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The purpose of Misty Mountain Learning Academy is to provide a nurturing and safe Montessori-based environment  in which children can feel comfortable and secure to grow and learn to their fullest potential. We believe that children have the right to develop to their maximum abilities and that teachers have the responsibility to provide opportunities for this development to occur.

We believe that each child is an individual and that each child must be allowed to develop at his/her own pace. We accept and respect differences between children including developmental and physical differences and differences in racial and ethnic heritage. Every child regardless of sex, race, religion or ethnic origin must have the same opportunities and advantages as every other child.

We believe that each child has the right to develop a positive self-image and to feel good about who they are. We hope that in treating each child with love and respect that they in turn will earn to treat others with that same love and respect.

We believe that children learn best through active participation with their environment and that the teacher's job is to provide a variety of opportunities and experiences to promote growth in all areas. our Montessori program provides curricula in which children can learn through the use of their senses, progress through the stages of development at their own individual rate, and provide stimulation for all areas of development. Our environment allows for creative exploration and provides an atmosphere wherein success and failure are experienced in a positive and accepting manner.


About Karen de Alwis and the Misty Mountain Learning Academy

Karen is the owner and director of the Misty Mountain Learning Academy. After learning Political Science at the University of Southwest Louisiana in 1982, she began working as a teacher at the Stepping Stones Montessori Academy in Gretna, Louisiana. While working at Stepping Stones, she concurrently studied at the Montessori World Education Institute, earning a diploma in Primary Montessori Education in 1987. By 1988 when her daughter Ronalie was born, Karen was serving as a director at Stepping Stones, a position that she held until 1992, when she began to teach only part time after the birth of her first son, Jehan.

In 1996, when her family moved to Sri Lanka, Karen helped to start a charitable foundation to provide educational services and a library to both underprivileged children and their parents. She would work with the foundation throughout the school year teaching English and computer use, while travelling to Burien, Washington, from June to August to run the summer program for the Creative Minds pre-school academy there.

In 2004, Karen also began consulting part time under the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, helping to devise and run systems for the children of diplomats from several embassies to be safely transported to and from school with respect to the threats presented by Sri Lanka's ongoing civil war. While working for the embassy, Karen also obtained a diploma in teaching Learning Disabilities to primary school children from the Vocational Training Institute. She supervised the children's transportation program until 2009, when she began working full time as a Liaison Officer for U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis, managing diplomatic events and the ambassador's schedule.

In April 2010, Karen moved to Puyallup and purchased the Misty Mountain Learning Academy. Since moving to Puyallup, Karen has become a member of the Family Childcare Association of Pierce County (FCCAPC), the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (WAEYC), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the North American Montessori Teacher Association (NAMTA) and the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association (PNMA).

Karen is excited by the prospect of continuing Misty Mountain's decades long tradition as one of the leading learning academies for young children in the South Hill~Puyallup area, and is constantly pondering new and contemporary ways of unlocking the creative talents of young children and guiding them to reach the peak of their potential.

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