Our Organization 

Montessori Academy, Inc. traces its roots back to 1967. It was that year that founder, Eileen Bernstorf, helped open a Montessori school in the Metropolitan Nashville marketplace. From its inception, there was a desire to “do it right” in the Montessori realm, leading to Montessori Academy being the first and only school in the Nashville area to be fully accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS). This drive for a fully implemented Montessori education led the school to expand their program through the eighth grade, when a significant percentage of Montessori schools nationally stop before first grade. In early 2015, recognizing the need for a strong and authentic Montessori program in Clarksville, TN, the organization opened a satellite school, Amare Montessori. Amare is also fully accredited through AMS and has steadily grown every year since its inception. 

 Montessori Academy, Inc. will continue to grow and seek ways to further Montessori education in our region.  We strive to be outspoken advocates for a philosophy of education developed over a hundred years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori that is continually validated by current research as providing an outstanding lifetime education for the whole child.


Montessori Academy

Board of Directors

Montessori Academy was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation with the State of Tennessee in 1989. The original board consisted of the founder, Mrs. Eileen Bernstorf, her husband, Dr. E.C. Bernstorf, and her daughter, Ms. Linda Bernstorf. Over time the board developed, expanded, and changed. The board now consists of members who bring specific expertise, strategic gifts, love for the organization, and commitment to excellent education and organizational sustainability.

Legal Profile of Montessori Academy

Montessori Academy, Inc. is a Tennessee not-for-profit corporation per IRS code 501(C)3.  The effective date of the incorporation was 9/1/1989.  Montessori Academy Inc. is a family-run, board-operated Montessori school educating children from toddlers (18 months) through twelfth grade.  The school has its roots from Montessori Centre, founded in 1967.

As a 501(C)3 corporation in Tennessee and based on its charter, there is no private ownership of the school per se.  The board is self-perpetuating, as members step down; new members are voted in as replacements.  

The board functions to oversee the financial viability of the school as well as the strategic path upon which it travels.  The board is very careful not to try to manage the day-to-day administrative functions of the school as that is the prevue of the head of school and the administrative staff.  The board is involved in major financial issues if they arise, approves the annual review of tuition levels, and sets governance policy.  The board also oversees the head-of-school.

Montessori Academy owns a twenty-three acre campus with approximately 50,000 square feet under roof.  The buildings consist of:

  • Primary wing with four classrooms, all occupied
  • Lower Elementary wing with a primary classroom and three LE classrooms, all occupied,
  • Activities building with four toddler classrooms, a gymnasium, gym storage, and teacher offices,
  • Fine arts building with a fixed seat auditorium, art room, music room, and band room, all occupied ,
  • Administration building with administrative offices, classrooms, and science labs for the Upper Elementary, Middle School and High School, some classroom space is available for growth. 

Accreditation Information

Montessori Academy is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) as an authentic Montessori school. This means that Montessori Academy meets the very high standards of teacher qualification, Montessori materials in the classroom, and adherence to Montessori philosophy and methodology.

Montessori Academy is accredited by AdvancEd, the parent group of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The AdvancEd standards hold Montessori Academy accountable for high academic standards and continuous improvement.

In 2019, Montessori Academy also earned accreditation from IMC (International Montessori Council). 

These accreditations together, give students an authentic Montessori experience and environment that promotes academic excellence.