Jane Mack 1926 - 2012
Jane was an active pioneer in the early days of the American Montessori Society. She led a group of parents who studied Montessori’s writings and created our school in a Lexington church basement. She is remembered at LMS by the Jane Mack Building, named in her honor in 1990, and by the Jane Mack Teacher Development Fund which supports teachers’ continuing education. Photographs of Jane with children are displayed in the elementary teachers’ room.
Jane studied nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked and eventually began teaching at the University Hospital. She met and married Chuck Mack, a physicist, and they moved to Massachusetts when he began working at MIT’s Lincoln Lab. Four children and a stint in Paris for NATO followed before the Mack family returned to Boston.
Jane continued nursing until she began studies in early childhood education. In 1963 she founded the Lexington Montessori School with a few interested parents and served as its headmistress through 1991. Under her leadership LMS’ enrollment grew to 200 students from 18 months through sixth grade. On the 25th anniversary of the school she was recognized by then Governor Michael Dukakis for her “outstanding contribution to the field of child development.” In 2000, Jane retired from LMS. In 2006, she moved to Iowa to be with her daughter. She continued to use her nursing and teaching skills, volunteering in schools, camps and at a small nursing home. Jane was a traveler, an athlete (she ran the Boston Marathon at the age of 58, and she played competitive tennis), mother of four, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of eight.
As LMS approaches our 50th birthday, we had hoped to reconnect with Jane to remember our first 25 years. Instead, we are sending to her family photographs that honor Jane and celebrate her legacy at LMS – the 240-strong school that Jane Mack built. We are deeply appreciative.
Note: Some of this biographical information is drawn from the New Hampton (Iowa) Tribune.