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Hello and welcome to Lovejoy Montessori!

I’m Lora McNamara, and I am honored to be the school’s owner-operator and to serve as the lead guide to our wonderful classroom community.

I have always had a passion for education and consider myself to be a lifelong learner. I fell in love with the Montessori philosophy nearly 20 years ago while pursuing a degree in elementary education, and immediately knew that Montessori was the path I wanted to pursue. I quickly adjusted my studies to focus on human development—a key component of the Montessori education—and a few weeks after earning my bachelor’s degree, I headed to Seattle to start my Montessori journey. 

What I love most about the Montessori pedagogy is that the children are empowered to become independent and confident humans through age-appropriate access to an environment that mirrors many components of our society and daily lives. The Montessori curriculum is carefully designed to reflect the expected childhood development stages, allowing us as educators to better respond to, and interpret, the needs of each child. I work hard to ensure that my classroom is a serene community that focuses on the emotional, social, and behavioral aspects of each child while guiding them academically.

I’m a native to the Pacific Northwest and grew up in Seattle, Washington and West Linn, Oregon. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find me gardening, sewing, camping, discovering new crafts to dabble in, and spending time with family and friends—especially my husband Pat and our Lab mix, Gracie.

I welcome any questions you may have and look forward to meeting you and your family! 

Academic credentials:

BA, Warner Pacific College
Human Development with a focus in Elementary Education

Portland, Oregon

Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest
AMS Primary Certification
Seattle, Washington

Affiliations & Memberships:

American Montessori Society Member

Oregon Montessori Association (OMA) Board Member

Mission Statement:

Lovejoy Montessori School was founded with the purpose to build a space for all students to grow, learn, and create while receiving individualized learning. Through using the Montessori pedagogy and having a truly passionate lead guide, we help students develop academically and personally to the highest level by means of the Montessori principles.

​At Lovejoy Montessori we:

  • Support and encourage healthy child development both emotionally and socially. 

  • Build a strong sense of community and cooperation with our families.

  • Maintain an environment of honor, respect, and peace.

  • Provide a Montessori curriculum that is flexible and fun.

About Our Program:

Dr. Maria Montessori spoke of peace education often stating that in order to have a more peaceful world, we must start with the children. At Lovejoy Montessori, we believe that to improve the current conditions of our world we must take an active role in teaching peace. We believe the starting point for community and world peace begins by finding peace within ourselves. We encourage each child to appreciate mindfulness, and take necessary time for silence and reflection. We support children to express their feelings, compassion, empathy, and to feel deep respect for all that is living. We help children learn to listen within to find positive choices, and to develop a strong value system for continual inner discipline. 

Each child is treated with respect and kindness; it is expected that they in turn treat others the same way. Our classroom studies people, countries, traditions, and cultures from around the world, honoring and accepting their similarities and differences. Children are encouraged to appreciate our world while growing in their understanding of interconnectedness of all life. From the moment they enter our program, children are guided in learning to resolve conflict in a nonviolent, peaceful manner, utilizing their growing language base and problem-solving skills to find solutions. Over time they become increasingly more empowered to be independent; they begin to have faith in their ability to think critically, take initiative, find creative solutions to problems, and ultimately develop a positive self-image. 

Lovejoy Montessori offers a three-year primary program for children ages 2.5 to 6 years. The program carries children through their kindergarten year, preparing them for first grade as confident motivated learners. Our Montessori environment provides children a special opportunity to develop compassion, leadership skills, and an attitude of service towards others. As members of a classroom community, children work both independently and in small groups. Often the older children serve as mentors, setting an example to younger members of the classroom. 

Our AMS-certified lead guide helps children in our primary classroom develop a strong academic foundation built on language, math, geography, science, history, music, and art. The lead guide helps them acquire practical life skills, such as caring for themselves, caring for others, and caring for their classroom environment. The Montessori classroom and its specific materials spark curiosity and promote learning, self-regulation, independence, and responsibility. Our lead guide provides each child the individualized guidance needed to reach their full potential in all areas of development. 

Children in a Primary Montessori classroom learn to move around their classroom with confidence, exploring activities of daily life. Such as preparing their own snack, sewing, sweeping, and washing dishes. Children learn skills in grace and courtesy, naturally caring for and teaching each other, respecting the classroom activities, and learning to clean up after themselves. Each school day includes active outside play time on our safe and child friendly playground. We believe in bringing the classroom outside as well as nature inside, and incorporate it into our daily curriculum. At Lovejoy Montessori we are fortunate to have a space which allows this type of environment for the children. 

Throughout the school day your child will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop a solid academic foundation and desire for lifelong learning

  • Encourage independent decision making and problem-solving skills

  • Become an integral member of the community

  • Develop positive social, emotional, and physical growth in a respectful environment.

Our Daily Schedule:

8:00-8:15 Drop-off

8:15-11:15 Work session

11:15-11:45 Lunch

11:45-12:30 Recess

12:30-3:00 Nap/Work Session

3:00-3:15 Pick-up

Eco-Friendly and Green!!!

Lovejoy Montessori has a strong commitment to providing a healthy environment. 

  • All our gardening is organic, and we do not use pesticides or herbicides.

  • We use eco-friendly cleaners (except when bleach is required)

  • Water has been tested and is free from lead. Brita filters are used in the classroom for drinking water.

  • We use fabric towels for drying hands and cleaning up to cut down on garbage.

  • Recycling and composting is practiced daily by staff and children.

  • Local and organic food is purchased whenever possible. 

Anti-Bias Statement:

Lovejoy Montessori School recognizes that racism, bias, and privilege are present in our culture and institutions. We affirm our identity as an anti-racist and anti-bias organization, and continue to develop and strengthen an intentionally anti-racist and anti-bias identity.  We believe in acceptance not only in regards to race and ethnicity, but also including gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental abilities, language, and socio-economic class.

We acknowledge, respect, and embrace our differences and promote positive self and group identity development among children and adults in our community.

We seek to apply an anti-racist/anti-bias lens to all aspects of our organization including policy, procedure, and classroom curriculum. Through this we create a more equitable and inclusive school and community.

We are dedicated to providing anti-bias curriculum within our classroom, and we believe honest, thoughtful conversations about race, biases, and inequity can and must be happening with our children from a very early age. This is an important part of our work to support the “whole child.” Our children deserve to be equipped with the appropriate tools to face social injustices.

We are honored to have the opportunity to guide the next generation of leaders who will stand up for equality, affect change, and transform our world.

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