Announcing The New Director At La Jolla Montessori School

Director Kelly McFarland Bids Adieu, Welcomes Dr. Heather A. Davis
Jun 07, 2022 Mark

Press Release ( - SAN DIEGO - Jun 07, 2022 - As the first Director of La Jolla Montessori School (LJMS), a private bilingual Montessori school for children ages 18 months thru Kindergarten, Kelly McFarland, M.Ed., has guided the daily management, operation and administration of the AMI school since its 2019 opening. Today, she is pleased to announce that she has found her perfect replacement to transition the school to continue their success and welcomes the new Director, Dr. Heather A. Davis beginning late May.

During these three years, the school has expanded from two classrooms and six staff members to five classrooms, 16 staffers and almost 100 students. Currently, the school has a competitive enrollment program with a 12-18 month long waiting list.

Since March 2020, McFarland and the school founders created and implemented many health and safety protocols and procedures for students, staff and parents. From foggers to screens to spacing to cleanings, all parties have and continue to go ‘above and beyond’ promoting everyday safety protocols.

These quick stepping and pivoting strategies allowed LJMS to reopen in May 2020, only six weeks after state school closure mandates. By contrast, many private and public schools that were shuttered on the same day in March 2020 remained closed for months.

The LJMS team worked diligently to create remote Zoom video teaching for at-home students while building new outdoor learning classrooms to continue in-person and at-school teaching in a safe manner. All while providing health and wellness support to staff, families and their children to assure everyone’s well-being.

What set them apart from many local schools, LJMS implemented virtual video tours and virtual live video tours—making it easy for potential incoming families to safely enroll their children. These tours remain a fixture at the school.

Since the launch of the new school in 2019, La Jolla Montessori School has kept a tight focus on its three-year English and Spanish dual language immersion program for Toddlers, Primary and Kindergarten students. Due to their success, they received the La Jolla Light ‘Best of La Jolla’ Preschool Award.

“What a ride!” says McFarland. “It’s been rewarding to achieve such quick recognition for our academic excellence while trying to overpower Mother Nature concurrently.”

To find her perfect replacement, McFarland hand-picked Davis and implemented an extensive training throughout the Spring term to ensure that processes and procedures will enjoy an easy transition.

Davis is a graduate of Emory University (BS, Psychology) and the University of Georgia (MA, Applied Child Development,1998; Ph.D., 2001). Following her doctoral degree, Heather worked for 15 years in public teacher education.  She then trained as a Primary Guide at the Montessori Institute San Diego (MISD); attained Head Guide status; and, invested three years as an English speaking Guide in MISD’s bilingual program.

Davis will carry the torch going forward as La Jolla Montessori School continues its AMI approach and daily mission to build children’s  academic, social and emotional competence.

To learn more about La Jolla Montessori School or to add your child to the current 12-18 month long waiting list, please visit:

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CATEGORIES : Education


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