About MMS

Mountaineer Montessori School:  Lighting the way for education since 1976

Mary-2Mountaineer Montessori School was founded in 1976 by Mary McKown, a visionary educator who touched the lives of hundreds of Charleston children.  What started out as one classroom with primary students (3 to 6 year olds), is now the oldest, largest and most well-established Montessori school in West Virginia. We will serve an estimated 120 students up to eighth grade starting in August 2014.

Built on a 38-year-tradition of excellence and innovation education, we provide a multi-disciplinary, integrated academic curriculum that includes a rich music and arts program, an on-site learning specialist and physical education at the University of Charleston pool and gymnasium.   At MMS, we help children fulfill their unique potential and make the world a better place.


Authentic Montessori education

Since the beginning, MMS has held fast to the philosophy of Maria Montessori and thams logoe vision of our founder.  MMS is the only school in the area that is staffed by fully certified Montessori teachers and provides an authentic Montessori education to the children of the Kanawha Valley.   All lead teachers are certified by the American Montessori Society (AMS) or Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the two most recognized certification programs worldwide.  AMS and AMI AMI logocertifications require sustained on-campus training, testing and collaboration with Montessori educators from around the world. Most of these programs exceed the requirements of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MATCE).   Certifications other than AMI or AMS are not as widely accepted. Our curriculum is approved by the Kanawha County Schools. MMS knows Montessori!

We invite you to visit our MMS in the news page and other areas of our website to learn more about our school, its programs and people, see what’s cool about our school and find out how to support us.


World class education in a neighborhood setting

P1 on playground100B2941100B1911










Our unmistakable sign — a  20-foot long piece of art created by Charly Hamilton in collaboration with MMS students in 2011 —  school 3signals the joyful learning that can be found throughout our campus.  We’re housed in a vintage three-story brick school building brimming with accessible and intriguing educational materials, colorful art, a menagerie of animal friends, a children’s library, an inviting after-school room and Apple computer lab. Our beautiful outdoor environment includes a new student-designed playground and jungle gyms, a garden, playhouses and other features that invite exploration and wonder.

MMS is located at 308 20th Street in the heart of Charleston just off MacCorkle Avenue, providing us with easy access to all of the rich cultural offerings of the city, the amenities of our leafy Kanawha City neighborhood and the facilities of the University of Charleston, with whom we enjoy a mutually beneficial and long-standing relationship.



We are all connected

936109_480956198639745_632110812_nGreg Henshall MLK 2IMG_2977








MMS celebrates the rich and vibrant diversity of our school community and actively nurtures an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all children.   Perhaps our students, composing “At Mountaineer Montessori”  (MMS School Song), said it best:

                        life lights connected resize

             We all come from different places

We all have different faces

And we are all connected

At Mountaineer Montessori!

Your family has a home with ours at MMS!


Charleston’s Montessori school

Since its founding, Mountaineer Montessori has enriched the lives of more than a thousand students, who have gone on to academic achievement, distinguished professional careers and active community engagement and public service.   After nearly 40 years, we’re proud to say that we are Charleston’s — and West Virginia’s — Montessori school. We  invite your family to become part of this special tradition!