ART: Students from kindergarten through grade six enjoy formal art lessons that use a variety of materials to cover a broad range of fundamental skills and techniques, as well as the study of individual artists.

SPANISH: Montessori Children’s House of Durham offers lessons in Spanish language beginning in first grade. Interactive lessons build basic vocabulary, and students focus on conversational Spanish and cultural awareness in lessons.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Our curriculum includes daily outdoor play, as well as a weekly program for physical education for grades K-6. Kindergarteners learn to spread their wings in movement or yoga classes, and Elementary students engage in a rotation of sports and activities that encourage cooperation, inclusion and healthy competition against oneself.  This rotation includes swim lessons at a local YMCA, bowling, ice skating lessons at Triangle Sportsplex, training for a “mini-Olympics”, and a new KidFit program with a local certified personal trainer, among others.

MUSIC: Music is incorporated in the classroom daily.  Elementary children have access to keyboards, recorders, drums, and xylophones, among other instruments.  They also receive direct weekly instruction in the fundamentals of rhythm, music theory, reading music, and specific instrument lessons.  Additional instruction in violin, piano, and ukulele is available after school through the Enrichment program.

READING: Our reading specialist works with all children K-6 in assessing reading progress, selecting “just right” and “challenging” books and goals for reading, and identifying and addressing any areas of need.


  • Janine Wolf

    Art Teacher

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    Janine has been teaching art to children and adults of all ages since 1975. She received her degree in Art Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and began her career by teaching middle school and high school Art in her hometown of Harrisburg. She married into a family of Montessorians and quickly learned the beauty and benefits of the Montessori philosophy. When her youngest daughter was a pre-school student at MCHD in 1995, the position of art teacher became available and Janine enthusiastically joined the staff. In her free time, Janine enjoys painting, interior design, yoga and ballroom dancing. She is married to Patrick and is the mother of three daughters, Tessa, Alisha, and Sophie.

  • Liz Ludwig

    Spanish Teacher

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    Liz has been part of MCHD since 2013 when she joined the After School staff. Originally from the Midwest, She received her BA in Philosophy and German from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After graduation, she spent a summer working on the U.S.-Mexico border doing humanitarian aid and solidarity work with people of immigrant backgrounds. She spent the following year in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship before returning to Arizona in 2011, where she worked in public school language arts and literacy programs. Liz loves teaching and learning from children in the outdoors, and exploring language as an integral part of culture through music, food, art and literature. In her free time, Liz enjoys gardening, hiking, trail running, playing music, soap making, and doing art and craft projects of many kinds.

  • Jessie Valentour

    Reading Specialist

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    Jessie is certified in Special Education and licensed in Elementary and Early Childhood education, with an emphasis in reading. Her BS is in Education from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to her tenure at MCHD, Jessie worked as an Exceptional Children’s Teacher in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Reading is a huge passion for Jessie and she believes that books can ignite happiness, expand creativity, and even change the world. She and her husband JC are also the proud parents of two wonderful boys, 3.5 year old Liam and 18 month old Neil.