Head of School Welcome

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Melinda Cotter - Head of School WelcomeNestled amongst the forest preserve and Atlantic Ocean lies a beautiful school at the south end of Hilton Head Island. We are Sea Pines Montessori Academy. Thank you for showing interest in our stunning school by coming to our website. As you visit each link, I am sure that you will grow as fond of SPMA as I did during my first browse! Sea Pines Montessori Academy is truly an authentic, enriching environment.

We are South Carolina’s first and oldest Montessori school. Established by Mary Fraser, wife of Sea Pines Plantation developer, we are rich in history and experience. Montessori is about community, trust, and growth. We nurture not only the whole child, but also the families. At SPMA, we know that when we work together and become one unit, each child feels comfortable, safe, confident, loved and most importantly, happy.

Choosing a school is easy. Choosing the right school is a challenge. As you peruse our website and plan your visit, try and imagine your child AND your family in the building, at school events, and walking into school each morning. A Montessori school should feel like home, a “Children’s House” to be exact.

When Maria Montessori opened her first classroom in 1907, she dubbed it Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House. It was “owned” by the children — materials, art, and windows at eye level, child size desks and tables, small sinks and toilets, and most importantly, children of all ages in a familial setting. This is truly what sets Montessori apart from other schools. This ownership of the environment that the children feel contributes to their pride, independence, confidence and love of learning.

In the same regard, Montessori teachers are very special. They are trained for a specific age group and know that range in and out- socially, emotionally, academically, physically, and spiritually. You will not find a general K-12 instructor here. Instead you will see a highly developed curriculum, amazing enrichment courses, Chinese immersion, and a growing athletics program. We welcome your questions about our work, philosophies, and school life, and value the opportunity to begin this journey together.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Melinda A. Cotter

Head of School

Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence. –Maria Montessori