“Education should not limit itself to seeking new methods for a mostly arid transmission of knowledge: its aim must be to give the necessary aid to human development. This world, marvelous in its power, needs a “new man.” It is therefore the life of man and his values that must be considered. If “the formation of man” becomes the basis of education, then the coordination of all schools from infancy to maturity, from nursery to university, arises as a first necessity: for man is a unity, an individuality that passes through interdependent phases of development. Each preceding phase prepares the one that follows, forms its base, nurtures the energies that urge towards the succeeding period of life.”

Dr. Maria Montessori | From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 84

Dancing Pines Montessori, formerly known as the Well-Trained Mind Montessori in Renton, WA, was founded by Kelly Severson Kunz.

Kelly, who holds a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Literacy Education, is the Head of School, Owner, and Lower Elementary Teacher. With her lifelong passion for teaching children, Kelly started with only a primary classroom and eventually expanded to include a lower elementary classroom.

As students aged out of lower elementary, there was a need to offer upper elementary, which led Kelly and her husband to acquire a farm property that would enable them to expand.

Dancing Pines Montessori now operates out of this location, offering a full range of Montessori education from preschool through elementary. The school comprises three classrooms: primary, lower elementary, and upper elementary.

The primary classroom accommodates 25 students aged 3-6, and is led by teachers Patricia, Gabi, and assistant teacher Lori-Lee.

The Lower Elementary classroom is home to 30 students aged 6-9, and is led by teacher Kelly, with co-teacher Melissa and assistant teacher Kaleena.

Lastly, the Upper Elementary classroom houses 12 students aged 9-12, led by teacher Kris.

At DPM, students gain a love of learning by driving their own educational journey and developing skills based on their interests. The teachers act as guides both inside and outside of the classroom. Montessori education offers a structured approach that provides freedom within limits. By offering intentional scaffolding, students can practice independence in an environment where mistakes are viewed as growth opportunities.

In addition to offering a comprehensive Montessori curriculum, students can experience the beauty of a 7-acre campus. They can play, help care for animals, take walks in nature, play sports, explore the pond, and utilize four playgrounds to jump, swing, climb, hang, and exercise gross motor skills.