By Laurie March
As Apollo Beach prepares for the upcoming grand opening of its new Waterset community by Newland Communities this fall, it also welcomes the under-construction SouthShore Montessori School at Waterset.
Families in Riverview, Apollo Beach, Ruskin and neighboring communities are already signing up to enroll their children in the newest school which is the third school in the trio, including both The Brandon and The Riverview Montessori schools. Brandon opened in 2001 and Riverview opened in 2005, with the schools now celebrating more than 1,000 local graduates.
The professional crew of Spartan Builders is right on schedule to have the school completed in October. Spartan owner, Kevin Suarez, Platinum Bank’s CEO, Jerry Kyle and the School’s owner, Rohini Rustogi have once again collaborated to build what is sure to be another award-winning school.
“We wanted to answer the call for quality early education in this area,” said Rustogi adding that the proven Montessori approach gives children the tools to help them succeed in our demanding and global environment.
The new SouthShore Montessori School (SMS) will be a reflection of its sister schools, led by a professional team of dedicated educators.
SMS Director, Sarinette Rivera, brings a wealth of experience to the area’s first Montessori school. Rivera’s academic background in both teaching and directing coupled with graduate-level education makes her perfectly suited to the challenges of the position. Classroom Lead Teachers, holding Montessori Teaching Certifications, and professionally educated Teacher Assistants are long-time faculty of the Schools (having taught at Rustogi’s first two Montessori schools).
The American Montessori Society, the official accrediting organization of schools in the United States, has formally accredited SMS.
The SouthShore Montessori School is located at the front of the new Waterset community just off of Big Bend Rd. near I-75 and will be licensed for up to 90 children, ages 2-6 years old. The long-term goal of the school is to provide early education for children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend.
SMS will partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, in order to provide Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) to eligible children. For information on SouthShore Montessori, visit or call 741-3300.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!