About Us

“We have loved our children’s experiences at Little River Montessori. Their love of learning and their respect for other people, animals and the earth are direct results of the Montessori philosophy.”

– A Parent

Why Little River Montessori

Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Little River Montessori School has been inspiring students in the Greater Knoxville area to reach their full potential since 1978. Founded by Aleta and Carl Ledendecker, the school offers an authentic Montessori education to students ages 18 months-12 years. Our schoolhouse was built with a home-like feel, filled with lots of natural light and the grounds offer ample space for learning, gardening, and exploring outdoor activities.

Little River Montessori is conveniently located for families across the Greater Knoxville area and Blount County (Walland, Maryville, Alcoa). This convenient location and our school’s reputation for excellence help Little River Montessori draw from a diverse population to create a vibrant school community for your child. Schedule a tour to see for yourself what makes Little River Montessori School a great choice for your child’s education.

Schedule a Tour

Tour the school with the Director via Zoom on Wednesdays at 3:15.

School Features & Amenities

  • 2 Early Childhood Classes & 1 Toddler Class – South Campus
  • 2 Elementary Classes – West Campus
  • Little Free Library
  • Robust Student Library
  • Child Sized Furnishings, Sinks, and Amenities
  • Secure Entrance (number keypad on the door, monitored 24/7 by camera)
  • Playgrounds
  • Outdoor Classrooms/Patio Spaces
  • Covered Areas for Outdoor Group Activities
  • Picnic Tables
  • Apple Mini Orchard
  • Hazelnut & Blueberry Bushes 
  • Greenhouses
  • Student Gardens
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Sensory Garden
  • Beehive
  • Compost Bin
  • Hiking Trail

Passionate Professionals

Our teachers are highly trained & degreed, passionate professionals who lovingly nurture each child’s natural curiosity. Many of our supportive parents also volunteer their time and talents to help enhance the school in a variety of ways. As educators, we feel privileged to come alongside children as they engage in this natural process of learning.

Our core Values


We protect the child’s curiosity and creativity at all costs.


We nurture the whole life of each child: social, intellectual, emotional, and physical.


We celebrate people of all races, abilities, religions, ages, orientations, and gender identities.


We engage in a rigorous, responsible search for truth. 


We help each student meet their needs in cooperative, not competitive, ways.


We encourage everyone to do their personal best at all times.


We regard each person, adult and child alike, with the utmost respect.

Montessori: Learning for Life

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