The Tree House Episcopal Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten in Santa Rosa Beach, FL

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Giving your child an extraordinary education start.

The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School at Christ the King Episcopal Church provides preschool, kindergarten and lower elementary programs in the Santa Rosa Beach, Destin, Miramar Beach, Panama City, and Freeport Florida area.

Open since Fall 2010, our church and school staff are dedicated to fostering the healthy spiritual and academic development of each and every child. We look forward to connecting with you and your family.

If you are interested in your child attending The Tree House for the 2017-2018 school year, please click here to learn more about the admissions process.

Maureen Paine
Founding Director of The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School


April 25th, 2017

Dear Tree House School Families and Friends:

After serving as the Founding Director for seven years, during which time she has guided The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School through a period of significant growth and transition, Maureen Paine will be leaving on June 30, 2017. Personally, and on behalf of our entire community, we wish to thank Maureen for her seven years of service to The Tree House, its mission, and its students. The school would not be a success without the many years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication from Maureen. We will continue to give Maureen our full support through the end of her term, and we certainly wish the best for Maureen, Russell, Sarah Kate and Christopher in this new chapter of their lives.

Faced with the importance of continuing the many positive aspects of the School and recognizing the care and consideration that must go into the search for Maureen’s permanent replacement, the trustees have determined that an interim appointment is the best next step.

Beginning immediately, Summer Stough will become the Interim Director of The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School and work with Maureen to assume the duties. Summer has considerable experience, having served nine years as a classroom teacher and twenty years in administration at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Birmingham, AL, where she was the Director for Children’s Ministries and Parish Administrator, respectively.  We are also fortunate that Ms. Stough already has a great understanding of The Tree House’s strengths serving as Assistant Director since July 2016.
Ms. Stough holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Auburn University at Montgomery, and an M.A. in Elementary Education from The University of Alabama in Birmingham.  Ms. Stough’s further studies include certification in Education for Ministry, Theological Education by Extension from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, and 18 hours toward an M.A. in Education Leadership at The University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL. We think you will agree that The Tree House is indeed fortunate to have Summer as its Interim Director.
The Board of Trustees is currently assembling a search committee, ideally composed of current and former trustees, alumni, faculty, parents and church leadership to hire a new Head of School. We hope to have a new Head of School in place by the 2018-2019 school year.

Over the next few months, the school will continue to work to achieve separate incorporation status and continue to collaborate with the vestry and church transition team leadership to secure the future of the school.

The Board of Trustees will work closely with Maureen and Summer to ensure the transition of leadership is seamless and the daily operations of the school remain unaffected.

With this new announcement, the school will still release a survey to the parents in early May. As for the visioning sessions, given the upcoming changes, we are rescheduling those sessions for Fall 2018 so that the administration and the school board can focus on supporting operational transitions.

Thank you to Maureen for her service to our school and church. We will miss you and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Parents, thank you for your continued support of The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to a Board of Trustee membership by emailing or contact a member directly. Please click here to view the current Board of Trustees’ membership.

Please click here to view Maureen’s resignation letter.

Kindest regards,

Board of Trustees, The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School

Dr. Amanda Chavers, Vice President
Brian Christenson
Cindy Gallion
Mimi Gavigan
Colleen Sachs, Secretary
Joe Serrato
Elizabeth Trapp
Michelle Hayes Uhlfelder, President
Dewayne Youngblood, Treasurer



“Our sons, John Henry (5) and Whit (5) were one week into the Montessori program and when they would come home from school, they were playing with their toys in completely different ways! It was thrilling to see such creativity coming as a result of this type of education.”

-Heather & Eddie Cowen, Parents of two former Tree House students

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