Infants & Toddlers

2.5 Preschool

School Age Care & Summer Camp

Montessori 3-6


Practical Life

Practical life is the curriculum designed to invite the child to act and work on real life tasks that enhance order, independence, concentration, exercising grace and courtesy as well as coordination. The materials in the practical life area are objects familiar to the child. These tasks of daily living, like pouring, sweeping, tying, dressing and cleaning encourage responsibility, and promote high self-esteem. This area of work lays the foundation for all other work to be done inside the classroom.


The goal of the sensorial curriculum is to educate the child’s senses which Dr. Montessori believed to be the starting point for intellectual growth. Dr. Montessori saw the senses as the doorway to the mind. Learning by stimulating the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, their intellectual development would aid in future learning by being meaningful and purposeful. The sensorial experience creates careful observation and draws attention to similarities and contrasts. The children will learn to judge, compare, classify and draw conclusions.


The concepts of quantity, symbols, sequence, addition through fractions are introduced using hands-on learning materials that make abstract concepts clear and concrete. The purpose of the Math materials in the younger years is to set the foundation for life long learning.


Dr. Montessori’s research confirmed that children learn best by using touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste. The child begins by exploring sounds and relating them to letters of the alphabet through their senses. In the Montessori Method, the child explores with drawing and forming letters. Soon the child can produce words and then sentences. His hands are training to become precise and confident for writing movements. The child starts writing then reading from what he knows about the letters and the sounds.


At a very young age, the child is concerned with absorbing the real world that surrounds them. Science represents a clear thinking approach to gathering information and problem solving. The child can learn to become a scientist by experiences with organization, performing tasks in a predetermined order and recording of results of observations and classifying, labeling and differentiating. The Montessori Method of science is a hands-on activity that includes biology, botany, zoology, and physical science.


Culture is the study of different areas of the world by exhibiting language, dress, food, art, music, literature from the past to the present and integrating them into the child’s day. A wide variety of culture and realms of experiences, broaden the child’s span of space and the world around them.


Holly Simmerson

Holly Simmerson

Program Director

Holly Simmerson is the Director and has been at Garden Gate Montessori since opening in 2007. Holly has a Montessori Teaching Certificate, is certified in Early Childhood Development, and has 20 years experience. She is proud to have won Child Care provider of the year in 2001 in Maryland and has many years of experience with children age´s infant through school age. Favorite Quote: "Be yourself everyone else is already taken". Hobbies: Reading, softball, camping, fishing, gardening, writing, pets, antiques, science and nature.

Melanie McPeake

Executive Director

Melanie McPeake is our Executive Director and oversees operations for Rosebrook Child Development Centers and Garden Gate Montessori. She has a BA from Aquinas College and has been dedicated to this field for over 20 years. She is passionate about providing a loving environment where every child feels safe as they learn and grow. She strives to introduce the children to new experiences through music and the arts. She attributes the success of her schools to working together with staff and parents to provide the very best to each individual child. She and her husband Scott are the proud parents of two children. When she isn’t working she enjoys spending time on the water with her family.

Jackie Peters.JPG

Jackie Peters

Assistant Director

Jackie Peters is the Assistant Director and has been at Garden Gate for 11 years. She began with us as a toddler teacher the first year we opened, and she's been by our side ever since. She lives in Highland with her husband and three children, ages 19, 17 and 4. Jackie has her associates degree in Early Childhood and is passionate about ensuring that each child gets a individualized and unique experience at Garden Gate.


We could not be happier with the loving and caring environment that has been provided for our child. We are very blessed to be a member of the Garden Gate family!
— Mr. McDowell
I toured every preschool in the county when I found out that I needed to go back to teaching fulltime. I choose Garden Gate because of the environment, the philosophy and the way I observed the adults respecting the children.
— Mrs. Hardy
I wanted to take a moment and say THANK YOU for giving our child 3 wonderful years at Garden Gate. She has grown so much since she started. She looks forward to each day and seeing her friends and teachers. Whenever anyone asks where we send our daughter to preschool, we can’t say enough good things about the staff and programs at Garden Gate.
— A very satisfied parent
As parents, we want to send our children to a home away from home. Garden Gate is that place. We want to know that our children are safe, loved, and cared for as the individuals they are. At Garden Gate they truly are!
— Mr. & Mrs. Pick

Want to get in touch and see if Garden Gate is the right fit for your family? Shoot us a message or give us a call and we'll be happy to answer all of your questions.