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About Our School Community

About the School Name
Okemos Public Montessori (OPM) is housed in what was historically called “Central School.” It was called Central School because in 1920 the building was the first in the area to consolidate area schools of varying grades into one central location to combine resources. You may see our school called Okemos Public Montessori at Central, Okemos Public Montessori, or shortened to OPM or Central.

About the School Community
Okemos Public Montessori is a public elementary school in Okemos School District, however, because we are a limited enrollment school, students must apply to be entered in the lottery for enrollment. Our school serves a diverse population including 3 to 10 years olds, from Preschool to 4th grade, including our school district’s Begindergarten and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students. Together, with their families, our school community spans a greater geographic reach than most neighborhood elementary schools because our students come from all across the district, as well as including school-of-choice students from out of the district.

About Being A National Blue Ribbon School!
Our school was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School, which awards schools for overall academic excellence and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. This is a great honor that few school are awarded.

About Montessori Focus
Our school is unique because there are only a small number of public Montessori schools in the state of Michigan. OPM is aligned with the American Montessori Society philosophy, while also meeting the district’s learning objectives.

As part of the Montessori philosophy, our classrooms span multiple ages and include PPK (3 and 4 year old Preschoolers and Kindergarten), Lower Elementary (also called, “Lower El,” which includes 1st and 2nd grades), and Upper Elementary (also called, “Upper El,” which includes 3rd and 4th grades). Since the classrooms are multi-age they each have a Paraprofessional/Parapro, in addition to the teacher, to support classroom learning.

In the classroom, teachers and parapros go by their title (Mr. / Ms. / Mrs. / Miss.) and first name.

Each of our classrooms are named after a tree, to help incorporate the Montessori connection to nature throughout our school. You can see the name of each classroom listed by teacher name in the list of teachers below and you can also see the name of each classroom featured in the OPM Community Connection Video – My Hand In Your Hand (Created in Spring 2020).

Peace education is also a major component of the Montessori classroom. Peace lessons are incorporated throughout the year and each school day we start with reciting our school’s Peace Pledge, in addition to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

We use Montessori lessons and materials in the classroom – from Montessori grammar lessons in English Language Arts to Montessori manipulatives in Math to learning about the Montessori Great Lessons in Cultural Studies.

You can find out more about what it means to be a Montessori school by visiting the OPM Montessori FAQ Page or the OPM Montessori Information Resources Page.


Teachers and Staff

This list of teachers links to the teacher’s contact info. On their webpage, you can look for a menu on the left-side of the page to see if the teacher has other pages of information.

Main Office
  • Mrs. Kelly (Kelly Sundeen) – Principal
  • Mrs. Kelly (Kelly Herald) – Administrative Assistant
  • Mr. John (Hughey)
Begindergarten PPK / Kindergarten Lower Elementary (“Lower El”): 1st / 2nd Grades
  • Mrs. Susie (Susan Black) – Paper Birch Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades
    • Parapro: Ms. Carm (Carmelita North)
  • Mrs. Erin (Erin Gould) – Sycamore Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades
    • Parapro: Ms. Mary (Mary Schnepf)
  • Mrs. Holly (Holly Heie) – Red Cedar Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades
    • Parapro: Ms. Lucy (Lucy Chen)
  • Mrs. Adrianne (Adrianne Watkins) – Willow Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades
    • Parapro: Ms. Cindy (Cindy Thrush)
Upper Elementary (“Upper El”): 3rd / 4th Grades Self Contained
  • Mrs. Jamie (Jamie Delong) – Magnolia Classroom – Self Contained
    • Parapros: Ms. Kate (Kate Hebeler) and Ms. Kristina (Kristina Reinecke)
  • Mrs. Abby (Abigail Showerman) – Lilac Bush Classroom – Self Contained
    • Parapros: Ms. Mariann (Mariann Frank) and Ms. Liz (Liz Kosowski)
Specials Support Staff Lunch Support
  • Ms. Natasha – Cafeteria
    • Lunch Room / Outside Helpers: PK, Stephanie, Evie, Andrea, Kelly, Alison
Custodians
  • Mr. Sam (Sam Kane) – Custodian
  • Mr. Terry – Custodian