About Us

Monday through Friday
4200 Granby Street 
Norfolk, VA 23504

Our Beginnings

MMS was established in August 2002 by Ellen McDonald.  Inspired by her life-long love of learning through teaching and the Montessori philosophy of human development, she opened the doors to her first Children's House classroom on August 20, 2002 with seventeen students ranging from ages three to six.  In July of 2006, McDonald Montessori relocated to the current facility at 4200 Granby Street where we have three classrooms and a Before Care and After Care room!


All lead staff at McDonald Montessori are accredited Montessori teachers where each teacher teaches to the age group for which they are accredited and certified to teach.  All support staff are trained and educated on the Montessori philosophy and method.  


Ellen McDonald

Ellen is the owner, administrator, and Lower Elementary teacher at McDonald Montessori.  Ellen received her Bachelor's Degree from Old Dominion University in Psychology.  After starting to pursue a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Ellen felt something was missing. Luckily, she fell into Montessori when she enrolled her daughter in the neighborhood Montessori school. The timing could not have been more perfect. She began her Montessori career in 1999, training through a Richmond based American Montessori Society accredited program for 3 to 6 year olds, eventually becoming certified in Lower Elementary as well.  After three years of assisting and teaching, she ventured off to start her own school. In August 2002, McDonald Montessori School was born. Ellen brings a happy, consistent, and supportive manner to her classroom. 


Karen Rodi

Karen is the Children’s House 1 teacher at MMS. She has been teaching Montessori since 1992.  Upon graduating from Old Dominion University, Karen embarked upon her Montessori training locally.  She received her training from an American Montessori Society accredited training program for 3 to 6 year olds.  Karen began working at MMS in 2004.  She is very adaptable and works to find the best way to teach each individual child.  Karen’s commitment to each child is evident from the moment you step into her classroom. Karen has a wealth of knowledge and is such a fabulous advocate for her students.



If you are interested in reading more about the Montessori Method, 

                   we recommend the following books:                                                                                                                     

     Secret of Childhood,  by Dr. Maria Montessori       

Discovery of the Child, by Dr. Maria Montessori  

                 The Montessori Controversy, by John Chattin-McNicols                                            

         " The child is both the hope and

the promise for mankind "

~Dr. Maria Montessori