A Message from Our Founder

mleahy_biopic How can a small school you have never heard of be a better choice for your child than a large one that you hear about all of the time?

Alsion is a small school, with a full time faculty of five highly qualified teachers serving a junior high community of only 48 students.  As you might expect from a school with student/teacher ratio 10 to 1, students receive more personal attention than at a larger institution.  However, among small schools, Alsion stands out in two important respects.

First, Alsion is a Montessori program for adolescent age students.  We recognize children between the ages of 11 and 15 have developmental issues (“raging hormones,” impulsive behavior, boundless energy, peer group loyalty, etc.) that must be channeled in constructive ways.  Each of our teachers completed formal postgraduate study in understanding adolescents and guiding them toward successful maturity.  At Alsion each teacher in a five-member team engages with every student in the school every day, all during the three years a student is enrolled here. We have an exceptional insight into each child, who he or she is, and what is likely to unlock his or her potential.

Second, we assume parents want their child to have an edge in college admission.  In this respect, Alsion offers a unique advantage.  We are located adjacent to Ohlone Community College Mission San Jose campus. Upon completion of 9th grade, Alsion Early College students are co-enrolled at the college, where they can earn up to 72 units of college credit transferrable to the University of California. Historically, three out of four Alsion Early College graduates have been accepted for admission to UC. This is an outstanding college placement track record for any school regardless of size or reputation.

Our success in college placement is also due to Alsion’s full time college guidance counselor/ Advanced Placement English instructor.  His services are spread among only twenty students rather than hundreds, as typical of the larger, better known schools. At the Ohlone he is the Alsion student’s advocate among the College’s professors and administrators.

To answer my initial question, Alsion is a better choice for your child because he or she will be better supported both as a middle school adolescent and as a college-bound high school student than anywhere else.

Michael Leahy

Founder and Chairman Emeritus

Michael Leahy, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Kenyon College and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. A captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. Leahy served in combat in Vietnam and returned to a career in marketing with IBM, making the transition to Montessori school administration in 1994.  He is the founder of Alsion Montessori.