We are located in a bright, modern, airy building in Live Oak, Santa Cruz - take the Soquel Ave exit off Highway 1

Midtown Montessori was the first Green Business Certified preschool in California.

We maintain regular communication with parents by sharing photos and lesson updates using brightwheel

Parents receive a weekly newsletter from our headteacher, Joe, with a summary of the week and information about upcoming activities and events.

Parent participation is always encouraged - we love you to share cultural celebrations, interests/hobbies and work specialisms with the children at circle time. Participation is welcome but by no means mandatory.

We hold Open Houses throughout the year. These are an opportunity for you to experience life in the classroom through your child's eyes.

We go on field trips around the county - for example to Live Earth Farm in Fall and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Spring.

We have a close partnership with the Chrysalis Center Autism Program - our neighboring school. We provide inclusion opportunities for their preschoolers and this is a hugely valuable and treasured relationship for both schools.

We provide scholarships and are enrolled in a voucher program to widen our reach in the community.


Hey, I’m Joachim (most people call me Joe). I began working at Midtown Montessori in 2016. I am a certified Montessori Primary teacher through CGMS. Having gone to a Montessori School in grades 1-4, I have been familiar with the guiding principles of Montessori for most of my life and now am so fortunate to be part of educating others from this place. A place where the children comfort each other and have the confidence to communicate their needs and learn new skills. A place where the teachers really see each child and respect them for who they are, just as they are. 

meet the  


Joachim williams - Head Teacher





Donna Cherie - founder

I created Midtown Montessori in 2008 after working in nonprofit and early childhood education for years. I have a deep affection for children and parents alike (I’m a mother to three and Nana to 6). There is an intense need in our society for people to feel fully seen for who they are and feel connection. The best and most profound place to nourish this is in the first 6 years of life (it’s documented that our sense of self develops is in these precious years; this often gets overlooked). I created a school to be a container for this precious time. The amazing team of teachers cherish and charm your child into becoming the best version of themselves. 


Midtown Montessori has created a stimulating and peaceful environment where we have watched our two daughters grow, explore, learn, and thrive! There is such beauty and thought in each lesson that is taught, and so much love and care is given to each young person. I feel tremendous gratitude that my daughters can spend/have spent this formative time in their development in the warm and nurturing community of Midtown Montessori. We love the community feel, the care for Earth and all her creatures, and the empathy and compassion that is modeled by all. Thank you!!

We love the community feel!

-Martita Emde