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Are Hershey Graduates Prepared for College?

Are Hershey Graduates Prepared for College?

An Interview with Hershey Montessori School Alumni

Hershey Montessori School delights in welcoming back its graduates and former students. We love to hear how they are tackling life and college after high school. We seek to know how their Montessori education helped shape and prepare them for the paths they chose. We love learning more about where they are today, and how their skills are helping them on life’s journey.

At the last alumni gathering, Hershey graduates shared with us what course of study they are pursuing and what university they are attending. We then asked them to speak to how they felt prepared for where they are on their journey. Below is what they shared.

 

Ilana Rosenheck ’18, Psychology, University of Cincinnati: “I think the farm, or Hershey or Montessori in general, has really prepared us for public speaking. We all did countless presentations and that really developed a confidence in all of us – or most of us. I feel like if we had an issue or a question, we all felt comfortable with going to our professors and talking to them just because we have that close relationship with the staff here. It’s something I feel like traditional schooling won’t teach their students. Hershey taught us about being a functioning adult. I feel like Hershey really prepared us for life.”

 

Cameron Zona ’18, Theater and Entrepreneurship, Lake Erie College: “Yeah, I have to agree. I was here on campus on Monday and I sat in on a class of Middle School students and they were giving presentations, and I was like ‘these presentations are better prepared and they have better public speaking skills than the students that are in some of my college classes.’ I was very impressed. I definitely think that it is something that when students graduate, they have a firm grasp on.”

 

Makenna Venaleck ’18, Chemical Engineering, Ohio University: “I don’t do a lot of presentations or public speaking in my area of study, but I will say that I felt very prepared to talk with my professors and have a little bit of an up because even though a lot of people in STEM are very good at math and science, they can’t really communicate what they are studying or how they are feeling or talk to their professors or to a potential employer. I went to the career fair and I felt very prepared because I could set aside ‘What are my skills? What are things that I am good at?’ and I could have a conversation with someone that maybe would employ me or was a professor. I felt very prepared for interpersonal communication.”

 

Erin Finan ’19, Journalism, Ohio University: “I think Hershey helped me (or Montessori) in a lot of ways, but especially when I went to college and I was trying to find my friend group. The people I connected with like at Hershey really helped me to know the kind of people I wanted to be around and know how to find my tribe. Taking that to college made it a lot easier to find people and know that these were the people that I wanted to spend time with and be around, and that I wanted to form my friend group with. I mean, college has more people so you have to adjust because of that, but you also have to know that there are people like you and for you at college that you’ll be able to connect with in the same way you connect with people here. You might have to look a little bit harder because it’s such a bigger environment, but like I said, Hershey helped me and a lot of us know who we wanted as our friends and the things we value. When we find those [values] in other people, it’s easier to make those connections.”

 

Elise Spintzyk ’18, Psychology, Ohio State University: “I think Hershey prepared us well because we had a lot of leadership opportunities. I think students who are looking to move forward into a graduate program or even to apply for a job are able to step into a leadership role. While you are in college that is something that is really important and important for your resumé. Already having had a leadership role with experience, I can bring that in as a freshman student when applying for a position on an executive board of a club, something in your department, or looking for a research position if that’s something you’re interested in. Those are things that you wouldn’t already be taking with you from most high schools. I think a lot of students haven’t had the opportunity to do so. When you step into those roles when you’re in college, you are very well prepared for them and you’re able to thrive in that position and keep moving forward.”

 

Thank you, alumni, for sharing how your Hershey Montessori School experience and skills have helped aid you in your college education and beyond. We are please that you were able to take leadership, communication, interpersonal skills, public speaking, real-life capabilities, and tools to navigate and find your way in the next steps of your education. We wish you all the best. We truly look forward to seeing you all again very soon!

Hershey Alumni Return, Provide Support to Students

Hershey Alumni Return, Provide Support to Students

Members of the graduating classes of 2018 and 2019 recently returned home to Hershey Montessori School for its annual Alumni Day. 

The graduates hosted a panel discussion with current students where they reflected on their time at Hershey and answered questions about life after high school. The graduates went on to share valuable insights regarding their transition to college, making new friends, and various tips to help students as they continue their own journey in the years to come.

The alumni were also gracious in their time as they participated in a Q&A session with Hershey parents via video conference.

We are grateful to all who were able to join us for this informative, heart-warming, welcome home event.

Many thanks to Mathematics, Business and Microeconomy Guide, Jennifer Snead, for organizing this event, and to all of the alumni for taking the time to share their wisdom with the Hershey community.


 

Alumni Spotlight: Cameron Zona

Alumni Spotlight: Cameron Zona

Hershey Montessori School is proud to put a spotlight on one of our alumni, Cameron Zona.

Cameron was able to travel with the Mercury Theatre Company to perform in the National Performing Arts Festival on February 21-24. Cameron and his group were judged on national standards by four world class judges. They performed an original 20-minute cabaret, Disney on Broadway, composed of 14 songs from different Broadway musicals like Mary Poppins, Frozen, Aida, and Aladdin. 

The group placed first in their division and second overall and were able to perform half of their show on stage at Disney Springs. Cameron received an award for his singing, dancing, and acrobatic skills during “Seize the Day” from Newsies. 

While at the Festival, Cameron was also able to participate in master-class workshops run by employees and actors at Disney, including former and current Broadway and National Tour actors and actresses.

Photo courtesy Cameron Zona.

Upcoming Performances:

  • The Bridges of Madison County
    March 8-16

    Western Reserve Playhouse
    Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 2:00
    Synopsis: This musical tells the story a love story between a woman and a photographer who has come to town to take pictures of the famed bridges of Madison County, Iowa. Cameron plays the son, Michael.
  • 1776
    April 11-May 5

    Ohio Shakespeare Festival
    Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 2:00
    Synopsis: This classic musical recounts the writing and ratification of the Declaration of Independence. Cameron plays The Courier, who closes Act One with a song that reminds the audience just how even when there are arguments happening within congress, the real problem lies on the battlefield.
    This is a good one to bring middle/upper school students to, great music and very historically accurate.
  • The 10-10 Festival of New Plays
    June 21-July 13

    Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (River Street Playhouse)
    Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, select Sundays at 2:00
    Synopsis: Ten original one act plays, each ten minutes long! Cameron will be directing five of them selected from nearly 800 submissions.
  • Himalayan Dreams (a Tale of Nepal)
    September 14-October 6

    Talespinner Children’s Theatre
    Fridays at 7:00, Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 (Possible 10:00AM school matinees on Fridays)
    Synopsis: The story of a Sherpa boy’s humorous coming of age adventure that teaches him about himself, and about his father, a porter.
    This is a great show to bring lower/upper elementary students to, entertaining and original play that teaches about another culture and preaches equality between all children.
Hershey Montessori School Celebrates Inaugural Graduating Class

Hershey Montessori School Celebrates Inaugural Graduating Class

Hershey Montessori School celebrated its 1st Commencement on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018. We are proud and delighted to have celebrated the Inaugural Graduating Class of Hershey Montessori School!  Recently students were accepted to the following colleges: Allegheny College, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College, Emerson College, Guilford College, Hiram College, Kent State University, Lake Erie College, Mercyhurst University, Miami University, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, and University of Maryland.

Our school profile provides more information about matriculation and acceptances, as well as the academic talent of our students.

We wish our exceptional students the very best and look forward to hearing of their experiences and achievements as they embark on the next stage of their academic or working lives.

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

 

 

Marianna Pasaret – Alumni Spotlight

Marianna Pasaret – Alumni Spotlight

Marianna Pasaret is a 2012 graduate of the Huntsburg campus of Hershey Montessori School.  She is a current resident of Austin Texas and was recently interviewed by ESPEROS in their SoHo stories blog which focused on Lifting Women Up.

Read it here!

Marianna is a multimedia artist, concentrating on a combination of digital and sketch work. She exhibited in London late last year and was Boss Babes’ resident artist last winter. Read her inspiring interview where she discusses what and who empowers her and how she lifts other women up. We at Hershey are very happy for her success both as an artist and an inspiration!

 

This Material’s Purpose: the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair

This Material’s Purpose: the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair

As the Alumni Coordinator, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to speak with alumni about their favorite memories and the lessons that have stayed with them through their lives. It is a joy to re-live some of those experiences while looking through photos of former students working in the classrooms. Let’s take a look at some of the work and materials we used and how those translated into lessons we learned later in our academic careers and lives! A variety of resources are being used to collect information to share with you (infomontessori.com, American Montessori Internationale, Montessori 101 to list a few). These posts will be called ‘This Material’s Purpose.’ Today, let’s look at two of the most memorable materials for a Montessorian, and those are the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair.

There were many reasons why we learned how to use and put together the Pink Tower when we were in Children’s House. It is sensorial work, which helped us classify what was around us, ultimately helping us with organization and adaptation to our environment. It showed us the difference between something large (the bottom blocks), and small (the top blocks), and also to learn the language of comparison. It helped us with motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and it even planted the seeds for mathematics lessons that we would learn later. The smallest block is 1cm cubed and they get larger by 1cm cubed up to the largest block which is 10cm cubed. This helped us spatially see the mathematical relationship of the blocks.

(Photo: Hershey Montessori School student putting together the Pink Tower)

 

The Brown Stair was also taught to us for many of the same reasons as the Pink Tower. Each of the ‘stairs’ or the rectangular blocks called ‘prisms’ are 20cm long, but the heights grow incrementally larger with the smallest stair’s height being 1cm by 1cm, and increasing in size to 10cm by 10cm. These materials helped us to understand thickness and recognize the differences in weight between the sizes. Like the Pink Tower, the Brown Stair helped us see relationship and a visual understanding of objects getting incrementally thinner and thicker. Another purpose for these two martials is called “materialized abstractions” – the sensorial materials help bring concepts that were abstract into the concrete.

Something very important to Dr. Montessori was that all of the materials handled by children were aesthetically pleasing. It was important because the materials needed to be desirable by us so we would want to touch them and learn more about them. As children, we needed to be able to feel and hold things to get a better understanding of them so all of the sensorial materials were of quality materials, pleasing to the eye and touch, and easy to manipulate. Dr. Montessori said, “He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

(Photo: Dr. Montessori working with a young child)

 

Is there a Montessori material you’d like to learn more about? Please comment below or email me at mwebster@hershey-montessori.org.

Thank you for reading!

Makella Webster, Hershey Montessori School Alumni Coordinator