All Day Montessori was founded by Paula and Richard Bukacek and opened its doors in 1995. After retiring from their long and successful careers, Paula and Richard saw that most families have two parents who work full time or a single parent in our society. They set about to fill the community’s need for high quality, affordable, full-day Montessori based education housed near the train so that parents could quickly drop their children at school and get to work on time. They found an ideal location at the old Gross Pharmacy Building and got busy converting it into a safe, functional preschool, where parents could feel good about leaving their little people during the long workday. They wanted to begin on a small scale, so they had twenty 3-6 year-olds and sixteen two-year-olds.
Today, with the addition of the Annex, we now serve 95 students during the school year. Paula had been a Montessori teacher all her professional career, once her youngest child began school at Beverly Montessori. She worked at the Ancona School, our neighbor, Beverly Montessori, where she became co-director, and finished her first career working in the Montessori program at Clissold Elementary School. Richard’s early career had been in chemical engineering. He taught post-graduate students at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He spent a great deal of time in Indonesia, helping people develop technology that converted natural gas into a usable form. He supported Paula in her vision and endeavor and worked side by side with her to procure and refurbish the school. Before working directly with the students, Richard took child development classes and got his Montessori certification. They retired from teaching in 2007 but left the school to evolve into its present robust and healthy state.
We are grateful to Paula and Richard for their insight about modern society, belief in the Montessori Method, dedication to the principle that children thrive best when they are free within limits in a carefully prepared environment, and the perseverance to create All Day Montessori School.