We opened our doors in September, 2001, but our story begins long before that. In fact, our roots go all the way back to 1976, when our founder, Beth Theriot, like many parents at that time, had to work hard to find Montessori. She was inspired from the first moment and spent the next several years learning all she could about this relatively unknown pedagogy created by Dr. Maria Montessori in Italy back in 1907.
Beth enrolled her own children in a small Montessori school in Herndon and within a few years had completed the AMS Montessori Early Childhood Certification. Along the way, she grew to understand the unique benefits of the Montessori classroom and was surprised to find that this philosophy worked just as well at home with her own children. She didn’t know it at the time, but her choice to share Montessori with her family planted the seed for what MAB is today.
Her middle child, Bart Theriot, was raised as a Montessori child along with his older brother and younger sister. As MAB’s head of school and Co-founder, Bart will tell you that those first years of life all but ensured that he would one day return to Montessori.
Even Beth’s husband, Larry Theriot, founding teacher and curriculum advisor of our elementary program, was not immune to Montessori’s draw. Though he had spent a long career as an economist, when the opportunity came for a change, Mr. T jumped in with both feet. Within just a few years of MAB’s first day, he would go on to earn both the upper and lower AMS elementary certificates. He still spends most of the school year working with the elementary students.
Beth’s years of experience gave her a vision of what Montessori could be. Her devotion to children and undeniable passion for this pedagogy, empowered her with the confidence to set out on her own to a small but rapidly growing little town called Ashburn, Virginia. Thus, in 2001, the Montessori Academy at Belmont Greene had begun.
Beth has always understood the importance of building and retaining a closely-connected faculty who share a devotion to children and a shared philosophy of Montessori as a way of life. One-by-one, each teacher that joined us in those first years adopted the same goal of sticking together and growing as a family. We knew individually and collectively, that this was, and is, the key to authentic Montessori and ensures the best for all students.
Jill Theriot, Bart’s wife, joined MAB in 2002 and received her AMI certification in 2003. Bart went on to receive his AMS early Childhood certification in 2009. Beth Theriot continued as a lead teacher until 2014 where she stepped back from the classroom to focus on teacher mentoring and to work individually with children with learning differences. Over the last five years, Bart and Jill, with irreplaceable support and collaboration from the same faculty who built this school from the ground up, have assumed the roles of Owner, teachers, administrators and are responsible for MAB’s fidelity to the Montessori method and the continuation of Beth’s legacy.
That first Montessori classroom visit over 40 years ago sparked a flame that still burns brightly today in the Theriot family, the faculty members of the extended MAB family and in every child who has come through our doors since 2001. It has been our distinct privilege to serve the families of Loudoun County for so long and we look forward to being there for future generations.