Every year, a new group of Wildflower schools peeks through the soil for the first time. Each new school is the culmination of a lifetime of learning and dreaming for its founders; collectively, they are a remarkable and diverse group of educators with visions for a more beautiful world. In the following pages, you will read the stories of 21 Teacher Leaders whose skills, passions, and life experiences sparked the creation of beautiful, community-embedded schools. This group includes two pairs of longtime Montessori teachers/guides and Montessori trainers who were inspired to branch out and create outdoor elementary nature schools, several parents who left teaching positions in homogeneous Montessori schools to create microschools where their Black sons could experience belonging, social entrepreneurs who came to Montessori from careers in finance, corporate accounting, engineering, and Disney hospitality, multilingual educators who immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago, Somalia and Cuba, and one person whose teacher preparation experiences occurred in Tanzania, the Gambia and Indigenous villages in Alaska.
This year’s group of 12 new schools includes Wildflower’s first schools in Florida, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the first site under Wildflower’s D.C. charter, and the first school explicitly connected to a faith community. Three quarters of these beautiful new schools are led by a Black, Indigenous or Founding Teacher Leader of Color.
Together with those who came before them and shared their wisdom, they are now part of a growing network of 62 Wildflower schools across 17 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. They also represent beautiful examples for the hundreds of educators who are in the early stages of imagining their own Wildflower school in the years ahead. As you read these stories, I hope you’ll be inspired by the visions that led them to create their schools and the way these school models are connecting to children and families who have been searching for a school designed with them in mind. We look forward to watching their unfolding journey and growth into exactly what they are meant to become.