MMS reaches major milestones as it begins fifth decade

Mountaineer Montessori School is celebrating several major milestones as it begins its fifth decade of excellence and innovation in education this fall.


Enrollment is at an all time high, with 134 students ages 3 through 14 currently registered. This represents a remarkable 83 percent increase over the past five years, reflecting a strong and growing demand for high quality education options in West Virginia.


MMS Director Jennifer Carriger has been awarded the American Montessori Society (AMS) Administrator Credential from the New York Center for Montessori Education. Carriger is the only educator in West Virginia to hold this level of certification. The two year credential program prepares educators to work with students, staff and families to create a school that is in accordance with the best practices of Montessori education.


Jennifer Carriger
MMS Director

Now in her tenth year at Mountaineer Montessori. Carriger received a B.A. in international studies, a B.S. in secondary education and an M.S. in special education from West Virginia University. She is the co-founder of the Appalachian Reading Center and in 2014 was named “Teacher of the Year” by the West Virginia Learning Disabilities Association.


This fall, MMS achieved full membership in AMS, the highest level of school membership in the world’s leading Montessori professional organization. Mountaineer Montessori is the only school in West Virginia to be granted this status. AMS is the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education, setting the professional standards that inform Montessori education as practiced in AMS-accredited schools and taught in AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.


MMS was founded in 1976 by Mary McKown, a visionary educator who touched the lives of generations of West Virginia children. What started as a preschool in a church basement is now the largest and longest-established Montessori school in the state, serving an estimated 1,000 students over the past 41 years. In 2014, MMS introduced the only Montessori adolescent program in the state. MMS has campuses in the University of Charleston and South Hills neighborhoods of Charleston.