I have known and loved NewGate since 1993, when I first met this extraordinary community of teachers, students, and families. From 1994 to 2000 it served as the Montessori Foundation’s Lab School, and I served it as Head of School. During those years, NewGate blossomed, grew, and established an international reputation. For me, leading NewGate was, and is, a labor of love.
I appreciate the depth and breadth of NewGate’s international curriculum, the patient guidance of its Montessori teachers, and the spirit of kindness, warmth, and mutual respect. This is a gentle way to learn that leads to a world-class education without the stress, pressure, and needless competition found in most schools. It is a place where young minds grow organically in an unhurried atmosphere of inquiry and discovery.
In 2000, the NewGate board concluded that the parents of the school were ready to resume governance on their own. The Montessori Foundation returned its full attention to its work with Montessori schools around the world, and NewGate went its own way for the next ten years. In July, 2010, the NewGate board asked the Montessori Foundation to return to lead the school.
Neither my Associate Head, Lorna McGrath, nor I work for NewGate. I am the President of The Montessori Foundation, and Lorna is one of our Program Officers. For many years, the Foundation has worked with hundreds of Montessori schools around the world. For us, working with children, teachers, and parents to build excellent Montessori schools is a passion.
Returning to NewGate has allowed us to help revitalize a school that we love and has provided a Lab School, where, as people who work with Montessori schools and school administrators, we can develop curriculum and new programs, embody principles of best practice in Montessori education, and remind our senior staff of the challenges that the leaders of Montessori schools face. While we love working with students and teachers at every level, one of our goals has been to develop a model for Montessori middle and high school programs around the world that integrates secondary Montessori education with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. We are pleased to announce that NewGate is now an IB-World School, and is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
Our goal is to refine a model for Montessori secondary school programs that will be internationally respected, rigorous, with an international course of study and a high emphasis on research, discussion, and field experience.
The International Baccalaureate is an excellent match with Montessori.
Today, most existing public school IB programs are limited to only the most gifted few.
Montessori-IB programs are being designed to succeed with a wider range of college-bound students. Recognizing that NewGate had an existing secondary program, made the decision to return to NewGate absolutely compelling!
President, The Montessori Foundation
Head of School, NewGate – The International Montessori Academy of Sarasota
and Lab School of the Montessori Foundation