Charleston County School District (CCSD) is excited to announce and welcome Rachel Young as principal at Montessori Community School (MCS) effective July 1, 2023. Young has served as assistant principal at Montessori Community for the last two years. Current Montessori Community Principal Kim Hay is set to retire at the conclusion of the 2022-
2023 school year.
Young began her journey in Montessori education as a young child where she attended a Montessori school from two years of age through grade six. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Young took courses to become a certified Montessori Primary teacher and a certified Montessori Lower Elementary teacher. She taught in both Primary and Lower Elementary classrooms for 17 years in California and Michigan. She later co-owned and operated a private Montessori school in Ann Arbor, Michigan serving 275
In 2014, Young moved to Charleston to become involved in the growth of public Montessori programs in CCSD. She went back into the classroom for two years at East Cooper Montessori Charter School in Mount Pleasant before being hired as the instructional coach at Murray-LaSaine Montessori School (MLMS) in 2016. While at MLMS, Young coached and supported teachers at every level and served as a mentor for several new teachers. She designed and delivered Montessori-based professional development for the staff and teachers at MLMS, as well as for staff and teachers at five other Montessori schools in CCSD. She also helped the school craft a positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) model that was compatible with Montessori philosophy and implemented a formal check-in, check-out (CICO) program for students needing Tier 2 behavioral support. Additionally, she was a guest lecturer at the College of Charleston teaching early childhood education students about Montessori pedagogy.
In July 2020, Young was promoted to serve as the district instructional specialist for all CCSD Montessori schools. In that role, she facilitated personalized learning communities (PLCs) with school-based instructional coaches around the implementation of OGAP with the Montessori math curriculum. She also served as the administrator overseeing the CCSD budget for Montessori programs and coordinated Montessori certification for teacher candidates while supporting the six CCSD Montessori principals in management, curriculum, and district initiatives.
The following year, Young was hired as the assistant principal at Montessori Community School in West Ashley. Over the last two years, she has facilitated monthly PLC meetings for all teaching teams around OGAP, phonics and phonemic awareness, and fact fluency implementation within the Montessori classroom. She also conducted data reviews, formal evaluations, observations, and walkthroughs for teachers. Additionally, Young guided the formation of the MCS Equity Leadership Team and the development of the MCS Equity Team Charter while also facilitating staff education and discussion around topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion during staff meetings.
“Ms. Young is extremely talented and skilled in Montessori practice and pedagogy,” said Dr. Jennifer Swearingen, Interim Associate Superintendent of the Elementary Learning Community. “I know she will be an excellent leader for Montessori Community School beginning next school year. We extend our appreciation and gratitude to Ms. Hay for her leadership at Montessori Community over the last several years and wish her well in her retirement.”
Young holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in History, an American Montessori Society certification in Primary and Lower Elementary education, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from The Citadel.
About the Charleston County School District
Charleston County School District (CCSD) is a nationally accredited school district committed to providing equitable and quality educational opportunities for all of its students. CCSD is the second-largest school system in South Carolina and represents a unique blend of urban, suburban, and rural schools spanning 1,300 square miles along the coast. CCSD serves approximately 49,000 students in 88 schools and specialized programs.
CCSD offers a diverse, expanding portfolio of options and specialized programs, delivered through neighborhood, magnet, IB (international baccalaureate), Montessori, and charter schools. Options include programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); music and other creative and performing arts; career and technical preparation programs; and military.