Camino de Paz School

At Camino de Paz, the farm provides a broad context for the students’ applied learning and for the development of the whole personality. Math, science, reading, writing, history, arts and crafts come alive as these skills are used daily in a real, practical way. The farm presents the possibility for students to create a real, working community at a time in life when there is a driving need to be with peers, to be valued and accepted for who they are and to form mentoring relationships with adults who are not their parents.

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The daily work required on a farm also supports social, emotional and character-building skills such as cooperation, compassion, honesty, integrity, problem-solving, creative thinking, listening, observation and pride in a job well done. These experiences promote an understanding of the natural and social world that make possible a different kind of moral discernment. Students come to see that every issue has many aspects, considerations and points of view, often reflecting a complex set of relationships. There is the expectation that each student will be prepared for high school, college, and any profession that students choose.

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Of course, none of this work is possible without teachers and guides that create the environment for students to learn and teach themselves and others. Our outstanding faculty and staff are listed below.

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Patricia Pantano

Patricia Pantano

Co-founder and Education Director.

Education Director, has AMI training on the Primary and Elementary levels and a BA in Sociology from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. She studied and taught in Tokyo, Japan, for 2 years before teaching Montessori pre-school in 1975. She spent 12 years at the elementary level in both public and private schools. She became Middle School Coordinator at the St. Alcuin Montessori School in Dallas in 1991and has worked with adolescents ever since. Patricia is an AMI Montessori Adolescent trainer, and has worked at training centers in Cleveland, Sweden and Mexico. She believes strongly in the power of linking the adolescent to the real world.

Greg Nussbaum

Greg Nussbaum

Co-founder and Business and Farm Director.

Has a BA in Philosophy from University of Notre Dame, MA in Economics from Catholic University and MBA from University of Texas at Dallas. He is the Camino de Paz Farm Director, coordinating the students’ work with the farm tasks. He teaches anatomy, plant and soil science, machine mechanics, animal husbandry, draft horse driving, marketing and accounting. He completed his NAMTA-AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Chihuahua in 2015. He was a member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Board of Directors served as a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute.

Yvonne Aivoliotis

Yvonne Aivoliotis

Middle School Math and Science Teacher/Guide.

Has a BS Degree in Biology with a Chemistry minor from State University of New York at Albany, and an Associate’s Degree in Environmental Science from Columbia-Greene Community College. Yvonne teaches in the areas of science, math and ninth grade Humanities. A resident of New Mexico since 1995, Yvonne raised three children (one of
whom attended Camino de Paz). She has a wealth of experience in organic farming, food preservation, restaurant management, and owned her own herd of goats, making cheese and yogurt. She is also a weaver. She completed the NAMTA-AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Cleveland, Ohio in July, 2016.

Brady McCartney

Brady McCartney

Humanities/Social Studies Teacher/Guide.

Is an educator and non-profit leader who has served on three senior leadership teams at educational institutions. Previously he was the Dean of Students at Bard College at Simon's Rock, and a staff instructor in the Division of Social Studies. He also served in a variety of roles at Bard College's Baltimore and Cleveland early college campuses. Brady currently serves as the Humanities teacher and college counselor at the Camino de Paz High School. He holds a BA from Haverford College, PA, an MBA in Educational Management and an MS in Sustainability from the Bard Graduate Programs.

Margaret Gaffney

Margaret Gaffney

High School Principal

Margaret Gaffney recently returned to the Santa Fe area after a quarter decade working in her hometown of New Orleans in public and public charter schools. Margaret discovered Camino de Paz while seeking a school for her son Aidan, who will be joining CdP’s eighth grade this fall. St. John’s College (class of 1995) first brought Margaret to the Southwest, and she went on to do a practicum in biodynamic farming in Germany, to study education, English, and special education at various universities in New Orleans, and earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004. Margaret has served middle and high schools in roles of teacher, Master Teacher, Assistant Principal of Academics and most recently as High School Principal of Morris Jeff Community School, the only preK - 12th grade fully accredited International Baccalaureate school in Louisiana. Margaret is eager to get to know the Camino de Paz community and students, and the livestock as well. A career serving adolescents in education and a backyard hobby farm in urban New Orleans are her preparation for this next adventure in teaching, learning and community building, and embracing the Montessori philosophy and method is her next welcome challenge. Margaret is delighted to be back in the Land of Enchantment!

Lysandra Nelson

Lysandra Nelson

High School Creative Expression director.

Is the High School Creative Expression director, teaching the theory and principles of dramatic art, entertainment, and design. She has a BA in Dramatic Art Design from UC Davis, and an MFA in 3D Modeling from the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA). She has worked professionally in the theater as an art director, set designer, and scriptwriter, and as a game developer, animator, vocalist, and freelance artist.

Christopher Phelps

Christopher Phelps

High School Math,Philosophy, and Creative Writing Teacher/Guide.

Is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with BS degrees in Physics and Philosophy. He teaches mathematics at the High School. He served as a tutor at MIT, and continues with private students in Santa Fe. He also works as a freelance copy editor and is a published poet.

Stefan Vest

Middle School Guide for Math, Humanities, Outdoor Ed

stefanv@caminodepaz.net

Stefan has a B.S. in Sociology from Boston College and an MA in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.  Stefan has worked with adolescents for more than 15 years. His experience includes leading wilderness-based programs for at risk youth, being a classroom teacher, and also serving as a school administrator.   Stefan has over 5 years experience teaching in a Montessori middle school and also has extensive experience with experiential education and service learning.  Stefan has led over 50 youth wilderness trips and has also guided high school students on exchange trips to France. He moved here from Flagstaff with his wife and daughter.

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