Al and Marla Pettit, husband and wife founders of NPCH, live in South Butler and have four children: Sara (NPCH '92), Erin (NPCH '94), Tena (NPCH '01) and Nathaniel (NPCH '04).   Their dream of creating a school in keeping with the ideals of Dr. Montessori was realized in 1991 when they founded NPCH.   In the beginning years, Al and Marla would make the complicated, beautifully constructed Montessori materials by hand, paying close attention to the specifications set forth by Dr. Montessori.  Over the years, companies have emerged with quality Montessori materials to buy.  The school and the Pettit family grew, allowing Marla and Al to realize their dream: to spend more time together as a family, and to educate their own children in the Montessori environment.  All four children benefited from this experience.

Marla Pettit.
Marla is the Directress and co-owner of NPCH.  She earned her BS from Penn State in Individual and Family Studies and received her American Montessori Society (AMS) certificate from Carlow College Masters Program.  Marla is certified by the State Board of Private Academic Schools as teacher and School Director.  Since 1980, she has taught at the State College Children’s House, in State College, PA; Western Pennsylvania Montessori School, in Allison Park, PA; Montessori Centre Academy, in Glenshaw, PA; and at NPCH since 1991.

Al Pettit. Al is the co-owner and co-operator of NPCH.  He has a BA from Penn State in Labor Studies and Labor History and received his Teacher Certification from the North American Montessori Center.  Prior to joining the teaching staff at NPCH full-time in 1992, Al worked for the Postal Service as Human Resources Administrator for ten years. In the classroom, the kids all fondly call him “Mister.”  He inspires curiosity throughout the Science/Geography/History room, along with the Math/Sensorial room.  Al manages NPCH finances and he oversees most administrative functions as well as building, equipment and yard maintenance projects.

“Mrs. Pettit is nice. I choose work by myself. But she helps me when I need it. I like the stories she reads at Group.”


NPCH Student

"We loved the school because Marla and Al share our values of hard work and respect

for others. When these values are ingrained
in children at a young age, you're off to a great start!”

~Bill and Becky,
Parents of three NPCH Graduates

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget Mr. and Mrs. Pettit.”

NPCH Graduate ‘03