We have been with Montessori Academy for the past 4 years and have had an absolutely amazing experience! Our daughter started when she was 3 and continued on through Kindergarten (now in 1st grade) and our son started in the toddler program at 2 and is currently in preschool. It is astounding how much they have learned through the program. Math, phonics, reading, but also culture, science, geography. In addition, they are taught responsibility through various jobs/tasks and mutual respect for ‘friends’ which build toward their overall confidence and help them navigate future social interactions. Montessori Academy fuels excitement and a love of learning which I have seen continue to build in both of my children over the past 4 years. I feel they have been given such a strong foundation through the program. Additionally, the directness create a nurturing environment while empowering the children to learn and grow. We also enjoy that they offer several additional enriching activities such as violin, art and music classes. One of the best decisions we have made!
The Montessori Academy of Valparaiso provided a unique learning opportunity for my son that was not available at other preschool facilities. The teachers were encouraging and supportive which allowed my son to grow in confidence and prepare him for future success.
My daughter started at The Montessori Academy when she was 3. At the time we were new to the area and had just went through several bad experiences with a daycare in the area. I was not happy with the care my daughter had received at the daycare and was very reluctant to enroll her into any childcare facility after that. After asking around a Doctor friend of mine recommended Montessori NWI. My husband and I followed up on the recommendation and met with the teachers. We instantly felt great about the school and how caring and attentive they were to each child. My daughter doesn’t do well with new people and new experiences but she loved them just as much as I did! Fast-forward 2 years later and my daughter is graduating from their preschool program. She has excelled in her school work and is an “expert” on many things! I can’t say enough about this place! The teachers are great! And no matter what is going on, they make my daughter feel special. The one on one care is so unique in today’s fast paced learning environment.
I have had the opportunity to know Miss Dawn Tasher for the past 4 years having enrolled both my sons at the Montessori Academy of Northwest Indiana in Merrillville. From the moment I brought my oldest to meet Miss Dawn to test for his school readiness, I found her to emanate kindness, gentleness, and compassion. My son who is usually very shy quickly felt at ease. She is beloved and respected by all her students.
Miss Dawn carries out the Montessori philosophy and implements them in the classroom. The teachers she oversees have been absolutely wonderful. Miss Dawn and her staff nurtures each child’s individuality allowing for growth and independence. Though there is freedom for students to choose their “challenging work,” it is a guided process which in the end, the students have a well-rounded education in math, reading, writing, science, art and geography. At the same time, the children have fun, play, and learn from each other.
Miss Dawn was very attentive to my children’s strengths and weakness in areas of learning and behavior. I was surprised how both my children overcame and surpassed their not so strong areas. Miss Dawn and her staff’s encouragement and patience lead the path to excellence beyond my expectations. Miss Dawn is always readily available if you have any concerns. She addresses any issues promptly, effectively, and fairly. Her student’s education, happiness and safety always come first.
I am very lucky to have found Miss Dawn and her Montessori 4 years ago. I can happily say my now 1st grader was well prepared going into Forest Ridge Academy. My little one who just turned four will also be staying until his Kindergarten graduation.
Kunteera Tarin, MD
My daughter, Emily, attended Montessori in the Toddler and Preschool programs. One of the things that amazed me was her ability to read at such a young age. She never felt pressured and she just had FUN learning. We play “school” at home almost every time we play together and she is the teacher. Her organization skills and passion for learning comes straight from Montessori. The staff was always friendly and Emily developed such an attachment to her school, that she still talks about it 6 years later. Montessori helped create a very strong foundation for Emily’s education career. It’s the best thing I have spent money on for her future and I am glad I sent my daughter through Montessori Academy in Valparaiso.
The Montessori Academy of Merrillville is by far superior to any other preschool/kindergarten within the Northwest Indiana area. We have two children who started at the age of three and have flourished beyond our wildest dreams emotionally, socially and academically. The Montessori concept is one that cannot be described until you visit this unique environment. This style of learning allows for students to grow in all academic areas to include math/science/reading (even at a young age) and doesn’t stop them from continuing to be challenged/learn with areas that they hold a keen interest within. With the public schooling system now our children are not allowed to move beyond what the “common core” allows and holds teachers accountable to teach between 25-30 students by themselves. This Montessori provides an 8:1 ratio AND fosters a setting that embraces curiosity and learning in a way that is individual for your child and encourages the child to learn as far as they may want. The Montessori Academy of Merrillville has set the strongest foundation possible for my two children. We believe so much in this concept that I drove 2 hours daily to bring them to this school for 4 years. They both will continue on with Montessori schooling for the years to come. I highly recommend considering this school for not only the preschool years but for kindergarten as well. You will be amazed to see what your child learns and also the confidence and emotional stability he/she takes away from this type of schooling. I encourage you to visit the school and to sit back and see what The Montessori Academy of Merrillville offers. You will not be sorry. I promise that.
I wanted to send you a letter for some time now, thanking you for all the wonderful opportunities that you and your school provided for my daughter. Sophia was one of your very first students in August 2002. At 2 ½ years old and potty trained, she was advanced in some areas, but not in all social areas. Your school provided a loving and caring atmosphere for her to learn and grow. I always felt confident that she was well cared for when I drove away. Even on difficult mornings, when she was very needy, you or your staff called me to reassure me that she was fine.
With your medical background, I never worried about injuries on the playground or first aid. I knew that you would take care of Sophia as if she were your own! You have successfully raised four of your own children and offered so much of yourself to your students and their families, as well. And I cannot thank you enough for that. I always felt informed of her progress, had pictures and snapshots of her day. I felt welcome to come at any time to observe or share nutrition activities with all of the children.
Sophia was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2006. And it was you that helped guide me in the direction to have her diagnosed and treated with a reading specialist. Sophia spent four years at the Montessori Academy and then began first grade in the Munster school system. She has always been an A/B student. But she may have not been as successful if we didn’t have her active in Montessori schooling and working with a dyslexic/reading specialist.
Even when we drive past “her old school”, as she puts it, she has fond memories of Miss Dawn, Miss Ferosa and Miss Kim. These were wonderful years for her. And I cannot think of any other place that would have benefited her more in those developing years. Thank you again for all your care, kindness, and wonderful learning environment for my daughter.
The Sakelaris Family