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Meet the Faculty and Staff

Our faculty comes from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, but there is a common interest that unites them: a passion for education and dedication to the cultivation of academic excellence in middle school students.

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Gennifre Hartman

Head of School

Gennifre has spent the past 25+ years in education working as an outdoor educator, a classroom teacher, and at the helm as Head of School. Gennifre is the founder of The Traveling School, a local non-profit overseas high school; she worked as the Head of School for Great Beginnings Montessori School during their expansion efforts; and has worked for Montana State University for the past decade. Along with her work in education, she’s been a university instructor, an international and wilderness guide, a leader, an entrepreneur, an Executive Director, a novelist, a career coach, a peace advocate, a philanthropist, a journalist, and more. 

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Hannah McMaster

Admissions and Program Coordinator

​Hannah brings a wealth of knowledge to the Headwaters administration with her vast experiences in local independent schools. Engaging students in educational experiences has been a life-long career for Hannah as she has enjoyed teaching learners of all ages. Additionally, Hannah is a local performer who has held various roles with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Intermountain Opera, the Ellen Theatre, the Verge Theatre, and the Shane Lalani Center for the Performing Arts. 

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Ani Casabonne

8th grade English and US History

Ani passionately instills creativity in her students while leading out of the box activities and projects. She believes that she learns as much from her students as they learn from her. Human connection fuels Ani’s fire and she seeks relationship building opportunities wherever she goes. She grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado and graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

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 Shannon Mahoney

7th grade English & Spanish

Shannon has a passion for teaching, learning, family and the outdoors. After earning a degree in English from UC Berkeley, she pursued a second degree in Education and an M.A. in English from Montana State. Shannon has previously taught ESL on the Montana State University campus and writing at both MSU and Gallatin College. Outside of the classroom, Shannon can be found running in the mountains, chasing her two boys, skiing Bridger, or riding her mountain bike.

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Heather Swanson

6th grade Math & Science

Heather comes to Headwaters with over a decade of classroom experience across all grade levels. She most recently served in a non-classroom position as the Education Coordinator at the Montana Science Center. Prior to moving to Bozeman, Heather was the Lead Science Instructor at Long-View Micro School in Austin, TX, where she established a strong NGSS-aligned science program rooted in the authentic work of scientists and engineers.


Emily Ryan

6th grade World Cultures + 8th Art

A native Montanan, Emily grew up in Three Forks and understands the deep local history of the Valley. Emily is motivated to create a classroom environment where students are challenged intellectually and provided opportunities to guide and drive their own learning. Emily recently earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education Broadfield from MSU. 


Brittany Denny

6th & 7th - Art

Brittany is passionate, caring, joyful, enthusiastic, fun, and a fierce advocate for her students. She holds an M.S.Ed. in Childhood Education and Literacy from Bank Street College of Education and a B.A. from Skidmore College. Brittany has taught at Bank Street School for Children in New York, NY, The Downtown School in Manchester, VT, the Robert C. Parker School in Wynantskill, NY, the MicroSchool and the Children’s Development Center in Bozeman, MT, and at Discovery Preschool in Truckee, CA. 


Cora Davidson

Resource Teacher

As a Student Support Specialist, Cora works closely with students, teachers, and families to provide support. Cora provides a multi-sensory, child-centered approach that supports students academically, socially, and emotionally. She is a BCET: Board Certified Educational Therapist; ACSW: Academy Certified Social Worker. She has a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Psychology and a Master of Social Work from the San Diego State University. 

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Marianne Wright

Director of Advancement

Marianne comes to Headwaters with a strong understanding of program and fund development, expertise in child development, and business accounting. Her education and experience inform her philosophy that body-based approaches, movement and physical activity, when coupled with consistent, positive relationships, promote resilience and mitigate negative effects of early challenges. Marianne has a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, has worked as a Mental Health Therapist, and has a Bachelors of Business Administration and Accounting. 

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Hernando Velez

8th grade Math & Science

​"Mr. Nando" is a fundamental part of the inclusive and adaptive learning community at Headwaters. He previously worked in the school district as a math interventionist and a resource para. He brings with him an undergrad degree in Environmental Engineering with a Masters of Science in Science Education from Montana State University. At Headwaters, Mr. Nando prioritizes self-reliance and ownership of the learning process, while serving as a mentor and an ally to his students. 

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Kimberly Magro

7th grade Math

Kimberly received an Undergraduate degree in Health Promotions from Montana State and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a certificate in Elementary Education. In addition to tutoring students of all grade levels for 17 years, she worked with Thrive as the CAP Coordinator at the Middle School level. When not at Headwaters, Kimberly is often found adventuring with her family in the mountains around Bozeman and Cooke City.

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Zack Parker 

7th Science & Geography

Zack loves exploring natural curiosities and encourages his students to ask questions, especially if they are questions where no one knows the answers. Growing up, Zack spent the majority of his life living in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he developed a passion for athletics and a craving for the mountains.  He completed his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education Social Studies Broadfield at Montana State University.  

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Elizabeth Matlick

6th grade English

Before making the transition to teaching, Elizabeth earned an MA in Humanities from The University of Chicago and worked as a journalist and editor. She previously taught English and writing to middle school students in Bellevue, WA. Elizabeth loves inspiring her students to find the magic in all forms of literature, including their own. When she is not teaching or reading a good book, she’s often with her family, exploring a new trail, cooking a favorite recipe, or skiing at Bridger Bowl.

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Kristen Wolf

6th & 8th grade Spanish

Kristen is a dynamic educator and presenter. Her background as a Montessori &  Spanish teacher has led her to understand the process of language acquisition and human development in profound ways. La Loba Lista’s (the ready/ clever Wolf) teaching style is engaging, holistic, and supported by language acquisition research (Communicative Language Teaching). Kristen earned the distinction of Montana Language Teacher of the Year in 2019, as decided by the Montana Association of Language Teachers (MALT).  

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Tiffaney Dierolf


Tiffaney played sports throughout her life and played volleyball in college. She brings with her 7 years of teaching experience and a Bachelor of Science from University of Illinois at Chicago. Tiffaney’s focus is to encourage sportsmanship, teamwork and personal growth. Her goal is to provide all students, with various interests and developmental levels, an experience that is both beneficial and enjoyable. 

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