For over 46 years, children have been thriving at Arcadia Montessori.

The Arcadia Montessori story starts in 1972, when Judy Pemberton was ready for a better way to educate  children. The options were limited for her own preschool-aged children.

“There were so many things that I wanted to do, that I believed in and felt. And yet, there were so many restrictions and rules,” Pemberton said.

Pemberton had more than her maternal instinct- she had her Montessori training to guide her. “I saw children as each one being different and having a need to progress at their own rate.”

Arcadia Montessori began in a small room rented from a local church. There, Pemberton taught her first small class. “I was a fish out of water, just jumping in,” she recalled.

The school grew as fast as her own children, and soon both needed a new place to live. She settled on a house in Arcadia, at 5115 E. Virginia Avenue. The house was a home to her young family, and her 25 students.

The school grew and grew, and over the years has added several surrounding houses. Today, the school welcomes more than 150 students each year, all between 18 months and 6 years.


Arcadia Montessori features four toddler classes and three primary classrooms. The school boasts growing gardens for each classroom, beautiful outdoor patios, four playgrounds, and a splash pad for summer recreation.

In addition to core Montessori curriculum, students enjoy P.E., Yoga, music, art, piano, Phoenix Zoo Days and time on our Splash Pad.




“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.”

                                                                                                                                  -Maria Montessori