News : Brixham Montessori School finds success in alternative model

Jul 31, 2012

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Jim Cavan

YORK, Maine — In 2000, eager to expand her growing Orchard Montessori Friends School, Alica Johnson-Grafe took over a turn of the century historic grange hall in York. Rechristening her charge Brixham Montessori Friends School (BMFS), Johnson-Grafe with the help of a group of dedicated parents established the school as a nonprofit in 2001.

Five years later, the space now fully outgrown, BMFS purchased and moved the school to a two-story, 9000-plus square foot building in York previously owned by a small software company. After weeks of wall-tearing and shape-shifting, the space was transformed into what it remains today: A simple yet sense-piquing testament to a career's work and philosophy, and the educational tradition from whence it sprang.

As of this past school year, Johnson-Grafe's thriving charge boasts 85 students, six classrooms, and a staff of 18 educators dedicated to helping the thriving school continue to serve as a regional model for alternative childhood education. 

To read the full article in Foster's, click here