Fall 2021

Samantha and I were raving about dynamite Montessori and about you and all of the fabulous educators and the campus and all of the shenanigans and experiences our kids have had.  We feel so blessed to have and to continue to be part of your father’s and of course your legacy.  It’s been a tremendous Experience of a lifetime Paula.  We spoke of the farm animals the garden the annual camp out with the telescope all of the different extra lessons…. tennis, dance, and of course Ms. Thania’s Cinco de Mayo Extravaganza, the Thanksgiving feasts, Halloween haunted house, celebrating all of the nations and people of the world.  There is nowhere we could have gotten all of that.  I told Samantha i knew when I walked onto the campus and how Ms. Paula walked out and greeted me in the most gentle and lovely demeanor and charm, how I knew this was the place.  We are so lucky.

So to you we say, Thank you.


Spring 2020

Our daughter goes to Dynamite Montessori and she absolutely LOVES it. My daughter is 4 and is now learning to read, loves math and is turning into a very responsible, polite and a caring person. She attends Miss Tina’s class and loves all her Montessori work. Miss Tina is amazing with kids and is very much passionate and experienced. The school environment is very safe, welcoming and perfect for children. Miss Paula is the school Director and is always available for any questions. Feel free to get the school tour and get in touch with her for more information. We love and are very satisfied and happy with Dynamite Montessori as parents. 


Apurva Kapil (Parents) 



Autumn 2018

As a previous student of Dynamite Montessori, I can say with complete confidence that it is the school that has shaped me and prepared me for the rest of my high school career and future. My siblings and I were enrolled in Dynamite from 1st grade to 4th grade. It was a period of our lives we will never forget and will always cherish.

Firstly, the staff is absolutely incredible. Recently, I graduated high school with fluency in Spanish. This skill is something that started at Dynamite with the amazing Ms. Thania. She spoke only Spanish with the students and I caught on to it at a very young age. Because of her, I fell in love with the language and have recently travelled to Peru on a scholarship as an award for my Spanish-speaking skills. Now, as an incoming freshman in college, I am still speaking Spanish and even working for a Spanish-speaking organization.

The experiences at Dynamite Montessori are like no other. I am still friends with the people I met over 10 years ago. I will forever be grateful to my parents for putting me in such a school. Dynamite is where my love for different languages, animals, and education began. Thank you, Ms. Paula!!


Dear Ms Paula,

It is absolutely my pleasure to recommend your school. After seeing how much my son has changed, and the progress he has made in this short time, it would be crazy for me not to recommend your school!

When we attended your tour weekends ago, my husband and I couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to put their child in a classical educational environment. The only thing we came up with, is parents just do not know. Montessori is clearly so much healthier for children. Everything we have supplemented for our son during his preschool and kindergarten years would have been completely unnecessary if we would have known about your school. I feel like we finally got it right for him.

We met some friends for breakfast today, and I shared our experience with them. In my heart I truly feel Montessori will benefit them greatly.

I have learned that parenting is a journey. I wish I knew then what I know now. If I helped to shorten their parent “educational learning curve,” than that makes me happy.

Thank you and your wonderful staff for helping turn our son around. I never thought it would be possible to see him enjoy school, learning and his teachers so much.

Kindest regards,

Amy (August 29, 2018)


Testimony from Feb 14, 2018

What I want to highlight is that even though my children were not given loads of homework and tested frequently, they have been given the opportunity to master concepts deeply while developing love for learning for the sake of learning – not because of scores or grades or awards. In the case of my elder son, we have a better view of what Dynamite Montessori has done for him after he moved to his new school.

My son qualified for the 4th grade gifted program; he scored well on the verbal and quantitative categories of the CogAT test.  Notably, his highest score was on the non-verbal category which assesses a student’s reasoning abilities. I honestly believe this ability is honed through the Montessori method that encourages growth of one’s “reasoning,  abstracting and imagining mind.” He adjusted well in the gifted program and is a consistent honor student. He adapted quickly to his new group of peers and is well-liked. I credit this to his 6 years, 2 cycles of mixed age group settings, peer learning, peaceful conflict resolution, etc. at Dynamite Montessori.

As a mom, I am most thankful for Ms Aparna’s and Ms Thania’s kindness and love. They care for their students and treat each one with respect. My sons feel safe and free to be children, and they know they can get hugs when needed.


It has taken me 22 years to truly materialize how incredible the education you have given me is, but I am now exponentially grateful for the foundation your school has built for me. I am currently preparing for the next chapter of my life pursuing my MBA at RSM Erasmus University, a top 10 business school in The Netherlands, after spending the past summer in the U.K. in a real estate program at The University of Oxford.

Many times, I would reminisce of the days at Dynamite Montessori where I was provided such a diverse and customized level of education. Specifically, the play we learned in German has recently re-surfaced and has made learning Dutch considerably easier. It is pleasantly surprising to see how impactful such a quality education can be in one’s life.

Thank you for everything both you and your fabulous institution have taught me – it has been life absolutely changing.

Richard Norris


When I first came to Dynamite Montessori years ago, it was on property located by Dynamite and Cave Creek Rd cross streets.  This was a small quaint school with one Primary classroom, and one lower elementary. Since then, the school has grown and relocated to 53rd and Dynamite, sitting on 5 acres of land to explore. The school still maintains an atmosphere of community since it has grown, and employs people who truly care about the well-being of the children past and present. The education offered is well rounded, and offers so much for the children in all areas. The learning in the classroom does not stop there, it continues with the outdoor environment where the child can see and feel for himself the world around him. Paula and Gene are the owners of the school who to this day, continue spending countless hours making the school a great place. I highly recommend parents to come and see for themselves what a great learning experience this school offers for their child. I honestly say my son who attended and completed the 3 year cycle in the Primary, possesses the keys to the world! He has fond memories with friends he made while at Dynamite Montessori, and still keeps in contact with them 17 years later.   “Dynamite Montessori has been a nurturing environment for my son to grow in. When you arrive to the school, you feel as though you’re at a peaceful ranch. Paxton’s teacher, Miss Jenny and her assistants have helped him master potty training, social skills, language, community, and creativity in a whole new way!  We love the diversity of students and faculty here. Dynamite’s passion and love for what they do is quite evident.  We look forward to having his brother join next year!”

Jackie Steen 2017

Email received 7/10/17:

We thought you guys would like to know one of your alumni is going to Stanford! We still credit Zoe’s academic abilities to the foundation she received at Dynamite Montessori!

One of our 9 year olds tested into the Spanish immersion program at Desert Willow for the upcoming school year 2010!
This feat is all the more remarkable when one takes into account that this student learned ALL of his Spanish at our school –
starting with the primary through his elementary years. (His family is not Spanish speaking).”

“ I have been here for 7 years, and I recommend this school because it’s very educational and fun. It has taught me everything I know from age 3, and you can walk around and choose your own work which is great. I hope everyone has a great next year.” From a 4th grade student, June 2010.

Paula, Thank you for making it such a special event. You and the teachers of Dynamite are so terrific, your dedication is really heartwarming. Trevor has grown so much during his 3 years there & I’m forever grateful. The Children’s encyclopedia was such a wonderful gift, I know we’ll use it for years to come, thank you for everything! The ceremony brought tears to our eyes. – Rebecca & Jim Niessink, May 2010

DYNAMITE MONTESSORI SCHOOL has a unique educational environment with outstanding leadership under the direction of Paula Leach. The staff and student body are always eager to please.

The students at DYNAMITE MONTESSORI are exceptional! They are eager to learn; consequently they make tremendous strides. They are mannerly and appreciate anything and everything that is taught to them.

– Janice Hulstedt Music teacher, May 2010

As a consultant for Gifted Education, I made an observation which may relate to the cognitive development of Montessori learners. Montessori learners appear to have a strong ability for non-verbal/spatial realtion skills, especially when tested and/or given work in this specific area. During their early years of development, Montessori children are given various work/lessons which enhances the non-verbal/spatial part of the brain.

The class I have here is one of the best I have taught for the past three years.
The children in my Dynamite Montessori Chinese class (ages 3-5) are extremely bright. They are all extremely talented, vibrant, and well-behaved.

I have also been extremely impressed by the Dynamite Montessori School. The atmosphere at the school is great, and the classrooms and office are very well-organized. I also see different animals in different places in the school. Students enjoy these animals very much, and they must gain a great deal of knowledge from raising and observing the animals. I believe the environment in the school is shaped from principal and founder Ms. Paula Fabian-Leach. Paula has all the characteristics of a great leader and educator. She is always very personable and willing to provide help and support.
– Karen Meng, Mencius Chinese Academy

“Our children have been attending Dynamite Montessori for over 4 years and in that time we have seen amazing transformations. Our children have not only grown academically, they have grown emotionally and socially. The entire faculty is focused on the total development of each child so they can grow individually while being part of a family. We have a tremendous amount of respect for what goes on everyday at Dynamite Montessori and we are privileged to have been a part of it and our children will forever be better because of it.”
– Michael and Kelly Ring – April 2010

I wanted to let you know how much I really miss Spanish lessons with Thania. She is such a patient and caring instructor who makes such an outstanding effort at not only teaching the language to her students, but introducing them to the essence of the latin american culture. Her techniques engage the student fully resulting in a highly productive learning environment; the next best thing to immersion. I hope one day soon to return to her sessions. Thank you for making this experience available to the parents at DMS. – D.B.

Paula, You are the greatest school administrator I have ever known. I tell people about you all the time. You hold the Honored Position of being
Andrew’s Favorite teacher at Andrew’s Favorite School. We miss you. J. A. (alumnus)

Abby’s adopted grandfather was from Argentina. He spent much of his life in foreign countries and spoke seven languages. Even though he lived in the states for over 35 years, his English was heavily accented. One day he came into Phoenix (they live in Prescott) for the day and we had lunch. Abby spent some time speaking with him in Spanish. He went home and raved about how well she spoke, with a perfect accent. That was truly a milestone day. About a year later, his daughter Carmen (who lives in Spain) visited. Again, we had a meal together, and she too spoke with Abby in Spanish. Carmen also was impressed with Abby’s speaking and comprehension ability.

I want to thank you and the entire staff at your school you did such a wonderful job with my son and all the kids. You have created something real special there. It is much, much more than a school. It is an experience for the children. An experience they can take with them for their entire life.

He loves you and the school so much.

I think I speak for our entire family when I say thanks for everything, “You’re the best!”

“You would be so proud to know that Manuel and Francisca are doing incredibly well at school. Thanks to all your foundation work with them, I don’t even have to say a word about doing homework – they are self-driven and motivated and their teachers love having them. So a big THANKS to you and Dynamite Montessori.”
– Yolande Grill, Former Elementary Parent

“Dynamite Montessori has given my children the confidence to succeed no matter what school they may attend in later years, because it has provided them with such a great foundation.”  – M. Yost

“Since Alex started at Dynamite Montessori, she is always so excited about going to school in the morning. She is very curious and the Montessori environment is perfect for her because she is not prevented from learning what she is drawn to, even though the subject may be for older children. Her mind is stimulated on a day-to-day basis, which encourages her to ask a lot of questions about everything! I asked Alex what she liked best about Dynamite Montessori. She told me that it gives her great works and lessons that she likes to do – it is the best school she has ever gone to!” – Becky

“I am so happy that our daughter can enjoy her formative years in the Primary Program at Dynamite Montessori. There she has learned the importance of respect and grace, experienced the freedom of exploration and discovery, and made great friends along the way. Dynamite Montessori is a place where the basics are learned as a direct result of a child’s natural curiosity. I believe this unique experience will serve her well into the future.” – Cynthia Weiss

“Since I moved my son last fall from a daycare/preschool environment to Dynamite Montessori, he has grown tremendously in his academic, social and life skills. The entire staff has a true understanding of how children grow and learn, and they know how to take their knowledge and put it into practice.

My son’s teachers are incredibly patient with the children and provide them with individual instruction, attention, affection and guidance that is so critical at this stage of development. They also provide the parents with instruction and guidance. I have learned a great deal from the free workshops that have been provided for us, and through the daily feedback I receive. The staff always takes the time to address my questions and concerns.

Dynamite Montessori’s atmosphere is not only conducive to learning, but also one that allows us to meet and interact with other parents. I am very thankful that I found, and made the move to Dynamite – the school lives up to it’s name!”

“Our whole family feels that Dynamite Montessori is an absolutely terrific school for the following reasons:

The most important element in any school is the teaching staff. We can’t say enough about the high quality found at Dynamite Montessori. All staff members treat the students with respect and always talk in a quiet voice, which the students mirror. The teachers we have observed are consistently engaged, and look directly at the students when talking to them. This may seem odd to mention, but at other preschools, teachers often seem to be preoccupied, more like baby-sitting.

We came away from the parent’s education evening with a clear understanding about the curriculum and were very impressed. When Maya entered school last June, we noticed almost immediately, an increase in her vocabulary, which has continued steadily. It helps that there are four- and five-year olds in her class to converse with. Whenvever we pickup, leave off, or come at mid-day, students are always busy at something constructive, usually in small groups, learning, getting along with each other – it is amazing.

The physical environment, in our view, is perfect. Everything is so open. We love the emphasis on plants and animals and all of the space for running. The classrooms are so well organized that even the messiest of kids (we know one) appreciates putting materials back on the shelves.

Probably the proof that what Dynamite Montessori is trying to accomplish, is working are the children themselves. They are friendly, polite, articulate and lots of fun. The emphasis on parent participation is also a huge plus.” -Wynne and Abby Hemingway

From what I have observed, I think that kids who come out of Dynamite Montessori elementary have a lot of general knowledge and are genuinely curious about things.
I think they show a lot of interest in learning. My oldest children completed the 3 year program (1 – 3 grade), and had a very good experience at Dynamite Montessori. They still miss it after 2 years… My youngest child has now graduated into the elementary where I continue to assist.” 
– A. Ramohalli.

Thank you for another wonderful year! We are so inspired by Hyler’s growth and development this year but most of all this fire she has developed inside of her for a love of learning! It’s contagious and we are loving watching it! Thank you for hosting so many beautiful events that our family could be a part of this year, they are memories that will last us a lifetime! And most importantly thank you to you and your staff for your commitment to our children. The hard work, dedication and love that your staff provides everyday shines so bright through the children! We just love DM and we cannot wait for next year and the many to follow!! Have a wonderful summer! I will be swinging by with some of the materials requested for the summer program, we have some things here at the house that was on the list! And yay for the misters!! Fondly-Lindsay 

“One test of the corrections of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.” Maria Montessori. Dear Paula, We could not agree more with the above statement. And as you know, our children (and so many others at the school) are very happy. They love to go to school and want to stay even when it’s over. We feel Dynamite Montessori is a continuum of our home, and we felt compelled to write and let you know just how important your school is to our family and our children. Mere words cannot express our gratitude for what you have created and continue to nurture at Dynamite Montessori. What the children experience there is so far beyond simple education. They are given love, attention, and an environment in which they can individually thrive. They develop self-confidence and learn to embrace who they are and what life is about. There are so many beautiful aspects of the Montessori educational system, and equally so aspects of your school, our school. It is quite evident that your life is devoted to the lives of others, and we are so very grateful for what you do. One of the most precious gifts in life is having children. The next most precious gift is having someone or something that contributes to the lives of those children. And this is what you do, day after day, year after year. We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you do, and what all of the teachers at Dynamite do. We are so thankful to you and everyone who works at the school. We are also thankful for Gene who loves and supports you and the children. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives, and to have our children at the school. You make such a difference, and for that we are eternally grateful. With love, The Nelsons August 2015


12/11/2017 – Letter from The Sullivan Family

Dear Paula,

I want to share with you that Dynamite Montessori has been an amazing school for Sedona and our family. The community of Dynamite Montessori has been exemplary. We felt apart of your family with all the celebrations of World Peace, Holidays, Birthdays, Flag Day involving our Veterans, Cinco De Mayo and so much more.

We have been blessed to be here for 5 years. I always knew she was at the right place at the right time in her life.

Thank you for the valuable experience that this school has given our daughter, Sedona.

Very Truly yours,

The Sullivan Family