Montessori Institute recognizes founder Mrs. Ellen Fox, who retired after 56 years

DELRAN, New Jersey – “I have to admit, I’ve always had very high energy. And if there’s something I believe in, I’m oriented,” Ellen Fox said. “But I don’t necessarily start a school.”

Fox, the founder and Honorary Chair of the School at New Jersey’s Montessori Institute in Delran, started a study group in the early 1960s. She and other women in the neighborhood would brainstorm ways educational law. A neighbor introduced her to the Montessori method.

“It’s a very different approach,” she said. “We provide stimulation, we provide instruction, but children, in the long run, educate themselves.”

Fox recalls parents across the country starting their own Montessori schools at the time. She decided to jump on board and never looked back.

“My stepchildren attended. My grandchildren attended. I have older grandchildren in school now,” she said.

Over the years, Fox has seen kids succeed in their careers. But one of the most important transitions was the fact that her youngest child, Jennie Keith, became the school’s new Principal.

Keith said: “She opened the school 10 days before I was born and I was the youngest of 7 years old.

Keith arranged a special anniversary night for her mother, featuring singing students, close-knit alumni, and a video detailing Fox’s 56-year journey. In addition, they dedicated the building in her honor.

“And I always joked with her that we would have to carry her out of the office, that she wouldn’t be up and ready to leave in retirement,” Keith said. “But I see us just staying and growing, continuing with what she sees happening here, which is just 56 years away.”

And Fox has all the credit in the world for her daughter’s success.

“She will continue with the same love of children and Montessori as I did,” she said. “And it shows.”

To learn more about the Montessori Institute of New Jersey in Delran, visit their website. Montessori Institute recognizes founder Mrs. Ellen Fox, who retired after 56 years

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