Mission and History

Mission Statement

The mission of Austin Montessori School is to guide the intellectual and character development of each child along a path towards his full and unknown potential. We strive to cultivate compassion and respect, independence and belonging, and freedom and self-discipline, in rich academic and social environments that are designed for each plane of development and honor the complementary needs of the individual and the group. We value an educational setting that is inclusive and recognizes the authentic nature of the child and nurtures a reverence for the organic 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.

Austin Montessori School 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 them 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.

School History

On 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 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.
 
Today Donna acts as a resource to schools around the world. She is well known as being the founder of a Montessori institution that develops the potential of children, and which offers the city of Austin and surrounding areas a quality in education that is unmatched.

More information on the history of Austin Montessori School can be found in our Annual Report.
    • Donna Bryant Goertz, Founder

      Donna Bryant Goertz, Founder

A Day in the Life of a Child at Austin Montessori School

Austin Montessori School Today

Austin Montessori School has grown to be a thriving community of children, parents, faculty, and staff on three Austin campuses. Austin Montessori is internationally known in Montessori circles as an exemplary school, and it regularly hosts teachers-in-training and other Montessori professionals who come to observe or to attend workshops. Austin Montessori School is the oldest and largest Austin area school recognized by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). AMI is the educational association founded by Maria Montessori and the only one endorsed by her.

Currently, our faculty and staff include 61 committed professionals, twenty-six of whom are AMI-trained with a further seven faculty members currently working towards AMI certification. All five of the full-time instructors at our Adolescent Community have completed the North American Montessori Teachers' Association (NAMTA) Adolescent Orientation. Since November 2010, AMI has recognized this program as the current AMI adolescent pedagogical offering. The school strongly invests in continuing education and personal development.