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. 

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 of Directors, KMS’s reputation became cemented as the authentic, high-quality Montessori school in the region. Jane’s teaching experience and position on the Board for the Montessori Society of Canada, ensured that KMS’s growth from a small Casa program to a full elementary 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. 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 also saw tremendous growth and success for KMS. The introduction of the Middle School program and transition to the Woodview Campus from Cameron Street Campus over 2014 to 2016 have all been a part of the vision for KMS as a centre for true, high fidelity Montessori education in the Kawarthas. 

In 2018-19, a search was launched for the next principal of KMS in anticipation of Ugette moving to new opportunities. Emily Root began her role as KMS’s third Principal/Head of School in April 2019. Emily, who holds a PhD in Socio-Cultural and Political Contexts of Education, is a passionate, life-long educator. With strong interests and expertise in Outdoor and Experiential Learning, Environmental Education, and Critical Pedagogy for social equity, Emily is enthusiastically ready to serve KMS into the next era at the Woodview Campus. Since her arrival, she has integrated seamlessly into the KMS community and in her leadership position, along with the Board of Directors and staff, she is imagining and creating the future of Kawartha Montessori. The KMS community will continue to work together to implement excellence while balancing innovation, accredited Montessori education, and the vibrant history and traditions of our school.

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