Early Years in Classroom
The early years in the classroom
With their own money and that of their parents and some generous families, they bought materials to furnish the classroom. They worked for months to convert the empty room in the church basement into a functioning classroom. The doors to the big classroom – and only classroom –opened for the first time in 1981 to eight children and two teachers – Terry and Elizabeth (Elizabeth left MMS in 1991). Because enrollment was low, students could spend half or full days at school. By the end of the first year approximately 14 students had entered. By 1984 there were enough students for a morning and afternoon session and a new classroom was opened for two to three year olds. In 1987 the kindergarten program was started.
31 years and counting – continuity and change
Today, Terry continues to direct and lead Madison Montessori School with its three classrooms, 66 students, 12 teachers and 3 administrators – as well as teach the kindergarten classes. It is Terry’s stable leadership that has helped MMS remain true to its founding principles. While alumni visiting may find comfort in the sameness of the classrooms, materials and teaching staff, subtle changes have occurred. Genuine Art was established to fund scholarships for current families. Children socialize more in the classroom than they did in the early years. To keep up with the ever changing, ever increasing government regulations and day-to-day responsibilities of running the school, Kathy Jenco was hired as a full time administrator. The teachers say hiring Kathy has been the biggest and best change.