will mark its 20th anniversary this fall, but Rita Merk remains as devoted to the school's mission as she was two decades ago.
"I feel very committed to our school serving the community," said Merk, the school's educational director and who also founded the school. "We have some of the lowest Montessori fees of any such school in the city, and that's something we're very mindful of, as well."
Merk, who has spent 40 years as a Montessori educator, founded the school at its original, location, in April 1992. It moved to its current location in June 1996 as its student population increased.
"This location is great because people travel to downtown along this road," Merk said. "We’re very visible. We have students from Riverdale, Midtown, Smyrna and Inman Park."
Currently, the school has 85 students.
Montessori early childhood education stresses hands-on learning. "Our classes are teacher- and student-focused environments, not set curriculums," Merk said. "In a traditional school environment, teachers can’t deviate from the set curriculum. We don’t call our teachers, 'teachers.' We call them, 'guides.' "