Who We Are

Our Mission

The mission of Austin Montessori School is to guide the development of each child towards their full and unknown potential.  We cultivate compassion and respect, independence and belonging, and freedom and self-discipline, in rich academic and social environments that honor the complementary needs of the individual and the community.  We provide an educational setting that is inclusive, recognizes the authentic nature of the child, and nurtures a reverence for the natural order of the universe.
Through parent and staff education, we work to develop a school and family culture that preserves and protects a healthy childhood.  Our aim is to serve children possessing an ample range of temperaments and a variety of learning styles and rates.  At the same time, we seek to avoid pathologizing and labeling the normal range of children’s behaviors and differences in learning. We are dedicated to Montessori’s mission of world peace through human development.

Our Objectives

  • To help each child develop and educate his own individuality so that he can strive toward his unknown potential.
  • To enable the children to create a social structure among themselves that honors their contrasting needs as individuals and as a group and that makes their roles as individuals and as parts of the group complementary.
  • To guide each child along a path of development and education that is natural to him so that he may remain attuned to his own nature, nurture a reverence for the organic order of the universe, and become a whole and integrated human being who is both instrumental in his own growth and sensitive to the needs of all people. 

Our History

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  • January 6, 1907

    The first "Casa de Bambini" (Italian for "Children's House") opened in a slum quarter of Rome. Fifty children, aged three to six, were part of an astounding revolution in education begun by Dr. Maria Montessori.
  • Sixty years later, in September 1967

    Donna Pesoli (now Donna Bryant Goertz) and her family opened Austin Montessori School in an abandoned World War II army barracks on the campus of St. Edward's University. Seventeen children, aged two and a half to five, and one assistant formed the founding class.

    Donna went on to receive her Montessori elementary diploma from the Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani in Bergamo, Italy, and her Assistants to Infancy diploma from The Montessori Institute of Denver, Colorado. Her book, Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful: Preventing Exclusion in the Early Elementary Classroom, draws on her thirty years of experience guiding a community of thirty-five six- to nine-year-old children. Donna continues to serve as a resource to Austin Montessori School and schools around the world.

Austin Montessori School Today

Austin Montessori School has grown to be a thriving community of children, parents, faculty, and staff on three Austin campuses. We regularly host teachers-in-training and other Montessori professionals from around the world who come to observe or attend workshops.

Austin Montessori School is the oldest and largest Austin area school recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). AMI is the educational association founded by Dr. Maria Montessori and the only one endorsed by her. In addition to our accreditation by AMI that necessitates delivery of the highest quality of authentic Montessori pedagogy, Austin Montessori School is accredited by the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS) which sets standards of excellence in Texas education.

Our New Logo

In 2020, Austin Montessori School revised its logo to reflect the current state of growth and vitality in our community. Our new logo is a cordate-shaped leaf, enclosed in a circle. The circle is a universal symbol representing wholeness and unity. The emblem in the middle of the logo captures the dynamic of growth at our school - the definite, finite, and infinite possibilities of what we can offer in reverence of the child's authentic nature. Essentially, it encapsulates that Dr. Montessori said: "All we need to change is our fundamental attitude toward the child and love him with a love which has faith in his personality and goodness, which sees not his faults but his virtues."

The logo captures the love within our community, the passion that drives our work. Without love, we could not fulfill the central tenet of our mission: educating for peace. In almost all cultural and spiritual traditions, leaves signify fertility, growth, new life. Dead leaves represent decay, but through this decay comes renewal (hence the Western idiom 'to turn over a new leaf'). This constancy of renewal is resonant with the vitality and relevance of the future of Austin Montessori School even while in the middle of a pandemic. 

Lastly, the leaf's veins represent our community in how they are interconnected and give the leaf its structure. This interconnectedness is what holds us together - it is our lifeblood, sustaining us and making Austin Montessori School an integrative, ecological, educational community. 

To summarize, the new Austin Montessori School logo symbolizes life, renewal, energy, hope.
Austin Montessori School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex or gender, disability, or age in providing educational services, activities, and programs. Austin Montessori School complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), as amended, which incorporates and expands upon the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; and any other legally-protected classification or status protected by applicable law.