About Waterford Montessori Academy

Waterford Montessori Academy is a public charter school authorized by Saginaw Valley State University and managed by American Montessori Solutions, Inc.  WMA provides a proven educational alternative to the children and families of Waterford and its neighboring communities.

The Academy offers a tuition-free elementary program at two locations. The Midland campus is for children in Kindergarten through Grade 5 and has an affordable tuition-based Early Childhood program for 3, 4 and young 5 year-olds, and before and after-school care.  The Elizabeth Lake Road campus is for children in Kindergarten through Grade 3 and Grade 6 through Grade 8, and before and after-school care.

The philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori lays the foundation for the program at WMA, and has been aligned to meet common core state standards. This curriculum framework will promote the intellectual, spiritual, physical, artistic, and academic excellence inherent in each child.

Waterford Montessori

Our Mission

The mission of Waterford Montessori Academy is to assist its students to reach their full potential in all areas of life while promoting academic rigor, moral leadership, and personal responsibility.

Why Montessori?

Hands-on approach to learning for children.


Every child learns at their own pace.

Helps children reach their full potential in all areas of life.

Helps children become self-motivated, independent, and life-long learners.

Each classroom operates on the principal of freedom within limits.

Multi-age classrooms allow children to learn in harmony with one another.

Equipment, exercises, and methods to further the child’s self-creating processes.

The philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori aligned to meet with common core state standards.

Montessori is a hands-on approach to learning which is implemented worldwide and is meant to benefit every child, regardless of their background or affluence.

Montessori recognizes that children learn in different ways and at their own pace.  It is a developmentally based approach to education, whose primary goal is to help children to reach their full potential in all areas of life.

Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician in the early 1900’s, discovered the remarkable and effortless ability of children to absorb knowledge from their surroundings.  To further the children’s self-creating processes, she developed equipment, exercises, and methods based on what she observed children doing naturally, by themselves, and unassisted by adults.  The pioneering work of Dr. Montessori has produced a blueprint for educating children, by awakening their natural curiosity and helping them to become self-motivated, independent, and life-long learners.

Each Montessori classroom operates on the principle of freedom within limits.  Every program has its set of ground rules which differs from age to age, but is always based on the core Montessori beliefs of respect for each other and for the environment.  In the multi-age Montessori classroom, learning takes place naturally, and children learn in harmony with one another.

Well-Known Montessori Graduates & Advocates

Montessori sparks innovation and creativity in children. Millions of Montessori students, families and supporters around the world have been influenced in some way by Maria Montessori’s philosophy and method of education. Some of the most recognized include:
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin — founders of Google
  • Jeff Bezos — founder and CEO of Amazon.com
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — former first lady
  • Jimmy Wales — founder of Wikipedia
  • T. Berry Brazelton — noted pediatrician and author
  • Julia Child — chef and author
  • George Clooney — actor
  • Anne Frank — author and WWII diarist
  • Will Wright — video game pioneer
  • Prince William and Prince Harry — members of British royal family
  • Sean “P Diddy” Combs — rapper and music producer
  • David Blaine — magician

Montessori Advocates

  • Thomas Edison — scientist, inventor and founder of a Montessori school
  • Alexander Graham Bell — inventor, who helped start the first Montessori class in Canada
  • Jean Piaget — noted Swiss psychologist and head of the Swiss Montessori Society
  • Mister Rogers — children’s TV personality and strong supporter of Montessori

Montessori Parents

  • Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm
  • Actors Michael Douglas, Cher, Patty Duke Astin, and Yul Brynner
  • Musicians Yo Yo Ma and Willie Nelson
  • Athlete David Robinson

About the Board of Directors

WMA is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by our authorizer, Saginaw Valley State University. Board members are appointed to three-year terms.

Board meetings are open to the public pursuant to the Open Meetings Act. Agendas and minutes of all meetings are posted online.

Waterford Montessori Academy Board of Directors

Board MemberPosition
Patrick CarraherPresident
Vickilynn EvanoffVice President
Melissa CoulterSecretary-Treasurer
Linda WilliamsMember
Ani PattersonMember

Contacting the Board

Board members are volunteers and uninvolved in the day-to-day operations of the school. The members have no individual authority and may undertake business only at public Board meetings.

Questions, concerns, and complaints should be directed to the person(s) best able to respond to or resolve the matter, e.g. the teacher or other staff member. The Building Director is the next best contact if that first effort is unsuccessful, and thereafter the Program Director, Ms. Chris. Staff and school leadership are nearly always able to resolve issues and solve problems.

The Board includes the opportunity for public comment at every Board meeting and accepts letters and other correspondence. Please address all written communications to the Board President, WMA Board of Directors, and send them electronically to boardofdirectors@waterfordmontessori.org. Need help with this or have questions? Contact Ms. Susie by email or at 248-674-2400, option 2 for the Elizabeth Lake campus.

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