Lexington owes its first public Montessori school to Donna Bryant-Johnson, principal of Booker T. Washington Montessori Magnet School. Mrs. Bryant-Johnson, who has been widely recognized for her vision and tenacity in applying the Montessori method in a school that is located in an impoverished area, felt that "economically and culturally deprived children would benefit academically, emotionally and socially from this method." Through the use of innovative instructional programs, strategies that improve self-esteem and rigorous community outreach, Mrs. Bryant-Johnson has successfully helped increase student performance by 40% on national standardized tests. "As an educator," says Mrs. Bryant-Johnson, "I am in a position to make an impact on the lives of my students because I have lived in the same housing projects they live in today," a fact that nurtures her belief that "socioeconomic and ethnic background do not determine a person's success and worth."
1972 University of Kentucky, B.A.