Photos by Madison Miller / staff photo                                Harper Lenihan, 4, plays with blocks at Mount Si Montessori.

Photos by Madison Miller / staff photo Harper Lenihan, 4, plays with blocks at Mount Si Montessori.

Mount Si Montessori to celebrate 30 years in the Valley

Mount Si Montessori has served nearly 1,600 children in 30 years.

Mount Si Montessori (MSM) is celebrating 30 years of educating preschool children in the Snoqualmie Valley.

As one of the first Montessori schools in the Snoqualmie Valley, MSM has served nearly 1,600 children during a span of 30 years.

To acknowledge its achievements, MSM owner Susan Lenihan and the MSM teachers are inviting past students and families to attend an open house celebration on Sept. 14.

Lenihan said MSM is proud of all the students it has served over the last three decades and would like to reunite and learn about its students’ successes.


After being in the Snoqualmie Valley for 30 years, MSM has become a well-known household name.

In 1989, Liz and Dana Lind opened the school, originally named Snoqualmie Falls Montessori, in Snoqualmie. It was a one-room schoolhouse and served a handful of children and families.

In 1992, a second classroom was added. Lenihan also began teaching at the school that same year. Four years later, in 1996, Snoqualmie Falls Montessori relocated to North Bend. The relocation involved the remodeling of an old farmhouse into a two-classroom school. It was at this time the school’s name was changed to Mount Si Montessori.

In late 2007, Lenihan purchased the school from Liz Lind and appointed her daughter-in-law, Sarah, as the lead teacher.

Educating the Valley

Susan first became introduced to the Montessori method of teaching while working as an office assistant at her sister’s Montessori school.

After observing the teaching and how well the students were thriving with the education she said she wanted to stay in Montessori.

“I took the training and began working at the school,” she said.

She said she likes Montessori because it makes children become “independent, responsible and capable people.”

Sarah, Susan’s now daughter-in-law, began working at MSM not long after she started dating Susan’s son in 2002.

Over the span of 30 years, there have been only two owners of MSM with staff members remaining for longer than 10 years on average.

Susan said the school has had enrollment at capacity all 30 years. While time has passed, she said the children and the families haven’t changed too much.

“The kids always keep it fresh,” she said. “There’s never a dull moment. They show us to new things every day.”

Over the span of three decades, Susan and Sarah have watched their students grow up and become part of the community.

“It’s always great to see them out in the community, whether it’s bagging groceries at QFC or bringing their own kids to the school,” Sarah said.

MSM will be hosting an open house celebration to welcome back former students to see their old school.

“The relationships with the families is one of the best things,” Susan said. “The kids stay in touch and we get to see the kids of the kids we had years ago.”

“The people who loved us then still love us,” Sarah said.

The celebration will have old photos of past classes and light refreshments.

“We’re looking forward to seeing old faces and watching former students connect with some of their first friends,” Sarah said.

To learn more about Mount Si Montessori, go online to

To learn more about the celebration, go online to

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Garrett Lenihan, 7, plays with blocks at Mount Si Montessori.

Garrett Lenihan, 7, plays with blocks at Mount Si Montessori.

Mount Si Montessori is celebrating 30 years in the Valley. Madison Miller / staff photo

Mount Si Montessori is celebrating 30 years in the Valley. Madison Miller / staff photo

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