Strachan first learned about the Montessori Method when she was studying for a Master's Degree in Environmental Zoology at Arizona State University. Strachan had just had a daughter, and when she turned 18 months old, she scoured Scottsdale, Ariz. for a school to take her to.
"I looked everywhere for a school for children her age, and there were none," said Strachan. "Finally, I stepped into a Montessori school, and it was as if the angels were singing."
When her husband took a job in Orem, they began to explore and fell in love with Park City, she said. That was when they noticed there was no Montessori school in Park City either, so she enrolled in a Montessori training program.
Strachan began using her family room to teach a few children, and after about five years, there was a long waiting list. She realized then that she needed to expand and started up the first Soaring Wings in the Carl Winters building on Park Avenue.
"The school grew from one early childhood class to infant, toddler, early childhood, and lower and upper elementary classes," said Strachan.
The Montessori Method begins with mothers and their infants.
"Our teachers just stand back, let the children enter the classroom, and see what they like to do," said Strachan. "It is all done at the child's pace."
Soaring Wings currently offers classes for children up to age 12, but Strachan has added a middle school classroom in the new location. However, a middle school class for 12- to 15-year-olds will probably not be offered for another year or two until they can get it filled and get the curriculum together, Strachan said.
"We have parents that are just dedicated to making sure a high school class gets started, too," said Strachan. "Most of their children are in the early childhood level classes, so probably in a few years we will also have a high school."
Among recent improvements are a patio for every classroom, the incorporation of music into the program, and a healthy, organic lunch option.
Trained Montessori teachers are very rare, and Soaring Wings requires that their educators have at least a Bachelor of Arts degree. Most of them are actually working on their Master's degrees, according to Strachan.
The long-time teachers have moved to the new location where there are just a few spaces left for the coming school year starting on Aug. 26. Soaring Wings will host a grand opening on Sunday, Aug. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m., and anyone interested in the school is welcome to attend.
"We are just so grateful to the community and especially the wonderful parents for their support," said Strachan. "They have always been behind us 100 percent, and we are only here because of them."
Soaring Wings Montessori School