International Montessori School is an international school community that provides a respectful, peaceful Montessori environment and nurtures the potential of the whole child. We believe children learn best when their senses are engaged and their independence is supported using Montessori pedagogy as our guide.
The yellow brick, which is on the facing of the original main building, was painstakingly removed from the old garage and became the face of this building. The classrooms were built with respect to the integrity of the original home. Wooden floors and beaded-board ceilings were installed.
In 1919, Jackson Longstreet Sims and his wife, Sallie Ambrose Sims, built the house in which our school now resides. The Sims' are the great-great grandparents of David, Daniel, and Mary Katherine Crooke, former students of Old Peachtree Montessori. J.L. Sims was a successful farmer and businessman and the property was part of several large farms that Sims owned and operated. The lumber for the house and floors was harvested from a lumber farm owned by Mr. Sims.
The yellow brick was purchased in Cincinnati, Ohio for five cents per brick. Older local residents and friends of the Sims' refer to the house as the "The Yellow Brick House." The house had hot and cold running water, as well as two indoor bathrooms, which was considered extravagant in 1919! The hand- painted Italian ceramic tiles, located in three rooms in the house were purchased at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The original roof was tin, and the green terra cotta roof was added in the 1920s. Mr. Sims moved the original tin roof to the Elisha Winn house on Dacula Road, which he also owned. The Sims family later sold the Elisha Winn house to the Gwinnett Historic Society.
The sinks in the house are the right height for children because Sallie Sims was only four feet-eleven inches tall. The kitchen is in its original form, using pieces of furniture to store utensils rather than cabinets. The back porch, originally a screened porch, was used for some food storage and a back entrance to the house.
The Yellow Brick House was completed in 1920. The Crooke children’s great-grandfather, and Suzanne Sims-Crooke’s grandfather, Olyn Sims, was ten years old when the Sims occupied the house. He was the youngest of ten children and grew up in the Yellow Brick House. Olyn Sims wrote "1920" on the front steps when they were poured and this inscription can still be seen today. He graduated from Winder High School in 1929, and Suzanne still wears his class ring. Olyn Sims left Barrow County to attend college and seminary. He was a minister for over 40 years.
The Sims family owned the house until the mid 1960s when it was sold to the Elliot family. In 1991, Suzanne’s brother David Sims, and his wife Sabrina purchased the house. They renovated and restored the interior of the house over the next five years. They sold the house to Old Peachtree in the summer of 1996, after their great success Old Peachtree sold to Zaki who then renamed the school to International Montessori School in Auburn.
A few words from the owner herself,
"My name is Zaki Swaray-Rowe and I am originally from Sierra Leone, a small country on the west coast of Africa but have lived in Egypt, England and now The United States. I happened upon Montessori 20 years ago when looking for quality care for my 18-month-old son back in London, England. I decided to quit my job as an Assistant Accountant and start a Montessori school when I switched jobs and couldn’t find another Montessori school South of the River Thames that my son could attend.
I took formal Montessori training in London a year after I opened my first Montessori school in 1996. I have founded and run four other Montessori schools in Georgia since then, including Atlanta Montessori International School with the first Junior High Program in Atlanta. I am passionate about Montessori Education and believe that every child should have the opportunity to a Montessori Education. I am married with six children, all of whom went through Montessori. I love to read and travel the world discovering new places and ways of life.
I look forward to working with you and your families and thank you for trusting IMS – Auburn with the care and education of your child."
International Montessori School – Auburn sits on a beautiful 7.2-acre campus, we have 4 buildings on the property. When entering the school you will see the first building, which is the office. After you check-in the office you will see the 3 classroom buildings located passed the office and are outdoor environment.