In January 2000, Rita Zimny decided it was time to retire and pursue other interests. The parents were notified of her decision and the school was for sale. Several parents of the Countryside family sparked an interest in buying the school. As well as the parents of twin girls from the two year old class, Adolph and Jenifer Hanser. In June 2000, the Hanser’s became the new owners and operators of Countryside Montessori School. Mrs. Hanser became the administrator and Dolph began updating the school grounds and buildings.
Dolph and Jenifer are the parents of six children, twin girls, Hunter and Morgan, and triplets, Parker, Courtney and Lauren and a singleton, Peyton. Dolph also has two older children who attended Countryside from 1965-68 and 1971-74. The Hanser’s interest in purchasing Countryside came from watching their girls develop their foundation for learning at Countryside. The Hanser’s were amazed at how much the girls had achieved under the guidance of Mrs. Ellen Carmody and Mrs. Nancy Krause. They wanted to make sure Countryside was there for their children as well as other children in the St. Louis area.
The Hanser’s arranged to attend the Montessori training program in Grand Rapids, Michigan in July 2000 in order to become more familiar with the Montessori philosophy and method.
The Hanser’s decided to add a Mom’s Day Out program in September 2000. And, in June 2001 began the Junior Camp program for the two year olds.
In 2011, Countryside began accepting children as young as eight weeks old. A new infant only room was opened in the main Montessori building and the Mom’s Day Out building, also known as the annex, is where all of the twelve-twenty four month old children learn and grow.
One of the biggest moves for Countryside happened in February 2012 when they earned NAEYC accreditation. It is rare to find a Montessori school that is NAEYC accredited. Countryside felt it was important to let the parents know that through NAEYC accreditation they will go above and beyond for your child. You can find out more about NAEYC accreditation at www.naeyc.org.