Debbie Kelley with Lifetime Achievement Award
CHICAGO, April 9, 2012—The Board of Directors of Brickton Montessori School celebrated Debbie Kelley’s 25 years as Brickton’s Principal by honoring her with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Chicago school’s Annual Benefit on March 3 at Victoria Rosemont.
Board President LaDonna Taylor noted, “Debbie’s vision and service have made Brickton an outstanding home for child-centered learning since its founding in 1986, and her leadership with the American Montessori Society has extended her impact nationwide. She has always been committed to strengthening Brickton’s Montessori nature and striving for the highest standard of Montessori pedagogy and philosophy. Montessori’s ultimate goal is to ‘follow the child’—and we are so proud of Debbie for relentlessly championing that practice throughout her career.”
Under Ms. Kelley’s leadership, Brickton has grown from a school of just 65 students to a current enrollment of 130. In the early 1990's, Brickton became the fourteenth school in the United States awarded full American Montessori Society (AMS) accreditation. Ms. Kelley served as an AMS School Accreditation Commissioner from 2001-2006, and through her active participation in AMS she has been instrumental in building a strong local and national presence for Montessori education. In 2007, Ms. Kelley led Brickton through the accreditation process for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), becoming one of only a few Montessori schools in the region with dual accreditation from ISACS and AMS.
Ms. Kelley began her Montessori teaching career at a small school in Park Ridge where she was an elementary directress and later vice prinicipal. In 1986, a small group of staff and families from that school joined forces to start Brickton. In the Fall of 1986 Brickton opened its doors with 65 students from 2-12 years old. The school began in a wing of a Public School in Norridge but quickly moved to its current location on the far Northwest side of Chicago. In 1987, Debbie was appointed Brickton’s Principal.
Ms. Kelley received her Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern Illinois University in 1976. She earned her Montessori Teaching Certification from the Midwest Montessori Training Center in 1978 and became an AMS Certified Montessori Consultant in 1989. Ms. Kelley earned her Masters in education from National Lewis University in 1995, and was an Executive Scholar at Kellogg School of Management in 2010.
Founded in 1986, Brickton Montessori School draws students from the northwest side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs including Park Ridge, Norridge, Niles and Harwood Heights. It is conveniently located near the Kennedy Expressway at Cumberland and serves 130 children ages 2-14. Before and after school care is available from 6:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year-round. Brickton is one of the few Chicago-area schools fully accredited by the American Montessori Society and ISACS. For more information about Brickton, please visit www.brickton.org.
# # #
Brickton Montessori School is fully accredited by the AMS & ISACS. Celebrating 25 years of excellence, Brickton offers extended day, year-round programs for students ages 2-14 (Toddlers do not need to be toilet trained). Visit us at www.brickton.org