Wildflower schools are teacher-led child-centered Montessori microschools (20-30 students) that foster the growth and connectedness of children, teachers, and families as they follow life’s unfolding journey. Our model combines time-tested, research-supported Montessori methods in one-room, neighborhood-nested schools with a strong network of support and thoughtful approaches to parent engagement, intentional student diversity, and teacher empowerment.
Drawing on a proven model, Wildflower began as an idea launched out of the MIT Media lab as a partnership between parents and teachers who envisioned a new, community-centric educational model. Today, Wildflower has become a national movement. We believe in the power of teachers to create intentionally diverse, small Montessori schools where children and families thrive. We aspire to give all children and families the opportunity to choose an academically rigorous, culturally-sustaining, Wildflower educational experience, regardless of means.
Sunny is a life-long educator who is passionate about supporting Teachers Leaders as they open beautiful Wildflower schools and helping families and children have access to the best education possible. She has taught in a range of educational settings in Florida, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania as well as internationally in Colombia, SA. Before joining Wildflower, she was a high school English and Interdisciplinary Studies teacher. She lives in Philadelphia.
Jake first fell in love with Montessori education in 2012 in Chicago where he was working as an actor and teaching artist. After he stumbled into an assistant role in a Montessori preschool, the radical pedagogy and child-honoring philosophy he observed completely altered his life path. A year later, he moved to Oakland, CA for a graduate program in Montessori Early Childhood Education, earning his American Montessori Society credential and writing his Master’s thesis on obstacles to Montessori in Head Start programs. After five years in the Bay Area, Jake and his partner, Jessie, moved to Philadelphia to be closer to family on the East Coast. After co-teaching with Eileen for a couple of years at Clementine Montessori, he was thrilled to partner with her as she embarked to establish Clover in Mt. Airy
Ten years ago Eileen moved away from her background in fine arts and took a job as an assistant in a Montessori early childhood classroom. This transformative experience led to her researching and falling in love with the Montessori method. She completed her Early Childhood Montessori certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) in 2016. Working as a co-teacher in a Philadelphia Montessori school allowed her to put into practice the child-centered approach that Maria Montessori advocated for. Eileen is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to Clover Montessori School where she will continue to help each child reach their full potential. Eileen is also a certified Positive Discipline Parent coach as well as a Montessori parent, to an independent and curious 7 year old.
Paul is pursuing his Montessori Early Childhood credential at Chestnut Hill College. Paul's background is in music education with children of all ages. He has joined as a support teacher and also oversees the Aftercare Program.
Madeleine Nutting has been teaching in Montessori schools in Oakland and Philadelphia since 2014. She has an AMI Elementary certification from Montessori Northwest and has also received additional training in Montessori for Ageing and Dementia from AMI, as a childbirth doula with DONA, and in early childhood pedagogy and development via AMS. Madeleine is from Washington DC and has lived in Washington State, Jordan, California, and Morocco, before finding her home in Philadelphia, where she teaches in a 3-6 Montessori environment at Clementine Montessori School. Madeleine is passionate about Montessori and social justice, and she likes to garden, practice Arabic calligraphy, and hang out with her two cats, Raisinette and Zaya
Carmen started her teaching career in traditional public schools, teaching fourth and eighth grades. After years of working to create a more flexible and responsive space to support her students, she discovered Montessori. She received her AMI Elementary diploma from Montessori Northwest and currently works as a lower elementary guide. When she is not with students, she is spending time with her own young child, writing, or diving into learning something new.
Renée is a bilingual early childhood primary guide certified by both the Association Montessori International USA and the American Montessori Society. She has worked as a lead teacher since 2007. Born and raised in Mexico City, she witnessed grave social injustice from an early age. She became passionate about equality and justice, inspiring her to attend law school and pursue a career in international law. When she relocated to the United States in 2003, she volunteered and introduced art appreciation to elementary children in public schools. It was there she discovered the Montessori method and found her calling as a guide of young children in the primary classroom.
Katie discovered the magic of Montessori during her first years as a mother. Initially self-taught, she began using a Montessori-at-home approach that greatly helped foster independence in her young children. She later attended AMI Primary training at Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Before joining the Dahlia team, Katie worked as an assistant in a lower elementary Montessori classroom. Aside from her love of Montessori, Katie is also fluent in American Sign Language and is excited to share that passion with the children.
Stephanie was born and raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey. She spent the last ten years as a New Jersey public school elementary teacher. She discovered Montessori with the birth of her son, Asher and was drawn to its beauty and scientific principles. Stephanie has a deep love and appreciation for education and has two master’s degrees and a post-master’s-level certification in special education. She recently completed her AMI Certification in Primary Education.
Sea Lavender Montessori
Jamie is recognized around the world as a leading expert in Montessori education, and she has developed a reputation for her approachable style and her ability to provide clear, practical guidance for implementation of Montessori principles. Her career in Montessori is now in its third decade and includes more than ten years as a classroom teacher and school administrator and over ten years as a trainer of teachers. As an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) trainer, examiner, and consultant at the elementary level, Jamie has coached teachers and advised administrators at schools across the nation and around the world, and she has presented at conferences and for parents throughout the United States, and in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
Sea Lavender Montessori
Nicole has worked in Montessori for more than a decade and her skills have been in high demand by Montessori organizations across the United States. She holds an AMI Primary Diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute and a Master's in Education from Loyola University Maryland. Before joining Sea Lavender Montessori, Nicole was a Primary Lead Guide and Elementary Assistant Guide at Goodwater Montessori Public Charter School in Georgetown, Texas. She was also a Course Assistant at three AMI training centers around the country. She has presented workshops on Montessori material making to guides and assistants, and consulted for the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). She is passionate about forwarding the movement to make Montessori education accessible to all.
Jamie received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education at Coastal Carolina University in 2011, and since graduating, has worked with children from birth up through high school as a music educator, meditation facilitator, and yoga instructor. Previously, Jamie was a facilitator with Konscious Youth Development & Services (KYDS), where she brought mindfulness and wellness practices to schools and educators. She is a recent graduate of the Maria Montessori Institute in London, England where she earned her AMI certification in Assistants to Infancy. Jamie hopes to share this education with parents to empower them in becoming their best selves as they navigate parenthood and allow their child the opportunities to reach their highest potential.
Leah is finishing her ninth year as a lead Montessori teacher. She has a Master’s of Education and AMS primary certification from Chaminade University in Honolulu. The Quaker values of SPICES (social justice, peace, inclusion, environment, and simplicity) have influenced both the school name and the curriculum she and her partner have designed. She is passionate about social emotional education for young children. She attended Montessori schools as a child and is excited to return back to her hometown and open Spicebush in the Concord Friends MeetingHouse.
Kirsti is a non-binary Montessorian in her seventh year of teaching. She has her AMS certification in Infant/Toddler and her degree in Early Care and Education from Delaware Technical and Community College. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Human and Social Services with a concentration in Early Childhood. Her goal has always been to make Montessori education more accessible and is pleased to be working with her friend and teaching partner Leah who shares the same vision and values.
Open a School
Wildflower Mid-Atlantic is seeking educators with a deep commitment to creating and joining schools that are anti-racist and center Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as identity-affirming, joyful, and truly liberatory learning environments.
We believe achieving equity in education is possible when schools are owned and operated by people representative of the communities from which they emerge. As a result, Wildflower Schools are inherent extensions of their communities and are deeply influenced by the Teacher Leaders’ identities. As head of a Wildflower School, you and a partner (co-head of school) will lead all aspects of a one-room school that serves 20-30 children- from coordinating startup to teaching in the classroom and managing day-to-day operations- drawing on tools and resources from The Wildflower Foundation and the support of a network of like-minded colleagues.
Are you looking to get your Montessori certification? Wildflower Mid-Atlantic has begun a fellowship program that centers BIPOC educators looking to get their training. Reach out if you are interested in opening a Wildflower School in your neighborhood and learning more about getting your certification. Contact Sunny Greenberg at [email protected] for more information.
Help Us Grow
We would love to stay in touch and share our journey with you. It takes a dynamic ecosystem of individuals like you to launch Wildflower schools. Help Wildflower support more entrepreneurial teacher-leaders, children and families, one small school at a time. We want to make Wildflower schools an option for children and families everywhere, and your interest and support helps us realize that goal.