News : Brixham Montessori a Template for 21st Century Education, Green Awareness

Jul 2, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

Eager to expand her growing Orchard Montessori Friends School, in 2000 Alica Johnson-Grafe took over a turn of the century historic grange hall in York, Maine. Rechristening it Brixham Montessori Friends School (BMFS), Alica – 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.

Read the full story in the Exeter Patch!