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 June 2016. Pauline Tanaka, school founder and long time teacher and director, retired and confidently turned over the reins of the school to a new Director and teacher.   Jessica Neebe, a long-time PhMS supporter having served many roles — parent, board scribe, board member, administrative assistant and substitute teacher – has enthusiastically led the school since 2016.