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About Us » History


History of St. James

Marie Mosely and Father Fleener began St. James Montessori School in the summer of 1968. There were 54 children ranging in age from 2½ to 4. Marie laid the foundation for the school and even after her retirement in 1987 and passing in 2007, remains a driving force in each classroom.

Montessori Philosophy 

After years of expression, mainly in pre-schools, Montessori philosophy is finally being used as originally intended.  It is a method of seeing children as they really are, of creating environments which foster the fulfillment of their highest potential as members of a family, the world community, and the cosmos.

Dr. Montessori gave the world a scientific method, practical and tested, for bringing forth the very best in young human beings.  She taught adults how to respect individual differences in children, to emphasize social interaction, and to educate the whole personality, rather than teaching a specific body of knowledge.

Montessori practice is always up-to-date and dynamic, because observation and the meeting of needs is continual and specific for each child.  When physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs are met, children glow with excitement and a drive to play and work with enthusiasm.  They exhibit a desire to teach, help, and care for others and for their environment.

The high level of academic achievement, so common in Montessori schools, is a natural outcome of experience in such a supportive environment.  The Montessori method of education is a model which serves the needs of children of all levels of mental and physical ability, as they live and learn in a natural, mixed-age group - very much like the society they will live in as adults.

Today, Montessori teacher training centers and schools exist on all continents.  There are Montessori parenting classes, “Nidos” (“nests” for infants), infant communities, “children’s houses” (for ages three to six), and classes for children up to age 18 in public and private schools.  Montessori works in gifted and talented programs, and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds. Many parents are using Dr. Montessori’s discoveries to raise andeducate their children at home. The discoveries of Maria Montessori are valuable for anyone living and working with children.