Toddler and Preschool Programs

Stay in the loop

Subscribe for important updates and notifications.

Toddler & Preschool Programs

Choosing the right environment for your toddler and preschooler is crucial to their mental health and personal development.
Owl Babies at Play

Sea Pines Montessori's toddler and preschooler programs places the social, emotional, and developmental needs of your child first. Accredited, loving teachers and staff support your child through their earliest years. 

For children aged 15 months to 6 years of age, Sea Pines Montessori Academy's toddler and preschooler programs provide a community atmosphere, multi-age interaction, and a clean, safe environment in which to explore and learn. 

12-month program opening soon! Get notified when the program launches by sending us a quick email. You'll be notified when we are accepting new students.

The Environment

The extensive, concrete learning materials are designed to appeal to the children's deep interest, to inspire activity, and to promote coordination, concentration, and self-motivation. A Montessori classroom teaches children to care for their belongings. A Montessori teacher closely monitors student engagement, tracking progress and providing materials suitable to the next stage of development.

Creativity
Education
Violin Lessons
Exploration
Environment
Guidance

In the Montessori preschool, five distinct areas constitute the prepared environment. These areas are begun in Preprimary and fully explored in Primary:

  • Practical Life
  • SENSORIAL
  • LANGUAGE
  • MATHEMATICS
  • CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Exercises that work toward independence in caring for one’s self and environment to build fine motor skills, a sense of inner accomplishment, and grace.

Children are encouraged to explore each area. Studies in foreign language, music, art, and movement all weave into the school day. The curriculum is also enriched with units of study, group projects, and informative guest speakers.

Ashley TrexlerParent

I overheard my 2.5-year-old reminding herself to clean up her play area before moving on to drawing. And she did it. No nagging,  no asking. It's second nature now. It's amazing to see how a real Montessori school environment makes home life so much easier, in so many ways.  

Primary block seapinesmontessori.com

Toddler Program (Preprimary)

Ages 15 months to 3 years

Our Preprimary program provides both indoors and outdoor environments that are age-appropriate for both emotional and physical health, and that invite extensive exploration. Children at this age are sensorial explorers, with a need for autonomy and functional independence.

As a toddler would say, "I can do it myself!" 

Independence is what being a toddler is all about.

The Preprimary (Toddler) Room is where we meet the emotional needs of young children, while developing good manners, a sense of community, and respect for others. The child of this age absorbs everything around them. 

The environment provides activities concentrating on food, clothing, language, movement, and the senses. At this age, this is what children are interested in. By helping children to move purposefully through their day, the Preprimary programs achieve social harmony and peace, while encouraging children to engage in productive fun. 

  • Preprimary: ages 15 months to 3 years
  • 3 or 5 five half-days per week (8:30am to 1:00 pm)
  • Full day extensions available (8:30 am to 3:00 pm)
  • After school care available (Crew)

Preprimary Teachers & Staff

Lead Teachers are accredited and highly qualified. Teacher Assistants complete a rigorous training program.

Kalen Wolf Arts Educator at hilton head private school
Art Educator

Ms. Wolfe is the Art Educator at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. She is dedicated to helping students appreciate the creativity of others.

Kalen wants students to develop an appreciation and understanding of how Art reflects and impacts life and individuals. In addition to helping students create art, she teaches students to respond to art in a responsible, respectful manner.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art
  • Master of Art, Phoenix University
  • Trained to help students answer the essential Questions of Artist: Envision, Correct, Observe, Expressive Spirit, Develop Craft, Stretch & Explore, Engage & Persist, and Reflect
  • Ongoing training in Professional Development, Arts Organization, Continuing Education, Art Workshops and Classes

Kalen is passionate about Art. She believes the arts help children learn to say what cannot be said and that the arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience discover what we are capable of feeling.

Nikki Wright Assistant Teacher Infant Toddler Program at hilton head private school
Assistant Teacher, Preprimary

Ms. Wright is an Assistant Teacher to the Infant & Toddler Program. She is dedicated to helping our children learn and grow.

Her qualifications include:

  • B.A. Sociology, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Minor in Non-Profits, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Child Development
  • Mother of 2

Nikki loves reading, which she enjoys doing throughout the day with her students. She’s also a runner, which helps to stay active with the kids.

Kayla Bass Preprimary Teacher Sea pines Montessori
Lead Preprimary Teacher

Kayla Bass is the Lead Preprimary Teacher and is dedicated to aiding children in the independence of self-directed exploration. Her goal is to foster growth and development in a safe and complete learning environment.

  • 10+ years experience working with young children in both classroom and private setting
  • Currently completing the Infant|Montessori Certification

As a mother to a 3-year-old girl and a baby boy (due January 2016), Ms. Bass is committed to expanding her knowledge of child development and translating teachings into actionable developmental assistance for infants and toddlers.

With her extensive background in child care, Ms. Bass is uniquely qualified to offer Sea Pines Montessori’s youngest students a safe place to develop emotionally and physically.

Carrie Comeau - Preprimary Teacher Sea Pines Montessori Academy
Assistant Preprimary Teacher

Ms. Comeau is the Assistant Preprimary Teacher and is dedicated to encouraging children to express their creativity through all avenues of learning.

She holds the following qualifications:

  • BA in Liberal Studies, with a Minor in Elementary Education, from Endicott College
  • Masters in Elementary Education from Quinnipiac Univeristy
  • 4th grade teaching experience (Riverview Charter School)
  • Taught Kindergarten at Ridgeland Elementary School
  • Taught Upper Elementary at Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School and began her upper elementary Montessori Training from North American Montessori Training

With experience in both public and private schools systems, Ms. Comeau excels at guiding students through their work day.

She is also a registered yoga teacher who hopes to bring kids yoga to SPMA next year!

Kerry McKinney Teacher Sea Pines Montessori Academy
Lead Infant/Toddler Teacher

With over 17 years teaching experience, Kerry has been a valued member of the faculty at Sea Pines Montessori Academy since 2004.

Kerry is the Lead Infant/Toddler Teacher in the Light Green Room and is dedicated to fostering each child’s unique attributes while teaching them how to work as part of a community of peers.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development
  • Preschool/Kindergarten Montessori Training for children aged 32-months to 6-years from the North American Montessori Training Center
  • Infant/Toddler 0-3 Montessori Training from Montessori Educational Programs International
  • 17+ years teaching experience

Kerry loves the outdoors and exercise. She encourages children to learn through nature and start a love for an active lifestyle.

Her family is a top priority. Learning to love and nurture the different personalities that her own children have guides her in helping the families she works with to understand and nurture the personalities of the children she has been entrusted to guide.

When we moved to Hilton Head Island we looked for a school to continue the Montessori education of our children. What we found at Sea Pines Montessori Academy was so much more than just a school! It’s a caring community that reaches beyond the classroom to truly become a family. The teachers have recognized and nurtured the individuality of each of our children to facilitate their development in the world. We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Sea Pines Montessori Academy is another great part of living in Hilton Head!

The Green FamilyPrimary Parents

Our son has been in the Purple Room for two years. With a small student to teacher ratio, teachers and professionals at the school were able observe learning styles and areas of struggle. With the gentle approach of SPMA, our son is reading and looking forward to first grade!

Preschool Program (Primary)

Ages 3 to 6 years

A preschool, multi-age setting offers children a social environment where they live, learn, and develop together. Freedom through orderly experimentation and teacher-presented lessons allows children to practice independently or with a small group.

The opportunity to work at their own pace with older children available to help and assist those younger is an integral part of our schooling approach. 

Our children experience great joy in learning. ​

These early years of practicing self-control, exploration, and peaceful conflict resolution form the foundation for the coming elementary years in which self-directed research and interest in community become an important focus of the curriculum. ​

Our Primary program consists of a multi-age group with children aged 3 to 6 years. 

The Montessori classrooms are “living” rooms for children. Children choose their work from among the self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific subject areas. Over time, the children further their work, developing high concentration and few interruptions.

The Primary Room is where a child moves from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through working in the environment. The process occurs through repeated work with materials that captivate the child’s attention.

  • Primary half day: 3 to 4 years of age, five mornings a week, half days. (8:30 am to 1:00 pm)
  • Primary full day: 5 to 6 years of age, five days a week, full-day kindergarten. (8:30 am to 3:00 pm)
  • After-school care available (Crew)
The Ringer FamilyPrimary Parents

When we moved to Hilton Head Island we looked for a school to continue the Montessori education of our children. What we found at Sea Pines Montessori Academy was so much more than just a school! It’s a caring community that reaches beyond the classroom to truly become a family. The teachers have recognized and nurtured the individuality of each of our children to facilitate their development in the world. We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Sea Pines Montessori Academy is another great part of living in Hilton Head!

Primary Teachers & Staff

Lead Teachers are accredited and highly qualified. Teacher Assistants complete a rigorous training program.

Jordan Gort teacher sea pines hilton head private school
Assistant Teacher

Ms. Gort is the Purple Room’s Assistant Teacher and is dedicated to inspiring her students to love learning. She is passionate about helping her students develop and achieve practical life goals.

Her qualifications include:

  • B.S. in Human Environmental Science, The University of Alabama
  • M.A.T. in Elementary Education, Liberty University
  • Virginia Elementary Teaching Licensure

Jordan loves reading books with her nephew and creating new works and crafts for the classroom.

Primary Lead Teacher

Mrs. Rohla is the Purple Room Lead Teacher. Sarah’s goal is to encourage curiosity in young children and instill a lifelong love of learning.

Her qualifications include:

  • Montessori Early Childhood Certification (Montessori Training Institute of Northern California)
  • Orton-Gillinghan associate level certification to tutor students with dyslexia and specific reading disorders
  • 8 years experience teaching in Montessori Preprimary, Primary, Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten
  • B.A. Degree in History and East European Studies, Indiana University

Sarah enjoys spending time with her family in her spare time and is passionate about teaching children, especially watching them grow!

Lauren Kelley teacher sea pines hilton head private school
Primary Teacher

Ms. Kelley is the Primary Teacher in the Red Room and is dedicated to developing independent, critical thinkers.

Her qualifications include:

  • SPMA teacher for 14 years
  • MEPI Montessori Training
  • B.S. Degree, East Stroudsburg University

Lauren loves to bake, practice yoga, and read. She is often found digging into geography and finding interesting ways to teach the children.

Ashley Schilling teacher sea pines hilton head private school
Lead Teacher Primary

Ashley Schilling is the Lead Teacher in the Blue Room. She is dedicated to opening the hearts and minds of young children.

Her qualifications include:

  • B.S. in Sociology and Psychology
  • M.S. in Early Childhood Education
  • Montessori Early Childhood Certification

Ms. Schilling enjoys spending time with her family. Her husband, son, and two rescue dogs are eagerly anticipating the arrival of her daughter, due in February of 2016. She often volunteers at the local animal shelters.

Marilee Willey teacher assistant sea pines hilton head private school
Teacher Assistant

Mrs. Willey is a Teacher’s Assistant. Her goal is to instill a joy of learning in children by fostering their sense of wonder and cultivating their curiosity about the world.

Her qualifications include:

  • B.A. Art History, St. Lawrence University
  • Montessori Teacher Assistant Certification, Institute for Guided Studies

Marilee is most passionate about enjoying nature – it’s beauty, it’s recreational outlet, and it’s spiritual nourishment. She likes to instill this appreciation of nature in children at every opportunity!

She also enjoys reading, continuing education, and traveling to new places.

Kalen Wolf Arts Educator at hilton head private school
Art Educator

Ms. Wolfe is the Art Educator at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. She is dedicated to helping students appreciate the creativity of others.

Kalen wants students to develop an appreciation and understanding of how Art reflects and impacts life and individuals. In addition to helping students create art, she teaches students to respond to art in a responsible, respectful manner.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art
  • Master of Art, Phoenix University
  • Trained to help students answer the essential Questions of Artist: Envision, Correct, Observe, Expressive Spirit, Develop Craft, Stretch & Explore, Engage & Persist, and Reflect
  • Ongoing training in Professional Development, Arts Organization, Continuing Education, Art Workshops and Classes

Kalen is passionate about Art. She believes the arts help children learn to say what cannot be said and that the arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience discover what we are capable of feeling.

Katherine De Freitas Sea Pines Montessori Music Teacher
Suzuki Piano Teacher

Katherine G. De Freitas is the Music and Suzuki Piano Teacher at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. She is dedicated to enriching every child with a love and appreciation of music.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communications, Minor in Music, Ohio University
  • Certified Music Together teacher
  • Certified Montessori Para-Professional
  • Suzuki Association of Americas (SAA) certified through Suzuki Piano Book

Katherine loves to sing, dance, and play all types of music. She enjoys the quality time with SPMA students and is passionate about teaching music.

With a child who attends SPMA and one who will as soon as she’s old enough, family and quality education are Katherine’s priorities.

Meg O'Brien Primary Teacher at Sea Pines Montessori
Primary Teacher

Ms. O’Brien is a Primary teacher in the Red Room. She is dedicated to instilling curiosity and great joy of learning in her students.

Her qualifications include:

  • 27 years teaching experience at Sea Pines Montessori Academy
  • 35 years as a Montessori trained education
  • Pan American Montessori training

A graduate of William Paterson University, Ms. O’Brien love to read, cook, and is currently exploring photography.

In the classroom, she especially enjoys creating art lessons and presenting different works to the students.

To experience everything Sea Pines Montessori Academy has to offer, request a tour now.