema returned to the LTS faculty as the Spanish teacher in 2016. Eric previously worked at LTS in 2008 as a 2nd-grade aid and 4th and 5th-grade math teacher. Prior to his return to LTS, Eric taught a variety of grade levels and disciplines at Incline Elementary School. Eric has also taught Spanish courses at Sierra Nevada College and the Tahoe Language Center. Outside of school, you will often find Eric and his family enjoying the outdoors, skiing at Diamond Peak, biking the Flume Trail and relaxing in the summer at local beaches.
Suzanne Batmale, Lower School Spanish
BA Spanish and Cross-Cultural Studies - St. Mary's College of CA
Teaching Degree - Chapman University
International Teaching Program - Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Ms. Batmale has been part of the Lake Tahoe School family as both parent and educator. She is the mother of four children, two graduates from and one currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, and one at Incline High School. She has extensive experience in bilingual education and loves speaking Spanish with our littlest Bobcats!
Jon Cooper, Physical Education & Athletic Director
BS Physical Education - University of Vermont
Certification: University of Vermont
Mr. Cooper joined the Lake Tahoe School nineteen years ago and serves as the Athletic Director in addition to his teaching duties. Mr. Cooper has a passion for sharing the fun of sports and teamwork with his students. A standout athlete and the captain of his college tennis team at Vermont, Mr. Cooper has spent his summers working as a tennis pro and running sports camps at Lake Tahoe School. He enjoys being outdoors with his wife Kate, daughter Lily, son Miles and his dogs Ruby and Otis.
Barbara Ellis, Music
MM Music Education - Arizona State University
BM Music Education - University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Ms. Ellis has been teaching at Lake Tahoe School since 2017. She has previously taught in Honolulu, Hawaii and private international schools in India, Indonesia, and the Czech Republic. She has over thirty years of music teaching experience at all levels as well as much experience in musical theater for children.
Debbie Kadziauskas, Lower School Science
BA - California State University, San Diego
Certification: National University
Ms. K is passionate about teaching science and exploring the intricacies of the world. She hopes to share her enthusiasm and appreciation of the natural world and the outdoors with her students through hands-on experiences and experiments. Ms. K is an experienced educator with over 15 years of experience in elementary education. She loves all things outdoors and can generally be found playing in the forest whenever she’s not teaching.
Alison Lee, Art
BFA Art - Sierra Nevada College
MAT - Sierra Nevada College
Ms. Lee has been teaching art at the Lake Tahoe School since 2004. “I love to watch children discover the possibilities of art and I feel it is very important to foster their natural creativity.” An accomplished muralist, she also has a background in mediums such as printmaking, acrylics, watercolors, and papermaking (to name just a few!). Ms. Lee is an outdoor enthusiast and gains much of her inspiration from her natural surroundings of the Lake Tahoe region.
Hannah Byrne, Flex Teacher
BA Spanish - St. Lawrence University
Hannah has been teaching in independent schools since 2010, beginning her career in New England before moving to Tahoe in 2018. Originally from Vermont, Hannah is an avid traveler having lived abroad in Costa Rica, Argentina and Peru. When not in the classroom, Hannah loves spending time outdoors with her husband, Steve, and their son, Weston, and proud Goose Patrol dog, Smokey Bear.
Aly Nugent, Lower Elementary Assistant
BA English - Sierra Nevada College
MA Elementary Education - Sierra Nevada College
Ms. Aly grew up in Incline Village and is a true Tahoe local. She loves spending summers on the lake paddleboarding and wake surfing, in addition to hiking the mountains and skiing in the winter with her family. She has 10 years of teaching experience and began her teaching career at a Title 1 school in Reno before moving to Incline Elementary School where she was a 4th and 5th grade teacher, and English Language Development co-teacher. Ms. Aly is excited to join the Lake Tahoe School community.
Sophie Wright, Teacher Aide
BA Psychology - University of Southern California
Ms. Sophie completed course work in early childhood education through USC and through the UCLA extension program, where she developed a love of working with young children. Growing up in Marin County, Ms. Sophie regularly visited Tahoe on weekends and holidays, which is how she came to recognize the value of spending time outdoors for wellbeing and development, and how she eventually came to call Tahoe home! Her baby sister and twin baby brothers attend Lake Tahoe School.