Spotlight Post: Dawn Ballard

Posted on by Helena Eddings

Dawn Ballard has been working at West Side Montessori for 23 years.  Dawn is passionate about Montessori, childhood, and learning. Check out her spotlight post to find out what fuels her passion for Montessori education!

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?

I have been at West Side for 23 years. I started at the Toledo Campus working with toddlers. When West Side decided to expand and have a satellite location in Perrysburg, they asked if I would like to start the Little House program there. I did and have been in Perrysburg ever since. I have two children, Bradley (20) and Emily (19) who attended West Side. Having them both with me and experiencing the best start of their educational career was more than any parent could dream of.

What’s your favorite Montessori quote?

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”


What do you love about Montessori?

Practical Life because this area helps reinforce that with practice a child becomes more independent.

What would you tell a prospective family about West Side?

Come to observe the classroom in action and see for yourself the difference in Montessori. I remember the first time I came to observe the Toddler Program in hopes of finding employment.  I was like “wow, what is this school?” I wanted to know more and knew I wanted to be a part of this. After Montessori training, I knew I could never teach another way again.

What advice do you have for new Montessori adults?

Learn all you can to make a young child’s life more purposeful.

What continues to inspire you about Montessori?

Even as a teacher I am continuously learning from my students through daily observations which helps me expand on lessons in the classroom.

How do students inspire/ motivate you?

All these little people have something special to offer the classroom. Sit back and appreciate them all.

-Dawn Ballard.

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West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.