New Montessori Charter School director ‘lives the Montessori mindset’
Coastal Montessori Charter School's board of directors has named Dr. Nathalie Hunt of Austin, Texas, a former certified Montessori school lead teacher, as its new director.
Rob Horvath, CMCS board chair, announced the news to attendees of a recent Family Night saying, "Dr. Hunt is a gifted educator and the quintessential Montessorian. She's smart, articulate, cognitive, responsive and conscientious, and she could have gone anywhere. We were her first choice and she was our first choice. We are so fortunate to have her."
Their current director, Lonnie Yansurak is leaving at the end of the school year.
She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin.
Hunt has served as a lower elementary Montessori lead teacher at a charter school in California and a private school in Texas.
She will be arriving at the school in May.
Dr. Hunt's written statement to CMCS families and friends concluded by saying, "There is no greater cause than best serving the children of today for tomorrow’s world." She said that she looks forward to working with the families and staff of CMCS, the Georgetown County School District and becoming a member of the community. "This is an ideal place for a Montessori charter school," her statement read. "There is a lot of heart here and I look forward to committing mine to this cause."
Future school property
School leaders also announced at the meeting that the school is currently under contract with the University of South Carolina Foundation to purchase 109 acres of property on the Waccamaw Neck near Prince George on the Waccamaw Neck.
The property, called Longleaf Pine and owned by the USC Foundation, is designated for environmental education.
The school will pursue a loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and they will work with local, state and federal governments.
Ten acres of the property, surrounded by a longleaf pine forest, is deeded for constructing an educational facility.
School leaders added that it could be six to nine months before they know for sure that the deal will go through.
Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of the 100-year old teaching method, saw nature as a valuable learning environment. Caring for and understanding the natural environment is an important part of a Montessori education.
"I am so happy for the children," said Dr. Kristin Bohan, CMCS founder.
"I can't wait to see them running through the woods. I can't wait to see them lovingly caring for this place that will be their own. I can't wait to see what they will do with what we have begun."
The Family Night program concluded with the students' spring musical performance of "A Small Part of the World," a musical tapestry of folk songs and dances from around the world.
Each class performed a song and dance from a different country including Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Canada and the United States.
The finale, "We are the Children," was sung by all the students and closed the evening's festivities.
Coastal Montessori Charter School offers a free public Montessori education for Georgetown County children from grades first through sixth.
The mission of the Coastal Montessori Charter School is to produce highly-educated, self-directed, socially-responsible citizens who work collaboratively, respectfully, and peacefully as individual yet interdependent learners in a diverse and nurturing community.
Through the unique combination of empirically-validated Montessori principles, localized charter governance, and open access, Coastal Montessori Charter School further aims to provide Georgetown County School District with an academically excellent, financially accountable public school choice.
For more information, visit www.CoastalMontessoriCharter.org.
By Clayton Stairs
Amy Miller with CMCS contributed to this story.
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