New Montessori High Will Open at UK

The Montessori High School of Kentucky — the first such school in the state — will open in the fall in the heart of the UK campus.

The school will start with ninth and tenth grades and a working partnership with UK, which will allow high school students to use university libraries and laboratories.

After two years of planning, the Montessori school secured a location at 472 Rose Street, where the school is renting space at St. Augustine’s from the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington.

“It’s across the street from Maxwell Place, which is the UK President’s home,” said Jennifer Pederson, one of the Montessori parents who has helped start the school.

Pederson said several other UK departments have shown an interest in working with students in mentoring programs and various learning experiences.

Lexington currently has Montessori preschools, elementary schools and the Montessori Middle School of Kentucky on Stone Road.

The school’s Board of Directors hired long-time Montessori Middle School teacher Winni van Gessel as Curriculum Director, and van Gessel has worked full-time for months to develop the high school curriculum.

Martin Mudd, a former high school math teacher with a master’s in physics from UK, has been hired to teach.

“It’s a wonderful group of kids who are excited to participate in forming their new high school,” Pederson said.