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Hershey Shifts into Referral Drive!

Hershey Shifts into Referral Drive!

Our 2022-2023 Referral Drive is on and we are asking families, staff, and students to please join us in growing our Montessori community! We believe that it is in the best interest of children and the future, to empower young learners with the necessary tools and skills that Hershey provides to effectively navigate an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. Help us ready this generation to impact their communities for years to come!

Why a Hershey Montessori education?

The outcomes observed in Montessori students include independence, confidence, adaptability, financial literacy, and life skills such as organization and self-direction, problem-solving, innovating solutions, and effectively communicating. Montessori students are college, career, and life ready, and they possess a desire to continually learn and grow through all circumstances.

What kind of students might be a great fit for Hershey Montessori School? Some characteristics may inlcude:

  • Independent thinkers
  • Scientifically minded
  • Curious collaborators
  • Lovers of peace and nature
  • Desire to belong to an authentic community

What can Hershey offer students and families? 

  • Comprehensive education
  • Sincere focus on the whole child
  • Individualized attention
  • Safe school environment
  • Warm and caring community
  • And so much more!

How can you participate? Just a few simple efforts can make a profound impact!

  1. Share your child’s/grandchild’s education experiences with other parents and students
  2. Invite friends to attend a school open house, visitors’ day, or student shadow
  3. Share Hershey’s social media posts with your friends and followers

What is in it for you?

  • Free Hershey gear (items will vary by month) as gratitude for every referral that attends our school open house, visitors’ day, or shadows a Hershey student
  • A $250 tuition credit for current families if their referral enrolls a student
  • Peace in knowing you are positively impacting the most foundational years in education of both current and potential new students

The Referral Drive will run throughout the 2022-23 school year. If you have any questions, please contact Hershey’s Admissions Director, Lakisha Wingard, by calling 440-357-0918 or by email at admissions@hershey-montessori.org.

We look forward to a vibrant school year at Hershey and we thank you for being important contributors to our incredible community. We are grateful for you partnering with us in this year’s Referral Drive!

 

Ready-Set-Go to Hershey’s 2022 Cosmic Run!

Ready-Set-Go to Hershey’s 2022 Cosmic Run!

Hershey Montessori School will host its 2022 Cosmic Run 5K and and 1-mile fun walk on Saturday, October 22, 2022. The event will be held at Observatory Park located at 10610 Clay St., Montville in the Geauga Park District. 

Race start time is 9:00 am. Registration may be made at gcxcracing.com/hersheycosmic

Participants can pick up their race packets between 4-7 pm on Friday, October 21 at Hershey Montessori School’s Concord Campus or at 8:15 am on the day of the race at Observatory Park.

This annual event has become a community favorite. It serves as a healthy, family-friendly event that provides great fun and connection. For many, it is a much anticipated autumn tradition.

More details can be found on our 5K page or by contacting the school at 440-357-0918.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2022-2023 Campus Visit Opportunities

2022-2023 Campus Visit Opportunities

What Is an Open House and Visitors’ Day?

Open House’s and Visitors’ Days are a set time for prospective parents to visit our school. They are structured to provide a clearer understanding of our Montessori approach to education, Hershey’s academic curriculum, and campus atmosphere. There are numerous benefits of attending an Open House or Visitors’ Day, many of which cannot be achieved by simply browsing our school website. By attending one of these events, you are able to experience Hershey Montessori School, our classrooms, and oftentimes our staff. You will gain valuable insight into the programs and culture of our school. 

If you are ready to learn more and have your questions answered, please register to attend.

 

 

OPEN HOUSE, VISITORS’ DAYS & INFO SESSION DATES

Concord Campus, Birth-6th Grade: 10229 Prouty Road, Concord, Ohio 44077
 

In-Person Information Session

  • September 17th | 1:00 – 3:00 am

Open Houses

2nd Wednesday of the following months:

  • October 12th | 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • November 9th | 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • February 8th  | 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • March 8th  | 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • April 12th | 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • May 10th | 9:00 – 11:00 am
Huntsburg Campus, 7th-12th Grade: 11530 Madison Road, Huntsburg, Ohio 44046

Virtual Information Session

  • Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | 7:00 – 8:00 pm 

Visitors’ Days

  • 2nd Monday of the following months:
    • October 10, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
    • November 14, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
    • December 12, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
    • February 13, 2023 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
    • April 10, 2023 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
    • May 8, 2023 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am

 

What to Expect

You will be given a tour of the school building(s) and see our Montessori classrooms and our outdoor space that provides stress-reducing connections to nature. A presentation will be given, allowing time afterward for a question and answer session.

 

Takeaways

As you attend one of these visiting opportunities, you will be better informed and equipped to make the best decision for your child’s education. It will allow you to visualize your child in this specific school setting and determine whether it may be a good fit. The feeling you get from being on campus will be an important indicator of whether the school is a good choice for your child and family. Ask questions, be open-minded, and trust your parental instincts.

 

What Are the Benefits of In-Person Visits?

Prospective families and students benefit greatly by attending one of our visiting opportunities. There is only so much that can be learned from literature, browsing a website and its videos, or even peer reviews. An in-person visit provides greater understanding through physical experience.

When attending:

  • You have face-to-face dialogue with school personnel and sometimes students.
  • You experience authentic classroom settings.
  • You learn more about the curriculum and will be able to differentiate between Hershey Montessori School and other school options.
  • You gain a clearer understanding of the school’s values and its approach to education.
  • You learn what outcomes can be expected from our Montessori education model.
  • You learn how the school communicates with you about your child’s educational progress.
  • You get a feel for the culture of the school.
  • You learn things that help you in your decision-making process.
  • You are given the opportunity to ask questions as they arise.
  • You meet some really nice people!

We hope you will join us as you search out your child’s education options. We value families who value education. We sincerely look forward to meeting you!

Staff Spotlight: Luisa Mendez

Staff Spotlight: Luisa Mendez

This month’s staff spotlight honors Luisa Mendez. Luisa has been with Hershey Montessori School since 2008. She started at Hershey as the Spanish teacher and Library coordinator. She then went on to earn her AMI diploma in Denver, Colorado. Luisa now works as a Young Child Community guide where she spends her days guiding and supporting young children in their development as well as supporting their parents in their journey of parenting.

 

Hi Luisa, do you have a nickname?

My family calls me by my middle name; Yanina and Lu. 🙂

 

Tell us what you do at Hershey that is unique to you.

This is really hard to answer! I guess that would be that I speak Spanish with the children and teach them songs in Spanish.

 

That is unique! I bet the children love it. What is your favorite part of your work at Hershey?

My favorite part is seeing how much the children change in such a short period of time. To see them discover the world through the material in the environment; to build relationships with their peers and the adults that support them; to be able to support them in developing the joy for work from a very young age. I love having fun with them by dancing and singing, going on our daily morning walks, and connecting with nature.

 

Tell us about your family. 

I am married to Patrick Lauriano. Patrick was born in Brazil. We met when I started working at his family restaurant while going to college. We have two daughters, Gabi and Isa, and they are both at Hershey’s Huntsburg campus. Gabi is 16 and is in her 10th year, and Isa is 12 in her 7th year. We also have a cat named Nalo.

 

Where are you from?

I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States with my mom and three sisters when I was 12 years old. I grew up on the west side of Cleveland and moved to Painesville to go to Lake Erie College. I have been living there ever since.

 

What did you do before coming to Hershey?                                                        

I was a Spanish teacher at another school and worked as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant.

 

What brought you to Hershey?                                

I came to interview for the Spanish position and felt so connected with the Montessori approach. I knew then that I wanted my daughter, Gabi (that was 2 at that time) to grow up with these principles.

 

So you were immediately drawn to Montessori?

Yes, during the interview, I was invited to observe a Children’s House community. I instantly fell in love with the joy I saw in the classrooms. The concentration and the collaboration between the children — all the grace and courtesy that happened during my observation was mind-blowing. I knew then that I wanted this way of life for all my children.

 

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Do you have a favorite Hershey memory?                     

When I was the Spanish teacher, I used to come in quietly into each room. I used to greet every child that joined my lessons by shaking their hands and saying good morning in Spanish, “Buenos Dias.” I remember there was a child that used to always say and even share with all her friends, “Buenos Dias is here, Buenos Dias is here!” when I entered the classroom. She thought Buenos Dias was my name.

 

That is precious! Tell us where your love to go.

The beach is for sure my favorite place in the world. I love to visit the Dominican Republic every time I can and share my culture with my girls. The ocean and the sand have powerful ways of taking all my worries away, and bring me so much peace.

 

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love dancing to all types of music, but especially Latin music. I love cooking and sharing the food I make with others. I also love deep cleaning, especially the kitchen!

 

What is a little known fact about you?

I love snakes, especially the really big ones. I hope to one day be able to go to the Amazon River to see a big anaconda.

 

Oh my! What is your favorite book?

Holes by Louis Sachar.

 

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Be the change you want in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Who has made the biggest impact in your life and what does that impact look like?

My mom has made the biggest impact in my life. When we were growing up, she had to work so hard to provide for me and my sister. She instilled in me the value of working hard for our dreams.

 

How would your friends and family describe you and how would you describe yourself?

My closest friends would probably describe me as someone who is kind and always willing to lend a helping hand to those that need my help, that I probably put others before myself — and that I take too much on but somehow manage to accomplish most of those things and that I don’t know how to say no.

I would describe myself as someone who loves supporting and helping others; as someone with positive hopes for future generations. I love being with my family and sharing special moments with them.

 

Tell us about your happiest moments.

Going on vacation with family, to travel with them and share all the wonderful things this earth has to offer.

 

What is your biggest life lesson you would like to share with others?

That we should always fight for our dreams with hard work and dedication; that we can be the difference and change in the world, but it must start with change in ourselves. There is nothing that kindness can’t make better.

 

So very true, Luisa. Thank you for sharing your time and your personal side of life with us. It is such a pleasure to get to know more about you. We truly appreciate what you bring to your classroom and are grateful for your presence and work in our community!

Staff Spotlight: Doug Cornett

Staff Spotlight: Doug Cornett

This month’s staff spotlight honors Doug Cornett. Doug is Hershey Montessori’s Upper School ELA (English Language Arts) Guide. He is in his first year at Hershey and has integrated superbly into our community. Doug is originally from Hudson, Ohio. After graduating high school, he moved to New York for awhile before going to Portland, Oregon, where he earned his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing. Doug taught for ten years at Northwest Academy, an arts-based independent school in downtown Portland. He and his lovely wife, Anna, and their two children (both students at our Concord campus), returned to Northeast Ohio this past year to be closer to family.

Here’s our interview with Doug:

 

Thank you for your time, Doug. First, can you tell us what brought you to Hershey?

When my wife and I decided to move back to Ohio, I began searching for jobs. I saw Hershey’s job posting for an ELA guide, and as soon as I visited the website and saw pictures of the farm, I was intrigued. After having a conversation with Judy, Wes, and Paula, I knew it was a place I wanted to be.

 

It’s hard to not be drawn here, that is for certain. Share with us more about your role at Hershey and what that looks like.

I teach a blended 9-10 ELA class and a blended 11-12. At each level, students engage with a diverse range of texts from the ancient world to modern day. In any given week, we’ll have seminar discussions, play writing games, workshop essays, and create artistic responses. The students will often have a choice of which text they want to explore, so there’s a lot of variety in the class.

 

That sounds beautiful. What do you do here that you find is unique to you?

I led the Sci-Fi/Horror club this winter. I’m a big fan of the genres so it was fun to read and watch all kinds of texts with the small but dedicated student group. In our final meeting, we watched The Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1979 — one of my favorite flicks!

 

That sounds fun! So what is your favorite part of your work here?

I like the sheer variety of my days. One minute, I’m having a discussion about literature, the next I’m cleaning out the horse stalls, and the next I’m collecting sap from a sugar maple tree. It’s unlike any other place I’ve worked. Also, I’m grateful for the relationships I have with the staff and the students.

 

So true. The relationships are a gift here. What are some of your favorite things to do?

I love writing stories, playing guitar, drumming (learning slowly but surely), seeing live jazz, hiking, and having dance parties with my family.

 

Love that! We all could enjoy even a spontaneous dance party now and then. Can you share a little known fact about you?

Writing is a huge part of my life! My debut book, a middle grade mystery called Finally, Something Mysterious, was published by Penguin Random House in 2020. The next in the series, Finally, Something Dangerous, will publish in November 2022. I’m always working on a new project.

 

Wow, that’s exciting. Congratulations to you! Do you have a favorite place to go?

Some of my favorite places: the Oregon Coast, Powell’s Books, The Rocky River Reservation, and any place that serves breakfast all day. Recently, I have really enjoyed walking through the woods on the Huntsburg campus.

 

We’ll link those places so others can check them out, too. Ok, so as an ELA Guide and an author, we want to know your favorite book!

This is a cruel question to ask an English teacher. Here are a few that come to mind: Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles; Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game; anything by Jorge Luis Borges and George Saunders; Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. There are so much more, and it kills me not to name them all.

 

I’m sure! You’re relatively new at Hershey, but to date, do you have a favorite Hershey moment?

So many great memories here already! One that sticks out is from the first day of school, when my advisory group went for a hike in the woods surrounding the school. It was a great way to get to know the land and the students, and we didn’t even get that lost!

 

Impressive! And, yes, the woods are so beautiful here. Tell us what drew you to Montessori?

First, the Montessori approach within the close-knit community was really appealing to me. The farm location was a 180-degree turn from the urban environment of my last school. Since I’ve been here, what excites me the most are my relationships with the students and the staff. There are such great people at Hershey!

 

Agreed! What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote comes from my favorite short story — “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin. I think it speaks to the power of storytelling and the affirming nature of the creative act: “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell; it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.”

 

That is a great quote, Doug. Do you have a favorite movie?

The Big Lebowski and There Will Be Blood.

 

Do you have a happiest moment?

My happiest moments usually occur when I’m hunched inside a blanket fort with my kids, munching quietly on a snack and getting crumbs on the carpet.

 

Love that! How would your friends and family describe you and how would you describe yourself?

My friends would say I’m easy-going, creative, rarely punctual.

I would describe myself as open-minded. I’m absolutely sure that there are ideas I haven’t encountered and perspectives I haven’t considered yet, and I’m always looking for those.

 

What is one of your biggest life lessons you can share?

Confidence and self-assurance are essential, but maybe even more important is the realization that there is always more to learn.

 

So true … finally, who has made the biggest impact in your life and what does that impact look like?

So many people have inspired and supported me. I’ve been lucky to have had some truly incredible teachers in my life at every stage. Any time I think back on some of them, I’m freshly inspired for my classes at Hershey.

 

Thank you for sharing with us, Doug. It has been a pleasure learning more about you. Congratulations on your book series. We will watch for the next release this fall. We look forward to many more years with you here at Hershey!

Staff Spotlight: Lakisha Wingard

Staff Spotlight: Lakisha Wingard

This month’s staff spotlight honors Lakisha Wingard. Lakisha is our Director of Admissions and Coordinator of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging circle. She joined the Hershey community in 2016 and is celebrating her 6th year with us. She and her spouse have been married for 10 years and are the proud parents of three young learners, Juliana (10), Elena (8), and Walter, III (7). She, and her family, also cherish the love of their 12-year-old dog Mosley. Lakisha grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and Toledo, Ohio, and currently resides in Lyndhurst.

Prior to joining Hershey, Lakisha came from Dover, Delaware, where she served as Regional Director for a national dropout prevention nonprofit. Before her nonprofit work, she worked in college admissions in Minnesota and Alabama for nearly a decade. Lakisha is a strong believer in Montessori education and is grateful that her own children and family can be part of the Hershey community. Her favorite part of her work is her daily interaction with Hershey’s adolescents, children, families, faculty, and staff.

We cannot thank Lakisha enough for her contributions to Hershey. She is a valued friend and graceful guide and mentor to her fellow staff and students. It is an honor to have her as a member of our Hershey family.

Here is a short video as an introduction to Lakisha. Her remaining interview continues below.

 

Thank you for taking time to share with us, Lakisha. Can you tell us what brought you to Hershey?

Divine alignment is the only way I can explain our journey here!  My spouse was an officer in the United States Air Force for 11 years and was separating the summer of 2016. We decided to set roots in our home state of Ohio, and we were seeking employment that aligned with our skills and personal values. I interviewed at Hershey Montessori School in July 2016 and was hired on my birthday. On our house hunting trip to Ohio, my spouse received a call for an interview with the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center. The rest is history. 😊

 

What do you do at Hershey that you find is unique to you?

What makes it unique is the perspective and experience I bring to the organization.

 

What has been your happiest moment to date?

The birth of my 3 children.

 

Do you have a favorite place to go?

The beach!

 

Oh, the beach! How about a favorite movie, do you have one?

I love, love, love the MCU. My favorite marvel movie is Black Panther. The first time I saw it I cried because of the representation on the screen.

 

Making a note to watch that now. And who has made the biggest impact in your life and what does that impact look like?

My mom and dad have made the biggest impact and are the most influential people in my life.

 

That’s beautiful. Do you have a favorite quote?

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

 

What is your favorite Hershey memory?

Most of my favorite memories involve interacting with the students and learning from them. I have always loved the Montessori Live program. Because my office is based at the Concord Campus, I am often kindly invited to have the Elementary students practice their presentations with me in preparation of the program. I still get blown away at how confident and knowledgeable the students come across in these presentations.

 

Tell us your favorite thing to do.

Nap or rest. “Rest is a form of resistance and reparations.” – Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry.

 

Love that! Care to share a little known fact about you?

I’ve run two half marathons: The Montgomery Half Marathon in 2010 and the Coastal Delaware Running Festival’s Half Marathon in 2016. I recently started back up running with a goal to complete a third half marathon in Spring 2022.

 

How would your friends and family describe you in comparison to how you would describe yourself?

My friends and family would describe me as curious and thoughtful. I would describe myself as a Jack and Jill of all trades. I am a naturally curious person, and I am always learning new skills, reading books, and enrolling in courses and webinars to enrich my personal and professional life. For example, I recently completed an AMI 6-12 Orientation course and I am currently enrolled in the AMI 3-6 Orientation course.

 

We love that you are a forever learner, Lakisha. Finally, can you tell us what drew you to Montessori?

Many schools and programs offer a high-quality education, however, Montessori education is not only about the academics, but also about developing the whole child to become a capable, productive, and fulfilled person who makes a positive contribution to the world around them. Since working at Hershey, I began studying about Maria Montessori, her philosophy, and her educational method. The idea of educating the whole child to prepare them for peaceful global citizenship strikes a deep chord within me.

 

Thank you for sharing so much about yourself, Lakisha. It has been a pleasure learning more about you. We appreciate all you do and your excellent book recommendations!