We are small but growing group of professionals who are passionate about the Montessori educational approach. We are unified by our deep commitment to equity; making sure this developmental model is accessible to all students and families, not just those who can bear the financial weight of a tuition-based program.
All students deserve the opportunity to have the education that works best for them!
Head of School
I am a 20-year resident of Pullman, a WSU alum, and an avid Hounds supporter! In 2014 I helped establish a team dedicated to exploring the potential for expanding Pullman's public education options to include a developmental model. I am elated to have the opportunity to continue this work by serving as the School Leadership and Design Fellow and to have earned the privilege of being selected as the school’s leader. I am eager to continue my contribution using my experience in agricultural research, as a secondary science teacher, and as a small business owner/operator, galvanized by my passion for whole-child personalized education. I look forward to serving our community and continuing discussions with Pullman School District to identify collaboration potential to moving us closer to achieving our common goal of meeting the needs of more families.
I am an educator with over 25 years of experience in teaching and school leadership. For most of my career, I have been interested in the project of bringing Montessori to the public sector so that this dynamic style of education is available to all. As a student, school was the place I felt belonging and significance and so it was no surprise to anyone when I became a teacher. I have served as a classroom teacher, early childhood curriculum coordinator, and head of school in Montessori charter schools. I am American Montessori Society trained for early childhood education and certified for early elementary. In addition, I have worked as a co-teacher in a Montessori middle school program. I hold a master’s degree in educational leadership from DePaul University. I have a passion for social and emotional education and believe that healthy relationships are the foundation for both learning and wellness. I look forward to being part of a school culture that justly seeks to nurture young people to achieve their highest potential. Partner dancing and camping in our family RV (affectionately referred to as the Escape Pod) are some of the things that bring joy to my life.
Counselor & SEL Coordinator
My parents are WSU Alums. Go Cougs!! Therefore, I've been a Cougar fan since I was born. That's why I love the Pullman area. I've lived in the Pacific Northwest most of my life. I played college baseball and was lucky enough to experience the ups-and-downs of sports and the life lessons it taught me. I chose to work in education because growing up I struggled in school because school didn't come easy to me. However, because of great teachers and my parents that believed in me, I was able to achieve my dream job which was becoming a School Counselor. As I was in the process of obtaining my Master's Degree in School Counseling, I worked as an Instructional Assistant for five years. Though my experience working in an educational system I was confident that I made the right choice of working in a school. I have previously counseled in traditional public schools in both Washington State and Idaho. I'm very excited to learn and be a part of the Montessori methods of teaching. My goals as the counselor are to always advocate for my students and be a safe and trusting adult that they can talk to. Also, being a team player with my fellow colleagues and an approachable person that any teacher or parent can collaborate with. Lastly, I believe that communication is the foundation for building a trusting relationship and I'll try to strive to do that everyday.
A few things I love doing are golfing, reading golf books, and spending hours upon hours working on my golf game.
Fun Facts: I was able to play in the Oregon Open and caddied for a buddy in a state qualifier for the US Open.
Office Manager & Operations Support Specialist
I am a ten-year Pullman resident and am happy to call this town my home. Many of you have seen me over the past seven years at the Department of Licensing conducting drive test examinations and issuing licenses and identification cards. I am currently the website designer and maintainer for both Pullman Community Montessori and The Montessori School of Pullman. I was a participant in the Community Input Sessions and actively help run Pullman Community Montessori’s social media platforms.
After learning about the Montessori Education model and watching my daughter flourish at the Montessori School of Pullman, I decided that I wanted to do everything I could, to help make Montessori a public education option for the children in my community. I love how the Montessori model empowers her to learn by helping her discover her strengths and overcome her weaknesses. She can learn at her own pace and the only thing that can stop her now, is herself. It warms my core to see her so eager to learn that she counts down the hours until her next day of school.
Now that PCM has become a reality, I am excited to be part of an educational program that will empower our PCM LEADERS and encourage a lifelong love of learning so they can accomplish greatness in all that they do.
Fun fact about me: When I am not working or spending time with my family, I enjoy drawing and making the cartoon footprints that you stand on when you take your photo at the Pullman Department of Licensing.
Born and raised in Lake Isabella, California, quickly moving to Oregon for school, I had no idea what I was going to school for. My center offered four trades and I completed both Auto Body Repair and Collision and Office Administration. I am a trade school graduate with over 4 years of office experience. I've worked in an office plenty of times, but I've also spent a great deal working outside. The work I've done has stretched from working at a media company all the way to the Post Office. I am thankful for this opportunity and very grateful that I've been led to Montessori. When I first moved to Pullman, the only work I could get were seasonal jobs, one of the jobs being a Front Desk Receptionist for a Tax office. It was great, but I was really looking for a full-time job. I spent so much time scrolling through Indeed and other work source pages and I couldn't find anything interesting. My partner had found Montessori on Indeed and told me about it and I immediately applied. I chose education as a career path because it's worthwhile in the long run and I'm not saying all jobs aren't. I'm saying that the opportunity to work and help benefit a child's needs and wants for education is very special and exciting.
A fun fact about me is that I love watching sports, specifically baseball and hockey. I have lots of favorite things, two of them being rhinoceros and bears. I do impressions of the following: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shaggy(Scooby Doo), and a few others but I spend a lot of time trying to sing and rap songs in the style of Schwarzenegger.
I am a registered nurse of 16 years, born and raised in the LC Valley. I lived away from the LC Valley for a short time while I expanded my career travel nursing with my family.
I have had the opportunity to explore a few paths during my nursing career journey. I had a bucket list when my career started. One to travel, two to work management, three to care for the elderly, four to work large hospitals and provide dialysis, last but not least work with children. I am proud to say I have checked my boxes the last 16 years. Working with children and young adults was never a job but always a passion. I am so excited to be joining the PCM family this year. I am excited to work beside a strong team that share my passion for young minds. A team that is compassionate and dedicated to improving the lives of children.
In my spare time, I am a river girl. My family and friend family enjoy spending all of our spare time together. We love to travel and take trips together, we love camping and boating.
A fun fact about me: I own and operate a low carb/gluten free sandwich shop
Food Services Manager
I am a 40 plus year resident of Pullman, and I actually attended Kindergarten at Galdish back in the 80's, so being back in this building is awesome and extremely nostalgic. The last 27 years I've spent working as a Culinarian in Pullman and Moscow running some of busiest kitchens in the area. Since 2011 I have been working at WSU Dining Services, the last 5 years as executive Chef of Catering. I am most excited about this job opportunity because my daughter is a LEADER here and I love the energy, and principles of PCM. I was looking for something I could really be proud doing, that also allowed me the most time with my daughter and family and PCM is definitely that.
Food Services Professional
I have been a resident of the Palouse since 2007. I attended Cosmetology School and worked for years in the industry; I enjoyed my time as a Cosmetologist. In 2008 I began my journey as a stay-at-home mom. I always loved the Montessori way and I look forward to being part of the PCM team! Over the past few years, I’ve been involved in many part time jobs and volunteer activities. Some of which involved working with children and volunteering at local schools for the food pantry. I have a passion for taking care of people and one way I show it is through feeding them! I’m excited to have found a job that not only feels good to be doing, but it’s also the perfect balance for me and my family. In my spare time, I love to garden and can. I also enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time with my family. When I’m not doing those things, I enjoy watching my children grow and their many activities.
A fun fact about me, I was born and raised in a small town in Idaho where I spent my days on the beautiful rivers of the Clearwater and Lochsa. Some of the things I love doing are mushroom/huckleberry picking, 4-wheeling, and soaking in the mountains.
SPED Guide - Program Manager
As a child, I always loved the act of teaching. I loved helping others and seeing them succeed. I felt confident when I could teach them successfully because I struggled in school.
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for those that learn differently. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a young girl. I want to make an impact on my students the way my teachers did on me. I believe that an education filled with enthusiasm, movement, and curiosity led by mentors that care is the pathway to success.
I grew up in the rural town of Gardnerville, Nevada, and loved school. I graduated from Idaho State University in 2013 with a B.A. in Physical Education and received my Master’s in Special Education from the University of Idaho in 2015.
I first became interested in Montessori while I was pregnant with my now 5-year-old son. I lived in Juneau, Alaska where I was able to witness these environments in person. It immediately resonated with me and what I believe childhood is about; freedom, play, and choice. I strive to build such an atmosphere at home. I am so excited to be a part of the PCM because of what it has to offer children from all walks of life.
I taught elementary special education in Moscow, Idaho for two years after moving back to the lower 48. We recently moved back to the Palouse from Carson City, Nevada where I was a secondary special education and adaptive PE teacher.
I look forward to mornings reading with tea, taking advantage of the bike paths everywhere again, sunsets, and spending many hours outdoors with my family and dogs in this beautiful countryside.
Health & Fitness, Special Ed, Elementary Ed
Instructional Assistant (SPED) & Lead Tutor
With great anticipation, as I relocate from Connecticut to Washington State, I look forward to joining the Pullman Community Montessori School.
I love working with youth! I believe in the investment of love, transparency and consistency of character within them. I began working with youth as a volunteer basketball coach at my elementary school alma mater. It was the foundation I needed to begin my career with youth. I developed an ear for their "emotional" cry, along with much, much patience. I then joined AmeriCorps National Service as an AmeriCorps member serving in an elementary school and working with children grades K-6. A year later I was chosen to be an AmeriCorps National Service Leader and relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, working in a high school. I was blessed to have the privilege of having worked at a Montessori Magnet School for 11 years. Over those 11 years I worked as a Special Education 1 to 1 paraprofessional, a lower and upper elementary classroom paraprofessional and as an after school program director. It was then that I fell in love with the Montessori hands-on, experiential pedagogy. The beautifully crafted manipulative aids to learning were very intriguing to me. The flow of the classroom is poetically beautiful, as of the lead Guide conducts a masterful orchestra of young absorbent minds that paint curiosity on a blank canvas, upon the colorful soul of the wondrous experience we know as life.
I have also been Program Director of two family resource centers. I am extremely passionate about educating and empowering parents. Wellness of the family is a key component in our youth excelling or failing. I believe partnering with parents is a priority when working in an educational setting. The "we" is greater than the "me" in alignment with collaboration. Teamwork truly makes the dream work and the parents are valuable assets in making the dream work, in inspiring successful children.
Fun facts: I am a self published author of two poetry books. I love to write poetry and occasionally short stories. I also love mystery and kung-fu movies.
Instructional Assistant (SPED)
I survived Alaska’s Good Friday earthquake of 1964. Partial credit goes to my mom who pulled me out of the crib because I was not yet able to crawl or walk. My mom again changed my life by moving me and my three siblings to England in the early 1970s. Although punk rock flourished in that decade, I was a young teenage metalhead and
consequently missed all the great new bands (although I did see Led Zeppelin live in 1975).
Change is a constant and in 1981, the whole family reunited in the United States. I attended Washington State University graduating with a Horticulture degree and a lifelong love. Tammy and I married in 1989 and settled in Pullman in 1990. Tammy coached the rowing team and I programmed computers.
I liked computers but I liked schools more. Visitors were welcome at my children’s elementary and middle school and I participated a lot. I was a reading buddy, a t-ball coach, a Destination Imagination helper, and an art docent. As the children aged, I joined the high school boosters. I attended concerts and plays and athletic events, updated the website, sold concessions, and judged senior projects. Everything about the schools I liked. Especially the students. In 2015 I left my computer job and committed to education full-time. I taught occasionally but felt truly at-home as an instructional assistant. Working one-on-one with students, switching intelligences to reach students where their abilities were strongest really nourishes me. With encouragement from friends and family, I have been happily aiding students and teachers since 2016.
Adolescent Community Guide
My wife Mary and I, both WSU alums, moved to Pullman in 2018 from the Seattle area in search of a better pace of life and to attend more Cougar sporting events. I taught for four years at Palouse Prairie Charter School in Moscow, and loved that experience, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work at start-up charter school in Washington. I previously taught in a traditional public school in Kenmore and at a homeschool resource program in Edmonds, Washington. I’m especially excited to learn the Montessori method of teaching in a multi-age classroom. My goals as an educator are to cultivate learning experiences for students that emphasize critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration; and to help students discover their strengths and interests in order to become life-long learners and contributors to building a better world. One of the best things Mary and I have done in our life is walk the Camino de Santiago in 2017.
M.A. Education, University of Washington Bothell
B.A. English Teaching, University of Washington
B.A. Recreation and Leisure Studies, Sport Management, Washington State University
7010 - All Subjects (K-8)
Instructional Assistant (AD)
I am new to Pullman and am originally from Virginia Beach, though I also lived in the mountains of Appalachia for nearly seven years while I attended college at Virginia Tech. I graduated this past spring with a Master’s degree in Material Culture and Public Humanities, and before that with Bachelors’ degrees in Art History and International Studies, and a minor in French. While in school, I picked up two and a half years of experience teaching undergraduate art history and visual arts courses as part of a small team of graduate teaching assistants and tutored in academic and technical writing and research methods. I also have years of volunteer experience working with kids as a swim instructor and coach. I have always found helping others to learn and succeed to be very fulfilling work, so I am delighted to be joining the PCM team this year! Though I am new to the Montessori method, I value its hands-on approach and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to help create and support this dynamic learning environment!
Some fun facts about me are that I drove across the country twice to move here, and have seen 31 U.S. States altogether! I love to travel and I have a personal goal of visiting every National Park in the country - and then hopefully also the ones not in the U.S.!
Older Elementary Guide
I go by Mr. DJ and am a seasoned educator starting my journey about 30 years ago. During that time, I’ve worked in a younger elementary Montessori classroom as an instructional assistant, as well as had my own younger elementary, older elementary, and Montessori middle school classrooms. In addition, I have served as a head of school and done a lot of work in funding schools and programs.
I attended younger/lower elementary and older/upper elementary training through National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) New Mexico, and NCME Sacramento (aligns with American Montessori Society). My middle school training was done through an American Montessori Society training center with with Dr. Betsy Coe in Houston. I have a Master’s degree in psychology, with a concentration in educational psychology. Additionally, I have a graduate degree in law. I’m half finished writing a book on Montessori education in the 21st century.
I have been out of education the last five years working in the private sector. By far, the most rewarding and important thing I have ever done in my life is act as a guide in Montessori classrooms. Everything else pales in comparison. I like to have fun with my students as well as move them forward by fostering an environment that is developmentally responsive to both academic needs and their growth as people.
In my spare time, I’m an avid runner, both marathon and unsupported wilderness running. I also Alpha read, provide initial feedback to a successful novelist, and occasionally write chapters with them. We’ve started working on our 6th book together. I love to travel, and I speak really poor Spanish, French, Polish and Ukrainian. Arabic is next!
I look forward to meeting you and your LEADERS and supporting the mission and vision of Pullman Community Montessori.
I graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Communication. After graduation I became a long term substitute at the school where I did my student teaching practicum. I was then hired at the school district and I spent a decade as a World Language and Speech Communication teacher until I became a mom. I transitioned to being a parent volunteer helping with the parent teacher organization, fundraisers, class projects, tutoring students, chaperoning field trips, helping with community service projects and working as a substitute. I have worked with children from PreK-grade 12. I chose education because I want to help students develop skills for academic and personal success which can lead to life long learning. A strong education system is an investment in and foundation of our community.
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and learning about wellness, mental health, child advocacy and much more.
A fun fact about me: I had coffee and donuts with a Senator.
Instructional Assistant (OE)
I grew up outside of Pullman and have been involved in the community for most of my life. I had the privilege to attend Washington State University as an undergraduate studying Agricultural Science and obtained certification to teach Agricultural Science here in Washington State. I also had the opportunity to attend the University of Idaho and explore further in the areas of teaching and learning. These experiences have led me back to Pullman Community Montessori where I wish to expand my knowledge and assist students to reach their personal and academic goals. I am happy to be back in the community from living and working as a teacher in Western Washington for the past 5 years and traveling the world for the past year.
I love the idea of exploratory learning and wish to assist each individual as they progress. With my expertise in agriculture, many parallels can be drawn from cultivation of plants to the cultivation of learning. I bring an open mind and diverse experiences from many years of traveling and classroom education back to the Pullman community!
I am in education because of positive interactions with teachers in my life and I personally believe it is one of the best way to create a future by investing students on a personal level and allowing them to explore big ideas that will impact their lives for the better.
Fun Fact: I love traveling and learning new languages (currently learning German) I have been to 6 of 7 continents and have traveled and lived in 25 different countries!
Younger Elementary Guide
I enjoy traveling and experiencing new opportunities. I began working with children the second semester of my senior year at Morehouse College which is where my passion for guiding young minds began. I returned home and began working as an assistant at a public Montessori school in Connecticut. Although I had no idea about the Montessori teaching, the more I was a part of the culture the more I became interested in the philosophy. I made the commitment to receive both AMI Primary and Elementary Montessori Certifications and began teaching Elementary Montessori in 2010 and have appreciated every moment and lesson learned since embarking on this journey. Allowing young minds the opportunity to be the authors of their learning while the Guide is merely a shadow, is one lesson I look forward to experiencing every year of teaching.
A few things I enjoy doing are traveling anywhere and at every opportunity I can. I was also an on-air personality for 89.9 WQTQ FM (a radio station in CT) and in my spare time like to practice deejaying so that I can host events and parties in the future. Is it safe to say I enjoy music??
Instructional Assistant (YE)
It is a great privilege to work with your children. I attended the University of Idaho and graduated with a B.S. Ed., a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Teaching, with an emphasis in History Teaching. I also have a history minor with that degree. I graduated from the University of Idaho in May of 2020.
I have been inspired to join the path of becoming an educator ever since 2011, when in high school I took a 'teacher trainee' course with Gretchen Wisner. I was placed in an elementary reading intervention program. I got to experience firsthand what it feels like to be able to help someone else learn. I have found throughout my life that when I am teaching someone something, I find great peace and fulfillment in it.
In that same year, 2011, I heard President Obama's State of the Union address. He said, "...To every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child—become a teacher. Your country needs you."
When I decided to give college education a try a few years after graduating high school, I found that teaching was what interested me the most. Education is such an integral part of our society, and I really feel like I am contributing back to society by working in the field of education.
I come from a long line of educators. My grandma was an art teacher for 20 years in Indiana, and it was because of her joy of learning new things that teaching sparked my interest. I find that in teaching, no day is the same, making it one of the most intellectually rewarding and rigorous processes I have ever been a part of. Seeing students expand their knowledge and evolve their minds through education is what brings me the most joy. I look forward to seeing what knowledge we will gain as we work together as a community toward the common goal of education.
Younger Elementary Guide
Bio Coming Soon!
Instructional Assistant (YE)
As a child, my favorite activity was to arrange my stuffed animals, and give them each spelling tests, which I would diligently grade and return to them. When I was very young, I came to realize that at its best, school was not only a place to learn, but a place to feel compassion, empathy, and care. When I got a bit older, I realized that that was not the case for everyone, and began to search for other modes of education that could provide that care to a wide range of children. This became a central theme of my own education as well. In 2015, I came to WSU for college and quickly fell in love with the sense of community that Pullman has to offer. While in college, I was introduced to the Montessori method, and immediately felt a connection with the emphasis on respecting children, and for allowing them to be who they are, rather than pushing them to meet specific standards. In 2021, I joined PCM as an assistant, and have been here ever since. I love working with such dedicated people, and with such interesting and unique children. I am currently working toward my Montessori certification in order to become a guide.
Fun fact about me: In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, printmaking, and spending time with my dog, Toby.
Stand-Alone Kindergarten Guide
My name is Christina Brandt and I am very excited to join Pullman Community Montessori. I have a passion for teaching and developing young children. I understand the incredible impact that a good teacher can have on the life of a child. I have always wanted to be a teacher because of the positive influences my teachers had on me. PCM aligns well with my personal values and mission.
I attended Iowa State University where I studied education and theatre. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts. I went on to attend the University of Idaho where I received my Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing, specializing in Children’s Theatre. After graduating I taught drama as well as kindergarten at a private school in Seattle. It was there that I was first introduced to a teaching philosophy based on Montessori principles. I was immediately drawn to this method of teaching and learning. When I found out that I would be moving back to the Palouse for my husbands’ job, I knew that I wanted to teach in a school that emphasized the educational values that were so close to my heart. After moving to Pullman, I had the privilege of working as a lead teacher at a private Montessori school. I am thrilled to continue my journey by joining PCM as the lead teacher for a kindergarten community! My goal has always been to foster life-long learners that are excited to come to school day after day.
When I am not in the classroom I enjoy drinking coffee, hiking, running, and snuggling my 10-month-old baby girl! I cannot wait to get started with PCM and meet our PCM students!
Instructional Assistant (K)
It is with great pleasure I will be working with kindergarten students at PCM as an Instructional assistant. I have been an educator for 40 years. In my early years I taught kindergarten for seven years then stepped down from the position so I could be more involved with our young children’s lives. I then became the Director of Daytime Cooperative, along with developing and teaching the preschool program for six years. My plan was to return to full-time teaching but we had another little blessing we weren’t expecting (our fourth child), so I became a substitute teacher for the next 18 years.
I love kindergarten and I believe it’s one of the most important classes for many reasons. Laying a good foundation for kindergarten students to love math and reading, etc. through FUN games and activities while nourishing each student to feel smart as they discover new concepts is very rewarding for them and me. I get very excited as I see a huge smile on their faces because they just discovered a new concept on their own and feel great about themselves.
Fun Facts: I am a local and was raised on a farm in Colton/Uniontown area. I am one of the youngest of twelve kids. My husband and I have four children and four grandchildren. We have attended many sports games since all four children played college sports. Now, in my spare time, my husband and I go four-wheeling, visit the grand kids and I spend my time thinking of and creating educational games to make learning fun for the students.
Physical Education Guide
When I was in school I really did not know what I wanted to do until my freshman year of being at the University of Idaho. It finally hit me after doing an observation in an elementary school in Moscow. I decided I wanted to become a teacher. I wanted to have the impact on the future generations of students like my teachers had on me. My teachers, growing up, were able to make a great environment and a great learning experience for me to decide I want to be in the same footsteps.
I am originally from Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho. I have lived there my entire life besides living in Moscow for school. I played football at the University of Idaho and was part of many outdoor clubs and activities. I have a goal to hike and climb the tallest peaks in every state. I have so far completed two with it being Idaho and Florida. I am an adamant about rock climbing, football, and fishing. I am a big Rams fan for football! Horns Up! I am also a big Oregon Ducks fan even though I am in Coug territory. I came back to the Palouse because it feels like a second home.
I am looking forward to this new experience working at a Montessori school this being my first year. I have worked at a couple other schools, but I am looking forward to a new way of teaching and seeing a new school.
While we all support and deeply value our community and the Pullman School District (PSD), we believe additional options for high quality public education in Pullman are necessary to meet the needs of our growing and increasingly diverse community. With that said, we are committed to continue to grow and strengthen our relationship with PSD and share data and opportunities available to us that may benefit all children in our community.
Initially known as The Pullman Charter School Initiative, (PCSI), the founders were a small group of diverse, passionate community members who had experienced, in one way or another, the powerful whole-child educational approach of Montessori. This experience drove the group to investigate what educational needs were specific to our community and how to make expanded options accessible to all families, not just limited to those in the position to pay tuition.
The group dove into state report card data and engaged a community focus groups to gather preliminary data. Data emphasized the need for a whole-child focused
developmental model, like Montessori that would help:
close persistent achievement gaps for at risk demographics,
increase supports for students who struggle,
increase rigor for those students considered to be advanced,
offer more opportunities for project-based and service learning,
offer more student voice and choice, and
provide intense focus on social-emotional learning and life skills development throughout a students education.
The group found that application for charter as the most equitable option for accessibility. This led the team to engage in 2 rounds of application to the Washington State Charter Schools Association School Leadership and Design Fellowship program. The Fellowship provided financial support and guidance for selected teams in designing a high-quality community responsive school.
After a rigorous vetting process, PCSI was accepted into the 2018-19 fellowship program. Laylah Bewick, a fellow founder, local business owner, and Pullman High School science teacher, was identified for the Fellow role. Ms. Sullivan led the writing of the 795 page charter application (a detailed legal operating contract for the school) and led the team in the 9-month application process.
Application & Approval
Following submission of PCM's application in February 2020, the PCM founding team engaged in:
an intensive Capacity Interview with a council assembled by the Commission, which involved a performance task and 3 hours of intense questioning.
a Commission-hosted Public Forum to offer another opportunity for community input and for commission staff and Commissioners to ask questions.
a final question session by Commissioners at the resolution meeting on June 25, 2020.
On June 25, 2020 Commissioners gave their full support and unanimous approval for the opening Pullman Community Montessori. The schools charters was negotiated and formally accepted on Septembers 8, 2020.
PCM is now in its planning year which consists of numerous deadlines and deliverables including securing a facility, finetuning the design, hiring and training staff, growing the board and committees, and overall logistics.
The formal application writing process took place between July 2019 to February 2020. During the application writing process the Fellow and founding board received monthly professional development and application writing support. Community forums were run in the fall to solicit community input on the design, informing the services we provide, the school councils we will maintain, our mission, and our core values. A number of survey opportunities were provided, for example at the 2019 Lentil Festival, for interested community members to engage in selection of the school name, logo. Prompted by a request from our founding board, a Washington State Charters School Commission staff member hosted a Charter Starter - Community Conversation to inform our community about Washington's unique charter sector. The application underwent multiple internal reviews by our team and Washington State Charter Schools Association staff, was reviewed by key partners, a national review agency and a contracted application specialist, and underwent 2 rounds of copy editor review before submission.