MMS Eclipse Day update for parents


Dear MMS Parents,

I’ve been working with our staff to determine our plan for Monday’s eclipse. Here’s what we’ve decided:

  • School will operate on a regular schedule on Monday, including our 2:50 p.m. dismissal.
  • Primary and Plus children will stay in the classrooms as normal on Monday afternoon until dismissal.
  • We have purchased approved eclipse glasses (conforming to and meeting the Transmission Requirements of ISO 12312-2 Filters for Direct Observation of the Sun) for our Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School students and staff.These classes will walk to a viewing area on Monday afternoon to watch a portion of the eclipse together. They will return in time for dismissal and will be instructed to refrain from looking at the sun during dismissal. Students will bring their eclipse glasses home. Students may bring baseball caps to wear on Monday if desired.
  • Elementary and Middle School parents are welcome to join us on Monday afternoon at 2:00 to walk to the viewing area.You must bring your own eye protection. Please let your child’s teacher know if you plan to attend. Please wait at the picnic tables in front of the elementary building until the class meets you there. You may reach the teachers by email:
  • Tara –;
  • Becca –;
  • Juli –;
  • Jason –;
  • Bridgett –
  • Parents are welcome to pick children up early on Monday or keep them home, especially if there are concerns that your child may not follow instructions regarding keeping eclipse glasses on to avoid eye damage. Please be sure to let Beth know if your child will not be attending school on Monday or if they will be checked out early.
  • If your child will be viewing the eclipse with us on Monday, please stress the importance of wearing the eclipse glasses. We will stress this in school as well.
  • If you do not feel your elementary or middle school child can safely participate in Monday’s eclipse viewing, please let me know and we will make alternate arrangements.


If you have any questions about Monday’s plans, please call or email me any time.


Best wishes,

Jennifer Carriger

MMS Director




Elementary and Middle School parents, please see the message below for more details regarding preparations for the eclipse viewing:


Dear Elementary and Middle School Parents and Friends,

The year was 1994: Forrest Gump rocked the Academy Awards for best picture, Justin Beiber was a newborn babe and West Virginia experienced its most recent 90 percent solar eclipse. 

On Monday, at around 2:30 p.m., the elementary classrooms will be viewing the upcoming eclipse with the aid of our special viewing glasses. An eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon are completely lined up. In the case of a solar eclipse, the moon blocks out the light of the sun. Here in West Virginia, the sun will appear as only a thin crescent, appearing somewhat like the crescent moon.

Prior to the viewing, the elementary and middle school teachers will be engaging students with lessons about the historical and astrological significance of the eclipse. In lower elementary, much emphasis is placed on the movements of the earth and the sun, explaining the massive scale of our universe and placing ourselves in the schema of the cosmos. In upper elementary, which places the students within the schema of human history, the eclipse will be placed in the context of its historical significance to ancient civilizations. Middle school students have been studying astronomy with guest instructor Emily Beal.


We will be attending carefully to the safety of the children while viewing the sun. Special eclipse glasses with solar filters block out enough UV radiation to protect the eyes and make viewing safe for the eyes. Children will be well-monitored when we enjoy this event together.

If you miss the event, don’t worry—you can join us for the next nearby eclipse in 2024! If you want to experience a 100 percent solar eclipse, you have only to wait for September 14, 2099!


The Elementary and Middle School Guides


MMS celebrates the eclipse

Mountaineer Montessori School is presenting a series of special education activities to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse that will occur on Monday, August 21.

Elementary and middle school students will take part in an all-school eclipse viewing event on Monday afternoon at Triana Field.

Leading up to the event, all students in primary through eighth year will participate in astronomy projects and lessons led by MMS faculty and experts including Dr. Emily Beal, who holds a dual degree PhD in geosciences and astrobiology from Penn State University.

The timing of the eclipse dovetails perfectly with astronomy lessons which kick off elementary studies each fall. The Montessori elementary curriculum is under-girded by the “Five Great Lessons,” which tell a sweeping story of our universe, our planet and the people and animals who make Earth their home. Each year begins with the “First Great Lesson,” which tells the story of the universe.

“The Great Lessons are an important and unique part of the Montessori curriculum. These lessons are bold, exciting, and are designed to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity. The child should be struck with the wonder of creation, thrilled with new ideas, and awed by the inventiveness and innovation that is part of the human spirit.” Montessori for Everyone.

MMS eclipse lessons even include art activities, such as these commemorative tee-shirts by lower elementary students!

Back to school information







The start of a new school is just around the corner.

Please take note of the important update sent to all parents by Director Jennifer Carriger. It is packed with critical information regarding school start dates and deadlines; RenWeb, our new online parent portal system; faculty and staff assignments; and special events.  Expanded information on all of these exciting developments will be shared in the days ahead….but for now, please take time to update your calendars and get ready to join us for our FIFTH decade of excellence and innovation in education!


Dear MMS Parents:

Thank you for being part of our school community!  We look forward to seeing you soon as Mountaineer Montessori School opens its doors for the 2017-2018 school year.   We are pleased to announce our 2017-2018 staff, who will provide a solid and supportive Montessori foundation for your children.

Our Primary program will continue in two classrooms, with students guided by Kathryn Rhoads and Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch. Kathryn will lead Primary I and will be assisted by Kristyn Anderson.  Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch will lead Primary II and will be assisted by Michelle Scarbrough.

Our Lower Elementary program will consist of two classrooms. Tara Fought and Nancy Johnston will continue to lead Lower Elementary I.  Becca Moore will return to guide Lower Elementary II, assisted by Alasha Al-Qudwah. Jason Winesburg and Juli Phillips are returning to lead Upper Elementary this year. Kristie Simmons will assist part-time in Upper Elementary and will also lead our morning plus program and provide a variety of office and classroom assistance throughout the school.

Our Middle School Program (at Unity of Kanawha Valley, 804 Myrtle Road) will be led by Bridgett Steveson.  Bridgett will be joined by Julie Margolis (math and PE) and Emily Capece (creative expression and writing workshop), as well as specialists Stan Bumgardner (West Virginia studies) and Colleen Anderson (writing workshop).

Karen Kelly returns to lead Montessori Plus this year.  Karen will be assisted by Maria León Kershner and Susie Newhouse.

Curriculum specialists will include Maria León Kershner, Spanish teacher, and Beth George, computer teacher.  Nancy Johnston will lead physical education classes and art classes and Darlene Spangler and Lindy Hoeft will provide Learning Support services.  Bernard DiGregorio will once again offer private-pay strings lessons to elementary-age students on Fridays. Please see Bernard’s letter for details.  Karen Morris will return as our Music Teacher and will be sending home information about her special enrichment class options.  We wish a fond farewell to Katie McFadden and Kate Laishley, who will not be returning to MMS this fall.  We thank each of them for their contributions to Mountaineer Montessori School and wish them all the best.

Be sure to attend our Ice Cream Social on Thursday, August 17 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Danner Meadow Park so that you can get acquainted and re-acquainted with all of our talented staff, MMS families, Board members and alumni.

Staff returns to the building on Wednesday, August 2.  If your child is new to MMS or moving up to a new classroom (primary to lower elementary and lower elementary to upper elementary), you will need to register for an orientation session for you and your child with his or her teacher.  This provides the opportunity to see the classroom, meet the teachers, and to have questions answered in a relaxed, informal manner.  Orientation sessions for Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary will be held on Friday, August 11.

All middle school students and parents (returning and new) should schedule an orientation session with Bridgett, Julie and Emily.  Middle school orientation sessions will take place on Thursday, August 10.

Class lists and instructions for registering for orientation sessions will be emailed by Thursday, August 4.

2017-2018 Student start dates will be as follows:


  • Monday, August 14– Primary Extended Day, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School
  • Tuesday, August 15– Returning Primary Morning Friends
  • Wednesday, August 16– New Primary Morning Friends


Arrival for all students at the main campus begins at 7:50 a.m.  Morning Friends will be dismissed at 11:50 a.m.  Extended Day and Elementary students will be dismissed at 2:50 p.m.  Middle school arrival begins at 8:00 a.m. with dismissal at 3:10 p.m.


The Plus Program will be available from the first day of classes.  Please contact the office before the first day of school in order to reserve a space in the program for your child.         Montessori Plus also accommodates students on a drop-in basis as space allows.   Please call at least a day ahead to reserve a spot.


Mountaineer Montessori School is excited to announce that our new school management system, RenWeb, is ready for our families to use. ParentsWeb, the private and secure parents’ portal, gives you access to many features, including attendance, school announcements, and school directories and forms.


To create your ParentsWeb account:

  • From your laptop or desktop, go to:
  • Type the school’s District Code:   MM-WV
  • Click Create New ParentsWeb Account.
  • Type your email address and click Create Account.
  • An email will be sent which includes a link to create your ParentsWeb login. The link is active for 6 hours.
  • Select the Click to Create your ParentsWeb login link.
  • A web browser displays your Name and RenWeb Person ID.
  • Type a User Name, Password, and Confirm the password.
  • Click Save User Name and/or Password. A message displays at the top of the browser, “User Name/Password successfully updated.”
  • You may now log in to ParentsWeb using your new User Name and Password.


Once you have logged in, please access and complete/update the following forms through ParentsWeb.  All forms should be completed before August 14:

  • Family demographic form:  please check the form for completeness and accuracy
  • student medical form
  • custodial parent form(s)
  • transportation form
  • field trip form
  • consent for use of student images form
  • in lieu of transportation form

Parents Web also contains the following Resource Documents:

  • Classroom supplies lists
  • WV Department of Health and Human Resources immunization requirements. A complete and up-to-date immunization record must be signed by your physician and filed at school on or before August 14th.
  • Plus Program information and supplies list
  • Strings letter
  • Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
  • Summer Assignments (Upper Elementary and Middle School)


Visit our website at   It contains staff biographies, the school calendar, events calendar and other important information.  Our Facebook page and Twitter feed are updated regularly with school news and photos.  We will be communicating with the parent body primarily by e-mail, ParentsWeb and Constant Contact this year, so if you have not confirmed your current e-mail address, please contact Beth George at to do so.  If your e-mail address should change during the course of the school year, please let us know as soon as possible.   Please note that any information that is sent out via e-mail is important and may not be followed up with hard copies.  Our goal is to be as environmentally responsible as possible.

We are excited to be able to continue providing our families with a strong educational program at Mountaineer Montessori School.  Thank you to the MMS Board of Directors, families, and alumni, all of whom continue to provide enthusiastic and generous support.

Best wishes,

Jennifer Carriger


Middle school selected for global science program sponsored by NASA, NOAA and NSF

Mountaineer Montessori Middle School has been selected to join a worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists and citizens working together to better understand and sustain the Earth’s environment. Starting next fall, students will be a part of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, which is jointly sponsored by NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation (NSF), with support from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

GLOBE is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.

Lead Guide Bridgett Steveson will participate in on-site GLOBE teacher training this summer to prepare for the program roll-out.

GLOBE provides grade level-appropriate, interdisciplinary activities and investigations about the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and soil/pedosphere, which have been developed by the scientific community and validated by teachers. GLOBE connects students, teachers, scientists, and citizens from different parts of the world to conduct real, hands-on science about their local environment and put in a global perspective.


Alumni share impact of MMS on education, career paths

One of the many highlights of our “Paint the Town” 40th anniversary celebration were tributes to our school and our wonderful arts educators by MMS alumni. Among those sharing memories and the impact of their Montessori experience on their later education and professional journeys were Carly Thaw, Robert Simmons, Deema Kahwash and Emily Beal.

Meet more MMS alumni here.


Carly Thaw

Barrie Kaufman and Carly Thaw

Carly is the daughter of Laura Bly Thaw and Rob Thaw and was a Mountaineer Montessori student for eight years. She was a National Merit Finalist and graduated from George Washington High School with highest honors in 2014. Carly is now a student at American University majoring in graphic design with a minor in theatrical design. She is a Presidential Scholarship recipient and has won many awards for her art. This summer Carly will attend the Rome Art Program as an American University Scholars and Artists Summer Fellow. She was awarded a research grant and will study coal mining history and culture in West Virginia.


Robert Simmons

Jennifer Carriger, Charly Hamilton and Robert Simmons


Robert attended Mountaineer Montessori for 10 years, from primary all the way through to middle school. He is the son of MMS faculty member Karen Kelly and Gordon Simmons. He attended George Washington High School and is now a graduate student at Marshall University, where he has earned numerous academic honors, including the Dean’s List, Phi Alpha Theta (honorary history society) and Golden Key Honor Society.


Deema Kahwash

Deema Kahwash, Nancy Johnston and Jennifer Carriger


Deema, a daughter of Dr. Zeina Haidar and Dr. Ziad Kahwash, graduated with highest honors from George Washington High School in May and is a National Merit Finalist. She will attend George Washington University this fall.


Emily Beal 

Emily Beal, right, with Marion Baer and Barrie Kaufman


Emily is a graduate of Capital High School and the University of Illinois, where she earned a B.S. in astronomy. She went on to earn a dual PhD in geoscience and astrobiology from Penn State. An environmental consultant, Emily is now the parent of an MMS student. “MMS gave me a wonderful foundation for my education and a love of learning. Throughout my life, I have talked to people from many states and countries and different backgrounds, and I cannot name one person who had a better elementary school based both on happy memories and good education,” she says.


Our former students are the best advertisements for the power of Montessori, and we were thrilled that they could be a part of this amazing celebration that kicks off our fifth decade of excellence and innovation in education. The best is yet to come for them and for MMS!

2017 Summer Montessori Meet-Ups Calendar

The 2017 Summer Montessori Meet-Ups line up has been set.  Meet-Ups are opportunities for MMS families and friends to connect and have fun over the summer. This is a great way for new families to meet others and a simple way to keep your children in touch with their friends in the weeks ahead.


While most events have a contact person listed, no RSVPs are needed unless noted…just show up and hang out with your Montessori friends…wear your “M” shirts and look for others wearing their MMS colors!


Please note that this calendar may be updated with additional activities or changes as events and/or weather dictate. Watch your email, social media and the MMS blog for updates. If you have an idea for an additional activity, please contact Hollie Hubbert, the 2017 Montessori Meet-Up Coordinator at; 304/389-3031 (cell).


Montessori Meet-Ups Summer 2017


Sunday, June 4: Symphony Sunday. Meet up in the Artisan Tent on the University of Charleston lawn at 3:40 p.m. for a Japanese culture presentation, including singing “Country Roads” in Japanese and origami lessons.  Activity will be under a tent.  If raining, the program will continue. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and stay for the WVSO performance and fireworks!  Enjoy a variety of great food vendors and music. Contact: Hollie Hubbert,; 304/389-3031 (cell).

Sunday, June 11:  Greenbrier Pool Party starting at noon, 5103 Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City. Admission is $3 for non-members. Concessions open for lunch and snacks.  Bring bathing suit, sunscreen and towel.Contact: Hollie Hubbert,; 304/389-3031 (cell).

Saturday, June 17: FestivALL Art Parade. Celebrate 40 years of Education in Living Color at MMS by participating in this fun and casual parade, which runs from Kanawha Boulevard down Capitol Street ending with a party at the Capitol Market. All ages (strollers, etc.) are welcome. WEAR YOUR M SHIRT. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. Participants should line up on Kanawha Boulevard at Capitol Street no later than 9:30 a.m. at Haddad Park. Please watch for details. Contact: Kari Peyatte, 304/541-2719 (cell).

Saturday, June 24: FestivALL Children’s Art Fair. Join MMS from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for make-and-take creative fun at our booth at the Kanawha County Library, presented annually as part of the the FestivALL Children’s Art Fair. Volunteers needed...please watch for details to sign up. Contact: Jennifer Carriger,

Saturday, June 24: Art for All Reception, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Clay Center. MMS students (and their families and teachers) whose work was accepted for the 2017 FestivALL Art for All show are invited to a reception and awards presentation in the Benedum Grand Lobby. Please watch for details. Contact: JoEllen Zacks,

Tuesday, June 27: BridgeFest, 6:00-9:30 p.m., Bridge Road Shops in South Hills. Join us for this family-friendly neighborhood festival featuring great food and music. Contact/coordinator needed.

Wednesday, June 28: Tampa Taiko at the Kanawha County Library main location in downtown Charleston at 2:00 p.m. Tampa Taiko is a Japanese drumming group based out of Tampa, Florida.  In this program, children will learn how these special drums are made and will have the opportunity to learn to play them together harmoniously. No contact…just show up!

Wednesday, July 12: WV Power vs. Augusta, 7:00 p.m. at Appalachian Power Park. Rain date: July 13. Contact: Abbey Fiorelli, 304/380-6465 (cell);

Saturday, July 15: Magic Island Picnic, 10:00 a.m. (West Side of Charleston). Meet for splash park and playground fun and a picnic.  Bring your sunscreen, bathing suits, beach towels, volleyball for sand volley ball, soccer balls and bikes–so much to do on Magic Island.   Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch and blanket or lawn chairs. Contact: Enybe Diaz:

Friday, July 21: Live on the Levee, Haddad River Front Park, 6:30 p.m. Featuring Qiet and 10,000 Maniacs. Meet at the bottom of the steps, stage left near/around the playground area and enjoy great food vendors, music, playing and dancing! Contact:; 304/389-3031 (cell).

Saturday, July 22: Downtown Streetfest, 4:30-9:00 p.m. on Capitol Street between Quarrier and Lee Streets. Head down to Capitol Street for Downtown Streetfest block party, headlined by classic rock band Chase, and featuring food, beverages, children’s activities, pop-up shops and much more. This event coincides with the Glow Run 5K, an all-age run that will light up the downtown street. The race starts at 9:00 p.m. during Downtown Streetfest, with runners and walkers decked out in glow sticks and neon. Contact: Abbey Fiorelli, 304/380-6465 (cell);

Wednesday, July 26: Activated Story Theatre, Kanawha County Library, Main Library, Capitol Street, 6:00 p.m. In this fun show, Activated Story Theatre will perform two stories about building and making the world a better place. Children who show up 30 minutes early may play featured roles in the show! Contact: TBD or just show up!

Sunday, August 13: Back to School Party at the Greenbrier Pool starting at noon, 5103 Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City. Admission is $3 for non-members. Concessions open for lunch and snacks.  Bring bathing suit, sunscreen and towel.Contact: Hollie Hubbert,; 304/389-3031 (cell).

Thursday, August 17: Annual MMS Back to School Ice Cream Social at Danner Meadow Park. Details TBA.

Saturday, August 26: Downtown Streetfest, 4:30-9:00 p.m. on Capitol Street between Quarrier and Lee Streets. Meet up with friends and family to enjoy a performance by the Voo Doo Katz (our “Paint the Town” headliners), food and drinks, children’s activities, pop-up shops and much more. The event coincides with the Kanawha River Navy annual “Funeral Parade”. The parade will kickoff at 5:00 p.m. on the corner of Kanawha Boulevard and Capitol Street and parade through to Downtown Streetfest. Contact: Abbey Fiorelli, 304/380-6465 (cell);

Reminder: This calendar may be updated with additional activities or changes as events and/or weather dictate. Watch your email, social media and the MMS blog for updates.


New school year calendar highlights

Our 2017-2018 calendar has been finalized and will be included with your summer enrollment information/forms.  Meanwhile, here are some of the calendar highlights:

  • August 11: New Student Visits
  • August 14:  First Day for Students – Primary Extended Day, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School
  • August 15:  First Day for Students – Returning Primary Morning Friends
  • August 16:  First Day for Students – New Primary Morning Friends
  • August 17:  Ice Cream Social @ Danner Meadow Park
  • August 22: Back to School Night-Primary
  • August 23:  Back to School Night – Elementary
  • September 4: School Closed/Labor Day
  • September 18: Annual Meeting for All Families
  • October 9-10:  Parent Conferences/No Classes/Plus Available
  • November 10: Professional Development/No Classes/No Plus
  • November 20-24:  School Closed/Thanksgiving Break
  • December 20:  Noon dismissal/Winter Concert
  • December 21-30: School Closed/New Year’s Break (School resumes January 2.)
  • February 19-23: School Closed/Winter Break
  • April 2-6:   School Closed/Spring Break
  • April 23-27:  Standardized Testing Week (grades 1-8)
  • May 17-18: Parent Conferences/No Classes/Plus available
  • May 28: School Closed/Memorial Day
  • June 1: Last Day of School/Early Dismissal/Picnic


Paint the Town photographs now available

Photos from Paint the Town are now available from Burns Exposure Photography, one of the wonderful Montessori Masterpieces contributors.

The link to the MMS photo gallery can be found at:

If you right click an image and choose “save as,” it will download a low resolution image containing a watermark. 

If you click the download button below the image and enter the password “PaintTheTown17,” it will download a high resolution image without a watermark.Passwords are Case Sensitive. 

If you post images on social media without a watermark, Burns Exposure asks to be credited by tagging Burns Exposures. Prints can be purchased from the Burns Exposure site and images ordered will not contain a watermark.

And don’t forget to order your Montessori Masterpieces prints, posters and note cards. Orders are due on Tuesday, May 30.

Yearbook ordering underway through June 30

Orders for “Education in Living Color,” the 2016-17 MMS yearbook, are now being accepted. This year’s book will be a beautiful, 88-page page professionally designed hardcover keepsake highlighting another colorful year at Mountaineer Montessori School.

Field trips…music….Tint Sprint…playground…class projects… outdoor environment…art… chess…PE….Montessori Masterpieces….Parents Night Out… class plays….tie dye day…math… science…writing workshops….Plus…Paint the Town…picnic….summer camp… and more.  The MMS yearbook will be packed with photo memories, including several pages devoted to each class and teacher/class photos.

Your order will include the free opportunity to customize two pages with personal milestones and photos from your child’s year.  Personalization is optional.

Yearbooks, which will include MMS summer activities such as summer camp and FestivALL, will be delivered to MMS in August. Personalization and orders are due June 30 . Each copy is $40 through that date.

To order, please go to Tree Ring . The MMS passcode is 101463315626468. Copies of last year’s book, Hand in Hand, are available for perusal in the MMS office.

Montessori Masterpieces prints available

Here’s your opportunity to take home one of the world’s most famous paintings featuring your child.

Prints of our 2017 class art projects, Montessori Masterpieces, are now available.
Prints will be produced on high-quality art paper; (average size print will be 11″x 14″, but may include white margins and vary slightly by size due to shape and proportions of the original work of art).

All items are $20.00 each. Orders due Tuesday, May 30-FIRM DEADLINE

Items available:

  • High quality 11″ x 14 ” prints of eight different class masterpieces
  • Commemorative 11″ x 17″ poster featuring all eight masterpieces
  • Masterpiece 5″ x 7″ fold-over note cards with envelopes. Sold in sets of 8; choose one of each of 8 selections or 8 of one.

Order form: Montessori Masterpieces Order Form

Deliver your completed order form and check payable to “MMS” to: Beth George, Mountaineer Montessori School, 308 20th Street, SE, Charleston, WV 25304


Additional copies of the paintings sold at our Paint the Town auction may be available to purchasers who match the winning bid. For details, please email


About Montessori Masterpieces

Through a project called “Montessori Masterpieces,” MS students ages 3-14 staged eight living paintings in the community. The scenes were captured digitally and edited into masterpiece images by volunteer photographers, who donated their time and services. The final images were then transformed into canvas paintings by a fine art production house.

The partnership was part of a year long celebration of “Education in Living Color” at Mountaineer Montessori School, 308 20th Street in the University of Charleston neighborhood, which is marking its 40th anniversary. The school serves 125 students ages 3-14.

The paintings premiered to the public on Thursday, May 18,  at the Capitol Conference Center from 5:00-8:00 p.m. as part of the Downtown Charleston ArtWalk, and went up for bid at “Paint the Town,” the MMS spring gala held Saturday, May 20,. (See the event page for details.) The event honored three outstanding educators who have enriched the MMS experience through integrated arts programming for a combined 75 years: Barrie Kaufman, Nancy Johnston and Charly Hamilton. (See below)


The Montessori Masterpieces collection includes:

Primary I: “Snap the Whip” by Winslow Homer with Burns Exposure Photography

Primary II: “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat with Mike Hall

Lower Elementary I: “School of Athens” by Raphael with Mike Winland

Lower Elementary II: “The Building of the Famous Palace of Khawarnaq” by Behzad with Chris Gosses

Upper Elementary I: “Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette” by Renoir with Mark Wolfe

Upper Elementary II: “General George Washington Resigning His Commission” by John Trumbell with Mark Wolfe

Middle School: “A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park” by Diego Rivera with Chad Cordell 

After School  Program: “American Gothic” by Grant Wood with JoEllen Zacks

Living and learning history

The Montessori Masterpieces project directly supported and extended the school’s academic curriculum.

To prepare for their recreation of Winslow Homer’s “Snap the Whip,” one class of preschool children learned about life in the 19th century and played classic American games that children their age enjoyed in time before video games and television. Children in first through third grade gained deeper understanding of their early civilization studies by staging scenes from ancient Greece (School of Athens by Raphael) and Persia (Building of the Famous Palace of Khawarnaq by Behzad.)

Upper Elementary students recreated a pivotal scene from their studies of U.S. history this year by staging John Trumbull’s “General George Washington Resigning His Commission.” Latin history and culture was an area of focus for Middle School students and many of the central themes that emerged from their studies were depicted in the painting they staged, Diego Rivera’s “A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.”

Celebrating art and artists

The eight “Montessori Masterpieces” will go up for bid on Saturday, May 20 at “Paint the Town,” the school’s spring gala to be held from 7:00-10:00 p.m. at Columbia Gas. The brightest night of the year will highlight the school’s 40 colorful years serving more than 1,000 Charleston children and celebrate the contributions of well-known West Virginia artists and educators who have enriched the MMS experience through integrated arts programming for a combined 75 years: Barrie Kaufman, Nancy Johnston and Charly Hamilton.

The evening will feature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, entertainment by Steven Himes and The Voodoo Katz, live and silent auctions and a “Party and Paint” station offering creative fun for grownups. Proceeds benefit the school’s teacher appreciation, financial aid and specialty programming funds.

Tickets start at $75. For more information, please see the event page or call 304/342-7870.