historySeptember 1974: Montessori teachers Cynthia Leahy and Naseem Meer hold the first Montessori preschool class between San Jose and Berkeley in a rented classroom at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Fremont, CA. 

What started in that rented Sunday school classroom has grown to over 6 locations throughout the East Bay. Cynthia and Naseem have overseen the education of more then 5,000 children. The family of schools that began with two women in a rented classroom now employs over 100 people and cares for more then 500 students daily.

In 2002, with over 25 years of Montessori education experience, Cynthia wanted to bring high quality Montessori education to the Mission Valley and Kimber Woods community. The location at 39600 Mission Blvd. provided the perfect opportunity. Cynthia and her exceptional colleagues got to work, upgraded the facility, hired an elite staff of the most qualified instructors available, and imported hand made Montessori materials from Europe, with the needs of the child at the forefront of their minds. In 2011, Mission Valley Montessori, facing greater demand than ever, expanded into the adjacent unit within it complex. Today the Mission Valley Montessori Children's Learning Center cares for children 18 months old though 6 years old, without compromising any of the ideals that made Cynthia's original vision so successful.

The children in the photo above are now in their forties. They include a physician, two attorneys, six engineers, a real estate executive and a college professor.