Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.
— Maria Montessori

History and vision of the School

Brixham Montessori Friends School’s humble roots began in a small carriage house in 1997. Known then as Orchard Street Montessori Friends School (for its location in Portsmouth, NH and Quaker underpinnings), Alica Johnson-Grafe, the founder of the school, wanted to create a space that “nurtured the whole child.” Montessori materials and furnishings were handmade or purchased as the school grew, and within three years a move to a larger space was imminent. Younger siblings needed to enroll and Alica wanted to fully realize the beauty of the three year learning cycle to include the kindergarten year! After exhausting locations in Portsmouth, NH Alica found the perfect home in York, ME: the historic Brixham Grange Hall on Route 91. Dedicated parents traveled north along country roads to this new location and helped Alica to establish the school as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) in 2001. Governed by a board of directors made up of parents, alumni, and members of the community ensured that the school had strong fiscal oversight and the school continued to grow and expand grade levels. Relocating in 2006 to its current facility at 18 Brickyard Court in York, the school realized its vision as an accredited Montessori school serving children ages 2-11 years. Always a work in progress, Brixham Montessori Friends School seeks to expand its offerings to include more after school and enrichment opportunities, service learning for students, and further development of its arts and nature education programs. A comprehensive five year strategic plan helps guide the future of the school, and sets the school on a course to continued success and continuous school improvement.


Brixham Montessori Friends School (BMFS) seeks to inspire a passion for lifelong learning in our students that extends beyond the walls of the school and the community, building bridges of peace, respect, and compassion for the natural world and all of its diversity.

An accredited Montessori school that highly values its community, BMFS is dedicated to a holistic approach to education where academic excellence, innovation, creativity and service-minded learning prepares children to be engaged and thoughtful stewards of the world.