The West River Montessori School, located in South Londonderry, was first founded in 1978 by Harriet DeForest in conjunction with local parents and community members. Our program is a preschool, designed for parents who are interested in obtaining the best education for their children. Following the Montessori philosophy, WRMS is a community that fosters a lifelong love of learning intrinsic to the pursuit of academic, physical, and personal development of students, teachers and parents.

Our philosophy


  • To develop (in each child’s own natural rhythm) children who are physically and mentally independent, self-confident, and self-controlled, and are able to manage the requirements of daily life with grace, ease and effectiveness.
  • To develop, directly and consciously, all sense perceptions of the child so that he/she acquires the habit of perceiving the world about them.
  • To give the child such quidance and materials that he/she acquires basic academic skills at the most favorable moment in their own individual psychological and physical development. The child should acquire these with the joy of discovery, that he/she may derive real satisfaction from intellectual exercise and not be dependant on the praise of adults.


  •  The Child. All growth must come from voluntary action of the child himself/herself. To encourage this voluntary action, the child spends their morning or afternoon in non-competitive situation, stimulated by other children, older and younger, guided individually by the teacher, and proceeding to each aspect of the program at his/her own pace. He/she is permitted to complete at a sitting whatever task he/she is doing. The children work together or alone, on mats on the floor or at tables, and may move about the room freely as long as they respect the activities of the others and return the equipment they use to its proper place.
  • The Teacher. The teacher guides each child in the use of materials (which are self-correcting), and then leaves him/her to practice and perfect their understanding of the lesson themselves. The teacher deals with him/her as an individual worthy of respect and the only active agent in the learning process. The teacher keeps a detailed record of each child’s activity and progress.
  • The Classroom.  The classroom is a child-sized world, with chairss, tables, and shelves all appropriate size. It is a unique feature of the “Prepared Environment,” that every object in the classroom has a specific place and purpose.

Our Staff

The Board

WRMS is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. Members of the board are parents of current or former students and interested community members. The volunteer board includes the officers of President, Treasurer, Secretary, and general Board members. The officers constitute the Executive Board which meet the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm to discuss confidential matters regarding the school. All parents are encouraged to attend the Board meetings, which are held at the West River Montessori School. Board member terms are limited to three years and at least one person on the Board is a community member. 

  • President  – Michael Bacon
  • Treasure – Whitney Thibodeaux 
  • Board Secretary – Nancy Pinkernell
  • WRMS Parent – Kate Logan
  • ​Community Member – Nate Chaves