Marguerite Montgomery

The Woman Behind the Name...

Meet Ms. Montgomery

By Jeff Hudson, Enterprise staff writer (reprinted with permission)

Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School will be the first new public elementary school to open in Davis in nearly a decade. And its name honors an early Davis family and a woman who spent her career teaching here.

The Montgomery family came to California in the 1800s. Some members came west with early American expeditions led by John C. Fremont and scout Kit Carson. Eventually, some members of the family got involved in gold mining, saved a goodly sum, and purchased lowlands in what is now South Davis from General Vallejo in 1850.

Miss Montgomery retired from the Davis Elementary School in June 1957. Over the years, she became known as "Miss Fifth Grade" because she taught that class for many years.

Davis was a much smaller town in those days--it is often said that everyone knew everyone (and their kids) in the 1940s and 1950s. And Marguerite Montgomery was responsible for educating some three generations of local children.

She is recalled as "a tall, stately woman with immaculately groomed white hair" and "a model teacher with great presence, very much respected by students, parents and colleagues."

Joe Carey, a retired teacher and colleague, remembered how much the principal at the old Davis Elementary School relied on Marguerite Montgomery's daily guidance, support and advice. Rowe Romancer, a former student, recalled that Open House was the day that Miss Montgomery looked forward to the most every year. Her classroom was always one of the most impressive rooms at the school.

Others remember her as an excellent teacher who was very strict, but much beloved. Students who completed her fifth-grade class felt a sense of accomplishment and pride.

A display about Marguerite Montgomery will be part of the new elementary school, so that today's students can learn more about the history of their community.