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).
Karen Laurie, Business Manager
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. Prior to working at Lake Tahoe School, Ms. Laurie was a stay-at-home mom while also teaching fitness classes at the Incline Village Recreation Center. She loves hiking, skiing, golfing, and spending time with family and friends.
Deena Mathis, Director of Development
BS Journalism, Public Relations - University of New York, Albany, NY
MS Leadership - Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
Ed.D. Educational Leadership - Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
Though she grew up in sunny San Diego, California, Deena Mathis loves the cold weather and snow. She moved here from Fort Collins, Colorado and has an extensive background in educational administration. She was formerly the Dean of Girls at a private boarding school in Texas. She has directed summer camps for orphans in Kazakhstan, done mission work in Mexico, and spent more than 20 years working with children. She most recently worked in business development at Grand Canyon University. She is a licensed facilitator for a parent/child education program called Positive Steps and enjoys public speaking. Though she doesn’t ski or snowboard, Ms. Mathis loves to hike and is eager to try paddle boarding and kayaking when the weather warms up. She has two children, Jordan and Taylor.
Allie Sacci, Administrative & Marketing Coordinator
BS Business Management, Marketing - Menlo College
Mrs. 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, Mrs. Allie moved to Incline Village in 2014, where she regularly enjoys hiking, skiing, and relaxing at the beach with her family.
Russ Bradford, Director of Technology
BS Business Administration - University of Vermont
Certification: University of Vermont
Since joining LTS in 2010, Mr. Bradford has added a number of exciting technology courses to the LTS curriculum that gives students hands-on opportunities to create, design, problem-solve, and explore. Under his leadership, the School has transitioned to an Apple-centric environment that includes a 1:1 iPad program for 5th thru 8th graders. Mr. Bradford’s hobbies include backpacking, tennis, golf, skiing, woodworking, and photography.
Mark Brockway, Facilities Manager
Certification: OSHA Training, Contractor Orientation
Originally from Illinois, Mr. Brockway has been with LTS for the past eighteen 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
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.
Suzanne Batmale, PreK Teacher & Kindergarten 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 at the University of Reno, one at Incline High School (LTS's Ado Batmale, Class of 2015), and one at Lake Tahoe School. She has extensive experience in bilingual education and looks forward to speaking some Spanish with our littlest Bobcats!
Misty Berberich, PreK Teacher
University of Hawaii and Truckee Community College Credits
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.
Sarah Williams, PreK Teacher
BA - University of Idaho
Ms. Williams joined Lake Tahoe School in the fall of 2017. She comes with a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Idaho, where she played Volleyball. She brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm from her experience as a substitute teacher, volleyball and track coach, and parent of three boys (Tanner, Tommy, and Ryan). She and her husband, Mike, are long-time residents of Incline Village.
Sara Holm, Kindergarten
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 loves integrating global connections to her students' learning and enjoys coaching the 100 Mile Club and Girls on the Run. After living in Incline Village for 17 years, she and her husband, Zack, now live in Reno.
Laurel Pandola, Kindergarten Aide
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, her oldest being a Kindergarten student at LTS.
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 6 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.
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!
Catherine Rogers, Third Grade
BA Communication Studies - University of California Santa Barbara
Certification: California State University Sacramento
Ms. Rogers, our third-grade teacher since 2005, loves to share her excitement for learning with her students. When she's not teaching, she spends time with her family and enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities, from snowshoeing, to alpine skiing, to swimming in the lake. On Saturdays in the fall, she can be found cheering for the Stanford football and basketball teams.
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. Breider has taught at Lake Tahoe School for seven years and is the K-2 division coordinator. She particularly enjoys the second grade as it a year of dynamic social growth for the students. Ms. Breider is the mother of three girls, two who attend Incline High School and one who is in her second year at Wellesley College. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and hiking the local trails with her daughters and their yellow lab "Trip".
Patrick Casey, Middle School Social Studies
BA History - University of Nevada Reno
MAT History - Sierra Nevada College
Mr. Casey is extremely excited to join the faculty, staff, and community at Lake Tahoe School as the Middle School Social Studies teacher. Mr. Casey has been in private education for over 20 years as a teacher, administrator, and a coach. Other roles he has filled during his private school tenure include Outdoor Education Director, International Trip Coordinator, Athletic Director, and Middle School Team Leader. As a teacher, coach, and advisor, Mr. Casey finds true happiness in helping students find success. Mr. Casey, his wife Kathy, and their daughter Parker enjoy traveling to beaches, movie nights, and their dog Max. He is also an avid cyclist and guitar player.
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.
Eric Harssema, Spanish
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.
Stephanie Mancuso, Middle School Language Arts
BS Education - University of Nevada Reno
Certification: University of Nevada, Reno
This is Ms. Mancuso's twelfth year at Lake Tahoe School. She currently teaches Middle School Math and 6th Grade Humanities at LTS, while also overseeing and coordinating the elementary math scope and sequence. 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.
Eric Berube, Lower School Science
B.A. 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.
Jon Cooper, Physical Education & Athletic Director
BS Physical Education - University of Vermont
Certification: University of Vermont
Mr. Cooper joined the Lake Tahoe School eleven 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 for the past sixteen years. He enjoys being outdoors with his wife Kate, daughter Lily, son Miles, and his dogs Lucy and Ruby.
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.
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.
Jeanee Gonet, Flex Teacher
William Jessup University - Elementary Education & Psychology College Credits
Gordon College - Recreation & Leisure Studies College Credits
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.
Robin Andronico, Learning Specialist
BA Psychology - University of California, Santa Barbara
Certification - Sonoma State University
Mrs. "A," a San Francisco Bay Area native, has been a classroom teacher for 13 years, specializing in English, writing, math, and history. After 12 years in hotel sales and 10 years in community service/fundraising, teaching has been her most challenging and rewarding endeavor so far (in addition to parenting)! She has worked with all levels of students K-12 and is continually amazed by their creativity and thirst for knowledge. Like most Incline Village residents, Mrs. Andronico enjoys the outdoors: skiing, hiking, kayaking, running and boating. She is thrilled to join the Lake Tahoe School team this year as a Learning Specialist.
Shari Wilson, Academic Coach
BA - Chico State University
MA - San Francisco State University
Ms. Wilson brought decades of experience in education with her when she joined us in 2016. She has taught students from kindergarten through college, served as both an assistant principal and principal, and worked as a resident supervisor of student teachers. Her deep background in elementary and middle school education means that she is uniquely prepared to provide support on all levels.