As Maria Montessori once stated, "The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind". Today, Montessori classrooms are seen as rich environments filled with great activity, learning and excitement. Heading into its 17th year, First Steps Montessori School opened its doors as a mission of St. John the Divine, a 501(c)(3) organization. The school first began in 1996, incorporating the Good Shepherd program. First Steps at the time consisted of about 70 children, a total of 5 classes ranging from infant to primary (6 months to 6 years old). In May 1999, Suzanne Gusemano became the Head of School. The school classrooms slowly evolved and became more child friendly with low sinks, new furniture and shelves and even materials. First Steps grew to accommodate 125 children. Our population is multi-ethnic, and approximately one quarter of our students are children of parishioners. We have a total of 7 classrooms - 4 early childhood classes (3-6 year olds) and 3 toddler classes (18 months to 3 years old).
Although First Steps is one of many Montessori schools in Houston, it is extremely unique, with an outstanding reputation for 'true' Montessori philosophy. The faculty at First Steps Montessori School consists of American Montessori Credentialed Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood Instructors. Our certified teachers are leading educators in the Houston community, with experience levels ranging from 15-30 years. First Steps Montessori School is an Associate Member of American Montessori Society, which reaches every country in the world. When our children graduate from our program, they are truly prepared for the next step.
One of the many benefits of being a mission of St. John the Divine is the daily opportunity to engage with the clergy. THe church takes on a new role of support, offering endless opportunities to engage. The faculty, staff and children embrace daily prayer, weekly chapel and opportunities within the classroom catechesis materials. This community cannot help but benefit from this Holy space and these wonderfully skilled teachers as we are aware of God and his presence within our hearts and our classrooms.