Harold L. Holliday, Sr. Montessori School History
Harold L. Holliday, Sr. Montessori is surrounded by the rolling hills and dense woods of Swope Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. The school was built specifically to Montessori standards, opening its doors in 1992 as the second Montessori magnet school in the Kansas City Public Schools.
Holliday has a unique building design with four wings designated by colors. Each wing features a courtyard filled with interesting things to discover and explore – native flowers, fruit trees and the occasional statue. Students can be seen throughout the year assisting with routine maintenance of the plants and flowers in these beautiful gardens.
A system of trails in the forest behind Holliday connects with Swope Park’s Fox Hollow Trail; classes are frequently seen on afternoon nature walking the trails. Holliday also enjoys a partnership with Lakeside Nature Center.
The school is named after Harold L. Holliday, Sr., the first African-American to receive a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1952. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Holliday was a civil rights activist, economist, army officer, judge and politician who served in the Missouri House of Representatives. In 1941, Holliday earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan. He was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1964 and served the state for many years until retirement.