Mountain Village Montessori hires head of school |

Mountain Village Montessori hires head of school

Teresa Ristow
Students in a Montessori class work through various projects in 2011 at Strawberry Park Elementary School in Steamboat Springs. The new Mountain Village Montessori Charter School plans to open this fall.
Courtesy Photo

— Mountain Village Montessori leaders have selected a charter school director from Crestone to be the first head of school for the new Montessori charter school.

Michael Hayes is currently the director of Crestone Charter School, a 100-student K-12 school in rural southern Colorado.

Hayes said while he doesn’t have specific Montessori experience, he does have experience with mixed-age classrooms and is looking forward to learning more about Montessori approach from the teachers of the new school.

“We have staff coming on board with significant Montessori experience, and I’ll have a lot to learn from them,” Hayes said. “I’ll also do some school visits and get some formal Montessori training over the next couple of years.”

Hayes said he plans to move to Steamboat, a place he has visited numerous times, in late May or early June and is looking forward to living in the community and taking part in outdoor activities.

Hiring a head of school is the latest step Montessori school leaders have taken to prepare for an opening for the 2016-17 school year.

The school has accepted 103 students in preschool through fifth grade, who will be split into three primary (preschool through kindergarten), two lower (first through third grade) and one upper (fourth and fifth grade) classrooms.

Mixed-age classrooms are part of the Montessori education method.

Families of students have paid an activity fee to help secure their spot in the school, and after talking with leaders of the Steamboat Springs School District, both organizations think there is little or no duplication in enrolled students between the district and Montessori program.

Taking the Montessori enrollment into consideration, district leaders are now forecasting an overall district increase of 25 students for the 2016-17 school year.

Mountain Village Montessori is at full enrollment for the year for all ages, but the school is still accepting applications for students to be added to the wait list.

School leaders plan to hold a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. May 2 at the school with Hayes in attendance.

“I am thrilled to join the team that has already done so much work in starting this school and to see students and families walk into the building for the first day of school next fall,” he said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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