As a student of Trinity School, I was provided with the opportunity to read and discuss the achievements and works of great authors, events, and discoveries through the guidance of teachers, fellow classmates and materials. This pursuit of knowledge and love of truth continued past my Trinity graduation and is now manifesting itself through the environment that Seton School provides to its students.
Tucked into an office park building in West St. Paul, Elizabeth Ann Seton Montessori School is thriving with young learners ranging in ages 3-6 years old. Foundress and Head of School Elizabeth Trojack (’02) opened the school with the goal to offer an excellent Montessori based education at an affordable cost to families. Since its inaugural year in 2011, with a class of just two students, Seton has grown to 20 students from all over the Twin Cities.
Elizabeth credits her early childhood dream of becoming a Montessori teacher (guide) with the initial inspiration to consider a vocation in the world of education. Initially she expressed a desire to pursue this particular professional vocation when she was four years old. Since attending Trinity School, Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. Thomas Aquinas College in California and a master’s degree from Loyola University (Baltimore) in Education. Soon after graduate school, Seton opened its doors.
According to Elizabeth, Seton learners are exposed to the world in true Montessori fashion. “The Montessori method provides individualized, multisensory learning through hands-on manipulations in order for the child to reach his/her full potential.” The learners at Seton absorb knowledge about the world through an integrated and well-ordered space. At any given time in the day, you will find a Seton student working with maps, constructing sentences, polishing pennies, learning music theory, playing instruments, and taking care of classroom plants. Grace and courtesy are highly valued and modeled by the guides.
Elizabeth’s vision for the school always included the desire to “make religious formation an integral part of the program.” She “hopes to provide children with the resources and guidance to develop and reach their full potential, to lead lives of service to their families, their colleagues, their community, and their faith. Integral to this is to help each child know and fall in love with God through a curriculum rooted in scripture and church teaching.” Elizabeth has accomplished this by incorporating the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and setting aside time during the week and a portion of the learning space (the “Atrium”) so the young learners can explore their Catholic faith.
Looking ahead, Elizabeth anticipates Seton School will continue to grow. Hopes for the future include a new learning space and possibly adding more ages to the program. For now, Elizabeth is busy pursuing her long-held passion of guiding young learners as they learn practical skills, grow in faith and explore the world.