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The Ruby Gala presented by Steven J. Terrell and Jon E. Lawrence Group was a wonderful success!

The Ruby Gala presented by Steven J. Terrell and Jon E. Lawrence Group was a wonderful success!

On Saturday, April 28th, 2018 members of the Hershey Montessori School community gathered for a wonderful celebration – the “Ruby Gala” fundraiser. What a fabulous evening! The Cleveland Botanical Garden provided a beautiful setting to our sold out crowd. It was heartwarming to see so many current and former parents, Montessori colleagues, alumni, and friends join in support of our students and our school’s mission. It was fun to see so many new friends and families as well! You may view photos via the Hershey Montessori School Facebook Page.

The success of the Ruby Gala would not have been realized without the incredible leadership and generosity of our event committee. Though all volunteers devoted numerous hours to many aspects of the event, we’d like to recognize several leaders on key projects: our event co-chairs: Lea Swanson, Dana Davis and Julie Loxterman, and committee members Alecia May, Elizabeth Budnik, Rachel Strong, Erik Neff, Virginija and Jonas Muliolis. Thank you to all who volunteered – your participation on every level helped to make this event such a phenomenal success!

Aside from the warmth and friendship shared by our guests, the evening was truly impactful for Hershey Montessori School. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, exciting silent and live auctions and many generous donations, initial figures show a record breaking $180,000 was raised, or a net of approximately $130,000 after expenses! Thanks to the generosity of all of our supporters and sponsors, we exceeded our fundraising goal of $110,000! All proceeds go directly to benefit our students. As tuition covers only 75% of our school’s operations, these funds are critical in continuing to provide this the high-quality education for our students and continue to provide a successful education model acclaimed by Montessori peers worldwide.

What a special night celebrating Hershey Montessori School’s community, high quality education, as well as its vibrant future. I am very grateful to serve this incredible school and community. The Ruby Gala was certainly an evening to remember. We succeeded together and I thank you for your role and support.

Sincerely,

Anne Marie, Director of Advancement

 

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!

 

Community Reflections Part 2

Community Reflections Part 2

In honor of Montessori Education Week, honoring the sense of community that was fostered in us as Montessori students is important.

Many people go about their lives looking inward, asking questions like ‘How can I help me?’ ‘Is this going to benefit me?’ ‘What can I get out of doing this?’ ‘How can that person help me get ahead?’ While Montessori promotes independence, decision making, and helping the child to think for themselves, there is also an external focus to the work done, the lessons taught, and community that is fostered. In many, if not all, of the lessons that we learned as students, there was a thread that runs through them which is the betterment of the world and mankind – sometimes through the connection with nature and other living things, sometimes through projects that help the community run smoothly, sometimes through knowledge about historical issues and issues facing society today, sometimes it’s through the Practical Life work. Almost every lesson we were taught had a connection to the greater world – what we learned was to either directly better the world and those around us, or to equip and inspire us to make the world around us better.

(All photos are of Hershey Montessori School students or former students)

Dr. Montessori called children ‘a hope and a promise for mankind…’, said that “An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live…” and that, “The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity.”

Dr. Montessori said these things because she believed that her curriculum and the way that she designed an educational system are meant to educate children as a whole, not just academically. By educating the whole child and interweaving peace and community throughout the pedagogy, these statements she made are attainable because the alumni and former students will be living out the principals of peace and community knowingly and unknowingly.

 

Looking at the basic needs of an individual, the desire for community (and thus peace within that community) is one of the essentials. According to Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs,’ once the basics are met (food, clothing, shelter, safety), the next level of need is belonging, followed by esteem, self-actualization, and self-transcendence, which is helping others. Dr. Montessori designed a curriculum and a system that educates, develops, and encourages these innate needs which is a big reason why it works. She knew what mankind needed – belongingness, esteem, self-actualization, and self-transcendence – and developed an environment where those needs are met, fostered, cared for, and grown. The environment that Dr. Montessori envisioned was created by Hershey Montessori School 39 years ago with over 1,000 students having had the chance to experience it. In honor of Montessori Education Week, that is worth celebrating!

As students, we were taught that we have something to contribute, that we were capable of much, and that we could make a difference. We were recognized as unique individuals and given freedom within limits to foster our individuality within the greater community. Being encouraged in this way inspires us to better the world around us and to contribute.

Katie Vadakin, a Hershey Montessori School Alumni Ambassador who attended Hershey from 1998 to 2010 said, “…it has become extremely clear to me all that Montessori has provided me with. From people skills, to academics, to leadership abilities, Hershey has given me a perfect base for success.”

To sum it up, promoting community and peace alongside providing an education for the whole child results in students being prepared to make an impact.

Makella Webster, Hershey Montessori School Alumni Coordinator

Planting the Seeds

Planting the Seeds

“We must clearly understand that when we give the child freedom and independence, we are giving freedom to a worker already braced for action, who cannot live without working and being active.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Please take a look here at the selection of some of the careers that alumni have pursued. It makes sense that the Hershey Montessori School alumni have pursued such varied interests. Hershey Montessori School encouraged us to pursue what we loved and what we were curious about and there were opportunities to be as involved as we wanted. We had the freedom to explore and dive deeper in those interests.

The first time I was involved in the recording of music, it was for a CD of meaningful songs that the students and staff were making my eighth grade year at the Huntsburg Campus. That was a seed that grew into eventually receiving my bachelor’s degree in Audio Production and my master’s degree in Media Management. Thanks to the musical experiences given at an early age both by my parents and by Hershey Montessori School, then with the exposure to recording music as an adolescent, the seeds were planted that grew into my passion for music marketing. I am currently a Marketing Coordinator at Provident Label Group, a division of Sony Music, in Nashville. At Hershey Montessori School, I was encouraged to be myself and embrace my curiosity. Being encouraged to ask questions and dig deeper as a student sparked a life-long custom of diving into subjects that interest me.

In a TED talk about Montessori, the speaker talked about how the Montessori pedagogy holds art and science at the same level of importance as math and language – and that “teachers are there to guide to meet each individual’s strengths and each individual’s needs” – how amazing is it that our teachers were there to meet our strengths and needs in an environment where art, science, math, and language are of equal importance? No wonder the alumni have pursued such varied interests! It was encouraged from day one!

As the Alumni Coordinator, it is an honor to continue to hear stories of how alumni continue to be impacted by their Montessori Education in their work today. Justin Weinbaum who attended Hershey Montessori School from 1981 to 1990 shares,

“It’s been a long time. Over 25 years, by my count, since our class left the Upper Elementary to go out into the world, er, Junior High. Still, even this far out, I thank my Montessori education daily for what it provided me. I am a Research Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. That’s the title – in practice what I do is collaborate with other researchers to advance knowledge and produce technologies that can help people with health problems. I also work every day with students at the University helping them to formulate their research ideas and present their work to others. Every bit of this has been informed by my Montessori experience. I love working with others, just as I did in our Upper Elementary performance of “The Hobbit.” I love the thrill of discovery, just as I recall from hikes at Penitentiary Glen with my classmates. And I love teaching, and seeing my students “get it,” just as we all taught each other about math, history, and language at our classroom tables. Your education at Hershey Montessori is an investment that will pay off over your lifetime.”

Special thanks to Justin for contributing! We would love to hear your story – how Montessori is continuing to impact you in your careers and lives! If you’d like to contribute, please email me at mwebster@hershey-montessoti.org.

Sincerely,

Makella Webster

Hershey Montessori School Alumni Coordinator

 

Community Reflections Part 2

Meet Your Alumni Coordinator

Makella (Slavick) Webster, Class of 2003, has served as Hershey’s Alumni Coordinator since winter 2015. After attending Hershey from age three to age 15, Makella went on to graduate from Lake Catholic High School and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Production and her Master’s Degree in Media Management from Ohio University. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her new husband and also works as a Marketing Coordinator at Provident Label Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Makella looks forward to connecting with Hershey alumni, is eager to see how their time at Hershey continues to impact their lives today (as it does her own), to see re-connections and new connections being made between alumni, and to continue to involve them in the wonderful Hershey Montessori School community. Alumni can connect through the Hershey Montessori School Alumni Website, through the Hershey Montessori School Alumni Facebook Group, or the LinkedIn Alumni Group.
Hershey Montessori education is growing!

Hershey Montessori education is growing!

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We continue to invite you to donate to the Hershey Montessori School Capital Campaign as we move toward our ultimate fundraising goals of enhancing the Montessori education model to our students. We wanted to take a moment to thank all the families and friends as well as the Elliot-Montminy Family for the amazing outpouring of support for this campaign during the Elliot-Montminy Family Challenge Grant time frame.  Thanks to you, we raised $40,000 for the Hershey Montessori Capital Campaign!

The campaign benefits both campuses of the school. The campaign’s goal is to cover the costs of construction for the upper school classroom building on the Huntsburg Campus for the new 10th, 11th and 12th grades, provide program and capital improvements for the Concord Campus as well as initiate a study to most effectively respond to increasing enrollment in a long-term, strategic way. The campaign also will raise additional funds for the endowment to increase sustainability for the whole school and to expand financial aid.

This is a historic campaign as once successful, Hershey Montessori School will be the first school in the world to offer a complete continuum of Montessori education that most closely replicates Dr. Maria Montessori’s vision which includes an option of a residential component for adolescents on a working farm.

Donate online here or read more about Giving.