Montessori School of Rome, Georgia

In 1980, Swarna Kumar, a native of Sri Lanka, came to Rome, Georgia to eventually establish a school there, now known as Montessori School or Rome, Georgia. Starting with a single class of children at the primary (2- 6) level, she soon added two toddler classes at the request of her parents.

When parents later approached her about adding elementary, she put them in charge of fundraising, and said if there was enough interest, she would consider it. As the parents did their part, and she did hers, a Lower Elementary program was added in 1996. From there, the school continued to grow and the Upper Elementary program was added in 1999. Today, the school serves students 18 months through 8th grade, with a 9th grade being added for the 2016-17 school year.

When Ms. Kumar passed away in 2001, her daughter, Shemi Kumar and her husband, Jim Penosky were moved by the number of parents and children who cared deeply for the school and wanted it to continue. So, they decided to carry on her work. As new Headmistress, Ms. Shemi has also taught in each program, and is currently the Adolescent Guide as well.

Since many Montessori schools do not have an Adolescent program, Shemi and her staff are very proud of the accomplishments of their program which focuses on advanced academics with students leaving the school with high school credit. The upper grade students run a Lunch Box business of preparing and selling meals for other students in the school, so they are able to raise money for travel. Last year, Shemi reports they visited Mexico to go along with their World History studies. This year (2016), they are studying Native Americans and went to Williamsburg, VA and Cherokee, NC for an in-depth look at Native American cultures then and now. Soon, they will go out West, including stops in New Mexico and Arizona, with a visit scheduled to the Grand Canyon.

In addition to their travels, the upper grade academics are strenuous, and the textbooks they use are also used in local high schools 10th and 11th grade courses with 9th graders taking AP courses as well. The students also have planted a vegetable garden and, with collaboration from a parent who is a farmer, they plan on having a Farmer’s Market in the coming school year.

The older students also give attention to charitable work in the community. For example, in the current academic year, they have raised money through a “Pink Out Walk Out” with funds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In addition, they have hosted a Halloween party with proceeds going to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. For further information, contact: Montessori School of Rome,165 Dodd Blvd. Rome,GA 30161 Melanie Montanaro , Director Telephone: (706) 232-7744 Website: