Hiatt Farms Montessori was built on the Dyekman Farm, a multi-generation sheep farm homesteaded in the early 1900's. We are excited to maintain the agricultural legacy of the land and share it with children.
Hiatt Farms Montessori was originally conceived while Michelle and her husband Paul were living abroad in Bangkok, Thailand. Michelle was teaching at an international Montessori school and Jeff and Mary Hiatt (Paul’s parents) were pursuing various initiatives to give back to the community and preserve Colorado’s farming culture in their retirement. The idea of marrying the two passions, preserving a historic farm and offering the Montessori method in the Loveland area, captured their imaginations and never let go. Construction of the school began in October 2016, and the inaugural class began in August of 2018.
MISSION & VISION
The focus of Hiatt Farms Montessori is the “whole child.” The aim of a Montessori environment is to develop the spiritual, emotional and intellectual well-being of each child depending on individual needs and aptitude. Our methodology focuses less on pure academics and instead seeks to build independence, self-confidence and passion. We emphasize respect for others, oneself and the environment as well as patience, strong moral character and grit.
We believe that a farm is the perfect environment for developing these traits. The children learn responsibility in caring for animals, find pride in growing fruits and vegetables and develop a practical appreciation for our symbiotic relationship with the natural environment.
We also view our mission as creating global citizens—children cognizant of global cultures and issues while grounded in their local community. Multi-language fluency is one important aspect of this—beyond the practical advantages of bilingualism, we view fully bilingual environments as a necessary representation of the modern global community and an important part of the cosmopolitan worldview.
Head of SchooL & LeaD Guide
Michelle Rugel is a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna and received her M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Baltimore. She was trained as an AMI Elementary guide (ages 6-12) by Dr. Kay Baker at the Washington Montessori Institute. She taught in an elementary classroom in Chicago and helped to organize a new Montessori environment in Switzerland before moving to Puebla, Mexico for her AMI Primary training (ages 3-6) under Coral Ruiz. From 2014-2016 she served as a primary guide at the Montessori Academy Bangkok International School in Thailand before moving to Colorado in 2017 where she completed her AMI Assistants to Infancy training (ages 0-3) with Judi Orion in Denver. She is the founder and owner of The Montessori Company, an online Montessori materials making company.