Lower Elementary Staff

Diane Brandon

Diane Brandon received a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin, and her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arizona. Diane taught kindergarten students in Wisconsin and special needs young adults in Tucson and surrounding areas in the College of Education at the University of Arizona. Diane has been a dedicated and committed Hermosa parent and teacher since 1989. 





Guru Simran (Goose) Khalsa

Guru Simran (Goose) Khalsa joins our faculty as a lower elementary teacher. Guru Simran received his B.A. Degree in History with a Minor in Philosophy, and work towards his M.A. degree in History prior to his receiving his AMS (American Montessori Society) Elementary Teaching Certification. He previously taught at Khalsa Montessori School, and coached basketball at the Jewish Community Center and The Gregory School. Guru Simran understands the Montessori approach to education well, as he attended Hermosa Montessori from pre-school through 8th grade.

Don Van Karsen

Don has a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Relations from the University of Arizona and AMS Montessori elementary certification. Before joining the elementary teaching staff at Hermosa, Don was the late care teacher for six years. Don loves to read and will attest to reading whatever he picks up, but is a particular fan of historical and science fiction subject matter. He also enjoys doing home improvement projects, surfing the net, and caring for his animals: 2 two cats and six reptiles!



Autumn Withers

Please join me in welcoming Autumn Withers to our classroom community. Autumn brings a rich and varied science background to Hermosa, with a Bachelors degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and a Minor in Secondary Science Education (2007). She has also completed graduate level work in Secondary Science Education with an emphasis in teaching Diverse Learners and Inquiry Based Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2011-2012).

Prior to joining the Hermosa staff, Autumn worked at the  Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind (American Sign Language is her second language), as a Lab Tech in the AMS (Radiocarbon Dating) Lab at the University of Arizona, and as the Chair of the Parks and Recreation Board. She was a founding member of the Niles Community Gardens Project, which included a children's neighborhood garden.

Autumn loves science! Marine Biology, Climatology, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Genetics, Astronomy, Wildlife Biology...her  list goes on! She enjoys bicycling, traveling, scuba diving, history, music, black and white film photography, cooking, and spending as much time with her family as possible.

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An Excelling School

Hermosa is proud to be an excelling Tucson charter school--the highest rank Arizona awards to schools.

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Hermosa Montessori School is located in a distinctive Tucson location especially chosen for its beauty.

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Montessori Method

Montessori is both a philosophy and psychology of child growth and development--and an educational system for guiding such growth.

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