Breckenridge Montessori changes things up |

Breckenridge Montessori changes things up

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News

Breckenridge Montessori School recently welcomed two new faculty members and added a part-time afternoon preschool program designed to better prepare children for kindergarten.

Betsy Hoke, a long-time Montessori educator from Evergreen, is working at the school on a weekly basis to mentor teaching staff and the board of directors. Hoke has 38 years of experience with the Montessori method: She was head of an Evergreen school for 29 years, expanding the school from a preschool of 45 children to 320 students aged 2-and-a-half to 14. In the past few years, she has served as a consultant to numerous Montessori schools in Colorado and teaches parenting workshops and presents at state and national conferences.

“I visited the school and it really captured my heart,” Hoke said. “I especially love working at BMS because of the enthusiasm of the parents and teachers. They appreciate the school so much and are very dedicated to it.”

“The school is so lucky to have a consultant with the experience and expertise of Betsy. She has re-energized our school already and we eagerly look forward to working with her in the coming months,” board member and parent Melanie Benedict said.

Hoke is also counseling second-year BMS teacher Beth Craig as she eases into her new position as director. Craig is small-center director qualified and has her early childhood lead certification and level-one early childhood credential from the state. She earned her Montessori early childhood credential this past May.

Previous director Sara Wilkins recently moved on.

Also new: teacher Chanell Murphy. Murphy just completed a summer of training at Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, and has worked in early childhood education for nine years, including two at Little Red School House. She said she loves watching children’s personalities unfold as they grow.

The new three-day-a-week afternoon program is meant to reach out to parents who want school experience for their children, but aren’t in need of full-time daycare.

“It will serve families who do not need child care, but want to give their children an opportunity for learning and social experiences that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond,” Hoke said.

Also, the program appeals to parents who have less cash to spend on preschool.

The group is small; there are currently about five spots available. The regular morning program is full at the moment, but there might be a few openings soon as some families are planning to move away.

The school focuses on education with hands-on, experiential activities that appeal to children and makes learning easy and fun.

Hoke called the changes at the school a fresh start; “Everybody’s really excited,” she said.

Families interested in the school should contact the school at (970) 547-7661 to schedule a visit and have their child put on a waiting list for this year or next fall.

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