We remain open as an essential service during these difficult times. We are following all public health recommendations and you may find more information in our updated COVID plan. This plan also includes a detailed list of questions that will be asked before entry into the building. Thank you for helping us keep our community safe and always wearing a mask in the building.


Woodland Montessori School

Woodland is a non-profit primary school serving the greater Spokane area. Our mission is to provide quality education and childcare that follows the philosophy and training of Maria Montessori and Association Montessori Internationale. Our program is holistic: nurturing and developing the mind, body, and spirit of each child. We are committed to providing a trained staff and certified teachers, working with families to foster independence in their child and meet each child’s individual needs, and operating in an ecologically conscious way.


Our Primary school has three multi-aged classrooms. We enroll children who are 2.5 to 5 years old. Our school hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for young preschoolers. Five-year-olds are part of an “Extended Day” program and are in school from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..  All students attend five days per week. We do have child care before school beginning at 7:30 a.m. and after school until 5:30 p.m..


Our Curriculum

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Practical Life

Practical Life activities mirror what a family does in the home: pouring, washing, dressing, preparing food, watering plants, and more. These activities offer opportunity for purposeful movement and concentration. The child learns how to control their movement, work through a sequence, and become responsible in their actions.



Sensorial materials and activities isolate and identify various sensory elements for exploration: shape, size, color, texture, weight, smell, and sound. These materials give children a concrete experience with abstractions like big, little, long, short, thin, and thick. These lessons help create categories in the child's mind for gathering and storing information about the world we live in.



Beginning with spoken language, children transition, orient and adapt to their new classroom with language. Many aspects of the language area are invisible and social life is a constant motive for spontaneous language work. Once a child has a foundation in spoken language, they begin to use materials to write and progress into reading.



A guiding precept in developing understanding of mathematics is Maria Montessori's caution: "Never give the mind more than the hand can handle."

Math concepts are conveyed through the use of special materials (such as number rods and golden beads) which show quantity from one unit up to one thousand. With these activities, children gain concrete understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This early manipulative practice prepares the child for future mathematical abstractions. 


"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."

Maria Montessori


Our Staff


Makaya Judge

Director of School

Makaya grew up in Spokane and has been a part of the Montessori community here since she was a child. As an alumna of Spokane’s Public Montessori program, she has always loved the philosophy. When she was a child, her mother worked as an assistant at Woodland. Makaya became interested in early childhood education during her visits to the school. After working in ECE for about ten years, she returned to her Montessori roots and joined the team at Woodland. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2018 with an Interdisciplinary BA in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Makaya loves community engagement. In her free time, she sits on her neighborhood council and volunteers with COPS Spokane.


Nikki McConnell

AMI Primary Guide- Blue Class

Nikki began her teaching career running a small Montessori program in her home. She completed her Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola University in 2013. Nikki has worked in Montessori programs in Portland for several years before coming to Woodland in 2017. Her free time is spent keeping up with her busy kids. She is a big sports fan and loves to watch all of their games. In the summer, she loves to camp and soak up the sun at lakes and waterparks.

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Kristin Vogel

AMI Primary Guide- Red Class

Kristin began her teaching career as an elementary special education teacher and taught for seven years in Wyoming.  She enjoyed working in small groups and one-on-one with students, and tailoring lessons to meet the needs of each child. For this reason, Montessori education is a natural fit for Kristin. She came to Woodland as a parent and became a substitute teacher with us right away, before taking on her own classroom in 2020. Kristin is currently completing her AMI diploma through Montessori Northwest. Besides teaching, she is also an artist, gardener and animal lover. Her current artistic passion is fiber art, and she loves working and relaxing in her backyard with her family.


Sheryl Engel

AMI Primary Guide- Yellow Class

Sheryl began her career working with children and families as a social worker. She became interested in Montessori education and completed her AMI Primary diploma in Washington DC in the early 1980's. In 1985, she moved to Spokane to join the team here at Woodland. Sheryl retired from teaching in 2020 due to the pandemic, but has decided to return for another couple of years as a guide and a mentor. We are so lucky to have the gift of a few more years of her expertise. In her free time, Sheryl likes to read, hike, and do crafts!



Rachael Manz


Pat Manz

Staff Representative

Nikki McConnell

Staff Liason

Linda Bradley


Franklin Day


Contact Woodland

Get in touch with Woodland Montessori School to learn more about our program and observe our classrooms.

402 S Coleman Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99212, USA

(509) 924-1324

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Nondiscrimination Policy

Woodland Montessori School encourages diversity. We admit students and families of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, sexuality, socio-economic status, or gender in any of our policies or programs. Additionally, we are proud to broaden access to Montessori education by accepting WA state childcare subsidy payments in lieu of tuition.