Our History

Maureen Stone (R), joins founders Lynda Baker (L) and Ginger Peterson (C) at the original location, St. Boniface, Waukee.Maureen Stone (R), joins founders Lynda Baker (L) and Ginger Peterson (C) at the original location, St. Boniface, Waukee.School of Mary - Montessori began as a comment - a small mustard seed comment - during a Montessori training in 2007. This seed grew ever so slowly - sometimes hidden, sometimes revealed, as many things do in the Plan of God. From the very first, School of Mary was a work of prayer: daily prayer, daily Mass, and expectant waiting. It was a time of preparation and incorporation, a time of making and purchasing materials, a time of completing internships and becoming fully credentialed, and a time of looking for inspiration from The Child in the Church, Montessori’s own vision for a Catholic education. Slowly and carefully God put all the pieces in place for School of Mary to open in 2012.

 

St. Boniface Church, WaukeeSt. Boniface Church, WaukeeWith fifteen children representing nine families, Lynda Baker and Ginger Peterson opened School of Mary - Montessori at the old Saint Boniface Church in Waukee in September 2012. Sharing space with the Waukee Area Arts Council School of Mary opened as a two-day per week program. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd session was opened to other families and School of Mary welcomed three additional families and their seven children. 

 

School of Mary children and families waiting the arrival of Bishop Pates, St Boniface ChurchSchool of Mary children and families waiting the arrival of Bishop Pates, St Boniface ChurchThe space was relatively large and fully open with a central aisle - Elementary on one side and Early Childhood on the other. Since the space was shared, all of the materials were on moveable shelving units made by Jeff Baker and Vance Peterson. Each unit was specially designed for the spaces available for storage when the Arts Council was hosting their monthly performances. Some of them were even topped to do double duty as banquet serving space for the performances.

 

Jeff Baker (R) and Vance Peterson (L) build shelves for School of Mary.Jeff Baker (R) and Vance Peterson (L) build shelves for School of Mary.The “founding families” were a joy and the children grew in age and wisdom over this first year. Bishop Pates came to bless School of Mary and the celebration continued with a potluck and evening with the Bishop. Many fruits from that November night continue to this day.

 

Bishop Pates and the School of Mary children, 2012-2013Bishop Pates and the School of Mary children, 2012-2013During the second term it became apparent that the demands of School of Mary had an unforeseen impact on family life that would make it impossible for Miss Lynda to return the next fall. After much prayer and discernment it was decided that School of Mary would suspend operations for the 2013-2014 year.

 

School of Mary, All Saints Des MoinesSchool of Mary, All Saints Des MoinesGod also has things in mind that we could never imagine. Within five months a surprising invitation was extended to the School of Mary Board to relocate to All Saints Parish in Des Moines and re-open in the fall of 2014. After prayerful discernment the Board accepted the proposal…once again preparation and planning and much, much prayer. Because School of Mary would operate on a different plane - collaboration with a parish - there was considerable administrative work to be done. God again gave all of the grace necessary and provided the staff and resources necessary for School of Mary to re-open with a two-day per week program at All Saints Parish in September 2014 with fifteen children representing twelve families. 

 

School of Mary, 1216 Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, 2017School of Mary, 1216 Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, 2017

With full enrollment and children on a waiting list for the 2016-17 academic year, it was apparent that God had great plans for the growth of School of Mary. In October 2016, School of Mary began collaborating with a benefactor willing to assist School of Mary in finding a permanent location. By December we entered into a lease agreement with the Basilica of St. John and, through the generosity of many volunteers, began renovations at 1216 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy. -- a building originally built as a convent. On the Feast of the Epiphany we began moving into our beautiful new location.

 

"Our Lady of the Cloth" once hung when our building was a convent and now hangs again at School of Mary."Our Lady of the Cloth" once hung when our building was a convent and now hangs again at School of Mary.God again blessed us with more children to serve for the 2017-18 academic year and more guides with which to serve them. We grew to a staff of six to serve the fifty children enrolled. Our blessings overflow as God continues to provide for us. Each day our board, administration, and staff strive to remain true to the mission established by our founders and continue to follow the call of the Good Shepherd to feed His sheep – in loving service to our School of Mary families.