2018 Annual Appeal Ambassadors: The El-Gammal Family

At Mountaineer Montessori School, we’re spreading our wings!

Our elevated approach to education fosters learning without limits, freeing children to go as far and as high as they can.

We’re nurturing West Virginia’s future community builders, problem solvers, innovators, business leaders and peace makers…creating a brighter tomorrow…today!

Founded in 1976, Mountaineer Montessori is West Virginia’s original and largest Montessori school, offering a world-class educational experience to 140 students ages 3-14 right here in Charleston–the heart of Appalachia.

“Spreading Our Wings,” the 2018 MMS Annual Appeal, will provide critical funding to help us meet the growing demand for superior academic options in our community and sustain our 42-year tradition of excellence and innovation in education.

Give now.

As part of our “Spreading Our Wings” campaign, students, teachers, alumni and families are sharing their stories, telling what MMS means to them and how Montessori education lifts up children, our community and our world.


This is Amanda Fields’s MMS story:

Dr. Ahmed El-Gammal, Jacob, Rayan, Zach, Jonas and Amanda Fields


Why did you choose Montessori for your family?

I had been researching activities to do with my oldest son when he was a baby and all the activities that I found that were appealing to me happened to be based on Montessori ideas. We decided to go to an open house at MMS to learn about the school. Once we were there, we were so impressed with the teachers, the materials, and especially the students. The maturity and interpersonal skills shown by the upper elementary students who were guiding us during the open house were beyond anything we would have expected for kids that age. Also, when we observed a primary classroom in action, the ability of the children to focus and work together peacefully and cooperatively was very impressive. We knew we had come to the right place and that this was precisely the environment we wanted our children to be in.


What makes Mountaineer Montessori special to you?

The approach of incorporating all the elements of the environment into the learning experience is what makes Montessori special. The idea of looking beyond learning to read, write and mathematics as a sole objective, but rather making use of the same as it relates to everyday life is what renders the Montessori approach a very special one.  We also appreciate that the teaching methods at Mountaineer Montessori consider the developmental stages of the child, as well as their unique interests and abilities.




What do you sons like most about their school?

In all honesty, there is nothing that either of our two boys dislike about their school. If anything they look forward to going to school and in so many ways we can see that school is no longer a task, but rather a part of their life. They enjoy the outdoor activities, swimming, and school trips, in addition to interacting with Montessori friends and teachers. But most important of all, they enjoy the sense of belonging and being part of a team.



Do you have a special “Montessori moment” or memory?

When Zach and Rayan were in their first primary year, watching them perform on stage during the holiday season was very memorable for us. We can’t wait for more moments as they continue to advance and once their twin brothers start on the same journey in the near future.


How do you think Montessori prepares students for success in the 21st century?

We strongly believe that MMS and its approach to education are integral when it comes to preparing students for the 21st century. The curriculum emphasizes and fosters concepts and skills such as collaboration with peers, critical thinking, innovation, creativity, and problem solving, as well as peaceful communication and respect for others. These are exactly the skills that our children will need to flourish in adulthood and career-wise.


The theme of this year’s campaign is “Spreading Our Wings.” Can you think of a way Montessori lifts up your children and helps them “fly?”

We love that our children’s education is in the hands of professionals who truly care about them, their well-being, and their future. They understand child development and behavior. Our children are encouraged to learn in ways that work for them and are supported in learning when they are truly developmentally ready to learn various concepts with a highly individualized curriculum. This allows our boys to expand upon their strengths as well as develop and grow in areas that are more challenging. Our goal is for our boys to reach their utmost potential, spread their wings and fly to whatever heights they aspire to. With MMS, we feel we are giving them the best foundation possible.



This year’s MMS Annual Appeal goal is $25,000. Your gift will help us:

At MMS, potential unfolds and possibilities take flight. With your support, we can continue to elevate education and our community in the year ahead. The sky’s the limit. 

Give now.