From Our Head of School


Dear Friends of Hilltop Montessori School,

Hilltop Montessori School was founded in 1996 by Cindi Stehr with the goal of offering a high-quality, authentic Montessori education to Birmingham students of all interests, backgrounds and abilities. Our mission is to address the needs of the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally, by providing a high-quality Montessori education in an environment that fosters a child’s love of learning and respect for self, others, community and the world. This mission is what drives our community and our philosophy of education as we prepare our students for exemplary secondary education experiences and for a lifetime love of learning and academic success. A solid history of accreditation and success speak for itself; Hilltop is accredited by AdvancED, SAIS, SACS/CASI and its early childhood program is accredited by The American Montessori Society. We are proud to say that we are the only school in Alabama with all three accreditations and the only private school in a LEED certified building. Our alumni include 6 National Merit Scholars, numerous honor society students, national winners in science, foreign language, history and achievement and numerous other awards as noted on our alumni page.

Interestingly, many current instructional practices in education complement the foundation of Montessori education – hands-on instruction through concrete materials, multi-age groupings, team teaching and individualizing education – permitting each learner to be empowered to explore academics to his or her fullest potential. These best practices of education are fundamental to the Montessori philosophy, which has been practiced for one hundred years and forms the core of our school community. We also commit ourselves to the integration of current instructional practices and methodology, offering daily foreign language, critical thinking, music, fine arts, age-appropriate integration of technology and environmental education.

We invite you to explore our website, visit our beautiful campus and consider a Montessori education for your child. We look forward to working with you to help your child reach his or her fullest potential.

Michele Wilensky
Head of School


  • Michele's Blog

    • Growth and Change

      Hilltop will be so fortunate next fall to celebrate its 20th birthday and the completion of our Phase Three Expansion. It’s an exciting time at Hilltop and we are proud to be able to offer an even nicer learning environment for our students. We might be biased but we think ... Read more →

      (No Comments)

    • Montessori and Competition

      Although there is a need in the Montessori classroom to delay competition and focus primarily on encouraging the student to compete within themselves to do their very best, as students grow and mature, they are faced with competition. At Hilltop, we work toward the goal of offering more competitive activities ... Read more →

      (No Comments)

    • Celebrate the Season in the Montessori classroom

      The Montessori classrooms are always especially beautiful during the winter months. The philosophy that we address each child individually permits the practice of honoring various customs and traditions at this time of the year. We have a variety of beliefs at Hilltop among our student body and we embrace them ... Read more →

      (No Comments)

    • Construction and Capital Campaign Update

      There always seems to be exciting news on campus and in particular, this month there has been a great deal of good news. Our 14th annual fall fundraiser, “Hilltop on the Green” was a smashing success, raising $117,530.00 before expenses. We also received a written commitment from Alagasco that they ... Read more →

      (No Comments)

    • Stem and Montessori

      For those of us that have been in education a long time, we have witnessed many passing fads regarding education, including whole language, No Child Left Behind, constructivism, common core and now STEM. While all of these trends have very wonderful qualities, the benefits of Montessori’s tried and true, 100 ... Read more →

      (No Comments)