Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. was born in 1992. The brainchild of Terri and Jim Zarling, Casa has been nurtured and loved, and has grown into the thriving eastside community school it is today!

A family-owned, family-centered philosophy is essential to parental peace of mind when choosing a school. Casa is the "home away from home" where your family is our family.

The owners, administrators, and staff are committed to attaining the mission we have set forth, and to realizing the vision of Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc.

Casa's intergenerational connections have been forged over the decades. Former students are now teachers at the school, former students have children in our programs, we have two mother-daughter teams, and we have former parents who now have grandchildren at our school! This is proof of our continued success.

About Terri Zarling

Terri came to Tucson with her husband Jim from the Midwest and settled into a life here and just celebrated their 44th Anniversary. They had two children Jessica and TJ – and now grandchildren. Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. was born in 1992. The brainchild of Terri and Jim Zarling, Casa has been nurtured and loved, and has grown into the thriving eastside community school it is today! Terri has built her legacy in Tucson through her extensive charitable work with organizations including Tu Nidito, Reid Park Zoological Society, Boys & Girls Club, Tucson Medical Center, Emerge, Tucson Community Food Bank, and TIHAN. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Governor’s Special Recognition for Excellence Award. In 2005, Terri received the “Woman Rainmaker Award” presented by the Arizona Small Business Association. She also served as the ZOOcson Auction Chair in 2009 and 2010. Event Chair in 2011 through 2015, and has been a supporter of the annual fundraiser since 2000. She has served on the board for TIHAN since 2003. Under her leadership, Treasures for TIHAN raised a record-setting $106,000 in 2006. In addition to all of these Terri was most recently nominated for “Remarkable Mom” by Tu Nudito for her involvement in the community. As an employer Terri works hard to mentor her staff as both employees and as individuals. She helps them by expanding leadership skills, training, education, promotion from within, and emphasizes participation, volunteerism and community involvement. Based on her lead, Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. works to carry on this legacy as well, by supporting organizations such as Toys for Tots, 88-Crime, Tu Nidito, St. Elizabeth’s Health Clinic, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the AZ Oncology Foundation.

Casa Mission

Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. is a community that values an education that evolves and adapts to the changing needs of the child, society, and the planet. We work to prepare children to create order out of chaos and to thrive in the real world. Through our individualized curriculum, we create an environment that fosters a love of learning and allows children to pursue their own education.

Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. will be a premier provider of Montessori education. We will strive to be the best educational institution in which to learn and work. We will be known as a student-first organization. We will anticipate, plan, and act decisively. We will be responsive, contributing citizens of the community. We will attain our vision through establishing partnerships of diverse persons working effectively together.

Casa Vision

Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. exists to provide an education that promotes productive and peaceful humans–because peace is only possible when people feel valued. We create a harmonious and peaceful environment by valuing our teachers, parents, administrators, and children.

We recognize that in order for education to happen, the emotional, social, physical, spiritual, and intellectual needs of children must be met.

The future and well-being of society is held in the hands of our children. How we educate and care for them will determine the kind of society we will become.

To make the world a better place, we need strong and thoughtful people. All children have the potential and opportunity to become independent, purposeful participants in the community when given love, support, respect, and the tools to pursue their innate curiosity.

Montessori Philosophy

Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. educates children in the manner formulated by the famous Italian physician María Montessori (1870-1952). The Montessori program is an educational approach that frees the child's potential for self-development. It guides each child according to individual capacity and need, permitting self-development in a natural rate. The Montessori system of education assures a foundation upon which to build future success.

The Montessori classroom is established as a miniature community where children work and learn together in harmony, while still retaining their individuality. The children strive to become responsible for their own behavior and to help their community by observing rules necessary for peaceful living.

The special relationship that is so common among Montessori children, their teachers, and their school is quite unlike the experience most children have. A key component of the Montessori school is the multi-year programs. A child stays in the same program, with his peers and teachers, for two to three years. Yes, a Montessori schools is different, but not simply because of the materials used in the classroom. It is a place children really want to be because it feels just like home!


Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc. is accredited by the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs (NAC). In Tucson, there are only 18 accredited early childhood programs; nationwide there are only 7 accredited Montessori schools!

The National Accreditation Commission offers early childhood leaders the opportunity to demonstrate and document quality performance using research-based criteria and evidence-based practices. NAC provides a comprehensive, ongoing quality improvement system that recognizes the inherent diversity among programs through the self-study and awared process. Through NAC we have had the opportunity to demonstrate and document our consistent quality performance as early learning leaders.

Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc.

(520) 751-1454

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Casa Niños
School of Montessori, Inc.

(520) 751-1454
7:00 AM - 5:30 PM

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