ABC-Stewart School History
In September of 1969, ABC School opened in the basement of Merry and Tom Carmichael's home. The school served twenty-two students that year and was designed to provide a stimulating preschool learning environment based on the teachings of Maria Montessori and carefully selected precepts of other educational philosophies.
By 1971, ABC had outgrown its basement home, and the school was moved to a 1,900 square-foot building at Columbus Bakalar Municipal Airport. The staff, Tom Carmichael, Merry Carmichael's parents, and several ABC parents worked throughout the summer cleaning, painting, and building to prepare the facility for the new term.
The 1972 year included a kindergarten and a two-year-old room. The following year, options of four and five day preschool classes were available for the first time in Columbus.
ABC Learning Centre was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 1973, with the Carmichaels and some active parents serving on the board.
The building on Bakalar Drive met the needs of ABC Preschool for six years. Then, with support from a number of parents and encouragement from interested members of the Columbus community, it was time to expand our innovative program to primary grades.
A summer long effort by Tom and Merry Carmichael, Art and Bobbi Kroot, staff members and many other dedicated ABC parents transformed a World War II former Officers' Club into a school ready to welcome students to a two-year-old room, morning and afternoon preschool classes (including kindergarten), and grades 1 through 6.
In the spring of 1983, following a three-year search for a more suitable building, the Executive Committee signed a lease for Kent School located on State Highway 46, four miles west of downtown Columbus.
This facility is a three-unit former public school building erected in the 1950's. It includes a gymnasium, well-equipped kitchen, and fifteen large, airy classrooms, several of which overlook a picturesque view of the Brown County hills.
During the summer of 1983, shelves, chairs and desks were painted, new shelves were built, and teachers packed the entire school. We moved to our new location with much enthusiastic parent support and eager excitement on the part of all involved.
We have space to hold parent meetings and student programs in our building.
The new facility also allowed ABC-Stewart to add full-day preschool classes and to reinstate the separate two-year-old class. We also had the facility to offer an extended daycare program.
In 1989 Children's Garden, a traditional Montessori environment offering a 5-morning or 5-full-day program to 3-6-year-old children was added. Two Montessori-trained teachers help children learn in this beautiful setting.
Also in 1989, the name of the school was changed to ABC-Stewart Montessori School.
The combination of the larger building, the involved parents, the experienced and dedicated staff, and the beautiful children have created a school that equips youngsters to ask questions and find answers they will need in tomorrow's world.