Who We Are

Baan Dek opened on September 5, 2007, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Soon thereafter, it became the first accredited Association Montessori International in the history of the state. Coincidentally, Maria Montessori opened the first "Casa di Bambini", or Children's House, on January 6, 1907. In keeping to tradition, one hundred years later, Baan Dek is named after this original school. Our director, June George, is from Thailand, so we named the school 'Baan Dek', which is Thai for 'Children's House'.


 
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Our Mission

Do what you love. Love what you do. That's one of our mottos at Baan Dek. It's also a Montessori principle. Follow your interests. You won't be disappointed. We hope this phrase is reflected in everything you see & we do.

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Our Vision

We wish only this: that each and every child gets the opportunity to become who they want to become. In our estimations, this individual is thoughtful & compassionate and has the courage to think & act on their own.

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Our Hopes

If there's one goal at Baan Dek, it is to impart to our students that anything is possible. Imagine, for instance, telling a student today that it's impossible to put a "man on the moon". Let's imagine the world anew. It just takes work.

 

"Don't be discouraged by the traditionalists."

- Steve Jobs


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Meet Bobby and June George

Bobby and June met while graduate students at the University of Warwick, in Coventry, England. June was completing her Master's in early childhood education, while Bobby was studying Philosophy. Of course, they each have their own stories about how they met, but the rest is history, as they say. Learn more.

 

ADMINISTRATION


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Meet June George

Head of School: Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, June has a BA from Chulalongkorn University and a Master’s from the University of Warwick. June obtained her AMI Diploma from the Montessori Training Organization in London, England.

Hobbies: Film + Photography + Cooking

Email: june@baandek.org

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Meet London George

Mascot: Hello, I'm London, the school dog. Woof. Woof. Education? Yes. I go to school at Baan Dek. My favorite activities you ask? Well, I enjoy lunch time and nap time and...I really love to go outside and play with my friends.

Hobbies: Walking + Napping

Email: london@baandek.org

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Meet Bobby George

Creative Director: Originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Bobby has a BA from Lehigh University and a Master's from the University of Warwick. Bobby is currently finishing his PhD in Philosophy at Kingston University.

Hobbies: Film + Design + Architecture

Email: bobby@baandek.org

 

PRIMARY CLASSROOMS


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Meet June George

Primary Teacher: Our courageous leader, Mrs. George is an experienced primary teacher, having obtained her AMI training from the coveted Montessori Training Institute in London, which was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori herself.

Hobbies: Film + Photography + Cooking

Email: june@baandek.org

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The Bamboo Room

The Bamboo Room: The Bamboo Room is comprised of an exceptionally experienced, compassionate and talented crew. Have you seen their warm, affectionate smiles? Oh, and just wait until you meet the frogs, and say hello to the fish!

Hobbies: Swimming + Paddling + Loving

Email: hello@baandek.org

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Meet Sarah Skaff

Assistant: Sarah graduated from the University of Nebraska, where she holds a BA in Education. With a wealth of experience, Sarah has an excellent disposition, and is constantly looking for new ways to make things better.

Hobbies: Walking + Reading + Crocheting

Email: sarah@baandek.org

 

 
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Meet Charlotte Wood

Directress: Originally from California, Charlotte has a BA from San Diego State and a Master's from the Loyola University. Charlotte completed her AMI training at the Montessori Institute Northwest.

Hobbies: Knitting + Cooking + Reading

Email: charlotte@baandek.org

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The Lotus Room

The Lotus Room: The Lotus Room is harmonized by Ms. Wood and Ms. Leinen, who are developing secret terms to describe their team. Of course, the finches have exciting names too, like Sparkle Lilly.

Hobbies: Chirping + Flying + Swooping

Email: hello@baandek.org

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Meet Angela Leinen

Assistant: Angela graduated from the College of St. Benedict, where she holds a BA. The individual nature of Montessori, as it concentrates on each and every student, resonanted deeply with Angela.

Hobbies: Music + Skiing + Reading

Email: angela@baandek.org

 

TODDLER CLASSROOM


 
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Meet Jamie Bauer

Directress: Jamie graduated from Northwestern College, where she holds a BA in Education. She's receiving her Montessori training from the Montessori Institute of Denver.

Hobbies: Reading + Running + Knitting

Email: jamie@baandek.org

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The Orchid Room

The Orchid Room is where everything gets started at Baan Dek. With an exceptional, highly qualified team, they up us take things to the next level. Speaking of level up, have you meet our frogs?

Hobbies: Swimming-Jacks

Email: hello@baandek.org

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Meet Kaylee Jones

Assistant: Kaylee holds a BA in Education from the University of Nebraska. She joined us in 2013, becoming an assistant in the toddler environment, where she continues to excel.

Hobbies: Writing + Reading + Music

Email: kaylee@baandek.org

 
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Fully Accredited

One of the most important things to consider when choosing Montessori, is if the Montessori school that you are interested in is certified and if the teachers are Montessori trained. Anyone can use the Montessori name so it is important to research the qualifications of the school. Baan Dek is the first and only accredited Association Montessori Internationale in the state of South Dakota. Find a school in your area.

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Baan Dek Film Festival

The Baan Dek Montessori sponsored the first Children's Film Festival in the city of Sioux Falls on June 14, 2009. The event was co-hosted by Filmdrome and Sanford Children's Hospital. Each year, we follow up with a new and even more spectacular event. For many children, it is their very first movie-going experience. We're really proud to be able to host this special, free, and open to the public community event.

 
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For the past few years, Baan Dek has been a strong supporter and advocate of The OTA Sessions. Born out of a desire to see the Midwest shine as hub of creativity and innovation, OTA is focused on creativity, collaboration and community. Baan Dek is a proud sponsor of this exciting and region transforming event. Watch the video!