Hand in Hand: MMS shares success, future plans at annual meeting

Untitled design (2)I am a small part of the world

I have a small hand to hold

But if I stand by your side

and you put your hand in mine,

Together we can be so strong and bold.*


From the beginning, nearly 40 years ago, Mountaineer Montessori School has united students, teachers, parents and the community hand in hand to create a better future for children, our school… and the world. At “Hand in Hand,” our 2014-15 Annual Meeting and Report to the Community held September 29, MMS board members and staff highlighted the ways we continue to work together to promote excellence in education and serve our community.  A large crowd of parents and friends were in attendance for this important gathering, which set an uplifting and unifying tone for the year ahead.  We invite you to be a part of another great year for our school though committee participation, volunteer efforts and financial support…. together, we can be so strong and bold!

Learn more in our annual report: MMS 2014-15 Annual Report Hand in Hand

MMS Annual Report 2014-15_PRINT MMS Annual Report 2014-15_PRINT MMS Annual Report 2014-15_PRINT MMS Annual Report 2014-15_PRINT MMS Annual Report 2014-15_PRINT








MMS Annual Report 2014-15_PRINT


















*Lyrics from “I Am Small Part of the World” (Sally Albrecht), sung by MMS students at a memorial service for Dana Gilliland, our late head of school.


Destination Imagination lifts off September 21

Imagine FINAL FINALDestination Imagination, a global program that teaches the creative process from imagination to innovation, lifts off for another year of adventure on Monday, September 21, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Advanced Technology Center, located at the WV Regional Technology Park. Many MMS students participate in this wonderful program that prepares children to imagine great possibilities for themselves and our world.

DI encourages teams of learners, from kindergarten through college, to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM, the arts and service learning. Students learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process.

Team members work together, during or after school, under the guidance of a teacher or trained parent or community volunteer team managers (Co-Leaders). The members work together to brainstorm, develop, and refine their solutions to the complex Team Challenge of their choice, and present their solutions at the WV Destination ImagiNation State Competition, in the spring.

At this introductory event, students, parents, and others will gain a basic understanding of the program and have fun working together to solve sample Instant Challenge activities. For more info contact: anne_fishkin@hotmail.com

Want to learn even more about DI?

Kira EckstadtDI Fun Day and Team Manager Training Day will be held on Saturday, October 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Advanced Technology Center. Lunch provided (Fee = $3.00 per person, adults or children). To pre-register, contact: anne_fishkin@hotmail.com (by October 21).

Intro to Destination Imagination







Help create future of education by serving on MMS Board of Directors

MMS Board CMountaineer Montessori School is approaching its fifth decade of lighting the way for education and we invite to be a part of the team leading our school towards this milestone. New members of the MMS Board of Directors will be elected at our school’s Annual Meeting and Report to the Community on September 29. Comprised of parent, faculty and community representatives, the board plays a vital role in our school, providing strategic direction, financial stewardship and community engagement to advance our school’s mission. The full board meets once a month; committee meetings are scheduled as needed.

Thanks to strong leadership by Immediate Past President Harry Bell, members transitioning off the board and those continuing in service, MMS is positioned for a very bright future. We encourage parents who wish to make a difference in their child’s education and in our community to consider getting involved through board and/or a committee membership. It’s an exciting time at MMS and we invite you to be a part of it.

To get involved, please take a minute to complete a four question survey and provide your contact information by Friday, September 18. A member of the nominating committee will be in touch with you soon.


Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing you on September 29!

Hand in hand: MMS annual meeting, report to community to be held Sept. 29












MMS parents, friends and the community are invited to our 2015 Annual Meeting and Report to the Community, to be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 29, at South Ruffner Presbyterian Church. During this important event, faculty and board members will update attendees on plans for the year ahead, share progress from the last 12 months and discuss “MMS@50,” our school’s 10-year strategic plan. Election of new board members will also be held. Please join us as we march hand in hand to the future!

Complimentary child care is available at our school to MMS families upon reservation. To RSVP, please call Beth George at 304/342-7870 or email bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org.


Sewing machine, old t-shirts needed for middle school ‘micro-economy’ projects

Middle School Surveying Project 004Creating and managing a micro-economy is a key component of the Montessori middle school curriculum. To help get this year’s entrepreneurship projects–starting with creating and selling rag rugs– up and running, our seventh- and eighth-year students would appreciate donations of the following:

  • Old t-shirts (laundered)
  • Rotary cutter
  • 18″ x 24″ (or larger) rotary cutting board
  • 6″ x 24″ rotary ruler
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Clothes pins


The MMMS “micro-economy” curriculum prepares students for the “real world,” incorporating nearly every academic subject and building responsibility, confidence, project management skills, collaboration and financial literacy.

To help: Donations may be brought to our primary/elementary campus (308 20th Street in Kanawha City) or the middle school at 804 Myrtle at Bridge Road (Unity Church).  For more information, please contact Middle School Lead Guide Bridgett Steveson at bsteveson@mountaineermontessori.org or call the school office at 304/342-7870.

Thank you SEW MUCH for supporting the next generation of WV entrepreneurs!

Sewing machine

Stack of color clothes isolated on white backgroundragrug



MMS presenting Positive Discipline workshop on Aug. 13

Pos Discipline FINALMMS is pleased to once again welcome Suzanne Smitha McPherson to lead training for staff and parents on positive discipline (PD).

Positive discipline is a time-honored approach for helping children develop a sense of belonging and contribution, responsibility, respect for self and others and problem-solving skills. PD teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others).

Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline also teaches.

Suzanne Smitha McPherson is a certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer who has taught parenting and education courses for 25 years. She is retired from 35 years as a school psychologist in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, and is the co-author of the manuals, Positive Discipline in the School and Classroom, Teachers’ Guide: Activities for Students and PDSC Leaders’ Guide: Resources and Activities.

The parent workshop will be held Thursday, August 13, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Mountaineer Montessori Middle School campus, located at Unity of Kanawha Valley, 804 Myrtle at Bridge Road. Attendees will receive a copy of the Positive Discipline Workbook by Dr. Jane Nielson.

RSVP by July 30 to reserve your seat and a copy of the workbook by contacting Beth George in the MMS office: bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org









Back-to-school packets out to MMS families

Back to School 003Believe it or not, it’s time to get ready for a new school year at MMS! 2015-16 Back-to-School packets have been mailed to all school families. Please take time now to review the important information and materials enclosed and note the dates for a number of key events and activities that are soon approaching. Please call Beth George in the MMS office at 304/342-7870 if you have questions or need additional information. We look forward to welcoming a growing number of families as we begin our 39th year of lighting the way for education. See you soon!


Montessori Meet-Ups connect families and fun


The Mountaineer Montessori School Parent Organization is offering a series of “Montessori Meet-Ups” to connect local families with a wide range of educational, entertaining and enriching summer activities. The events are open to MMS families, alumni, community friends, newcomers and others interested in learning and living the Montessori way.

The following Montessori Meet-Ups are planned for this summer:

Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 p.m.: MMS Book Club (adults) at Taylor Books. RSVP: jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org

Friday, July 17, 6:30 p.m.: Live on the Levee with Coyotes in Boxes and Qiet. RSVP: ssanders@mountaineermontessori.org

Monday, July 21, 7:05 p.m.: Power Park Family Buck Night: WV Power vs. Lexington Legends. RSVP: elizabeth.scharman@gmail.com

Saturday, July 25, 11 a.m.: MMS Kanawha State Forest Picnic and Pool Party. RSVP: mannessdr@gmail.com

Thursday, July 30, 10 a.m.: MMS Picnic and Playdates at Danner Meadow Park. RSVP: ssanders@mountaineermontessori.org

Saturday, Aug. 8, 8 a.m.: MMS trip to West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek. RSVP: elizabeth.scharman@gmail.com

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Parents Night Out. RSVP: elizabeth.scharman@gmail.com

For more information, please call the MMS office at 304/342-7870.

MMS to celebrate Montessori centennial at FestivALL Glass Classroom

MMS Glass Classroom P11 6-1-15Mountaineer Montessori School will join schools across North America in celebrating the centennial of the Montessori Glass Classroom as it presents a series of special events during FestivALL Charleston, a two-week cultural showcase when a city becomes a work of art. Read more about the exciting MMS Glass Classroom celebration here event here.

MMS FestivALL events:

Brown Bag Lunch: The Glass Classroom-A New Vision for Education, Wednesday, June 17, noon, Kanawha County Public Library

The Glass Classroom: A New Vision for Education/Classroom demonstrations and public conversations at the Charleston Town Center Mall

Friday, June 19: 2:30-grand opening/3:00-5:00 p.m. MMS Glass Classroom p 2 (14)demonstrations and interactive activities

Saturday, June 20: 1:00-3:00 p.m./classroom demonstrations and interactive activities

FestivALL Art Parade, Saturday, June 20, 10:00 a.m., MMS students will particpate to highlight the Glass Classroom demonstration

FestivALL Art-for-All Juried Children’s Art Show: June 19-27 at the Clay Center/reception and awards presentation on Saturday, June 27, 3:00 p.m.

FestivALL Children’s Art Fair: Saturday, June 26










MMS ‘Best. Summer. Ever.’ returns June 15-July 22

best summer ever 2015 with dates“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” Joseph Chilton Pierce

The MMS “Best. Summer. Ever.” series returns for 2015 as we present a special Adventure Play Camp offering a creative and educational experience for children. The camp will run Monday-Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., from June 15 to July 22.

Led by Montessori faculty, the camp will feature outdoor activities, imaginative child-driven play, sports, water games and endless fun. At this time, the camp will be limited to current MMS students. Tuition is $75/week, with a minimum of four weeks registration required.

For more information, please contact Michelle Scarbrough, scarborughmichelle@gmail.com or Susie Newhouse, E_snewshouse@yahoo.com, or call Beth George in the MMS office at 304/342-7870.