Pando Little School
The best Reggio Emilia preschool in new mexico


Pando Little School

Our name, our vision

Our name captures our vision for the school. Pando Little School combines two ideas we hold dear: interconnectedness and belonging.

Pando comes to us from southern Utah. It’s the name of a grove of quaking aspens connected through an elaborate network of roots. The grove is just one organism, thousands of years old. In Latin, Pando means “I spread.”

When one tree becomes injured, the others send nutrients to nourish their sick kin. Pando's roots are a metaphor for the interdisciplinary, non-linear curriculum we strive to create; a curriculum where children are empowered to draw connections between the ideas and experiences that speak to them.

In our community, children call their preschools “little” schools. The expression contrasts the “big” elementary school that one day, they’ll enter. We loved how they expressed understanding of their early schooling experience, and respectfully incorporated the phrase into Pando’s name.

It is with pride that we refer to Pando as a little school, a space where children and families have a sense of ownership and belonging.




Director, Co-Teacher

Melissa Scott

Melissa is a seasoned early childhood professional with experience working in some of the best early childhood programs in the country.

In her work with children, she embraces a radical willingness to listen.  She believes that one of her most important responsibilities as an educator of young children is to instill in them the belief that their perspective matters, ought to be taken seriously, and can be the impetus for meaningful change in our world.

As a director, she empowers teachers to be creative, critical thinkers who are committed to their continuous professional growth and development.  She is passionate about supporting practitioner-initiated research as a way of advocating for school practices and governmental policy that empowers children and early childhood professionals.  To learn more about Melissa, visit her professional website.



University of Chicago
M.A. Social Sciences, 2014

University of Cincinnati
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, 2011

Haverford College
B.A. Anthropology, 2008

Activities & Affiliations

• Active member of the Collaborative Teacher's Institute.
• Regular presenter at Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference.
• Member of Central New Mexico Community College's Mentor Teacher Network.


• The Reggio Emilia Approach
• Tinkering and messing about
• Project work
• Pedagogical documentation
• Democratic participation among young children



Family Liaison, Co-Teacher

Kristi Goldade

Kristi has been supporting children's expression for most of her career.  Whether it's helping teenage girls master the art of writing, editing written submissions from children around the globe for publication, or listening to and transcribing the musings of preschoolers, she is passionate about listening to and elevating the thoughts of young people. 



New York University
M.A. Literary Reportage, 2012

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
B.A., English, Social Justice, 2008

Activities & Affiliations

• Active member of the Collaborative Teacher's Institute
• Editor at Generation Justice
• Assistant Editor at KidSpirit


• Supporting children's dialogue and expression
• Storytelling
• Curriculum design
• Pedagogical documentation



Volunteer Business manager

Jen Jones

Jen works full time as an accountant at a local micro-finance institution, supporting small businesses in New Mexico to secure funding and technical assistance. In her spare time, she's finishing up her graduate degree in Accounting at UNM, making sure Pando's books are in order, and taking care of her two pups. Jen believes every child should have access to a phenomenal early childhood education, and has been with Pando as a volunteer since day 1.



University of New Mexico
M.S. Accounting, expected 2018

Westminster College,UT
B.S. Economics, 2011

Activities & Experience

• Accountant at a local micro-finance non-profit
• Founder, Backyard Story Night ABQ, 2015-present
• Founder & Mentor, The Photography League, Ghana Chapter (creative writing & photography program for children in Accra, Ghana) 2011, 2013, 2016
• Micro-entrepreneurship mentor, Cape Town, South Africa 2010
• Multiple program management positions 2011-2017




Official School Mascot

Doug the Dog

Lover of carrots, arm pits, and the company of children of all ages.  Occasional classroom visitor.


School of Life
PhD in Good Dog, 2017

Activities & Experience

• Quiet companionship
• Emotional support through loving puppy gaze
• Walks on leash for children of any age
• Playground creation supervisor


• Napping
• Tennis ball keep away