I started my life in County Limerick, Ireland. I took my Montessori training in Dublin. In 1962-3, I taught in a long-term care orthopedic hospital for children in Dublin, and in 1963, I was invited to come to St. Louis to open a Montessori School.
Being a mere 21 and full of adventure, I did. I could not wait to see the confluence of two great rivers, and to hear what I had been told was great jazz. That's all I knew about this wonderful place.
When I was about to move on from the area, I received another invitation to stay. This was from the gentleman who was my husband of 47 years, and the father of our eight beautiful children.
Living in an area which was not at all close to a Montessori school, I ran a little school at home, and used the age-old barter system for tuition. That way everyone wins!
In 1989, I applied for a job as a Montessori teacher in a school that was starting in St. Charles. I got the job, and two years later, I became the director. I was convinced I needed a degree from an American university, so at the same time I went back to work, I went back to school.
Early cooking lessons paid off when I had to ask each of our children to make dinner one night a week so I could finish my studies. In 1991, I received my bachelor’s degree from U.M.S.L. I was surprised to go from student to award-winner when I received the Trailblazers Award from the Department of Women’s Studies in 2004. I have the distinction of being known as the first Montessori teacher in this area, which is part of the reason they chose to honor me.
Now the little school I helped to begin in 1989 grew to include a toddler class, and lower and upper elementary classes. Since we are accredited through an international Montessori organization, we are listed in directories distributed throughout the U.S. Families moving to the St. Louis area often choose to live in St. Charles in order to send their children to our school.