Twenty years ago one of three buildings on its way up the Quemazon hill entrance. Courtesy photo
First building arrives at the final site in Quemazon. Courtesy photo
QUEMAZON MONTESSORI News:
This week Quemazon Montessori School will turn 20! To some this seems like a long time, but to most, time has simply flown by. What started as a business to fill a need in the community has turned into a passionate collective of families and a very dedicated staff.
The school was built in 2001 specifically as a preschool with small children in mind. Each room was designed to meet children’s needs down to the tiny toilets and windows at floor level, just for little ones.
“The buildings were designed to be bright, open and accessible for children,” Quemazon Montessori School owner Tammy Tucker said.
Perched at the top of the entrance to the Quemazon community, the surrounding playground has expansive views and lots of room to explore.
“Our enduring success is directly attributed to our dedicated and well-qualified staff as well as our wonderful families. It’s a great partnership that has proven to be a successful combination. The children truly benefit the most from this wonderful sense of community,” Tucker said.
The first class that attended Quemazon is now beyond college. Many families still keep in touch sending graduation pictures, or dropping a note around the holidays. Some former students return to work at Quemazon during the summer months, which often leads to reminiscing and heartfelt “I remember when you were two and …” stories.
Collectively, the staff at Quemazon has more than 130 years of combined experience working at the school. Many of the teachers have taught for 15 plus years, watching many children grow-up through the years.
“We work together as a team and in many ways are like a family. All of the teachers are inspired to help each child reach his or her potential and we truly enjoy caring for children. When hiring teachers, we look for people with big hearts, a good sense of humor, and experience or the willingness to learn about child development,” Director Edith Stringer said.
The 20-year journey hasn’t always been easy, there have been a few bumps along the way. In 2010 a car ran into the front of the building and caused an explosion, which required one of the main building to be rebuilt. Then last year COVID arrived and temporarily shut down the school.
However, a mix of tenacity, pragmatism and resilience has made Quemazon Montessori an enduring business.
“I think as a school community one of our best qualities is the ability to adapt and be flexible. We continually evaluate our offerings to do our best to meet the needs of the community,” Tucker said.
COVID has changed the workforce needs and now more parents are working from home with flexible schedules. As a result, the school is going to expand enrollment offerings and add a limited amount of part-time slots for the 2 to 4-year-old children in the Early Childhood program beginning in the fall.
“We look forward to the oncoming years and providing a nurturing environment where children can grow socially and academically. It’s always difficult for the teachers to watch the children leave for Kindergarten, but they know the kids are leaving with a solid foundation and a passion for learning,” Tucker said.
For information regarding programs or to schedule a tour at Quemazon Montessori, please call the school at 505.662.3000.
Second building arrives at the final site. Courtesy photo
Parents install and assemble the playground equipment. Courtesy photo
Happy parents prepping the playground. Courtesy photo
The main building today. Courtesy photo