History of Philomath Montessori School

The Philomath Montessori School began in January of 1984 as an independent, private, nonsectarian school for children 2½ to 6 years. The majority of our students have been from the Philomath-Corvallis community, but many have also come from Albany, Alsea, Blodgett, Eddyville, Kings Valley, and Summit.

We have been housed in three rooms in the College United Methodist Church next to the Benton County Historical Museum since our beginning, conveniently located near the center of town. Dedicated to education and the principles of Montessori, we have always felt a special connection to Philomath’s own beginnings as a place of learning and its name meaning “Love of Learning”.

In July of 2001, at the request of the parent body, we began the monumental process to reorganize Philomath Montessori School into a nonprofit institution to insure its longevity. In February 2003 we were officially granted tax-exempt status.

In September 2011, we inaugurated our Friday Art Class. Jennifer Smith, a cherished local artist with over 20 years experience in Montessori classrooms and art programs, offers a 3-hour art class on Fridays during the school year.  The art class is currently taking a hiatus with plans for an expanded curriculum!

A big and exciting transition took place at the end of June 2016. Pauline Tanaka, who has been the director of Philomath Montessori School since the beginning, confidently turned over the reins of the school to Jessica Neebe. Jessica has been a part of the school since her children started there in 2003 serving in many roles at our school — board scribe, board member, administrative assistant and substitute teacher – the perfect preparation for her newest role as co-teacher and director.