About Us

"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”                                                            Socrates

The mission of Cottage Montessori Teacher Education Program is to create an opportunity for Adult Learners to study the unique educational philosophy, principles and practices of Dr. Maria Montessori.  We are dedicated to creating a process of life-long learning, one which engages the Adult Learner to observe and absorb the Montessori Method. Through this comprehensive approach, it is our intention to prepare them to emanate inclusivity, embrace diversity and create unity in the Montessori community, so all may develop our full potential.


Our goal for Adult Learners is that they feel inspired by Dr. Montessori’s insights and observations and implement her principles effectively in their classrooms. It is our intention to create an environment in which the Adult Learner observes, absorbs and ultimately experiences the Montessori Method from the hands-on viewpoint of the child.


Upon successful completion of all components of this program, Adult Learners will have grown into practitioners who are well trained in all curriculum areas, utilizing their skills of observation, preparation and human development to impart a life-long love of learning to their students.

At Cottage Montessori Teacher Education Program, we are committed to Dr. Montessori’s concept of peaceful education.  We believe in treating all with respect, dignity and equality and modeling that

behavior at all times.


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Mary Holland Stratton

Founder, Executive Administrator, Instructor


Mary has served in many capacities since she began her Montessori career in 1979, under the thoughtful guidance and dedication of Joy and Charles Turner, her mentor teachers. Mary has owned schools, with her husband Mick, who is also a Montessori teacher, and served families from remote villages in Hawaii to urban areas in Northern and Southern California. Mary holds a credential from the American Montessori Society and has been published several times in the international AMS publications Montessori Life and Constructive Triangle. During her career, she has served as a Director, Supervising Teacher, Teacher Trainer, Public Speaker and Workshop Leader, Consultant and School Designer. Through her broad experiences that span decades, Mary brings a unique perspective of Montessori education in today’s world.


Bridget McGuire

Director, Instructor

Bridget McGuire joined the Cottage Montessori Training Education Program in 2018. Prior to moving to California, she worked at Metro East Montessori School in Granite City, IL from 2002-2017 serving children ages 2 ½ -15 years of age.  Bridget has served in a variety of roles over the years including Lead Primary Guide and most recently, Head of School.  Bridget holds a M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD and an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Primary Certification from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN. Bridget is currently a Lead Primary Guide at Bergamo Montessori School in Sacramento, CA.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are able to create more flexibility in our program, enabling us to reach out to people in more remote areas.

Currently, we are able to offer a teacher training program fully accredited through MACTE with a globally-recognized ECE credential from AMS.

Online instruction, blended with a face-to-face Residency where the Montessori materials will be presented, coupled with a 10 month Practicum at your school site, completes the process.