Welcome from the Director
Welcome to Mayfair Gardens Montessori! We are so pleased that you have stopped by. Located in the heart of Williamsville, our village location offers an innovative and creative Montessori program for children ages 2.5-6. Offering a bespoke curriculum for your young child that is rooted in the Montessori tradition, we aim to nurture the hearts, minds, and souls of all children entering our doors.
A Mayfair Gardens Montessori graduate is prepared to enter elementary school with the critical thinking skills needed to excel in academics, but equally as important, they leave us with the notion that academic pursuits are tempered with an intrinsic desire to pursue creative interests with the same amount of energy. We believe that children are at the heart of everything we do, and strive to provide them with an early years experience that honors the light of all children.
Steadfast to our mission, we believe that Maria Montessori’s vision for peace education is paramount to creating a kinder and more sustainable world. This philosophy is imbued in everything we do to help young children understand the interconnectedness of self, community, cultural and environmental awareness.
We follow the principles set forth by the American Montessori Society and are committed to practicing the Montessori method to high fidelity. You will find our Montessori-trained staff highly skilled in preparing an environment for your child that allows for a child-centered learning experience rich with love, nurture, and creativity.
Please have a look at our website to see everything we offer during our early childhood program. While you will be able to glean the heart of what we believe in, nothing quite matches an in-person visit. We hope that you will join us for a tour, and please also consider joining our social media community on Facebook.
With love & light,
Sarah E. Pfenninger
Director & Founder
Meet our Director & Founder
Dr. Sarah Pfenninger has just returned to her hometown of Buffalo after over a decade plus of living in London, New York, and Los Angeles. Sarah holds a B.A., MS.Ed, and Ph.D. in education with an area of expertise in literacy and language arts for PK-8th grade. In addition, she holds an American Montessori Society credential in Early Childhood earned at the Montessori Teacher Education Center of San Francisco. Furthermore, Sarah is currently enrolled in the American Montessori Society Administrator’s credential at Houston Montessori Center.
Dr. Pfenninger has conducted research on Montessori topics and presented at past American Montessori Society annual conferences. Furthermore, she was selected as one of the 2017 and 2020 recipients of the American Montessori Society Ursula Thrush peace grant award for community work with young children using both literacy instruction and the Montessori framework for peace.
In addition to her work in Montessori, Sarah has presented and published on topics related to reading and language arts education, to include “Negotiating ‘Third Space’ through Popular Children’s Literature: Creating Democratic Spaces” in Students, Places, and Identities in the Arts, published by Routledge and “Why Peace Education Matters,” published by Independent Teacher, a publication of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Dr. Pfenninger has had two decades of teaching experience across a wide variety of educational contexts including independent schools in the USA and Great Britain. Most recently, she has taught early years at Santa Monica Montessori School and Lycee International de Los Angeles. She has also served as a teacher education faculty member at several universities across the USA and U.K., including an appointment with the Early Childhood department at the City University of New York, CUNY in New York City.
Sarah is excited to be back in her hometown, and in particular, Williamsville. Growing up in Snyder, Williamsville has always held a special place in her heart. She looks forward to joining the community and sharing Montessori with the Village of Williamsville and surrounding neighborhoods.
Sarah can be contacted at any time on:
Ph.D. University at Buffalo
MS.Ed. SUNY Potsdam
B.A. SUNY Potsdam
AMS Early Childhood 3-6 credential
AMS Administrator’s credential (in-progress)
New York State Teaching Credential
New York State English credential