At the Montessori School of Raleigh, learning is centered around discovering oneself as well as exploring the world around them. Unlike Leesville, the students at this school spend a healthy amount of their day doing hands-on activities either individually or with peers. And believe it or not, they enjoy going to school.
Because the school only allows a maximum of sixty kids, each student is able to get one-on-one time with each teacher. This allows the teachers to tailor each child’s education in order suit their specific needs, stressing the importance of individuality rather than conformity.
“By sixth grade I was already helping to plan a trip to New York,“ said Mckenzie Ammons, Leesville senior and former Montessori attendee. “very rarely did a teacher just give a lecture or go through a power point.”
The school looks to bring excitement to the learning process by taking their ninth grade class to Europe each year, raising chickens, and introducing kids to a wide variety of arts in hopes of sparking an interest that could last a life-time. Yes, even glass blowing.
“It was truly amazing (the school),” said Anna Phillips, also a current Leesville senior and former Montessori student. “Our whole school was like a family: You built a different kind of bond with each of your classmates.”
And as for the transition from MSR to Leesville, both Ammons and Phillips agreed that it was no easy task. “At MSR there were roughly 50 middle schoolers (7th 8th and 9th), whereas in my class at Leesville there are nearly 600 students,” said Ammons, “it definitely took some adjusting”.
Luckily by now both students have made the necessary adjustments to be able to comfortably navigate the halls of Leesville. And as they get ready to move into the next phase of their lives, they will be able to use the many valuable life lessons they learned during their days at Montessori in order to tackle the many challenges that lay ahead.