Programs

Early Childhood Program (ages 3-6)
Montessori is a unique educational approach that nurtures a child’s intrinsic desire to learn. Montessori focuses on the whole child – his cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.

Our Early Childhood program offers multi-aged classrooms, serving children 3 – 6 years of age. Children learn from hands on exploration of specially designed didactic materials. Children progress at their own pace, in a way that best suites his or her own learning style.

Elementary Program (ages 6-12)
The Elementary-aged child is full of awe and wonder about the world in which he lives. The Montessori Elementary Curriculum inspires a love of learning by going beyond the usual goals of skill development to address the development of the whole person. Children who complete our Elementary program have a clear understanding of the natural world, human knowledge, and of themselves.

The Montessori Elementary curriculum is an integrated thematic approach where students learn about the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience through hands-on investigation. Academic skills in math, reading, and language arts are mastered within the meaningful context of this big picture. Peace education and problem solving play an integral role and enable the student to develop conflict resolution and critical thinking skills.

Students learn to think independently and how to communicate clearly and effectively, verbally and in writing. They learn essential time management skills for independent work and how to work well with others. The curriculum scope for the elementary classroom includes: mathematics, geometry, language arts, zoology, botany, geography, history, practical life and the arts. We also have the unique opportunity to explore the beach and incorporate hands-on marine science into our curriculum.

After School Program
After school care is available from 2:30 - 5:30 each day. Children engage in age-appropriate activities in the classroom as well as spending time on the playground and at the beach. What a great way for your children to have fun with their friends after school!

Summer Camp (ages 3-6)
Our Summer Camp is full of beach-themed fun and learning. Children learn about things associated with the beach, along with having some good, old-fashioned fun! Each week includes beach trips twice a week, beach exploration related to the weekly theme, cooking and healthy snacks, arts and crafts, and exposure to the Montessori learning environment. Enrollment Form

History

Montessori by the Sea is a non-profit, authentic Montessori school located in historic Pass-A-Grille overlooking the pristine Gulf of Mexico. Montessori by the Sea was established in 1985 as an outreach program of Pass-a-Grille Beach Community Church.

Montessori programs accept students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. All religions and faiths are respected. We provide quality Montessori education for children from 3 – 12 years old.

Staff

Katie’s introduction to the Montessori method of education came when she was hired as a Teaching Assistant in the Childcare program at Small World Montessori School, located in Racine, WI, in 2003. She immediately loved Montessori and felt proud to be practicing a philosophy that helped develop the child as a whole.

In the summer of 2007, Katie completed her training and was awarded the AMS Early Childhood Montessori certification from Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center, located in Evanston, IL. Katie had the pleasure of teaching at Small World Montessori School for 4 more years before making the decision to head to a warmer climate! Katie joined the Montessori by the Sea school community for the 2013 – 2014 school year and is looking forward to her future here.

When she is not school, Katie enjoys cooking, going to the park with her two dogs and spending time with the newest addition to her family, her baby girl.

Ms. Cox was born in Utrecht, Netherlands. At the age of four, she moved to Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles with her father, mother, and three siblings. Ms. Cox grew up on the island, where she enjoyed the pristine beaches and gorgeous views that the island offers. Some of her hobbies have included swimming, boating, dancing, snorkeling and playing tennis. After graduating from high school, Ms. Cox studied education in the Netherlands and in Curacao.

In 1986, Ms. Cox was awarded her Primary teaching credential with the American Montessori Society. Ms. Cox has been teaching at Montessori by the Sea since 1986.

Stefanie Hoft, M.A., AMS, Lower Elementary Guide. Stefanie has been involved in Montessori Education since 1999 in teaching as well as administration. She is an AMS certified Early Childhood and Elementary Montessori teacher. Stefanie holds an Advanced Graduate Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of New England.

In her free time, she loves spending time with her family including her Siberian Huskies and playing field hockey with The Tampa Bay Grasshoppers.

Susan Plant was born near Sydney, Australia, but moved to Richmond, VA at a very young age and spent most of her childhood there. She has always loved working with children and spent three summers as a counselor at a camp specializing in art and science education. Susan became involved in Montessori education when she began working for Full Circle Montessori School in Arlington, VA as a classroom assistant in 2009. While in Virginia, she completed the AMI assistant’s training course at the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University.

Susan finished her bachelor's degree at Eckerd College with a major in Business Management and a minor in Human Development. She is currently completing her AMI Primary Montessori certification at the Montessori Institute of San Diego and her master's degree in Montessori Education through Loyola University. Susan has been a part of the Montessori by the Sea team since 2014.

Kathy has lived in Pennsylvania and New York and is very happy to now call St Pete Beach her home. She has a BS in Accounting from Manhattan College and has her CPA. After leaving her career to raise her 4 children, Kathy volunteered for many positions involving the youth in her community. Her second career started as a technology instructor to preschoolers. Kathy’s opportunity with Montessori began in 2010 at Montessori Community School of Newtown where she worked as an assistant teacher until 2015.

When Kathy is not in school she enjoys running, yoga, reading and long walks on the beach with her husband.

Linda is a native to this area, raised on Treasure Island in a house where her parents still live today. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences from National-Louis University, in Tampa, FL in 2001, She has over 10 years of experience teaching in a Montessori environment, both Primary and elementary. Ms. Linda received her Montessori Early Childhood credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2008, a Montessori Applied to Children at Risk (MACAR) Level I credential from Shelton School in Dallas, TX in 2013, and is in the final stages of obtaining her Elementary 1 & 2 credentials from CGMS.

Linda lives with her husband, two boys, two dogs, and pet lizard. Both of her sons have benefited tremendously from their Montessori experiences and she enjoys noticing how that foundation continually supports their growth.

Nicole Wilson joined the staff of Montessori by the Sea in August 2010. In addition to having her Montessori Administrators Credential from the Houston Montessori Training Center, she has a BA in Human Resources from St. Leo University, a MA in Mental Health Counseling from USF. Prior to her time in Education Administration, Nicole spent over 15 years in Human Resources Management.

Nicole lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband and two sons. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family, running and exploring the great outdoors!