Small and Caring
We at Gardner Valley School serve our students, our families and our community through our vision, our mission and our core values.
Meet The Team
I am a lifetime resident of Gardner. I was raised by two of the most loving and hardworking parents on a ranch, where my parents still live and continue to ranch today. My parents have been involved in the community their entire life. My father retired from a local oil and gas company called ARCO at the time. My mother worked at the Gardner School and helped with a bilingual program. Like my mother, I too had a passion for education. Following my roots and love for the Gardner community, my involvement in education began 25 years ago when I returned to my former school and was hired as a paraprofessional. I worked full-time at teaching and coordinating technology. I continued my education and attended Adams State College part-time to obtain my bachelor's degree in elementary education. After being a classroom teacher for 20 years, I am now in my 2nd year of being a Head of School of the new Gardner Valley School. My family and I reside in the Gardner area and continue the ranching tradition. My amazing husband and I are proud parents of two incredible boys. We look forward to always calling this beautifully unique and rural area our home. Gardner Valley School is the heart of the community and is more like a second home to many students, and I am honored to be part of such a fantastic staff and community.
I have lived in Texas and New Mexico before moving to Gardner, Colorado to be closer to family and grandkids (who attend Gardner Valley School). My two grown sons still live in New Mexico, and my daughter and her family live in Gardner. I love the outdoors, creating things from recycled items, reading, and sewing. I have a Bachelor's degree in Wildlife Ecology from Texas A&M University, and a Masters degree in Education from New Mexico State University. With my background in agriculture and wildlife ecology, I am very excited that Gardner Valley school is focusing on those two things. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our school.
Stella Garcia Sanchez
My name is Stella Garcia Sanchez and I am the Director/Teacher for Preschool at Gardner Valley School. I have worked in this field for 22 years and enjoy every fun learning experience shared with children ages 3-5. Children bring joy, laughter and light into my life, which I need on a daily basis.I enjoy spending quality time with my family and outdoors, especially when it comes to camping!!
I grew up in Walsenburg and lived there most of my life. My family has been in the Gardner area for many generations. I have a loving family and enjoy spending time with them, especially my son. I am proud of my indigenous roots and am a member of the local Aztlan Native American Church. Helping people is my passion. I earned a B.S. in Human Services from CSU Global and completed the alternative teaching license through the CU Denver Aspire to Teach program. I am so grateful to be working at Gardner Valley School.
I am a current resident of Aguilar, CO. I was born in Houston, TX but raised in Marble Falls, TX. I've worked most of my life in and around Austin, TX. I went to several universities: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ; The University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI; and I graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), San Marcos, TX with a B.S. in Resource and Environmental Studies. I have a 20-year-old daughter who attends The University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. There are many things that I appreciate while working at GVS, location included, but the resilience of the staff and student body are what keeps me enthused throughout the school year. That, and an hour of PBL every day!