Montessori Plus School Kent WA

Montessori Teacher Preparation Kent WA

School History
Registration Forms Weekly Circle Plans Parent Recommendations School Calendar (PDF) Home Activity and Articles Emergency Closure Policy
On-Site Fall Course Summer Intensive Course DVD Course Admissions General International Students Transfer Students Course Schedule and  Locations Tuition and Fees Forms

History of Montessori Plus School and Montessori Teacher Preparation of WA


  • 1969: Donald’s friend suggests that he take his 2 1/2 -year old son to a Montessori school in Seattle. Sharlet begins reading Maria Montessori’s books and joins the parent study group. She finds Dr. Montessori’s theories of education very exciting and a match to her own views about children.
  • 1970: The McClurkins move to Sharlet’s home town in Topeka, KS. No Montessori school is available for their 3- and 5- year old children. Sharlet and three other women drive seventy-five miles to Kansas City, MO, for the summer five week intensive training course given by the Montessori Institute of America (MIA). (They drive 75 miles per hour with gas @ $.29 per gallon.) MIA was founded in Kansas City, KS, in 1960 by Dr. Helen Billings, a professor of education at Avila College.
  • 1971: Sharlet and three friends begin the first Montessori school in Topeka, KS, in the Sunday school classrooms of a Presbyterian church in which her husband is the pastor. Twenty-four children are enrolled in the morning and twenty in the afternoon class. Twenty-five percent of the parents are psychiatric doctors at the Menninger Foundation. Because of her experience teaching adults at Washburn University and Georgia State University, Sharlet is the director and spokesperson for the school.
  • 1972: Sharlet receives her teaching certificate from MIA for the level 2 1/2 to 6 years in June, 1972. Montessori Plus School, Inc., a non-profit corporation in the State of Kansas, purchases an older two-story house with a large foyer, later used for viewing the children in the classroom, and space for twenty-four children on each floor.
  • 1973: Sharlet receives permission from the Board of the MIA to begin training programs in Topeka, KS. Montessori Teacher Preparation, later as MTP of WA, is established and provides training for seven summers to over 100 adults in the State of Kansas.
  • 1973- Present: Sharlet serves on the MIA Board of Directors as President and/or Educational Director.
  • 1977: MPS sends a MIA graduate, Kathy Murphy, to Bergamo, Italy, to take the AMI 6-12 level course.
  • 1978: MPS purchases another building and opens a third 2 1/2 to 6 classroom and a 6-9 elementary classroom. Kathy brings a friend from the Italian training to co-teach with her in the new elementary program.
  • 1980: Although many wonderful adventures occur through the four Montessori Plus School classrooms in Topeka, KS, Sharlet and Donald long for the Pacific Northwest, Mt. Rainier, and the more progressive educational climate of Seattle, WA. They sell two school buildings, their own home and most of their belongings and pack the remainder in a large Ryder truck. With no prospective job or school, they leave the Midwest in the truck and their car, with their three children ages 12, 14, and 18.
  • After assessing various areas of greater Seattle, they rent a house in Kent, fifteen minutes south of Sea-Tac Airport, and begin plans to open a training program in the summer and a school in the fall of 1981.
  • 1981: Twenty children enroll in an introductory summer class as well as ten adults in the training, held in a public elementary school in Kent.
  • 1982: Donald McClurkin takes the MIA 2 1/2 to 6 level course.
  • 1982 – 1985: MTP of WA holds alternate weekend classes in Spokane, WA, for the level 2 1/2 to 6 years. These classes are held at St. Aloysius Catholic School for three years, followed by several years at Spokane Montessori Schools.
  • 1982 – 1986: By 1986 Montessori Plus School enrolls over fifty children in two classrooms. Adults from Washington, Oregon and Canada come to Kent to take the MIA training. MTP of WA features of creativity in the classroom, emphasis upon making new materials, and the respect of each adult and each child provide the foundation for the success of the course. MIA’s emphasis upon the philosophy of Montessori, studying her books, and the three-year age span allow the MIA course to stand out in the Northwest.
  • 1982 – 2008: Sharlet edits the MIA biannual newsletter.
  • 1984: Donald takes the 6-9 level course from the American Montessori Society in Seattle.
  • Summer, 1984: Sharlet and Donald take Dr. Sophia Cavialetti’s “Cathechesis of the Good Shepherd” training course in St. Paul, MN.
  • 1986: Montessori Plus School purchases a large, two-story building on two acres in Kent and moves two classrooms. The school is located on a prominent four-lane road between Kent and Federal Way, WA. The McClurkins totally remodel and update the former house to the needs of twenty-four children in each of two classrooms.
  • 1986 – 2002: Montessori Plus School adds another building to the acreage with an elementary classroom. Three of the McClurkin’s grandchildren enroll in the elementary school.
  • MTP of WA holds courses for the level 2 1/2 to 6 in north Seattle, Ballard, Lake City and Bellevue, as well as in Kent.
  • 1989: The McClurkins professionally videotape the entire training course and begin offering training in Taiwan via distance learning.
  • 1990 -2006: The McClurkins visit Korea and China numerous times, hold introductory training sessions and provide lectures at universities and Montessori schools.
  • 1991-Present: MTP of WA offers I-20’s to qualified students and holds the 6-week summer international course in Kent. The 2000 course was attended by 60 students; the 2001 by 50 students.
  • 1991-1994: Sharlet represents MIA as a commissioner in the newly-formed MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education), the national accreditation organization for Montessori training programs. MIA is a charter member of MACTE.
  • 1997-1998: Sharlet takes the AMS Birth to Three course in Seattle.
  • 1998: Sharlet and Christine Munn, MIA and AMS Birth-3 trainer, hold a summer bilingual Birth to Three course in Kent, WA. MTP of WA professionally videotapes the training program for distance learning courses in the US and China.
  • 2002: MTP of WA begins distance learning courses in Quezon City, the Philippines. The McClurkins provide one week of onsite training, followed by viewing of DVD’s, in both April and September of the following years.
  • 2002 – Present: MTP of WA holds 10 month courses in Kent and Everett in the Korean language. More than sixty Koreans enroll yearly.
  • 2003: Sharlet and Donald McClurkin travel to Sri Lanka and begin an MTP of WA distance learning program there.
  • 2004-2005: Montessori Plus/MTP of WA, Inc., sells the 2-acre property in west Kent and purchases a one-acre, 6,800 sf building in east Kent. The new school opens in September, 2005, to serve three 2 1/2 to 6 classrooms and one toddler classroom. They continue to rent two large classrooms from the Holy Spirit Parish in downtown Kent where the training programs are held.
  • 2007 – 2010: MTP of WA holds training classes in Beijing, China, for over 250 adults from all over China. More than twenty MIA internship schools begin in China.
  • October, 2009: Sharlet speaks to over 800 Chinese teachers in Guangzhou, China.
  • 2009-2010: More than forty interning teachers complete their internship in approved MIA schools in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area.
  • October, 2010: MTP of WA opens new training program in Guangzhou, China.
  • April, 2011: MTP of WA holds training programs in the Philippines, Taiwan and Guangzhou, China
  • July, 2011: MTP of WA holds training programs in Guanghzou and Beijing, China
  • December, 2011: MTP of WA holds a Birth-3 training program in Beijing, China
  • June, 2012: MTP of WA holds a Birth-3 training program in Beijing, China
  • July-August, 2012: MTP of WA holds a 2 ½ to 6 training program in Beijing, China