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History of Camas Montessori

Camas Montessori School began as its own entity in 2004, however, it still has its original director from when it was Aquinas Montessori School back in 1988. Donna Hargrave started Aquinas Montessori School at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Camas in 1988 at the request of then pastor, Fr. Ronald Belisle. There was one classroom of 12 children to begin with and it quickly grew. Within 6 years it grew to house 4 primary classrooms
and one elementary.

In 2002, the Catholic church underwent major changes and a need for a new location emerged. Mrs. Hargrave then became a non-profit organization administrator, renamed the school Camas Montessori School, opting to choose a name that represented the community that so generously supported it over the years, and moved the school to its current location.

Camas Montessori School Association has an executive board that consists of at least six current and past parents. Members serve for at least two years to advise, fund-raise and help the Administrator carry out her duties. The school also has a very active Parent Committee with current and past parents helping organize annual events for the school.

In 2004 CMS found a new location at Camas Friends Church and during the remodeling year from 2004-2005, hosted classes at the not-yet-refurbished Liberty Middle School. 2005-2006 was the first school year in the remodeled church CMS is grateful to the former Camas Friends Church pastors, Caryl Menhkus and Wess Daniels for so graciously offering a 10 year lease allowing the school to be in one place until we move into our new building.

In 2016, Camas Montessori School was finally able to build our own school at 522 NE 23rd and Everett St. in Camas, Wa. We were able to add a 4th classroom with this new building as well as the addition of a nap and aftercare building and more playground yard space.

Currently the school consists of four primary classrooms with lead teachers Sara Melton, Jessica Huynh, Lynn Shades, and Lea Wheeler. Former Butterfly room teacher Nina Draper is the Administrator.

CMS continues to operate as a non-profit school.