Our History

Kawartha Montessori School was established in 1982 by founding principal, Jane Erskine Stewart, and began as a Montessori school for children 2 ½ to 6 years of age in Peterborough, Ontario. KMS now offers Montessori education for children 2 ½ years to Grade 8. KMS is an independent, not for profit school registered with the Ministry of Education and is accredited by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators. The school is operated by a Board of Directors composed of parents, community volunteers and the principal. Our Board of Directors mission is to make decisions that are reflective of the entire parent population and in the best interest of the school as it is today and for the future. KMS has a long history as the leader of authentic Montessori education in the Peterborough region.

Jane Erskine Stewart retired in 2005, after nearly 25 years at KMS. During those first 25 years thanks to Jane and the strength of the Board, KMS’s reputation became cemented as the authentic, high-quality Montessori school in the region. Jane’s teaching experience and position in the greater Montessori community as a member of the Board for the Montessori Society of Canada ensured that KMS’s growth from a small Casa program to a full program for children from 2.5 years to grade 6 was a success. Many of our current staff members joined the school during this time, and are still with the school today. The growth the school saw during those first 25 years will always be remembered as an important part of Jane’s legacy.

Upon Jane’s retirement, Ugette Vanderpost took over as principal. Ugette Vanderpost holds a Bachelor of Education degree with a specialist in outdoor experiential education. After working as a teacher of outdoor education and leadership programs, Ugette began at KMS in 2000 as a teacher in the Upper Elementary program, guiding children through their final years in the Montessori program and helping them ready themselves for the next step in their schooling. Ugette’s time as head of school has also seen tremendous growth and success for KMS. The introduction of the Middle School program and transition to the new Woodview Campus have all been a part of the vision for KMS as a centre for true, high fidelity Montessori education in the Kawarthas. Ugette is also a director on the Board of the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators and an active member of the Peterborough community.

In 2013, KMS marked 30 years in operation! We are proud of all that our amazing staff members over the years have brought to the children in their classes, and that parents of Peterborough continue to choose KMS for its commitment to true Montessori at every program level and the caring environment we provide for every child. We look forward to another 30 years of success!