Our Experience and our Roots
IGS provided Quality Educational Experiences from 1992 until its closing.
"To cast a ray of light and move on, leaving it free to develop...
herein lies the first task of the educator."
-Dr. Maria Montessori
In 1992, the Institute for Guided Studies (IGS) guided the first public school district in South Carolina, USA to implement Montessori education. IGS has continued to prepare teachers and provide services to more than ten public school districts in South Carolina.
The distinct qualities of the various training programs offered by IGS are well known and highly respected throughout the United States and other countries. IGS successfully founded the first and only Montessori Teacher Preparation Program to be recognized by the National Ministry of Education, Croatia.
After 17 years of providing exceptional service to both Public and Private schools and ownership was handed off to Mary Helen Cline. Due to decreasing enrollment numbers, and the complication of operating during the Covid-19 pandemic, IGS stopped accepting new students and enrolled students had time complete their work within the allowed time frame.
Dr. Helen K. Billings
Dr Helen Billings
Dr. Helen K Billings
Dr. Helen K. Billings, was trained by Dr. Giuliana Sorge, who worked closely with Maria Montessori. Dr. B, a Montessori child herself, described herself as an international educator for peace and champion for the child; to her students and protégés when questioning behavior, the environment, actions or dress, would say, “Oh, honey, is that beautiful?” Dr. Billings was the catalyst for many of today’s Montessori teacher educators and organizations. There are connecting threads directly linking IGS, MEPI, and many of our leaders to Dr. B. and her strong beliefs in inclusion and holistic education. IGS is proud to be one of the training organizations that continues shining the light she kindled.
Dr. Sheryl M. Sweet Miller
Dr. Sweet Miller, a native of South Carolina, was educated in the traditional public schools of SC and CA. She was a founding member of Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI), the International Montessori Council (IMC) and the Peace Academy. She was a founding member of the South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA). and was a founding member of the Board of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), which accredits Montessori teacher education programs around the United States and, increasingly, abroad. She has been instrumental in the beginnings of approximately 50 schools and has prepared hundreds of Montessori guides through her educational programs with the Institute for Guided Studies. Her experiences in the Montessori approach have been gained through her involvement in U.S. and international schools, private schools located in homes, churches, childcare facilities, and as a leader in Montessori public school programs in eleven school districts in South Carolina.
Dr. Sweet earned her BS in Applied Behavioral Science from UC Davis, California, her Masters Degree from the University of South Carolina in Early Childhood Education, and her Doctorate in Philosophy with an emphasis in Adult Education from Columbia Pacific University, California. Her Montessori credentials have been earned through the Montessori Institute of America (MIA) and Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI) under Dr. Helen K. Billings.
Sherry founded the Montessori School of Camden (MSC) in 1979 as the early childhood program at Joseph Kershaw Academy. In addition to creating the program in Camden, Sherry started the first Montessori teacher preparation program in the state, and consulted on the creation of numerous other public and private Montessori schools in South Carolina. She trained teachers in Croatia who work in the only state-recognized Montessori program in that country. Sherry cast an imposing figure on the Montessori community in Camden, in South Carolina, in the United States and abroad.