Stephanie Stephens Co-Founder Stephanie Stephens is an Associate Director of Education for PACE Center for Girls. She has been in education for over 15 years, with 10 of those years being in the classroom. Mrs. Stephens is a content review specialist and report writer for EdReports and serves as the lead ELA Student Achievement Partners representative for the state of Florida. In previous positions, Mrs. Stephens was an Instructional Coach for one of Duval county’s transformation schools and served on the curriculum writing team for the county. Additionally, Mrs. Stephens worked with a local nonprofit where she provided poetry and art lessons to girls who were incarcerated, in rehab, domestic violence shelters, or foster care. She has earned her master’s degree in Montessori Education and holds certifications in Girl Centered Practice, Victim Advocacy, Soul Collage, and Hatha yoga. Mrs. Stephens has served Duval county twice as teacher of the year, Instructional Coach finalist of the year, and most recently was nominated for Life Changer of the Year. Mrs. Stephens is also a member of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2017 and serves on the board for Hope at Hand, Inc. Holly FitzHarris Co-Founder Holly Fitzharris is an Exceptional Student Educator at J. Allen Axson Montessori PK-5 School in Jacksonville, Florida. In previous positions, she taught upper and lower elementary at schools in Florida and First Grade at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. She has earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education and holds multiple levels of Montessori certifications. Holly has also presented at the National AMS Montessori Conference. When Holly is not teaching, she is an active Girl Scout leader. She is dedicated to inspiring children to trying new things. Holly is an advocate for increasing opportunities for girls, minorities, and children with learning disabilities, She also loves art and believes by encouraging a child's creativity and imaginative problem-solving skills, amazing things will happen.
What is Montessori? Dr. Maria Montessori developed the Montessori Method of education over 100 years ago and is now practiced in schools all over the world. In fact, many current methods being taught to public school teachers as innovative are the same methods Montessori teachers have been using for over a century. So what makes Montessori different? The Montessori Method focuses on developing the whole child. In order for this to happen, the environment is carefully prepared to be beautiful, peaceful, inviting, and easily accessible to the child. All works are thoughtfully designed based on research and observation of the child’s needs. Works are also designed to be used in various ways throughout the child’s development and are often thoughtfully related to other works in the classroom. Lessons are designed to inspire further exploration and study rather than to give all the answers to the student. Developing the whole child involves more than academics. This is one of the major ways Montessori differs from traditional classrooms. Montessori realizes in order for a child to become an independent and successful citizen, he/she must be knowledgeable of more than just math and reading. The whole child also involves developing the physical skills such as fine and gross motor skills; social skills through grace and courtesy, peace lessons, and service projects; and emotional skills such as respect, diversity, acceptance, and friendship. Various Arts and Practical Life skills are also integrated into the classroom. These may include anything from painting and sewing to woodworking or cooking. Pet and plant care are also a component of many Montessori classrooms. The classroom itself is not traditional in that students do not sit in one place. Students move throughout the day and may work on the floor, tables, desks, or even outside. The world itself is the classroom, so many classrooms include outdoor areas as an extension of the learning area. Montessori students are also highly encouraged to utilize their communities as a resource for learning and research.
2006 Teacher of the Year 2011 Teacher of the Year 2016 Instructional Coach of the Year Finalist 2017 Life Changer of the Year Nominee Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2017
Prek-12 years Montessori Certified Special Education Prek-6th grade teaching certificate BA Elementary Education MS Montessori Education
Mission: "Creating the Magic for Independence" Vision: Magical Montessori aims to provide Montessori Materials to improve educational equity regardless of social or economic status. Magical Montessori is dedicated to creating high quality, innovative Montessori materials that inspire and challenge modern Montessori learners. Our comprehensive learning materials are thoughtfully designed and beautiful. We aim to inspire students in the classroom or homeschooling environments to independently research new topics, explore new ideas, and become the innovators of tomorrow. We seek to increase the rigor of today’s Montessori classrooms by incorporating updated research, high level vocabulary, and many extensions and projects for Montessori works. Magical Montessori is grounded in service to our communities. For every material bought, we will donate the same material to an urban school.
English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Science, Astronomy, Basic Principles, Biology, Earth Sciences, Social Studies - History, U.S. History, World History, ELA Test Prep, Other (Social Studies - History), Other (ELA), Life Skills, Literature, Character Education, General Science, Physical Science, Problem Solving, Writing, Holidays/Seasonal, Poetry, Valentine's Day, Informational Text