Barbara and Edward Fidellow started a Montessori school for their own children in 1972. They began with a pre-school and eventually went through High School. The students ran the school: setting the tables for lunch each day with tablecloths, napkins and china and worked in the kitchen. The students cleaned their own classrooms and restrooms. They took care of the horse, the chickens, and the rabbits. They worked in the garden and in the greenhouse and ran their own mini-enterprises. The high school operated like a college with classes meeting two or three times a week. The students learned to operate off of their syllabus and their Things to do Today list. When their three children graduated from the high school, they were well prepared for the independence of college. When they graduated from college, their bosses loved them because they were not only capable but full of initiative, drive, and determination. They not only became successful adults but great people.
In twenty-nine years of running their first school the Fidellows came to an understanding that parents were the most important influence in the success of every child and that parent education was a significant and critical need both for the success of the school and the success of the family. They founded the Cross Mountain Press www.crossmountainpress.com in 2006 to help educate Montessori parents.
The Fidellows founded the Christian Montessori Fellowship in 1983 to help network people who shared the twin passions of Montessori education and Christian faith.
The Fidellows moved to El Salvador in 2013 and now train Christian Montessori teachers and help start schools.