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A Season of Inspiring School Founders!

Teacher Leader Stories 2023-25 Image

This school year, we had 124 educators and community members dial in for our Teacher Leader Stories Zoom series!


This series draws upon the advice and experience of Teacher Leaders who have founded and are currently leading some of the more than 60 schools in the Wildflower network. Their wisdom and courage inspires other educators and community members to bring this revolutionary, nonprofit, and community-embedded approach to education in their local area.  

We are grateful for each of the 16 Wildflower Teacher Leaders who participated this year! Below are some pieces of wisdom they shared:


“Many people came to us looking for a place where their children will be loved, held dearly, and treated with respect on days when they couldn’t be learners but just had to be people.”

Carmen Montopoli, Hyacinth Montessori (PA)

“We want our children to be resilient, and know that they can get through hard things. Our kids practice this every single time they get uncomfortable outside - to keep a positive attitude and even have fun. This is an incredible life skill that will serve them well.”

Heather Barger, The Montessori Field School (IN)


“We are transforming the life of a child who is transforming their family, and their family is transforming the community. We want to bring this transformation to Puerto Rico ”

Lisbeth Gonzalez, Flor de Loto Montessori (PR)

“I’m a single mom of two beautiful daughters, and I would have never been able to send them to Montessori school unless I had support. So we have Family Individualized Tuition (FIT), which recognizes that every family has their own set of resources. This was accepted by the families in a way that surprised me; they believed in it like I do.” 

Kati McClurg, Rain Lily Montessori (FL)

“Once we opened our school, we started to see more schools offering scholarships, working to get state subsidy programs, and prioritizing diversity. We are small but we can make a difference in our community and change education.” 

Lindsey Barnes, The Dahlia School of San Francisco (CA)

“We are co-located with Project Worthmore, a nonprofit organization that supports refugees and immigrants in Colorado. About half of our families are refugees and immigrants - we are blessed to have such a beautifully diverse community.” 

Ana Celedon, Flame Lily Montessori (CO)


We invite you to get involved with Wildflower Schools! Visit Start a School page to learn more.


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