Bainbridge Island Review


Two island schools celebrate a united future

June 29, 2013 · 9:09 AM

Little ones line up for cupcakes at the unification celebration. / Photo courtesy of Patty Christensen

It began in 1972 as a group of preschoolers gathered together in Julie Rynearson’s living room.

What grew out of that modest beginning became Montessori Country School, an island fixture of pre-K education for more than 30 years.

Now, the program will join with Montessori Elementary School to form a new Montessori Country School.

At a celebration Saturday, June 22 at Battle Point Park, parents, teachers, administrators and students marked the unification of the two education programs, which were founded more than a quarter century ago by Rynearson and Dorothy King as one institution.

The two schools went their separate ways in 1996 — MCS at Arrow Point Drive and Voyager at High School Road.

While the toddler-kindergarten and elementary programs will remain in those locations, respectively, the institutions will now reunite, and plans are in the works to bring the programs to one main campus.

At the celebration Saturday, Head of School Patty Christensen of MCS, the daughter of co-founder King, handed over the reins to Meghan Skotheim, who has taught at MCS and been a part-time administrator since 2002.

The combined Montessori school will now have a total of 123 students and will be the only school on the island with a pre-K to sixth-grade program.

Both programs will be officially integrated into the new school July 1.



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