The 12-Acre Classroom!

About Cedar River Montessori School

Our Mission

Cedar River Montessori School fosters the innate curiosity of the child, presenting learning experiences that cultivate independent, creative thinkers who continuously build their understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Our Vision

Cedar River Montessori School is shaping the future by educating the next generation of connected, engaged, global thinkers who compassionately challenge the status quo.

Our Values

Respect. We honor and model respect for the individual, communities, cultures, and the natural world.

Social responsibility. We value open-mindedness, diversity and inherent worth of individual differences that come together to strengthen our internal and external communities.

Environmental stewardship. We recognize our place in the natural world as humans, and our responsibility to understand, care for, respect, and protect our environment to the best of our capacity.

Integrity. We celebrate our present and future through informed, purposeful, and accountable social, financial, and environmental stewardship.

Advocacy. We believe in the power and voice of passionate and compassionate individuals empowered by conscientious awareness.

Profile at-a-glance

  • Cedar River Montessori School is accredited by the American Montessori Society.
  • Our school was established in 1981 and serves 125 students age 3 – grade 8.
  • We have three early childhood classrooms (ages 3 – 6), two lower elementary classrooms (grades 1-3), an upper elementary classroom (grade 4-6), and a middle school (grades 7-8).
  • We are located between Renton and Maple Valley, 3 miles east of I-405, off the Maple Valley highway. Our students come from Renton, Kent, Seattle, Auburn, Maple Valley, Issaquah, and surrounding communities.
  • We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Our campus is a Washington State Stewardship Forest
  • Recognized with the Inclusive Employer Award for 2018 by Trillium
  • Recognized as King Conservation District’s 2016 Conservation Landowner Award winner

Thumbnail History

In 1978, Narda Farrell, her husband Bill Farrell, and her sister Melissa Baker decided to start a school. Narda realized that traditional education methods were not always successful in meeting the needs of children. Sparked by Maria Montessori’s writings, she researched best practices in teaching and learning and chose Montessori. Cedar River Montessori School was founded in 1981 on its present site, chosen for its peaceful location and home-like setting. In 2015, our Board of Directors purchased the property from the Farrell family, ensuring that generations of students to come will be able to benefit from our 12 Acre Classroom. In 2019, Cedar River became an American Montessori Society-accredited school. Cedar River Montessori School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, private, independent school.

Board of Directors

The Cedar River Montessori School Board of Directors is a dedicated group of professionals who bring a variety of experience and perspectives to ensure the long-term direction and viability of the school.

  • Kathy Imahara, Board President
  • Tom Darlow, Vice President
  • Scott M. Manson, Treasurer
  • Barbara Chattin-McNichols, Secretary
  • Howard Lakougna
  • Noah Prince

If you are interested in talking to us about serving on a non-profit school board, we would love to hear from you. Please visit the Board of Directors page for more information.

Fiscal Year 2017-18 Annual Report

Our annual report from FY 2017-18 is available for download HERE (PDF).


Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of Cedar River Montessori School that no person shall be subject to discrimination because of race; color; age; religion or creed; national origin, immigration status, citizenship or ancestry; sex, including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; sexual orientation; gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, or sexual stereotypes; genetic information, including family medical history; disability; honorably discharged veteran or military status; marital status; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; or any other characteristics or activities protected by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all school programs, practices, policies and activities including client services and employment practices.

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