On June 20, 1989, special education teachers Andrea Faurot and Charles Uzzell opened Cary Montessori in their home with one preschool student and their daughter Molly. From this humble beginning, Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School was born. By December 1990, Cary Montessori had grown to 90 students and 14 teachers. This rapid growth necessitated a move to larger facilities – first moving into 201 High House Road.  Then in 1993 – 1994 moving into two additional spaces in Cary.

As demand for a quality Montessori education grew, Andrea and Charles were challenged to find land or facilities in Cary large enough for the growing school. The first six acres in Morrisville were purchased and construction began on A & B buildings, using “natural lighting” concepts.  Shortly after completion of the private school in 1996, North Carolina passed laws enabling the creation of Charter Schools. Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School became a private preschool and public K-8 charter school in 1997.

Sterling’s founders, Andrea Faurot and Charles Uzzell, were teachers and visionaries committed to the quality of the Montessori education the school provided. The non-profit Laura Holland Uzzell (LHU) foundation was started in 1993 to raise money for teachers and students to get a Montessori education. Named after one of Sterling’s early supporters, the LHU Foundation Board operates, and is the governing body, of Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School (SMACS).


School Structure

The school is comprised of two separate educational entities. The Academy serves children ages 3 – 5 and is a tuition-based program. The Charter School serves children ages 6 – 14 which includes Kindergarten through 8th grades. Each program has different admission procedures.