As the 2016-2017 year draws to a close I feel such gratitude for all the members of our school community. It is a true pleasure to be working with such amazing co-workers. I am delighted by our children/students and love the opportunities to spend time with them. In addition I feel such strong support from our families.
This year I have been away from school more often than in previous years, mostly because of my mother's health challenges. She is now 91 years old and had had a form of Parkinsons for many years as well as some heart problems. It is increasingly difficult for her to walk and that is very hard for her. She insists on continuing to live in her home and we are so fortunate that the New Zealand government offers free services that include having "helpers" come into her home each morning and evening and also to do her housework and gardening but as my sister and I live in the States and my brother in Australia she does not have any of her children nearby to provide direct support. My sister and I have been going home regularly to assist her. She is most fortunate to have several friends and a few relatives who are also supportive. Anyway because of my more frequent absences during those times many of my responsibilities have fallen on Ramira and Britney. It is difficult to adequately express how much I appreciate everything they do. Of course I am also so appreciative of all the other staff members for their support as well.
Once again we have had an amazing group of parents serving on the PSA this year and because of them and many other parents who have served on committees and in many capacities so many exciting events have happened. I would like to give special thanks to Annie Guerrero who has served on the PSA since she arrived at our school with her son Owen 11 years ago and in the leadership position for many years. She has been unwavering in her enthusiasm and support of our school and it would be impossible to calculate how many hours she has devoted. Owen will be graduating from 6th grade this year and therefore he and his parents Annie and Ryan will be moving on. They will surely be missed and I will be forever grateful to them for all their contributions.
Some exciting news to report is that this year the following staff members have graduated from university:
- Diana Haro Reynolds with her Masters Degree in Montessori Education
- Annie (Cassandra) Hayes with her Bachelors Degree in Early Education
- Kim Brown with her Bachelors Degree in Business and Accounting with an emphasis in HR
- Amanda Haws with her Masters Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology
We are also delighted to advise that Jennifer Carrino and Fernanda Roesevear will be completing their Toddler Montessori certifications during the Summer. Lindsay will be completing her certification once she returns from maternity leave. In addition, we currently have Candace Leikam and Annie Hayes working on their Early Childhood Montessori Certification through CGMS and Anita Ermish will begin her studies for her Masters Degree in Montessori Education at Westminster College this summer. Also, Austin Bull, Sage Wegner and Carley Hines will begin their Montessori Toddler training this summer. We are thrilled to have so many of our non-certified staff committing to becoming certified Montessori teachers. This is a special gift to their students.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to those of our staff who will be leaving this year- Evi Bybee, Kenzee Kubilius, Kate Savage, Whitney Franck, Corey Day. Liz Spor, Christine Burningham, Aly Delanty and Amanda Haws. Each of these teachers has played a huge role in the lives of all of our children. Through their observations they have developed a meticulous knowledge of each child, have found their beauty and talents and encouraged them in their growth and also been able to recognize their challenges and been able to guide and support each of them in these areas. They have always been truly committed and have offered so much of themselves to their students and co-workers. What each teacher brings to their students is unique and wonderful and their many co-workers, students and their families will really miss all of them but as the Head of School I fully support them in following their dreams and taking a new direction in their lives. I have hope that sometime in the future some of them may return.
For those families who are leaving us I thank you for the privilege of being able to partner with you in guiding your children in their growth and development. I wish you and your children all the best as you embark upon new adventures. For those who are staying I am delighted and look forward to many more special experiences together.
Have a wonderful, full-filled and safe summer.