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Overview
  • Programs
  • Our Team
  • Reviews

About Children’s Garden Montessori

Located off Spengler Street, behind Washington River Protection Services inside the Tri-Cities Research District Business Complex in Richland is Children’s Garden Montessori, a Cadence Education® School.

Here, our trained, qualified and caring staff takes a Montessori, hands-on approach to learning and provides quality programming and dedicated teachers for children from 1 year old to 8 years old.

Our students are encouraged to be active and creative explorers, as well as independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners. Each child is treated as an individual and encouraged to progress at his natural ability while still reaching desired age-level goals. In addition to core curriculum offered for preschool through second grade, we provide before and after school care for enrolled school age children.

Children’s Garden Montessori is lauded for its warmly decorated, homelike environment found throughout the school. Our family-friendly policy is one that welcomes parent visits any time of the day. We host monthly events and parties celebrating major holidays that lend a fun, celebratory feel on campus. We also offer multiple age-appropriate playgrounds and an outdoor learning environment.

Programs Offered

  • Toddler Care (ages 1 year to 3 years)
  • Primary (ages 3 to 6 years)
  • Elementary (ages 6 to 8 years)

Our Philosophy

Our many years of experience and deep commitment to the importance of each child’s early educational experience drive the school to continually grow.   We work to meet the unique needs of each child stressing the importance of each classroom as a community and working to build strong social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.

Children’s Garden Montessori strives for diversity in our staff, parents and children.  Each member of our school is treated as an individual, with a general sense of respect for individuality being important.

Our Team

Kaitlynn Smart

Kaitlynn Smart

Director

Meet Kaitlynn Smart, the Director. Kaitlynn has been with Children’s Garden Montessori for over a decade! Kaitlynn has a strong passion for early childhood education and is a natural at her position. Kaitlynn assists parents with enrollment, billing, and other school policies and procedures. Kaitlynn has two beautiful children, Hadley and Mason!

Cheryl Ornstein

Cheryl Ornstein

Montessori Program Director

Children’s Garden has been a part of my family for the past 25 years. I built the curriculum for the 1st and 2nd grade classroom from the ground up. I hold a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and a Montessori Certification. Recently I joined as a school administrator to assist in further training, guidance, and development of our toddler through elementary programs. A piece of being the Montessori Program Director still allows me to utilize my teaching skills and fulfill my passion of providing a strong and accelerated learning environment for children. I am proud to be a part of the school. I am married to my husband, Rick and together we have three grown boys who are now married and giving me beautiful grandchildren!

Amber Lehew

Amber Lehew

Lead Teacher in Nest

Amber has recently relocated from the great state of Texas, where she worked previously in a Montessori School. Amber holds a Master’s Degree in Education and loves teaching these little one year olds! Amber has primarily worked with toddler aged children for over 2 years. Amber will soon be married to her fiancé Eric, who works for Bechtel. Amber and Eric love to explore the area, try new food, and spend time with their dog!

Kimberly Goude

Kimberly Goude

Lead Teacher in Rainbow Room

Meet Kimberly Goude, the Lead Teacher in Rainbow Room. Ms. Goude has been with the school since 2009. Ms. Goude is a kind and compassionate teacher. Ms. Goude enjoys anything to do with holidays, children, and animals. She holds her Montessori credential for primary aged children.

Tina Lucas

Tina Lucas

Lead Teacher in River Room

Meet Tina Lucas, our lead teacher in River Room. Tina has been at Children’s Garden since 2006. Prior to Children’s Garden, Tina worked at a Montessori school in Yakima. Tina loves watching her youngest daughter, Kiera compete in cheer competitions. Tina enjoys traveling to the Seattle area to visit with her sisters and spending quality time with her daughter, Ashley. Tina holds her Montessori Certification for Primary aged Children.

Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy

Lead Teacher in Sunshine

Meet Stacey Kennedy, our Sunshine room lead. Stacey holds a Montessori Primary Certificate and has been with Children’s Garden for over 2 years. Ms. Kennedy enjoys watching children grow and loves it when her students show her the new lessons they have mastered. Stacey enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with her three wonderful children.

Sofia Olvera

Sofia Olvera

Lead Teacher in the Branch

Meet Sofia Olvera, Lead teacher in the Branch. Ms. Sofia enjoys spending her days with these busy 2 year olds! She is a kind and patient. Ms. Sofia is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish to the children each day. Sofia enjoys spending time with her family on the weekends. Sofia currently holds her Montessori teaching credential for toddler aged children as well as a state certificate from Columbia Basin College in Early Childhood Education.

Reviews from Parents

4.6 Rating based on 100 Reviews
Kelsey Lawyer-James • Facebook
March 17, 2021
Our time at CGM has been wonderful. Evie was a shy kid, who often struggled to try new things and engage with others. In her time at CGM, she has transformed from where she was, and become a leader. Emma is in her first year, and the staff has worked with me, in a plan that best suits her. She is learning how to be more independent and her vocabulary has increased. This means she is learning how to best advocate for herself! We look forward to our son getting the opportunity to go. We are definitely a CGM family!
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Joanna Reeves Reaksecker • Facebook
March 16, 2021
Our children have been going to Children’s Garden for almost 4 years and we couldn’t be happier with that decision. Our youngest was born May 2020 and will begin with the older two in June. We can’t wait to see him thrive like his older brother and sister! We love the teachers and staff and wouldn’t want them going anywhere else! ☺️
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Gregory Smith • Facebook
March 16, 2021
We have been a part of the CG family for 3 years now and could not be happier. We struggled to find childcare and now pre-school for our son and have been please with the learning methods and progression he is making. Highly recommend Children’s Garden Montessori.
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Jennifer Reilly • Google
March 16, 2021
My kids have been attending CG for about a year now. Both my kids love going so much. We used to literally drag my son into his other school, but there has never been a day where he isn’t excited about attending children’s garden. The teachers are very attentive and kind. The front staff is amazing and always extremely helpful. I’m so glad we’ve found a place that my children love going to and where there are people who genuinely care about my kids and their well-being. My only advise is to get on the waiting list as soon as possible because spots are hard to come by, but the wait is so worth it.
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Preparing Your Child to THRIVE

Your child is unique, and we are happy to provide an educational, fun and nurturing environment where each child can develop and thrive in order to build a bright future with unlimited possibilities.