The mission of The Montessori Schools of Central Texas is to provide children with the academic and social skills, as well as the moral judgment, to successfully achieve their personal goals and potential so that they may positively impact society.
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
Here at the Montessori Schools of Central Texas, we believe in educating the total child. In pursuit of that goal, our students are taught lessons and given activities which stimulate the mind, body, and spirit. The Montessori School is a non-profit, non-graded, and appropriate placement educational institution licensed by the state of Texas, and is a full member of the American Montessori Society.
Curriculum activities include practical life skills and sensorial experiences, along with language, mathematics, geography, history, science, art, music, physical education, computer skills, Bible studies, and Spanish.
The Montessori School is staffed by certified professional Montessori teachers who have been trained to build trusting relationships with children and to create environments which present a rich array of interactive experiences.
In operation since 1982, The Montessori School is currently offering programs for preschool children ages 3 to 6, and is opening programs for infants & toddlers, ages 6 weeks to 3 years.
The Montessori School accepts children without regard to national origin, race, color, creed, or religion.
The Montessori Schools of Central Texas was founded in 1982, by Drs. Jerry and Sherry O’Donnell, as a private nondenominational Christian school for young children. The school began in a two-car converted garage at the rear of the O’Donnell’s home in McGregor, Texas, with twelve students, Mrs. O’Donnell as teacher, and an aide. The following year, the school expanded and transferred to a new location with more space. The student body continued to grow until, in 1986, the school moved to Temple, Texas. For three years, the school was located on the grounds of Trinity Church, occupying a separate building for the last two years. In 1990, the school was moved again, to what is now the current location at 1302 S. 27th Street in Temple, in a beautiful Victorian-era house. This change allowed the school to open enrollment for three classes with three different age groups, in order to offer educational opportunities to children ages 3 to 12. In 1995, the school purchased an adjacent property and house and converted it to use as another classroom. In 2003, MSCT established a satellite campus with two primary classes (ages 3-6) in Killeen, Texas. The 2017-2018 school year will see two changes: the elementary program will be closed for the year, and the Montessori Infant & Toddler School will open its doors for the first time in September 2017.
MSCT will celebrate 35 years of excellence starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
- Jerry O’Donnell, PhD, Headmaster: Dr. O’Donnell’s experience in life and the work force is varied, from serving in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier and officer, to owning numerous businesses, acting as a professional student, and doing the work of an evangelist, pastor, and teacher. He presently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Montessori Schools of Central Texas and the Headmaster of the MSCT Temple Campus. Dr. O’Donnell obtained his GED while serving in the United States Army. After recognizing his need for further education, he earned seven degrees in two tracts: the world and the church. He presently holds two bachelor’s, two master’s, and three doctoral degrees. In past years, Dr. O’Donnell has been a successful psychologist in private practice, specializing in creative motivation for underachieving children. Currently, he maintains his love for education through his passionate reading of books, magazines, and research articles. Dr. O’Donnell met his wife, Sherry, in high school, and they have been married for 54 years. Together they have three children, Jheri Lynn, Jeffery, and Jennifer, and five grandchildren.
- Sherry O’Donnell, D.CE., Assistant Director: Mrs. O’Donnell is the principal founder of The Montessori Schools of Central Texas. She has worked hard to grow the school from one classroom in a two-car garage in 1982 to the present day, with an organization comprising of six classrooms across two campuses, and students ranging from ages three to twelve. Mrs. O’Donnell was awarded a Doctorate in Christian Education for her tireless efforts to develop and provide a quality early-childhood education, based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s teaching philosophy and curriculum, to children of all backgrounds. She is certified at the Primary Level (ages 3-6) by the Association Montessori International, and at the Lower Elementary Level (ages 6-9) by the American Montessori Society. Her 34 years of service in the field have allowed her to continually refine her techniques and curriculum within the Montessori philosophy, in order to connect with and teach every one of her students on an individual level. When not involved with the school, Sherry enjoys spending her leisure time with her family.
- Carmen Alvarado, Lead Teacher – Primary 1: Carmen was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and she also attended Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Rio Piedras while there. In 1995, she married a soldier in the United States Army, and starting in 1998, they began traveling extensively within the U.S. as her husband was transferred to various bases. Carmen considers these different living experiences to have been very positive for her family, including for her two daughters. In 2006, Carmen started working with children on a professional level, and she became qualified as a Child Development Associate (CDA) in 2008. In 2011, she and her family moved to Texas, where she then joined the Montessori Schools of Central Texas as a teaching assistant. Carmen earned her credentials as an Early Childhood teacher through North American Montessori in 2013, and then achieved credentials through the American Montessori Society in the same category in 2016. She is currently a Lead Teacher of one of our Primary classes.
- Dolline Abraham, Lead Teacher – Primary 2: Dolline was born and raised in the city of Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman, and then moved to India during her high school years. She went on to complete undergraduate degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics, and earned a post-graduate degree in Business Administration. She then began working as a dietitian at the Christian Medical Hospital in India. After having her two children, she decided to end her employment at the hospital in order to spend more time with her family. Through her involvement with her own children, she began teaching kindergarten, and also handled Sunday classes for the three to five-year-old age group. Three years later, God made a path for her to take the Association Montessori Internationale course. Following certification, she was employed as a Montessori directress for two years, solidifying her career in the Montessori community. When a position opened up with MSCT, Dolline made the decision to move her family to the United States, and she has been a teacher with the school for two years now. Her hobbies include pencil art, sewing, embroidery, and crocheting.
- Diana Quick, Assistant Teacher – Primary 2: Diana was born and raised in Panamá, where she also completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. She comes from a Christian family, and her parents are still pastors in Panamá. Diana has two boys, with the oldest born in Panamá and the youngest in Louisiana. In 1997, she moved to New York, and then continued to transfer to various states, as she considers these changes positive for her family. Diana became part of our Montessori family in January 2014. She loves working with the children, and says teaching and helping them is her passion. She has been blessed with many talents, from composing songs and teaching pantomimes, to crafting and helping organize various events. Her hobbies include spending time with her family and attending church. She enjoys working in the kitchen, making different Panamanian dishes for family and friends.
- Maria Mateus, Assistant Teacher – Primary 1: Maria relocated to Texas from her native country of Colombia in July of 2012. Prior to the move, she had been studying Civil Engineering at Universidad Industrial de Santander, but put that on hold to learn English when she arrived in the U.S. In 2014, Maria began taking classes at Central Texas College, and is currently a student at Texas A&M University, majoring in psychology. Maria joined the MSCT staff in August of 2015 as an assistant teacher. She loves working with children, and says she learns from them every day. She hopes to pursue her passion in childcare and focus her career in child psychology. Maria’s hobbies include dancing and travel, and she admits to being an avid foodie.
- Ariel Sanchez, Assistant Teacher – Primary 1: Ariel was born in Lima, Ohio, but was raised in various cities around the country as a self-described military brat. She spent the most time in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before attending Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Colorado. She went on to graduate from Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Ariel moved to Central Texas in October 2017 with her husband, a soldier now stationed at Fort Hood, and joined MSCT in November. She was previously employed at the Montessori Academy of Virginia Beach, and continues to work in childcare because she enjoys furthering students’ education. In the future, she hopes to become a Montessori lead teacher, and is also considering pursuing a degree in child psychology. Ariel’s hobbies include dancing, singing, and cooking.
- Jeff O’Donnell, Groundskeeper & Van Driver: Jeff has been a part of The Montessori Schools of Central Texas for over five years. He started his professional life serving three years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he also earned awards for physical fitness. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and studied counseling at the Master’s level. During this time, he worked with children and adolescents at behavior treatment centers. In addition to being a youth counselor, he served the facility as a lifeguard, coached athletic events, and assisted the campus’ academic teachers in various ways. Over the years, Jeff has become increasingly interested in fitness. He has competed in power lifting and body building contests, and subsequently decided to pursue a career as a personal trainer, opening his own studio. Eventually, with two teenage daughters, and his previous work with children, he switched tracks to focus on teaching physical education to a younger audience, and came to work at The Montessori Schools of Central Texas. His upcoming goal is to achieve certification in group fitness by the American College of Sports Medicine. His hobbies include singing with his worship team at his church, playing sports with his daughters, and studying nutrition and health-related subjects.
- Dani Miller, Administrative Assistant: Dani joined our staff in February of 2016, and is thrilled to be a member of our Montessori family. She is currently also a part-time student at Texas A&M University studying wildlife ecology and tourism management, and previously worked as a research assistant for the Wildlife and Conservation Policy Research Group lab on campus. She has gained experience supervising and teaching children as a volunteer assistant counselor at Cameron Park Zoo and as an intern at the Houston Zoo. Future goals include traveling to the last 22 states and 5 Canadian provinces on her list, revisiting the Great Barrier Reef, and working in an nature tourism department for a wildlife or environmentally-based recreation organization, where she can develop and implement programs to get citizens outdoors, involved, and interested in preserving our natural resources. Her hobbies include camping and hiking, traveling, photography, reading, and studio art.
Enrichment Program Teachers:
- Amelia Rabroker, Art Instructor – Tap Tap Art School
- Savanna Coburn, Kindermusik Instructor – Kindermusik with Danielle