2021 Annual Appeal Ambassadors: The Ihle Family

Mountaineer Montessori began its 45th year of excellence and innovation in education this fall.

While many things have changed over the years–including program expansions and a new campus–our mission remains the same: creating a better tomorrow through service to the child today.

Founded in 1976, Mountaineer Montessori is West Virginia’s original and largest Montessori school, offering a premier, child-centered educational experience to 178 students ages Toddler-Middle School right here in the heart of Appalachia.

“Creating the Future, One Child at a Time,” the 2021 MMS Annual Appeal, provides essential funding that enables us to lead, adapt and meet the growing demand for superior academic options in our community and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers, problem solvers, community builders and visionary leaders.

Text mmsfuture to 76278 or visit the campaign platform to give now

As a part of the campaign, MMS students, families, teachers and alumni are sharing their Montessori stories and the impact they’ve had on their lives.

This is the Ihle family’s story told by Rayan Ihle:



Rayan Ihle, MD, with Isaiah (Lower Elementary II), Paul Ihle, and Abigail (Upper Elementary I)


Why did you choose MMS for your family?

The focus on education early in life is what drew us to MMS. We initially chose this school because they “teach to the child,” so we knew they would support our daughter’s desire to learn at a young age.


Abigail, Isaiah, what do you like best about your school?

Abigail: The open work periods that allow me to chose what I work I do each day at my own speed. 

Isaiah: I like that I’m taught how to do things myself and that I can do lessons my own way. 


What makes MMS special or different to you?

Abigail: That there are three grades in each class so that each grade can help each other with their work.


Do you have any special  “Montessori moments”/favorite memories?  

Abigail: There’s a tree in the field and my favorite memory is being able to climb it with my friends. 


The theme of this year’s campaign is “Creating the Future, One Child at a Time.”  What are your hopes for your children’s future and how do you see MMS playing a role in influencing tomorrow, for them?

I think every parent wants to see their child learn and be successful. With Montessori, you can see a foundation being built that prepares your children for life long success. Tenets of respect, responsibility, independence, self motivation, and leadership will shape their lives forever. We couldn’t ask for anything more. 


What would you say to families considering MMS for their children?

From “Grace and Courtesy” to teaching independence, MMS embraces even the youngest of learners. The freedom of choice allowing children to chose their own work empowers them with a sense of responsibility by making their own weekly lesson plans. The mixed age classroom allows older children to mentor and teach which solidifies concepts and encourages leadership, while allowing younger children to learn early on how to work in teams of their peers. And the hands-on learning acknowledges the active nature of children while modeling real world scenarios in which multiple concepts are learned simultaneously. The “unwritten curriculum” of the Montessori Method shows that the process of learning is just as important as the material itself. 


We invite you to create the future with the Ihles with your gift today…. text mmsfuture to 76278 or visit our campaign platform to give now.