Well known people that have been educated at Montessori schools are: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com; Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize winner for literature; former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; rap entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs; WWII diarist Anne Frank; child psychologist T. Berry Brazelton; chef Julia Child; actor George Clooney; actresses Melissa Gilbert and Helen Hunt; and street magician David Blaine. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google.com, credit their Montessori education for much of their success.
Looking back on my years at Montessori, it is readily apparent that the 10 years spent there have influenced my life in the most positive way possible. Although I didn't realize it then, looking back now I realize just how important an education at Montessori has been to my life. In construction, having a solid foundation is essential if any building is going to survive, and the same can be applied to education. The solid foundation that I built at Montessori has been instrumental in the success I have had later in my life. I am confident that the knowledge I gained through Montessori was the reason for my success through both Sandcreek Middle School and Hillcrest High School. It enabled me to take advanced placement classes as well as college level classes without feeling overwhelmed. To tell you the truth, it wasn't until my senior year that I started to learn new concepts in English class that I hadn't already learned through Montessori. Montessori also taught me the wonderful concept of time management. By learning this skill early in life, I have been able to take college level classes as well as play on both the golf team and the tennis team during the same season. All in all, Montessori was more like a family to me than a school. Everyone got along with everyone, everyone was equal, and I wasn't forced to learn things. Instead, I was allowed to go at my own pace, which made me want to learn new things even more. The classes at Montessori were small, and if I ever had a question I never hesitated to ask it. To this day, I truly feel that Montessori has played a huge role in getting where I am today. Next year I will be attending Montana State University on an academic scholarship, majoring in Architecture/Environmental Design, and I am confident that the skills I developed in Montessori will help me through the tough years ahead.
On a final note, it was also enjoyable to look back on my education at Montessori and realize that I not only got a high quality education, but I also received a lifelong lesson on Earth. From earth day experiments and field trips, to planting evergreen trees outside the school, to learning about wildlife and plants, and finally to attending Teton Science School, Montessori taught me lifelong lessons about the wonderful environment that Montessori and our community are a part of. This early exposure to the environment and some of the issues surrounding it have influenced my decision to attend Montana State University and major in Environmental Design Architecture. The education and lifelong friendships I have gained through Montessori will without a doubt help me in the present as well as in the future, and on that note I would love to recommend the world class education found at Montessori to anyone looking for a great education!
p.s. Miss Jill, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Leahy, Mrs. O'Reilly, and Mrs. Sloan are still to this day the best and most inspirational teachers I have ever had!
James--SRMS graduate 2003
I will first start out by saying that Montessori was the best educational choice my parents could have ever made for me. It gave me such a strong foundation of knowledge that helped me all throughout middle school and high school. Since I had the freedom to go at my own pace in Montessori, I learned to be self-reliant concerning my learning needs and also learned to be very responsible with school. I learned grammar at a very young age, which I think helped me tremendously with how I now speak and write. Even now, in all of my honors language and two A.P. language classes I have taken, the grammar curriculum has not reached the level that I had reached in Montessori. I cannot even begin to explain how much the Montessori grammar curriculum has helped me. It has been especially useful with standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, PSAT, ISAT's, and the A.P. Literature test I took last year. Not only has Montessori put me ahead with grammar, but also it has given me a great advantage by giving me enhanced writing skills. In middle school, I was one of the only students who knew how to write a full-fledged research paper. Montessori also put me three grade levels ahead in math. It's not as though I am exceptional at math; rather, Montessori pushed me to my actual potential. I think all students are easily capable of doing Algebra 1 in 7th grade like I did. It is completely feasible for the average student to do Algebra 1 in 7th grade with strong fundamental math skills like the kind Montessori taught me. Additionally, besides valuable knowledge, Montessori gave me something that will last me a very long time; it gave me great friendships. I keep in touch with most of the people from my grade in Montessori, and I still know a lot of people from the lower grades. I will always have friendship with these people no matter if we see each other frequently or not because of the bond we made in Montessori. My teachers have also left a strong positive impression upon me. I remember each and every one of them, but the standout ones for me were Ms. Jill, Mrs. Leahy, and Mrs. O'Reilly. I will never forget any of these fabulous women. They taught me so much and always treated me as an equal. I always remember wanting to learn from them because of their passion for teaching. When they taught me curriculum, they always treated me as a mature person and were very patient with me, which made me feel so good! I remember this gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I think that left the biggest impression upon me. I will never forget those teachers and I love it when I get the chance to see them.
In high school, I have participated in the Honor Roll and kept up a grade point average of 3.98. I have taken every Honors and A.P. class possible to take and have received an "A" in every one. School has been very fun and uncomplicated for me. I think this stems from my Montessori education because it provided me with such solid fundamentals. I play golf and tennis for Hillcrest and have won state golf when I was a freshman and again when I was a junior. I also have placed fourth in state golf when I was a sophomore, fourth in state tennis when I was a freshman, third in state tennis when I was a sophomore, and won state tennis when I was a junior.
Now, being a senior in high school, I plan to attend the University of Montana next year. I am going there on a 75% golf scholarship and the rest of the 25% is covered by an academic scholarship. I am extremely excited for Montana J I'm not sure yet what I want to study, but so far the options are law, psychology/psychiatry, journalism, or environmental science.
I can't say enough about what Montessori has done for me. It has given me great friendships, great memories, and an awesome education. I would recommend it to anyone because I think the school is adaptable to any personality type. I am eternally thankful to the life skills that Montessori has given me.
Olivia--SRMS graduate 2003
Our experience with the SRMS School has been a worthwhile endeavor and an invaluable investment. Many years ago, after observing the Pre-K program one morning I immediately knew this was a special place. The first word that comes to mind when describing what I saw is respect; respect for each individual child, respect for their environment, for their learning tools, their space and for each of their strengths. It is something they have had through their entire education at SRMS. It is something that they carry with them today.
The most common question for us has been, "How did your children transition into the public schools?" We have three children and two of our children have transitioned to middle school. It has been interesting to observe. We had the usual first day of school anxieties and insecurities; however, their biggest shock was the lack of respect they saw from the students towards the teachers and the long list of classroom rules. They have adjusted to class schedules and new teachers with ease.
Our middle school students participate in advance placement classes for Math, English and History. We believe that their confidence in their abilities has helped make the transition easy. On occasion, they have complained about reviewing subjects that they have previously been taught. However, sometimes I think they enjoy being able to show off their intelligence. It also helps reinforce the education they have already received.
They are asked to do a great deal of writing reports and papers. Because of their Montessori background, this is a task that they both excel at. We are grateful for their SRMS education which taught them the skills to investigate subjects, seek answers and write with great confidence. I can almost guarantee you that any public school teacher who inherits a past SRMS student enjoys having them for a student. It is something that both of my middle school children are complimented on by a majority of their teachers.
We have been parents at SRMS for over twelve years. On the day I signed my daughter up for pre-school, I did not imagine that it would become such a huge part of our family. Looking back, I would not have it any other way and it was worth the time, experience and investment. All of my children are grateful for their education and proud to say they attended SRMS.
Dave and Christine Simon--former SRMS parents
Our daughter, Caitlin, was a student at SRMS from pre-school through 6th grade. While the thought of sending her to a public middle school was unsettling for us, the education and "life lessons" she learned while at SRMS helped her transition very well into middle school both academically and socially. All of her teachers have commented on her exceptional behavior, accountability, work ethic and her kindness towards everyone---these are just a few of the lessons she learned while attending SRMS.
Carrie and Conn Hix-former SRMS parents
The miraculous program at SRMS did not only give me a tremendous step ahead others in my grade, but it also gave me essential tools for everyday life. Beginning in preschool, I learned hot to read and write proficiently as well as building a foundation of organization and responsibility. The teachers and staff helped me remain on the right track and assisted me in the continuation of adding on to my foundation that I had begun in preschool. By the time I got to 6th grade at SRMS I was doing 8th grade math and reading at a college level. Moving to public school after graduation I excelled in junior high school and high school has been an excelent experience. The keys given to you at SRMS will open infinite doors throughout your child's life.
Steffany Snell SRMS graduate