A Montessori Early Learning Center
915 Tiger Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 443-2825 phone
(573) 874-4056 fax
Affiliated with the American Montessori Society
licensed by the State of Missouri for day care
a not-for-profit corporation, tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. Children’s House tax ID# is 43-0987900.
a school providing Montessori education to children without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.
Montessori at CH
Children's House of Columbia is an early learning center that presents a Montessori program. Montessori is a century-old pedagogical philosophy, developed by Italy’s first woman doctor, Maria Montessori. Through a rapidly changing times, it has remained relevant to the needs of children. Each student, respected as an individual, is encouraged to develop his/her total personality according to their personal growth metric and at an individual pace. Our school is committed to promoting the principles of balance and harmony, of respect for self and others, and freedom of choice.
The curriculum is experimental and open-ended and the atmosphere is one of personal support and care. We stress the development of skills, concepts and values through the child's own experiences. In the "prepared environment" common to all Montessori classrooms, the child may choose work from our five core areas: practical living, sensorial education, language arts, mathematics, or culture. Our out‑of‑doors classroom is available to the child as an extension of the indoor environment.
The Montessori classes include a toddler class for children age 2 to 3 years and preschool classes with mixed age groupings. There is an extended-day Kindergarten class for older children to the age of 6. The ungraded aspect of our classes encourages social interaction between children and adults in a familial way, which nurtures respect for and appreciation of others. Each class is staffed by a certified Montessori teacher and one or more assistant teachers.
Our mission is to provide students with an early and general foundation that fosters a positive attitude toward school, inner security and a sense of order.
We aim to cultivate their sense of pride in the physical environment, to stimulate their curiosity, to encourage habits of concentration, initiative, and persistence. We want our students to value their ability to make decisions, to be self-disciplined, and to practice being responsible to other members of their class, school, and community.
Our school was founded in 1972 by Carolyn and Richard Angus and Mary Angela and Walter Johnson with the goal of providing a Montessori education to children and has been in operation continually since. Children’s House has, since inception, been affiliated with American Montessori Society (AMS is recognized by the United States Department of Education). Memberships with the National Montessori Teachers Association and the International Montessori Council are also maintained.
The school is housed in two adjacent residences on Tiger Avenue on the MU campus, termed the “Red” and “Yellow” Buildings – from the color of their bricks. In 1997, Mary Windmiller took over from Mary Angela Johnson as Children’s House’s Director. Kyung Kang, our current Director, accepted the position from Mary in 2012.
Program & Schedule
Currently, Children’s House employs 13 full-time and 15 part-time teachers, aides, cooks and maintenance staff. Approximately 75% of the teaching staff holds Montessori training or certification. A professional music instructor conducts music lessons bi- weekly. Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and gymnastics lessons are offered each Friday. Red Cross certified swimming instruction is MU are offered annually. Children’s House operates Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, for 12 months a year (closed for national holidays and for a short break in August). Part-time enrollment options are available, but only on a 5-days a week basis.
Presently, Children’s House serves children ranging from 2 years of age to 8, from all over Columbia and nearby communities. Children’s House maintains a strong commitment to providing access to the benefits of a Montessori-based education to all children without regard to race, gender, color, creed or national origin. Toward that end, we cooperate with Missouri’s Division of Family Services, First Chance for Children and the USDA Child Care Food Program. Participation in these programs allows us to provide tuition assistance to families in need. Currently, about 10% of our enrollment receives some sort of assistance. Children’s House is an incorporated, not-for-profit 501c3 entity.
Our Board of Directors is advisory and historically consists of a parent, an experienced Montessori teacher, an alumni parent and the director. Current Board members are: Kyung Kang, Jordan Baehr, Abby Arauz, Claire Kim, and Hojong Kang.
Faculty and Administrators
Kyung is the director at Children’s House, and she has worked here for over 15 years. She moved to Columbia with her husband, who earned his doctorate in Economics from the University of Missouri. She began her teaching career in Seoul, Korea where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Kyung received her Montessori Certification in 2000 and was honored with Columbia Home and Lifestyle magazine’s Teaching Award in 2008. In 1999, Kyung decided that she wanted more experience with American style classroom education in the hopes that upon a return to Korean, she could blend the two very different styles of educating into something new. She visited nearly every school in Columbia, but fell in love with Children’s House. After volunteering at the school for a year, she felt confident that Montessori education was right for her. Soon after, Kyung earned her Montessori Teaching Certification through St. Louis University at MOMTEP.
In an unexpected way, Kyung was able to blend the two styles like she’d envisioned. However, instead of bringing the American teaching style to Korea, she brought some of the Korean traditions to Children’s House. About her experiences in education, Kyung says, “Working with children is my life’s mission and passion. Being a mother and Montessori teacher has given me special insight into my role as director of Children’s House. I want for the children here at Children’s House the same things that I want for my own children: to reach their full potential and succeed.”
Katelyn BrooksKatelyn is the administrative assistant for Children’s House. She moved to Columbia in 2012, and studied Philosophy at Mizzou. Katelyn works closely with Kyung to ensure that our correspondences are coherent and that our lists and schedules are accurate. Her past internship at Missouri’s State Archives helped to refine her sense of organization, which she has put to use in our office.
Sujan KimOur chef, Sujan, has three children, who bring much joy to her life. She has over 5 years of professional cooking experience and owned a catering and carry-out restaurant called “Mom’s Kitchen” before coming to work at Children’s House. On many afternoons, she can be found perusing the produce aisles at our natural market; it’s one of her favorite things to do. Children’s House has been curating its menu for 40 years, but Sujan integrates unique selections drawn from her own kitchen experiences.
Sarah BodeSarah is relatively new to the Children’s House Staff, but has been teaching for twenty years with preschool, elementary and middle school students. She teaches our Kindergarten class. Growing up in northeast Missouri, she came “south” to attend the University of Missouri – Columbia where she earned her bachelor’s in education degree and later her master’s in education degree from William Woods University. She fell in love with Columbia and has been blessed to spend her professional years here. Sarah’s favorite thing to do is hang out with family and friends. She also enjoys spoiling her nieces and nephews, cheering on the Mizzou Tigers and reading.
Rebecca ChoatRebecca moved to Columbia from her hometown in western Kentucky in 2001 and began working at Children's House as a teacher's assistant that same year. Currently, she is the lead teacher for our Red Up classroom. Rebecca has a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with focus areas of English, Communications, and Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2007, she received AMS Montessori Teacher Certification from MOMTEP. Rebecca is thankful to teach at a wonderful school where she works to create an environment that embodies Maria Montessori's ideals of education and peace.
Brooke PauleyBrooke was born and raised in Columbia, MO. She graduated from Hickman High School in 2008. Children’s House has opened her eyes to how children should be taught, and she leads our Red Down classroom. She feels that the most important lessons taught are manners, social skills and how to interact with and respect adults. If children gain these skills, they will succeed in everything they do in the future. Brooke is currently training to be a certified Montessori teacher. She will graduate from Columbia College in the Fall of 2016 with a B.A. in General Studies with a double minor in Psychology and Sociology.
Kelsey LincolnKelsey hasn't been away from a Montessori Classroom since 2006. While studying interdisciplinary studies (social justice/women's and gender studies/psychology) at Mizzou, she started in a class of two-year-olds. Six years and two Montessori schools later, she found her home at Children's House. Her foundational trainings and experiences are with children from birth to six years of age. However, her certification is for birth to age three. She is in love with this alternative form of education and practices it, daily, in her own life. Kelsey and her partner have two children, Lannis and Liam. Both have been raised with the Montessori methodology since birth. Besides the Montessori philosophy, Kelsey is also passionate about music, "Momma Earth", and the Peaceful Parenting approach. She believes some of the most important activism lies with instilling peace within future generations. Kelsey shares her classroom of future peacemakers with her friend of 20 years, Sara Comiskey. She loves to spread awareness of the Montessori method and is always happy to discuss it.
Amanda BriteAmanda is the lead teacher in the upstairs Yellow Building. She has worked at Children’s House since 2011 and received her American Montessori Society certification in 2013. Amanda has her Bachelor degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and, prior to working at Children’s House, she specialized in animals and pet care. Amanda enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Alyssa BoydOur Lead school closer is Alyssa Boyd. She recently moved to Columbia from Mesa, Arizona. She loves being outside on the numerous trails in and around Columbia, trying new restaurants, reading books and being crafty. She is a Northern Arizona University graduate with her bachelors in speech and hearing. Alyssa is excited to be working at Children's house and always enjoys the "chocolate cakes" hand made on the playground.
Andrea JacobsonAndrea is the assistant teacher in the Red Up classroom. She earned her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Psychology with an emphasis on Child Development. Andrea moved to Columbia from Michigan where she grew up and worked as a nanny for five years. Andrea enjoys cooking, knitting, and hiking and camping with her husband and two dogs.
Lindsay RudolphLindsay is the assistant teacher in the Red Down classroom. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Truman State University in 2008. She is currently writing her thesis on educational assessment for her Master of Science from Western Illinois University where she also holds a Post Baccalaureate certificate. She lives with her husband, Doug, in Columbia with their 2 dogs Milo and Alex, a cat named Tasha and a conure, Charlie. In her free time, Lindsay manages her photography business, enjoys bike rides, crafting, gardening and taking kayaking trips with Doug.
Katy ComiskeyKaty is the assistant lead in the Yellow Up classroom. She has been working in the early childhood field for over 6 years. Katy is from Columbia, and studies at MACC. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, all of whom live extremely close to her, and she enjoys reading. She looks forward to getting her Montessori training.
Sara ComiskeySara is the assistant lead in the Yellow Down room. She has worked in Montessori schools for over 8 years. She received her birth through age three Montessori training in 2007. She has her associates in Early Childhood from Moberly Area Community College and is currently finishing her family studies degree at the University of Missouri. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and the children for whom she is a nanny. Moes, her dog, is also a large part of her life; he can be found at school from time to time. Sara looks forward to finishing her degree, and continuing to learn and observe the Montessori philosophy.
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915 Tiger Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 443-2825 phone
(573) 874-4056 fax
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