History of Mildenhall Montessori
Mildenhall Montessori Schools is a family owned endeavour. The Schools’ owners, Brent Lisowski and Brenda Hebert, have been involved in Montessori education since 1978 when their eldest child, Anne (current Head of School), began attending High Park Gardens Montessori School. Both Brent and Brenda have had successful careers as senior partners at two of Canada’s major law firms, but the schools have been their pride and joy for the last 30 years. They have dedicated their efforts to ensuring that the Schools are providing a program that is optimal for the children, are flexible and responsive to parental requests, are staffed by highly qualified and experienced educators, and are sustainable for generations.
Follow the Child - Maria Montessori
Mission and Values
Mildenhall Montessori Schools are guided by an aspiration to prepare each child for the challenges and opportunities of life. From the carefully constructed environments to the mindful interactions of the teachers to the mixed age classrooms to the three year learning cycles, our schools focus on preparing our children academically, socially, and emotionally.
Our teachers trust that the child will achieve beyond any set standards if given the opportunity to do so. This education is founded on respect for every individual’s diversity, independence, and curiosity. The environment and skilled teachers support self-initiative and self-confidence through the development of critical thought, experimentation, and exploration. The guidance towards independence and self-discipline invites children from 2 to 12 years of age to actively participate in the world.
The result of the process from early years to middle school, is a well prepared, confident, independent, and thoughtful learner, who can excel not only in school but in life.
Create, Imagine, Learn
We hope you can get a feel for the Montessori method through our program information and the FAQ. There is endless information (and misinformation) available on the internet regarding Montessori.
The following sites have reliable information and can guide you further in your discovery of the Montessori method:
Please don’t hesitate to call us about anything you wonder about. We’d love the chance to explain why we choose to educate our children in this way.
“Education of even a small child does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” - Maria Montessori
Mildenhall Montessori Schools
Anne Smith, Ph.D.
Head of School
Our Head of School was one of the first students at High Park Montessori school when it began in a small Church on Runnymede Rd. She spent her lower elementary years happily climbing all the stairs to the top floor at 35 High Park Gardens. Dr Smith credits her experience in Montessori for the skills to adapt to multiple varying educational and professional environments, including the ability to persevere, the development of flexible learning styles, and an intrinsic motivation to learn. Now Anne’s own daughters are in the elementary program at the Mildenhall School, and Anne is bringing her experience as a clinical child psychologist, researcher, and educator to the steering of our schools.
The Mildenhall School
Gail O'Gorman, AMI
We are pleased to announce that Gail O'Gorman has joined The Mildenhall School as Principal.
Gail has almost 30 years experience in Montessori education. Gail took her A.M.I. training at Sion Hill College in Dublin, Ireland, an intensive three year course in Montessori pedagogy and methodology. She started the Casa program at Humberside Montessori School and has taught at many fine Montessori schools in Ontario. She was also the founding principal Taddle Creek Montessori School in 1998. Gail is very well known in the Montessori community and was highly recommended by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators. In recent years, she has been working as a consultant to a range of Montessori schools, to the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators on accreditation issues, and to Montessori Teachers College on adapting Montessori methodology to seniors with dementia. Gail has also lectured in the Early Childhood Education program at Niagara College. We are grateful and fortunate that she is interested in returning to a school leadership position and we are looking forward to Gail bringing her experience and expertise to The Mildenhall School.
High Park Gardens
Lee Gair, Hon.BA., AMS
Lee has been the dynamic and inspiring Principal of High Park Gardens Montessori School for 10 years. Lee has an Honors BA in Art and Art History with a minor in Gender studies from the University of Toronto and an Art and Art History Diploma from Sheridan College. Lee attained her post graduate certification from and is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS). She has been an educator of the Montessori curriculum for 13 years. Lee is a proud member of the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA), Canadian Association of Montessori Teachers (CAMT), and the North American Montessori Teacher's Association (NAMTA). Lee continues to participate in conferences and many educational workshops for learning differences and holds certificates in these areas. She has lectured at Sheridan College about aspects of the Montessori philosophy and continues to teach Curriculum based programming to students at the college level. Lee prides herself on her commitment to assist and stimulate each child's natural curiosity and love of learning and understands how crucial a strong foundation is to foster limitless possibilities of growth and achievement.
Matt Smith, BA. AMI
Matt Smith joined the Taddle Creek Montessori School in the position of Principal in August 2015. Matt is a Toronto native, who completed his Bachelor of Arts in History at Western University. He has outstanding Montessori credentials, including receiving his AMI Elementary diploma in Bergamo, Italy, and his Montessori Adolescent Studies diploma in Cleveland, Ohio. He has taught both Montessori elementary and middle school since 2004, at some of the finest Montessori schools in Ontario, including Montessori Academy of London in London Ontario, Humberside Montessori School in Toronto, and Clanmore Montessori School in Oakville. He founded the adolescent programs at Humberside and Clanmore with great success. In addition to being a committed educator and Montessorian, Matt is an avid outdoorsman, photographer and guitar player and worked for a decade as the Camp Director at Camp Hurontario in Georgian Bay.
It doesn’t take long in the classrooms to realize that our teachers are the best trained teachers and most eager learners.
- All of our teachers have completed undergraduate degrees in a variety of fields including sociology, psychology, education, philosophy, film, political science, early childhood education, public relations, humanities, english, special education, geography, and fine arts.
- They all hold Montessori diplomas certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and/or Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). This is additional postgraduate study following the completion of their undergraduate university degrees.
- They have all been specifically credentialed to work with the age group that they teach, through intensive classroom study and internship hours.
- Many hold additional qualifications as Ontario Certified Teachers.
- All of our classroom Assistants have completed the AMI Assistants Program, and most have additional University degrees.
We have a balanced community of new(er) teachers and experienced mentors.
- 60% of our teachers have been teaching for more than 15 years
- Only 9% of our teachers have been teaching for less than 5 years (this does not include time spent on practice teaching rotations).
- 50% of our teachers have been teaching at Mildenhall Montessori Schools for more than 8 years.
- We are passionate educators who have been teaching instructors, board members of the CCMA, examiners at the Toronto Montessori Institute, consultants and mentors for other schools seeking accreditation.
Our teachers are special and include, jazz and classical singers, certified dance teachers, aspiring children’s book authors, yogis, incredible bakers, parents, musicians, artists
Our teachers have also, taught in Japan and the Caribbean, played in rock bands, worked as a paediatric nurse, won gymnastics competitions, trained other teachers, studied in Australia, worked in Bali, ran a half marathon, starred in a musical, backpacked through South America, traveled from Poland to China, by train through Siberia
Our teachers are from, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, United States, Iran, Pakistan, Guyana, Germany, Canada, Albania
Our teachers speak, French, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Greek, Italian, Farsi, Portuguese, Urdu, Ukrainian, Albanian, Korean, German
Our teachers don't just talk the talk - they walk the walk
We are a diverse community that recognizes and celebrates diversity of ethnic and racial backgrounds, religions, sexual orientation, cultures, genders, learning styles, and physical and cognitive abilities. We actively create an inclusive environment that fosters understanding and appreciation of differences. Our faculty, staff, students and families represent a wide range of backgrounds, abilities, experiences, and languages. Each of us bring unique contributions to our schools. As a community we speak multiple languages, we cross the lifespan from our youngest student (21/2 years) to our oldest staff member (78 years), we come from around the world.
High Park is accredited by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators and is listed with the Ontario Ministry of Education as an independent school. It currently provides an authentic Montessori education for children aged 18months to 12 year olds. It also provides an enriched experience in French, music, art and sports, and offers March break and summer programming. More information is available on our website at mildenhallmontessori.com.
We are seeking an individual who has a Bachelor’s degree as well as well as certification from a recognized, accredited Montessori training institute (MACTE accreditation preference) and a Montessori Toddler Certificate in addition to a sound understanding of the Montessori philosophy and methodology. Experience with the Ontario Day Nurseries Act or its equivalent is an asset.
This position requires good organizational and leadership skills, as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills and an ability to communicate positively and openly with parents. An important aspect of the position is transitioning Toddlers into the Casa program at the School.
The Guide will report directly to the Principal of the School. Mildenhall Montessori Schools offers a positive work environment and a competitive compensation and benefits package. This is a position for the school year, but there is also the opportunity to work during March break and summer programs.
We welcome teachers who are working on Montessori training at accredited programs to complete practicum experiences in our schools. We have a strong positive reputation among student teachers and training programs.