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Our Story

What began in our founder's downtown Laurel apartment grew to four family owned & operated locations. 

Our founder, Ms. Brown on the playground

Julia Brown


Ms. Brown received her degree from Appalachian State Teachers College in 1956 and taught in the North Carolina public school system for two years. She felt very dissatisfied with the teaching process and felt there must be a better educational system. It was then that Ms. Brown first began to study the Montessori method. She has the distinction of being one of the first Montessorians in the State of Maryland, receiving her Montessori degree from the London St. Nicholas Montessori Training Centre in 1966. Ms. Brown’s teachers at her training center were two women who were trained by Maria Montessori herself and felt strongly about the purity of the Montessori Method.

Ms. Brown opened her first Montessori school in Laurel in 1967. Her Columbia location was built in 1972, the Silver Spring location was built in 1986, and the Olney location was built in 1997. She taught a morning and afternoon class every year at one of these locations for over twenty-five years. Ms. Brown’s role is to maintain the integrity of her curriculum. She reviews the curriculums for all programs every year that are submitted to the State Department of Education. All Directresses are supervised by and report to Ms. Brown. She audits each and every class at all 4 locations every 4-weeks and then has a consultation with each Directress afterwards. Ms. Brown meets regularly with the Directresses as a group for their continued training. She also reviews progress reports. Ms. Brown was an innovator in the before-and-after care area. She wrote the curriculum for a “Montessori” daycare program used at JBS in the early 1970’s, prior to the daycare explosion. Together with Mrs. Leonhart, Ms. Brown holds yearly, intensive training weeks for the JBS Assistants. Ms. Brown is very well-respected in the Montessori community and has traveled the world presenting her thoughts on the Method she truly believes in.

In 2017, Ms. Brown celebrated Julia Brown Schools 50th Anniversary.

About : Our Philosophy

Since 1967, we have been educating our students with the finest Montessori method. Our programs are fully accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education.

So what's our secret? Our founder, Ms. Brown, has the distinction of being one of the first Montessorians in the State of Maryland, and was taught by two Montessorians trained by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Owner on the playground

Theresa Brown Leonhart


Mrs. Leonhart graduated from The University of Maryland in 1982 and received her Montessori degree in 1984. Mrs. Leonhart is uniquely qualified in that she holds Montessori certificates for infant/toddler (infants to 36 months), pre-primary (3 to 6 year olds), the junior (6 to 9 year olds) and the elementary (9 to 12 year olds).She has taught full-time at all JBS locations. As Director, Ms. Leonhart oversees the education and full-day related activities as well as directs all Kindergarten and Elementary programs.

Manager outside on the playground

Ellen Brown Komesarook


Mrs. Komesarook graduated from The University of Maryland in 1986 with a Finance degree and worked for an Australian bank in Melbourne, Australia and San Francisco, California. She returned to the Washington area in 1991 and has been the JBS General Manager since then. Mrs. Komesarook holds a Montessori certificate for the pre-primary (3 to 6 year olds).

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