Children’s House Montessori School
When it’s time for lunch at Children’s House Montessori School (CHMS), preschoolers set the table themselves with glass plates and silverware. They willingly try new foods and politely ask for seconds. Lunch is just one aspect of the overall experience at CHMS, where the curriculum nourishes the mind, body and spirit. “Each child receives a balanced education that includes academics, art, music and movement,” says Denise Touma, who will celebrate 20 years as Head of School next year. “A Montessori education provides children with a strong foundation for academic achievement and good citizenship.”
Other Touma family members play key roles at CHMS. Denise’s husband, Gregory, has served as the CFO since 2006. Their son, Jad, who started out working summers there and later earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, joined the staff full time as an AMS credentialed Montessori Director last year. Jad also manages CHMS’s digital presence.
The Toumas emphasize CHMS’s dedicated staff, many of whom have taught there for more than 15 years, and their strong focus on building community. “Children interact with students and staff schoolwide throughout the day,” says Jad. “For many, it’s their first community experience and they build lasting friendships.” All-school events include the annual Trike-a-Thon, which raises thousands of dollars every year for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“At CHMS, our immediate priority is to prepare our students for elementary school. Our long-term goal is to nurture the intuitive learning needs of our toddlers and preschoolers, including how to care for themselves and their classroom environment,” says Denise, “We’re dedicated to instilling in our students a joyful, lifelong love of learning and a pathway to good citizenship.”