LMS History

During the late autumn of 1968, a young Lincoln couple with an infant son arrived at the Montessori Schools of Omaha's Central School in Omaha. They came with a purpose beyond observing the classroom. Their mission was to ask the directors of MSO if they might be interested in starting a Montessori School in Lincoln. A follow-up luncheon at the old Cornhusker Hotel with this couple and a few of their friends who were also the parents of young children, led to Larry Verschuur's agreeing to work together with the families to create LMS. At that time there were no Montessori schools in Lincoln.

LMS HistoryA classroom directress was hired the following spring and temporary classroom space was rented before the school opened in September of 1969. Enough students were recruited to ensure the operation of morning and afternoon classes five days a week. Meanwhile, Larry looked for some land upon which to build a purpose-built Montessori school and for someone to design such a building. Back in those days, there were few, if any Montessori schools in the U.S. that had been built from the ground up. Consequently, LMS was one of the first of its kind.

The property on Austin Drive was brought to the school's attention by Lincoln developer Marvin Shaffer whose grandchildren attended MSO. The site proved to be an ideal location that was convenient to family neighborhoods then and which anticipated the future growth of the city to the sough and east. Construction was completed in December 1970 and classes began in the new school the following month.

PhotoThe building remains at the core of LMS to this day and still houses one classroom in which two sessions a day are scheduled, although the afternoon now only meets for three rather than five days. There have been some cosmetic changes over the years, as for example the addition of the sun room on the south east corner of the building and of a garage/storage space attached at the west end of the driveway. Furthermore, the school has made a sincere effort to emphasize the outdoor environment equally with the indoor one. The property between the original school and Campbell's Nursery was purchased, landscaped with rolling hills and planted with prairie grass. The lawn on the west side of the building was turned into a miniature forest with a donation of numerous trees and shrubs.

Lincoln Montessori School is an aesthetic and peaceful environment that has remained true to its original vision of providing a healthy child-centered environment for young children. The school has always operated as a half-day program, never succumbing to the temptation to offer all day care or to enlarge its format to include more classrooms or age levels. The Montessori concept of the Children's House, complementing rather than overwhelming the size and experience of the children it serves, has been maintained. Throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, LMS was one of four schools run by Montessori Schools of Omaha. It now remains as the sole flagship of the organization. Its longevity may be explained in no small measure by the confidence and trust placed in its programs and directors by two generations of parents of young children in Lincoln.