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Little Montessori School to close, march last time in parade
Published on Wed, May 5, 2010 by
Students from the Little Montessori School plan to stomp Sequim's streets one last time with the king of the dinosaurs at the Irrigation Festival's grand parade.
Parents and students constructed a multicolored, papier-mâché and wood tyrannosaurus Rex more than 5 feet tall.
"We're going out with a bang," said school co-founder Georgia Nickerson.
She's closing the school at 257151 Highway 101, Port Angeles, this June following the end of a seven-year lease with next-door neighbors Everwarm Hearth & Home.
Montessori students have built a stegosaurus, allosaurus, brontosaurus and some others Nickerson barely can pronounce.
"We've done them all," she said.
"It took me awhile to figure out some of their names."
The school's first dinosaur was made in 1981, its founding year.
"I can't escape it," Nickerson said.
"'Oh, you're the dinosaur school,' they'll say to me."
Nickerson plans a celebration with refreshments outside the Guy Cole Center in Carrie Blake Park on Saturday, May 8, after the parade for current and former students and parents.
"All families from years past are welcome to come and share stories," she said.
Nickerson bases her school on Italian physician Maria Montessori's teachings.
Montessori classrooms today have manipulative learning materials in the classroom where children choose their own activities and work at their own pace as long as they want.
Nickerson co-founded the school with Jackie LaRue, former owner of the Green Thumb.
She's kept it going following stints teaching in the Peace Corps, a middle school in Seattle and Peninsula College's family life program.
She looked for openings in public schools but no jobs were available, so Nickerson decided to further her Montessori training.
"The opportunity presented itself," she said.
"It's been a good reception. That has a lot to do with people I worked with all these years."
This year, Nickerson has 43 students in three programs for students ages 3-6.
Each year, the number of participants from surrounding cities varied, but Sequim students outnumbered others the past few years, Nickerson said.
Nickerson is unsure what she'll do following the school closing.
Paula Schwab, assistant teacher, plans to work with children in some capacity.
"I know it's going to be tough to get work like this," she said, "where I'm loved all day long by so many people."
Once school finishes, Nickerson plans to donate items from the classroom, such as a brontosaurus from a parade years ago, to other local teachers and their classrooms.
The Little Montessori School can be reached at 452-7915.
At a glance
Who: Little Montessori School teachers, students and parents
What: Final march in Irrigation Festival parade
When: Noon Saturday, May 8
Where: Washington Street, Sequim
Details: Students, teachers and parents
will march with their papier-mâché tyrannosaurus Rex
for the last time.
After the parade, current and former students will meet at Guy Cole Center in Carrie Blake Park, 202 Blake Ave., Sequim, for refreshments and to share stories.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.
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