2020 Annual Appeal Ambassadors: The Merritt family


Mountaineer Montessori empowers the potential in each child and creates an inspired future for our students, community and world.

Founded in 1976, Mountaineer Montessori is West Virginia’s original and largest Montessori school, offering a world-class educational experience to 142 students ages 3-14 right here in Charleston. “What the World Needs Now,” the 2020 MMS Annual Appeal, will provide critical funding to help us meet the growing demand for superior academic options in our community and sustain our 44-year tradition of excellence and innovation in education.

As part of our campaign, MMS students, families, teachers and alumni are sharing their Montessori stories to highlight what epic education means to them and the impact our school has made.

Give now or text mmsworld to 76278


Why did you choose Montessori for your family?

Enybe Diaz and Brandon Merritt, with Lucia (Lower Elementary), Oliver (Primary) and Sammy

We heard about the Montessori method being a completely different approach to education from conventional schools and we were intrigued. We started reading about the Montessori method and watching YouTube some videos about it and it seemed to make a lot of sense. I knew my coworker was sending her son to MMS so I started asking her about her experience and it all sounded super exciting and interesting. However, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to afford private schools, so we almost dropped the idea. Luckily, we decided to contact MMS to learn more about the school and take the tour to see if we even liked it. Well, once you take the tour it’s hard not love it and want it for your kids! It turned out that MMS had financial options that allowed us to become an MMS family and we are super grateful for this. A big shout out to all the MMS families that support the school’s annual fundraising!

In the beginning after we became an MMS family, we still had a lot of questions about how the method works! You just have to believe, sit back and watch and be amazed. Lucia is on her second year of Lower Elementary and our son Oliver is on his second year of Primary. We look forward for Sammy to start next year!


 What makes MMS special to you?

We get a lot of peace of mind knowing that we are providing the best education to our kids. An education approach that is not only teaching them information but helping them be curious and creative and respectful of other people and the environment.  In addition, MMS has helped us find the path to the Positive Discipline approach through their parent education opportunities and it has been a guiding light for us as we go through the never-ending struggle of trying our best as parents.


 What do your children like best about MMS?

We think they love the diverse variety of interesting materials in the classroom, the art room and even the Plus room.  I think they enjoy their freedom within limits. They loved being able to move around through the school and not being limited at the playground for wanting to climb! 

Our kids may not fully comprehend how lucky they are to be in a positive respectful environment that promotes the love of learning and the freedom to be creative because MMS is the only thing they have experienced, but they are learning and they are happy.


MMS nurtures the qualities and skills needed today more than ever. Which are important to you and how do you see MMS developing them in your child?

For us kindness and leadership are particularly important. We want our kids to be kind to others and their environment and to help through positive leadership. In our opinion awareness, empathy and respect are the foundation for both kindness and leadership.

Any favorite “Montessori Moment” from over the years?

It’s hard to pick one. We remember one day that Susie said that she had never seen a 3-year-old climb down the playground equipment pole. We do remember the first time Lucia went down it. She was a bit terrified. She was neither pressured not discouraged to do it. She was simply allowed to give it a try if she was ready.  That is to us what the Montessori method is all about.


Give now or text mmsworld to 76278