Discover Mercy

Our History

Sr. Jacinta Shay

Sr. Jacinta Shay

Mercy Montessori Center opened its doors in Cincinnati, Ohio in September of 1969. There were forty students, ages three to seven, on that first day, under the guidance of four Montessori teachers. Sr. Mary Jacinta Shay, the founder and first principal of the school, had discovered the philosophy of the renowned Italian educator Dr. Maria Montessori. She believed that Montessori’s principles, in combination with the values of the Sisters of Mercy would lead to a remarkable learning experience for children.

By 1972, Mercy Montessori Center had 190 students, and expanded to serve ages 9 -12. In 1994 the school expanded again to become the first Montessori junior high school in the city. Enrollment had soared to 255 children who were served by an exceptionally talented and dedicated faculty and administration of 40.

In 2008, the Sisters of Mercy offered additional space and we expanded again, adding four new classrooms, upgrading the music and art rooms, and creating a new library.

Today the school continues to offer a special educational and life experience for children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The student population remains steady at about 290 pupils, with a student/teacher ratio of 15:1, ensuring that we know every child by name and can tailor an educational experience uniquely suited to each one.

Our Mission & Approach

Mercy Montessori Center is a private Catholic School modeled on two fundamental principles: the philosophy of the Sisters of Mercy, and the principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. We know that each child is an individual, developing at his/her own pace. We also understand that many of the most important lessons mastered in childhood go beyond academics. Our school graduates students who are both well educated and well prepared for an inspiring, compassionate and productive life.

IMG_6008-200x300Our mission is to instill and nurture in our students a respect for others, a love of God, a sense of personal and communal responsibility, joy in discovery, self confidence, inner discipline, independence, and a peaceful approach to problem solving.

Our method is to provide concrete experiences that lead to abstract thought. Mercy students learn actively in a beautiful environment. At each level an exceptional faculty encourages joy in discovery, and assists each student to master increasingly complex material.

At every level from pre-school through 8th grade, Mercy Montessori works in collaboration with families to ensure that our students are encouraged and supported in their academic, spiritual, emotional and physical growth.

Learning here doesn’t happen in a vacuum, nor is the Montessori approach at odds with the ideal of a balanced and effective preparation for life. Our teachers are continuously conscious of the need to ensure that we prepare students to meet state standards in education, and our children test exceptionally well. But even within a framework of academic rigor, our focus remains on the needs of the child. The state, the school, and the teacher may set the standard, but the child sets the pace.