Yucca Blossom Montessori Community was founded in 2015 by Natalie London and Deidra Mitchell in order to expand high-quality early childhood education in Midland, TX. Natalie and Deidra met through a mutual friend, but it was their love of Montessori education that brought them together to form Yucca Blossom Montessori Community.
At the time they first met, both Natalie and Deidra were providing Montessori education through licensed, in-home child care centers. After many excited conversations, they joined together-merging their individual dreams under the Yucca Blossom name.
Yucca Blossom Montessori Community is currently housed inside a former church , however, plans for a future location are in progress. Imagine the sound of children- singing, working, playing- dancing across the breeze on a sunny afternoon. Are they tending the garden? Perhaps reading to each other on the porch? Writing equations on the sidewalk? A thriving community garden, complete with native plants and flowers to attract birds, bees, and wildlife. The backyard boasting a children’s garden, vermiculture compost, chickens, and a playground. These images form the backbone of our vision- a place where the child can be invited to learn and grow surrounded by the rythmns of nature.
Natalie was born and raised in Odessa, TX. After spending her adolescence and early adulthood elsewhere in the state, she returned to the Permian Basin with her husband in 2012. Natalie has been involved with Montessori education for 12 years.Natalie knew that there was something very special about this way of educating after her first internship at Belden St. Montessori School in Sherman, TX. After graduating from Austin College with a B.A. in History, she moved to Austin to continue her immersion in Montessori education. She spent 8 years at Austin Montessori School, working in the roles of guide, assistant, and campus coordinator. Her experience there allowed her to see the impact of the Montessori philosophy on children and their families from infancy through adolescence.
Natalie completed her AMI Primary Training in 2007 under the direction of Joen Bettmann in Atlanta, GA. She went on to complete her Master of Education at Loyola University in 2009. Natalie serves both as the Director of Yucca Blossom Montessori Community and as the Children’s House guide. She loves the opportunity to share the greater vision of Montessori with the parent community, but her greatest joy is in watching the unfolding of a child’s wonder.
Natalie and her family love living in Midland. You might spy them at the duck pond, scouting out the Midland Downtown Farmer’s Market, or enjoying a new artist’s work at the Museum of the Southwest.
Deidra was raised in big sky country as well. Since graduation from Carlsbad High School, Deidra holds her Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, and has spent 17 years working in this field.She attended early childhood education classes at New Mexico State University then moved to Buffalo, NY. There she helped to train staff, and develop and implement curriculum at an early childcare center. She went on to help them become National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited.
It was love at first sight when Deidra first encountered Montessori philosophy. Though she could not take a formal training right away, she began incorporating as much of the Montessori philosophy into her life as possible. Deidra began her AMI Assistants to Infancy training in June 2016, and will complete her training in August of 2017. She is thrilled to be immersed in the academic side of Montessori education as well as the practical. She has been skillfully guiding our Youngest Children’s Community since its inception, and will be also directing the Parent/ Infant community this year.
She and her husband became foster parents in Buffalo and adopted their son, who is now 10. After his adoption was final they returned to Texas to be closer to family. Soon after returning to Texas they had twin girls who are now five and 18 months ago they had another little girl, making them a family of six.You can find them swimming in the pool, riding bikes at the park, or welcoming the whole neighborhood over for backyard fun and delicious food.