Head of School

Emily Barnhart, Head of School

Emily Barnhart has served as the Head of School at Steamboat Montessori since the Spring of 2022. A founding parent of the school and former Board member, Emily is passionate about Montessori education:

“The Montessori philosophy has solidified and given structure to the values and ideals that I hold passionately. The time to reimagine education is now. Educational institutions have the potential to prepare students to be agents of change in an ever-changing world beyond the confines of a classroom. Education should not teach children what to think but rather, how to think. Education should empower students to investigate and approach, with depth and complexity, our diverse world. All students deserve an education that honors their specific interests and gifts while guiding them to explore opportunities and knowledge yet unbeknownst to them. Simultaneously, education must encourage and develop self-directed learning and thinking that requires grit and persistence. Skills attainment is necessary but is not the end goal. Education should bring joy to a student: the joy of knowledge, the joy of challenge and achievement, the joy of collaboration, and the joy of self-discovery and understanding.”

Emily has had a distinguished educational career, having been a classroom educator, instructional coach, and most recently, Assistant Principal at Soda Creek Elementary School. Emily holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech communication from Colorado State University, as well as her Colorado Principal’s License. A native of Steamboat Springs, Emily is happy to call the Yampa Valley home, along with her husband and three daughters.