Madrone Montessori teacher Rhonda Satterfield and her student Mackenzie Thomas, 3, prepare to make twirlers with flowers as part of their lesson focusing on The Renaissance. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

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Madrone Montessori helps children grow

By From page A9 | May 23, 2012

Looking for a school where guiding hand and a gentle voice encourages children to explore their own potential?

Consider Madrone Montessori School in El Dorado Hills. Children ages 18 months to 8 get a complete education that promotes emotional, social and academic growth and emphasizes self-reliance.

“Here they do their own dishes; they’re planting plants, wiping their own noses,” said school director Krista Campbell.

Lessons go beyond reading and math. At Madrone Montessori, a year-round school, the children spend a lot of time outdoors, they do yoga and participate in programs designed to improve their communication skills. Classes are split: 18 months to 2, 3-6 and 6-8. New students are welcome at any time.

Campbell opened Madrone Montessori 12 years ago in Rescue and last August moved to a new location in the El Dorado Hills Business Park. The school employs eight teachers guiding about 45 students from as far away as Pollock Pines and Elk Grove.

“Families seek us out,” Campbell said.

She credits her staff for the school’s strong reputation and success, explaining that her goal is to keep them happy and unified. When the teachers come to work every day with smiles on their faces the children benefit from their enthusiasm, she said. The school also thrives on this teamwork approach.

“We all plunge the toilet. We all talk to parents,” Campbell said. “People aren’t wearing specific hats. If we walk through the building and see something that needs to be done we just do it.”

Parent participation is also crucial.

“Every one of our families contributes to the school,” Campbell explained. “They do so much … our newsletter, laundry, dishes, gardening, driving for field trips.”

Madrone Montessori is a tuition-based school and parent participation is valued at $25 per hour, according to Campbell. But giving back in this way isn’t just a way to get a break on tuition, she said; volunteering sets a good example for the children.

Turning students into good citizens is a primary goal at Madrone Montessori. Some parents come in and confess, Campbell said, “We’ve created this monster. Can you help us?”

With 30 years of experience working with children and a dedicated staff … yes, she can help.

Madrone Montessori School is located at 5001 Windplay Drive, Suite 1, in the El Dorado Hills Business Park. For more information call (530) 676-4110 or visit

Noel Stack


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