Many Rivers Montessori announces expansion, new head of school

The school opened in 2014, and since then it has grown from 77 students to 205.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:37 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Many Rivers Montessori broke ground with $1 million in renovations to its building in Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood, which will include an outdoor classroom and a rooftop garden to help students better learn about nature and the environment.

The school opened in 2014, and since then it has grown from 77 students to 205.

To start the 10th academic year, the school also announced a new head of school.

Wendy Reinsch Fisher will be taking over for Mark Niedermier as he retires after 39 years of teaching and being school head.

Fisher comes to Many Rivers after a long career in education, including in Charlottesville, Va., where she was a head of school.

Fisher also has served as vice president of education for a network of U.S. Montessori schools, in addition, she trained Montessori leaders in China and led public charter schools in Minnesota.

“We’re excited for the enhancements to our building, which will expand learning. We also feel fortunate to have a talented new leader to pick up where Mark has led us so well over the past nine years,” said Matt Cartier, the school’s board chair.

Many Rivers has remodeled 109-year-old school building since moving to the location in 2018. The $1 million in new changes include:

  • An outdoor classroom, which will be a sheltered learning environment with natural features for students to learn about all subjects and especially nature and the environment
  • The rooftop garden, which will support multiple classroom projects and serve as a beautiful, additional outdoor learning space
  • A new upper elementary classroom inside to help the school accommodate its growth in older elementary students and move classes out of temporary locations
  • New windows for the Children’s House classrooms, which serve preschoolers and kindergarteners

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson joined school leaders and Many Rivers students in formally breaking ground on the renovation project.

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