Paula Leigh-Doyle, Head of School
Paula was the founding Executive Director of an AMI Montessori school in Cleveland which grew to serve 140 Primary and Elementary students. She has
published articles and presented at international Montessori conferences and regional universities.
Paula sees it as her role to support the particular work of each component of the community: the students, the staff, the
prepared environments and the child's family so that all can grow toward their personal potential. It is her priority to communicate with the
different components of our internal community, as well as the larger external community, about the work at each level of the program. "Informing
the community about the developmental purpose, the intent of the theory and the activities of this Montessori work is a pleasurable yet important part of my leadership. The community also needs to be informed in order to understand the value, extraordinary development and accomplishments of our students. Our publications, speaker series and community events reflect these values and share the outcome of this Montessori approach to education."
Paula reviews all activity with a Montessori pedagogical lens so that Hershey Montessori School meets the needs of the individually developing child and keeps the principles and practices unified throughout the developmental continuum from infancy through adolescence. "My initial measure of how effectively we are serving the individual student is to observe the degree of joyful engagement in his or her activity. This perspective of "joyful engagement" is also applicable for each of us as adults, in service to the child. Recognizing the collective expertise of our teachers as highly qualified specialists, I strive to facilitate a deepening of the dialogue regarding program quality, sustainability and development."
Paula encourages the school's focus on nutrition, environmental stewardship, philanthropic work and service to the community, physical health and physical challenge, and the ongoing analysis of key academic principles through the educational continuum. She facilitates the Montessori Parenting Speaker Series, which introduces a variety of topics and presenters, and provides opportunities for parents to observe and understand more about their children's work in Montessori.
Working with the Board of Trustees, Paula supports the strategic plan for continued success and long term development of Hershey Montessori School. She is working to expand our connections to the immediate communities of Lake and Geauga Counties while preserving the school's international standards and authentic Montessori education, always keeping the child at the center of school decisions.