Over 50 years, Montessori Radmoor in Okemos becomes a premier school

OKEMOS — When Montessori Radmoor was founded in 1968, the founders had no idea what they were doing.

It started with a need for a quality early education program. At the time, options were limited in and near Okemos and a small group of seven couples wanted more educational opportunities for their preschool-aged children.

The entrance of Montessori Radmoor in Okemos, Friday, March 25, 2022. The school recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Maxine Ferris had a 3-year-old boy and an infant at the time and began researching options with a friend, focusing specifically on the possibility of starting a Montessori school. The Montessori model was alien to her at the time. After reading up on it, during a time when Montessori schools were popping up all over the country, she knew that was the solution to their education problem.

Montessori Radmoor kindergartner Sophia Haider plays the

On a Mother’s Day, a group of interested parents met to discuss options. The gathering ultimately led to a vote — everyone interested in starting a Montessori school was asked to stand up. Seven people stood providing the support needed to start what is believed to be the first Montessori school in mid-Michigan and the second in the state .

“But we didn’t know what we were talking about,” Ferris said, recalling all of the homework the group had to do before starting the school. “My husband’s first job was to find out specific materials that had to be purchased. Others did things like finding space.”

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