Visited the amazing @Nia_House Montessori in Nashville with @mike_m_george . Learned a lot that’s going to help Day 1 Academies. By the way, “Nia” means “purpose” in Swahili. Very cool.
— - Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon

NIA House Montessori School is a special place and this week Amazon CEO and Founder, Jeff Bezos, and Day 1 Academies President, Mike George, discovered what makes the school so special. One of our third level students, poised and eager to greet the guests, welcomed Jeff Bezos and Mike George to the school. They spoke with our team: Sonceria Radford, Director; Darlene Abernathy-Neely, Academic Dean; MarQuita Holt, Director of Marketing and Admissions; and Will Radford, Strategic Developer. The introduction was made by Dr. Catherine McTamaney, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Teaching and Learning, at the Peabody College. Dr. McTamaney began following NIA House’s social media posts, after she met Darlene Abernathy-Neely, a pioneer of Montessori education in Nashville and one of the founders of NIA House. Through posts, she watched the school grow and saw the students engaging in an incredible variety of learning experiences through the Montessori philosophy. Our team enjoyed a lively conversation with Jeff and Mike about carrying the Montessori Philosophy across the United States. We sat with Jeff and Mike to discuss why we founded NIA House Montessori School and our commitment to serving families in the Nashville community.

We shared our mission to make an authentic high-quality Montessori education accessible for all children regardless of economic status, as well as why the importance of having properly trained guides is critical to the success of the Montessori experience. We discovered that Jeff and Mike agreed with our team, that parent involvement is vital for the child and that parents must fully embrace the philosophy. We also shared an important, but often overlooked, aspect of a successful education model; community partners. Those individuals offer their time and talent to enhance the students’ learning experience at NIA House Montessori School. The shared passion to impact the lives of children, by spreading the philosophy, resonated throughout the discussion.

In addition to speaking with administrators, during their 2.5-hour visit, the men delighted in observing and being taught lessons by Primary and Lower Elementary students. Bezos, upon entering the Lower Elementary classroom, exclaimed, “I love the feeling of this place.” Bezos and George received lessons from students that demonstrated how NIA House delivers high-quality Montessori education. After Bezos visited the classroom, the students really discovered who he was. The students were nonplussed about meeting guests, and only at the conclusion of the visit did they learn that Bezos and George were responsible for Alexa, which drew a group exclamation and lots of smiles and giggles.


NIA House Montessori looks forward to sharing its mission and vision with you. Stay involved, stay informed, stay connected.

Big thank to Ms. and Mr. Radford, Ms. Neely, and Ms. Holt for hosting our visit! And, a special shout out to @DrMcTamaney of @vupeabody for introducing us to this amazing team and school. It is clear that @Nia_house children love to learn.
— Mike George, President of Day 1 Academy Fund