We began as Wildflower Montessori School in 1985 as the dream of teacher/director/owner Barbara Crockett became a reality. A charming little white, rented house, on the corner of Woodward Ave. and Cooktown Rd. opened its doors with love. That first year, fifteen pioneering families enrolled their children in Ruston's first Montessori Children's House. The program was unusual for Ruston because it mixed three- to six-year-olds in one classroom, and because all children, even three-year-olds attended five-mornings-a-week.
Within its initial two years of operation the State of Louisiana certified WMS as a Montessori school and in 1988 WMS sponsored Montessori training for the first of many interns fulfilling a commitment to staffing each classroom with a fully trained Montessori teacher and assistant.
From the beginning parental participation in school workdays, field trips, and conferences was extremely high. Today it remains a hallmark of Ruston's Montessori school community.
While the school began as a for-profit teacher-owned establishment, it was always the founder's intention eventually to convert the school into a parent-governed, non-profit organization. That happened about seven years later.
With robust enrollment and the help of three families who each agreed to co-sign the school's first loan, WMS was able to purchase the land and metal building at its current location (700 West Woodward Ave.) and begin renovations to transform the large warehouse into beautiful classrooms, office, and storage. The increased space meant the school could expand to 50+ students.
In 1992, the Barbara Crockett moved away from Ruston. Renée Hunt agreed to resign from the Board of Trustees to become the school's second director, a position she has held for many years.
Eventually, as our preschool students got older, families began to express an interest in adding a Montessori elementary school. So, grade by grade, and over the years, we added classrooms and teachers – maintaining our commitment to follow the Montessori philosophy and provide Ruston families with a non-traditional approach to elementary school. And, today, our school is spread out over three buildings, and two parcels of land. We are proud to serve children from preschool through middle school.
As the years passed, as our junior high students were competing on the state level for science fairs and representing the school in our community, a most unusual request was brought before the school's administration. The preteens came asking that we consider a more "formal" name for their school. After much heart felt consideration, the Board of Directors voted to change the name to Montessori School of Ruston. It is important to note... we always remember our Widlflower roots and will always be wildflowers at heart!
We are consistently making efforts to move towards compliance as a Green School, so hopefully in a few years, in this "history" message, will be the date of our Green School Certification.
Montessori School is in compliance with the American Montessori Society Code of Ethics, and has maintained Full Member AMS Affiliated School status since our early beginnings. We are approved as a State Certified Montessori School by the Louisiana Department of Education, and are members of the Louisiana Montessori Association.
A special thank you to Barbara Crockett for having the vision.