A new nonprofit

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By Kirsten Laskey

It’s the same school, but there’s something different about Sage Montessori School.

On Jan. 5, the Montessori school, located at Meadow Lane and Rover Boulevard, earned nonprofit status.

Cheri Host, executive director of the school, explained she and Theresa Cull, safety engineer, had wanted to make Sage Montessori a nonprofit shortly after they purchased the school two-and-a-half years ago.

Work to become a nonprofit started in July, Host said. They collaborated with an accountant and a lawyer.

To become a nonprofit, a lot of filings had to be made and a board to oversee the school needed to be formed.

 The board, which was formed, has five members. Cull, Dr. Mike Nichols, a local pediatrician, Dave Clark, a former Sage Montessori parent, Felicia Orth, an environmental lawyer who is interested in nonprofits and Mal Host, Cheri’s father who has experience in early childhood education, serve on the board.

“We’re trying to hit all the different areas,” Host said.

Host, herself works as a computer network engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She has also served on the McCurdy School Board and the Ark Child Development Center board.

She is currently working on a degree in early childhood education.

The first board meeting was held Feb. 18.

Although the school has its nonprofit status, there are still a few more things in the works. Host said there is still paperwork to be filed and they are waiting for confirmation from the Federal government on the school’s 501(c)3 status. Material also needs to be sent to the state attorney general. However, “It’s nice to see this come to fruition,” Host said.

Having the school be a nonprofit will not create drastic changes in its operations. “For the most part, it’s business as usual,” Host said.

There are several advantages to being a nonprofit school. Host said as a nonprofit, grants are available to the school and Sage Montessori is exempt from certain taxes, which keeps more money in the school.

“What we hope to do, too, is set up a scholarship fund for low income families to off set the tuition cost,” Host said.

Thirty-five students are enrolled at the school. Students’ ages range from 6 weeks old to 5 years old.