In finding a pre-school for her toddler, Dianna Galante sought a program that would teach the three R’s. Not reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic, but: respect for self, respect for others and respect for the environment. She found those qualities in the Montessori method of teaching, and got so hooked, she started Whole Earth Montessori School in 1986.
Flash forward 23 years later and the Bothell-based school is a thriving community built upon the core philosophies Galante wanted for her son. The bucolic 2.5 acre campus — which has a creek, wildlife reserve, greenhouse and a recently-constructed building that’s powered by solar and geo-thermal energy — is the perfect setting for students to develop an awareness for the environment. Whether its growing vegetables or caring for the stream or monitoring the green building’s energy conservation, the children “see how things are connected and learn to appreciate nature,” says Galante. “That prompts them to care for it and perhaps live the rest of their lives that way.”
The school’s 100 students range from age 3 to 12 in five multi-age classrooms. Students do individualized learning and participate in a curriculum that emphasizes appreciation for the larger world around them.
Galante is proud of what she’s built. And she points to the front office for the ultimate testament to the school’s success. That’s where you’ll find Whole Earth Director Joe Galante, the toddler son who inspired his mom’s Montessori vision.
Whole Earth Montessori
2930 – 228th Street SE
Bothell, WA 98021