Exciting new changes are happening here at Happy Valley Montessori School. The founders, Elizabeth and Carl van Warmerdam, retired in June of 2016 to embark on their new full-time careers in grand-parenting, and have passed the reigns onward to someone who desires to continue the legacy of their little farmhouse school.  It was simply too much to imagine the hard work and goodwill of Liz and Carl’s enchanted children’s house being “absorbed” into the urban residential landscape! In keeping with the foundation they have laid out before me, I will continue to adhere to the Montessori Method, while enhancing the facility and the entire program itself. With Katie Dunkirk continuing her role as the Lead Guide,  I will be stepping in to support her, your child, and YOU.


With an intimate,  small student base of 20 children, I feel we have an incredible opportunity to continue creating a fantastic community rooted in the philosophy that each child, at her own pace with her own interests, deserves an academic and social foundation rooted in a love of learning. I look forward to seeing those of you that I already know and am excited in anticipation of meeting you if we have yet to be acquainted. I trust I can carry forth the goodwill and integrity of Happy Valley Montessori School that Carl and Liz have created, and I hope they will always feel free to come visit us from time to time. May we honor and show our gratitude to the van Warmerdams in their establishment of such a fantastic gift for the future generations of Clackamas County right here on Marci Way.

Our school is committed to providing a safe, carefully planned, stimulating environment which helps children to develop within themselves the fundamental habits, attitudes, skills and ideas which are essential to independent growth, creative thinking and learning.  The program is dedicated to education according to the Montessori philosophy. Our teachers (Guides) are educated and certified through the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Come find out more about us and what our program has to offer you and your child by taking a tour in the near future. 

“I think the hardest task of a Montessori teacher or parent is to trust that the child will educate him/herself if allowed to follow his/her own interests in the way described above. According to Maria Montessori, there should be no compulsion. Children are invited and enticed to work, not coerced. Every time I get nervous and feel tempted to instigate some compulsion in my children’s schooling (usually after a bad week or two of not much work being done), they reassure me by carrying out a wonderful piece of work that I’m certain they would not have bothered with if their time was taken up with set tasks.” Ms. Elizabeth van Warmerdam (Founder of Happy Valley Montessori)