Meet The Team
Head of School
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.
Secretary & Bookkeeper
I grew up gardening with my grandmother and fretting over the many threats I perceived to our
planetary ecosystem. Then, I raised chickens and vegetables along with my son, so it was only
natural to try an organic market garden when I got the chance. While neither my back nor my
debt tolerance were strong enough to make a profession of production, I had learned too much
in the process of trying not to pass it along. I truly believe that children are our future, and
needing to know that at least part of the next generation is well-versed in sustainable grocery-
growing made adapting agricultural practices into the structure of the existing education
system my obvious next step. Being part of the Gardner Valley School family is truly a dream
come true for me.
Middle School Social Studies
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!
Director of Preschool
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!
Middle School Science
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.
Second & Third Grade
I grew up in a small suburb outside of Detroit, MI and have lived in rural Colorado since the 6th grade, in Canon City, CO. Living in Gardner, I most enjoy the peaceful life I live with my husband and our Corgi dog, Trixie. She’s a bit of a challenge on hikes, as she’d rather be carried. Her short legs don’t walk as far or as fast as mine. I began my teaching career at Gardner Valley School two years ago, focusing in PreK through 3rd grade. One of my strengths as a teacher is making learning F-U-N, which increases the learner’s engagement. I also believe in making sure students are able to connect the topic to his or her own life. I try to encourage my class to be themselves, because everyone else is already taken!
My name is Leann Pozzi. I recently moved here from a small town in northern California called Kelseyville. I have a set of 12 year old twin daughters who attend Gardner Valley School. I enjoy hiking, reading, crocheting and cooking. I have two goofy French bulldogs named Enzo and Casey. In my free time I work with the Piñon trees, making salve and other things from the sap for my Etsy shop. I feel very blessed to be in such a wonderful beautiful area to raise my children.
Hi, I am Nicole Gilbert. I am the cook at Gardner Valley Charter School, where I have enjoyed working since August 2022. I have 20 years of experience in the food service industry , everything from a short order cook, nursing home, child development center, and my favorite of all a school cook. I have training in the C.A.C.F.P. which I received from Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center, and plenty of life experience in cooking.
My love for food started when I was a young child. I can remember taking random things in the kitchen and making homemade muffins for my family, and sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table watching her make magic with food and my family being happy and full, and thinking one day that is going to be me.
In November of 2021 we acuired property from the original homestead of my husband's family ranch with the dream of building, and in March of 2022 we moved from Oklahoma to Gardner to start making the dream come true. I have been married for almost 22 years and have 3 beautiful children, and a bonus daughter. I love to crochet, make jewelry, and most importantly cook delicious food.
My life and passion revolves around making people happy with food and love, so much so that it is all I can do. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to be here and hear the children laughing down the hall, the way they say thank you, and it makes me happy when they tell me how good the food is. I will work hard everyday to ensure they have a well balanced nutritional meal that they will actually enjoy.