Welcome from the Head of School

Welcome to the Montessori School of Raleigh! We are pleased that you are considering us for your child and family.

Jeannie Norris

Welcome to The Montessori School of Raleigh (MSR), the oldest fully accredited Montessori school in the Triangle and the only independent school in the Triangle that offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

Preparing now to celebrate its 45th birthday next year, MSR is a vibrant school, rich in Montessori tradition, animated by the growth in our new Upper School (grades 9-12) and our designation as an IB World School. In two spacious and beautiful settings, our 9-acre Lead Mine Campus sized for children 18 months through grade 6 and the 39-acre Brier Creek Campus for adolescents in middle and upper school, students learn and grow and undertake the great journey that will lead to fulfilling and authentic lives.

For Maria Montessori, an education is acquired not by listening to words but by experiencing the learning environment. At MSR, calm, open, and appealing spaces invite children to engage with ideas, people, and things. Our carefully prepared classrooms foster the joy of self-discovery and stimulate curiosity and imagination. The confidence and sense of agency developed in lower grades prepare students to undertake the rigorous college-preparatory high school curriculum that cultivates attributes in young people espoused by Maria Montessori: global perspective, emphasis on self-reflection and self-directed learning, and integration of international and social focus on peace and justice.

It is a privilege to work with the remarkable MSR faculty and staff as we steward a school that has meant so much to so many for almost half a century. When the visionary founders of MSR, a small group of dedicated parents, met during the summer of 1974 to establish their school, they were inspired by one compelling desire: to create an exemplary Montessori school for their children. That exemplary school is the one happy children and dedicated faculty and staff still attend every day.

Inquiry, engagement, innovation, achievement, self-discovery, imagination, grace, and courtesy live here. We invite you to come and experience it all for yourselves.

Jeannie Norris
Head of School (Interim)

CLICK the PLUS (+) below to read Jeannie’s biographical summary.

Jeannie Norris Biographical Summary

Jeannie Norris brings over forty years of experience in independent school education to her present work as Interim Head of School of The Montessori School of Raleigh. She retired in July 2012 after 16 years as Head of Miss Hall’s School, an all-girl boarding and day school in Western Massachusetts. Since then she has consulted with independent schools in the areas of admission, enrollment management, development, marketing and communications, organizational structure, and board development.

During her tenure at Miss Hall’s School, she led the school in completing capital campaigns totaling $66MM; establishing the Girls’ Leadership Project (GLP), an approach to educating girls that integrates into the delivery of a traditional college preparatory program skill building related to girls leading change and influencing outcomes; and founding the Philanthropic Round Table, a discussion convened annually in New York. This conversation about women and philanthropy brings together leading philanthropists, academicians, advancement officers, and heads of foundations and was selected as a case study for Minter and Jackson’s From Donor to Philanthropist: The Value of Donor Education, CASE, 2014.

A consultant in advancement work and strategic planning, thought leader in all-girls education, and advocate for independent school education, Ms. Norris has written extensively concerning the education of girls, women and philanthropy, and the effective management of schools. She is the author of Parenting Great Girls, Giving Our Daughters the Courage to Live Authentic and Confident Lives, a guide for those parenting girls through the adolescent years.

With degrees in music from Pittsburg State University and Temple University, Ms. Norris taught music, performed, and directed music programs in independent schools and churches before becoming a head of school. She and husband Peter live in Durham, NC. Together they have four adult children and six grandchildren ranging in age from two to eleven.