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Staunton Montessori School names Debra Dance Schmid as new head of school

Debra Dance Schmid
Debra Dance Schmid. Photo courtesy Staunton Montessori School.

Staunton Montessori School has named Debra Dance Schmid has been named the new head of school, replacing Kelley Flanders, who is transitioning at the end of this school year to become head of school at Rochester Montessori in Minnesota.

Schmid, a resident of Staunton, is currently a member of the administrative team at SMS. She holds more than 20 years educational experience as a classroom teacher and administrator. She earned a BS from UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce and pre-primary certification from the Virginia Center for Montessori Teacher Education.

Schmid previously worked as the Lower School services administrator and director of auxiliary programs at Stuart Hall School.

“We are delighted to have found such a wonderful fit as our next head of school and are excited to follow her lead toward the next 40 years at SMS,” said Amber Benson, treasurer of Staunton Montessori School, who was a member of the Admin Search Committee.

“Stewardship. It is about caring, compassion, respect, and a sense of responsibility,” Flanders said. “It is about those values that we hold to be core at SMS, and when I look around at this community of adults and their commitment to the children and the responsibilities they take up each day, I am in awe. While I know that the time is right for me to step away and take on new challenges and adventures, I am confident that SMS will continue to thrive and flourish under Debra’s leadership.”

Schmid will begin her new role as head of school in May.

augusta free press
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