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Hershey News

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Alumna Update: Melissa Kwitowski, PhD

Alumna Update: Melissa Kwitowski, PhD

Melissa Kwitowski, PhD, Hershey Alumna

Hershey Montessori School would like to recognize Hershey alumna Melissa Kwitowski. Melissa began her first full-fledged position as a PhD clinical psychologist at the University of Colorado Department of Psychiatry in December 2020.

Melissa is now a clinical health psychologist in the Women’s Behavioral Health and Wellness service line in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received her graduate degree in counseling psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University with an emphasis in health psychology. She completed her internship at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and postdoctoral fellowship at Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Melissa has expertise in women’s mental health and the management of chronic medical conditions. She provides outpatient psychotherapy services within the Department of Psychiatry with an emphasis on treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Melissa also serves as the psychologist on the Perinatal Behavioral Health Pathways program which provides mental health services for patients hospitalized on the labor and delivery and mother/baby unit at UC Health. Another of her roles in the Department of Psychiatry is conducting psychosocial candidacy evaluations for patients seeking auto-transplantation procedures for conditions such as Nutcracker Syndrome and Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome. In this position, she assists in connecting medically complex individuals with appropriate care and coping resources before, during, and after surgical intervention.

Melissa says she is very proud of, and thankful for, her time at Hershey and how well it prepared her not only for higher education, but for working collaboratively and thinking critically.

Congratulations, Dr. Melissa Kwitowski, on all your hard-earned success. Your life-changing work gives us more hope for humanity, knowing young people like you are in leadership roles like this. We are all inspired by your achievements!

Hershey Holds Senior Signing Ceremony

Hershey Holds Senior Signing Ceremony

Hershey Upper School staff and students recently held a Senior Signing Ceremony as a formal declaration and celebration of each senior’s post-graduation plans.
 
 
This year, one hundred percent of Hershey graduates are enrolling at colleges and universities. Seniors were invited to wear apparel representing their chosen college or university. They were given a sign with the name and logo of the institution where they have enrolled.
 
 
Two seniors were also recognized for their athletic commitments; Lucy McNees for tennis and Michael Swank for lacrosse.
 
 
We wish our soon-to-be graduates much happiness as they begin to transition into the next chapter of their lives. We are proud of who they are, what they have accomplished, and we are certain they will make an impact wherever they go.
Hershey Embarks on Social Discovery Journey

Hershey Embarks on Social Discovery Journey

The crises we are witnessing is not one of those that make the passage from one era to another, it can only be compared with the opening of a new Biological or Geological period, when new beings come upon the scene, more evolved and more perfect, while upon the earth are realized conditions of life, which had never existed before.” Dr. Maria Montessori, Peace and Education (1932)

The events that unfolded over the last year brought a heightened awareness of the social injustice and inequity that has plagued our nation’s history and profoundly affected fellow citizens.

Dr. Montessori, and many other scientists, demonstrated that an education that removes the obstacles for healthy development, and that allows the student’s innate energies for good to develop in accordance with their natural capacity, will reveal a “new child” who is intellectually independent and emotionally drawn to contribute to moral and social conditions of their environments.

That is why this year’s whole school professional development day centered on social-emotional development that included emotional intelligence and communication skills, as well as social leadership capacities and abilities. We learned about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) from specialists with Cleveland consulting firm Sage and Maven.

A number of staff as well as some Upper School students also took the opportunity to dive deeper into learning about Restorative Justice with specialist Tarek Maassarani. Maassarani’s work on the science of peace, on both the national and international level, includes organizations such as Restorative DC and Communities in Transition.

Several topics were covered in the two half-day sessions, including Privilege, LGBTQ language, how we create our identity, the difference between explicit and implicit bias, the difference between “not racist” versus “anti-racist,” the different types of racism, and restorative practices.

Hershey staff deepened their understanding of how to create practices and environments that strengthen community inclusion and connection so that our students will learn even more about community responsibility and leadership.

“It is this conviction that imbues us with hope that education may be the most effective instrument to attain the union of all humanity. To this end, education must channel the powerful creative energies of the child toward an ultimate spiritual independence, utilizing to its utmost (their) miraculous capacity for adaptation, according to an ideal of altruism and love.” – Dr. Maria Montessori, Citizen of the Word, San Remo Lectures, Montessori-Pierson Publishing Co. (1949)

A DEIB circle (a.k.a. “committee”) has also been formed to help further progress in this area. The circle is made up of staff and Upper school students who select consultants and trainers, meet and attend workshops, webinars, and trainings for the purpose of sharing and advancing DEIB work and initiatives at Hershey Montessori School.

“There was a group of seven students who participated in the 3-hour workshop, which focused on being actively affirming and inclusive of all identities,” said Lucy McNees, a senior at Hershey.

She and two other Upper School students, sophomore Kylie Golden-Appleton and senior Cecilia Carney, lead an antiracism initiative and meet with the DEIB circle biweekly to discuss the school’s efforts and goals.

“In this way, we can move forward with the whole community on the same page,” says McNees.

As a staff and whole school, Hershey will continue to ensure it has healthy, prepared environments that allow for personal reflection and deep dialogue about our personal contribution to growth in DEIB.

Self-awareness and growing in social emotional intelligence as a community can be wonderfully restorative and inclusive. It is important that Hershey maintains an environment where all feel safe, represented, heard and valued.

Watch for a Hershey DEIB resource webpage to come in the near future.

 

Adolescent Boarding Set to Reopen Fall 2021

Adolescent Boarding Set to Reopen Fall 2021

We are thrilled to be able to bring our boarding students back home to Hershey this fall!

Hershey staff and administration are finalizing the residential design, facilities use, and remaining COVID-19 contingency plans for the fall.

Much progress is being made to mitigate and reduce infection numbers here in our region and across the United States.

We will be sharing more information as details are finalized.

Returning and/or new families who are interested in registering for this fall may contact the school at 440-636-6290 or email admissions@hershey-montessori.org.

We enthusiastically welcome you back home to Hershey. Our Huntsburg campus eagerly awaits your return!

Community Art Partnership Enriches Students

Community Art Partnership Enriches Students

Tania Bertolone, Middle School Director

Earlier this school year, Tania Bertolone, Hershey’s Middle School Director at our Huntsburg campus sought outside specialists for the purpose of broadening exposure to the arts for our Middle School students. In her search, Bertolone connected with Jeannie Fleming-Gifford, Executive Director at Fairmount Center for the Arts.

At Tania’s direction, Hershey hired two of Fairmount’s artists to serve as specialists for Middle School students to enhance Hershey’s Creative Expression curriculum.

Liliana Garlisi, who serves as Fairmount’s Piano faculty, meets weekly with Hershey students, inspiring, connecting and providing opportunities for them to learn, grow and express themselves through music.

Brigitte Fiorille, who serves as Fairmount’s Art Director and Ceramics faculty, also meets with students to work with them in the ceramics studio at Hershey’s Huntsburg campus. Both women have brought the students great inspiration and expertise in their crafts.

“Creative Expression is a core component of our Middle School curriculum and we are intentional about supporting and connecting with our community,” Bertolone said. What I found with Fairmount Center for the Arts was a perfect alignment for us and our students. They bring professionalism and expertise to every class and every project. Our students are engaged and are learning so much.”

Clay pots hand-crafted by Hershey Middle School students.

Fairmount generally conducts its programs at its facility in Novelty, Ohio, but this partnership has been ideal in that they were willing to travel to the school campus each week.

Fairmount Center for the Arts has many hands-on forms of expression from dance, to art, music, and theater. They offer several different activities like camps, workshops, and even fitness classes. We are so grateful to have such a fantastic organization in our community for our students to experience and enjoy. They also offer classes to the community in a COVID-safe environment. You can view and register for a variety of offerings on their website. Learn more about Fairmount Center for the Arts by visiting their website at www.fairmountcenter.org/.

 

 

Hershey Montessori School Offers Student Shadow Days

Hershey Montessori School Offers Student Shadow Days

Hershey Montessori School is excited to begin offering Shadow Days again at the Middle and Upper School campus.

The Shadow Day opportunity allows prospective students to experience Hershey’s campus, culture, and curriculum in a personal way. Shadow students are also able to ask peers relevant questions that equip them to make an informed decision about their education journey.

Precautions have been taken to modify Shadow Days to ensure adherence to all recommended health and safety measures. Shadowing students will be able to safely and authentically experience what being a student at Hershey Montessori School is like.

Hershey’s Middle and Upper School campus is located at 11530 Madison Road in Huntsburg, Ohio. 

Interested families may contact the Huntsburg campus Administration and Admissions Manager, Robyn Dill, to schedule a Shadow Day for their child. Phone 440-636-6290 or email rdill@hershey-montessori.org to request more information.

We look forward to meeting you!

Hershey Montessori School Recognized by You Me Montessori

Hershey Montessori School Recognized by You Me Montessori

Hershey Montessori School is being recognized by You Me Montessori in a multi-part series of articles that document our school history and accomplishments. The founders of the organization are from South Africa and the United Kingdom. All currently work in Kuwait in the education field. Their website viewers are from around the world. You can read these articles by clicking on the series title below, or follow our Facebook page to see each article as it is published.

We extend our gratitude to Leon Caesar and his team for their interest in Hershey Montessori School and for their work in sharing Montessori with viewers around the globe.

Hershey Part 1 Giant Footprints in Cosmic Education: The Journey of Hershey Montessori School

Hershey Part 2 – From Humble Origins to International Renown

Hershey Part 3 – Hershey Montessori School’s Concord Campus

Hershey Part 4 – Introducing The Farm School

Hershey Part 5 – The Cosmic Preparation Of The Huntsburg Campus

Hershey Part 6 – Reach For The Stars And Catch A Dream – The Vital Needs Of The Adolescent

Hershey Part 7 – The Value of Work and Economic Independence 

Stay tuned for more in this series!

You can learn more about Hershey Montessori here on our website

 

Hershey Montessori Students Hold Multi-School Election Conference

Hershey Montessori Students Hold Multi-School Election Conference

Hershey Montessori’s Upper School students recently held an Election Conference as part of their Humanities project. The conference brought students and experts together, virtually, to discuss issues around elections, specifically, reforming the election process and governance.

The students, led by Hershey guides John Buzzard and Jennifer Snead, connected with several adult experts, including Diane Silver from FairVote, an organization that champions electoral reforms to give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans; Cyndi Lucas of Citizen Congress, an app that lets users send their views to federal representatives and vote on bills, nominations, and questions introduced in Congress; Drez Jennings, a writer and expert on politics and media; and a former student of Buzzard, Sara Abdul-Rahim, Associate Director of Development at Georgetown University.

Students from Oak Farm Montessori in Indiana, Montessori School of Winston-Salem in North Carolina, and Beacon Academy in Illinois joined Hershey students and these professionals to discuss several areas of interest. Topics included election reform, ranked-choice voting, immigrant voting, felon disenfranchisement and vote by mail.

The conference was a collaborative effort that brought forth several issues that students were able to give voice to and engage in a critical thinking process that allowed them to express their ideas and concerns over the election process and governance.

Students were afforded the opportunity to give presentations that were followed by a question and answer session. A student action panel made up of students from all the schools also discussed how to take action and get their voices heard – a conversation that was facilitated by expert Cyndi Lucas and by Hershey student Kylie Golden-Appleton.

“We were thrilled with the turnout of students from other schools and the passion that they brought. The student action panel allowed the students to connect around their political ideas, and to find a community of young people eager to take political action. It felt like a way to take one of our responses to the COVID pandemic – working virtually – and make it a strength,” said Buzzard.

Hershey is pleased to provide students with experiential education opportunities that provide real-life skills and insights.

Both the students and experts gained better insight into these important, relevant topics and what our next generation of voters can do to improve them.

Hershey Montessori School Receives ISACS Provisional Member Status

Hershey Montessori School Receives ISACS Provisional Member Status

Hershey Montessori School has good news to celebrate. ISACS, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, has approved Hershey as a provisional member, which is the first step towards becoming an ISACS-accredited school. Hershey’s Steering Committee, which began its work in early 2019, is pleased to share this information with the Hershey community.

The Benefits of ISACS Membership

(From the ISACS website)

ISACS provides a wide variety of professional development programs for its members. Administrators and teachers are given opportunity to attend ISACS conferences, including the Annual Conference, Heads Conference, Leadership Academy in Partnership with the Kellogg School of Management Center for Nonprofit Management, and New Teacher Institute. ISACS also offers topic-specific workshops and convenient webinars for its members.
In addition to these benefits, ISACS staff members provide facilitated conversations with member schools on topics of governance, accreditation, and other areas. Members have access to the National Association of Independent Schools’ DASL tool for data reporting and benchmarking.

Moving Forward

With Provisional Membership approval, Hershey may now begin the process for full accreditation that involves preparation of the self-study report and accreditation visit. Getting to this stage required submission of our Provisional Membership Application (PMA). The PMA provides ISACS with an assessment of an organization that ensures it currently complies with the standards for full ISACS membership. The PMA required Hershey to provide documented evidence of compliance across 52 standards for membership, including our current policies and practices; mission, philosophy, and goals; school community; programs and activities, student services; governance and administration, personnel; and residential programs. We submitted our PMA in February of this year, which was reviewed and approved by the ISACS board in May.

The impetus to pursue ISACS accreditation came from the growing needs of our school. When Hershey’s Upper School was added five years ago, our community became keenly aware that resources and support provided to independent schools by ISACS would support our plans for continued growth. Our leadership then surveyed teachers, staff, and board members for input on the decision to begin the accreditation process. Together, we concluded that membership in ISACS would be of great benefit to our school and community.

Hershey’s ISACS Steering Committee includes Paula Leigh-Doyle, Laurie Ewert-Krocker, Tania Bertolone, Jennifer Finan, Valerie Raines, and Saren Peetz.

We look forward to the added value this organization will bring to our community.

To learn more about Hershey Montessori, visit our about page here

Hershey Invites You To Its Adolescent Campus Weekend Open House

Hershey Invites You To Its Adolescent Campus Weekend Open House

We warmly invite you to be our guest and take this opportunity to learn about our Adolescent program and curriculum from our staff and students, as well as take a guided tour of our campus.

Join us for a Saturday Open House on October 17, 2020 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Gain a greater understanding of Montessori education, how Hershey Montessori emphasizes the connection between school and family, school and student, and student and family, and learn why Hershey students love school.

Hershey Montessori School is dedicated to keeping the health and safety of both our school community and those interested in learning more about Hershey. Our Open House will be split into 2 registration times and pre-registration is required.

In keeping with CDC guidelines, upon arrival, visitors will be asked to take their temperature (a temperature of 99.9 or greater will result in having to exit the premises and reschedule for another time), use hand sanitizer, wear a face-covering/mask, and keep physically distanced when interacting with others.

If you have questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact Hershey Montessori School’s Office at 440-357-0918 or admissions@hershey-montessori.org.

An Open House for our Birth – 6th grade campus is also being held on October 18th from 1 pm – 3 pm. 

Categories

Hershey Montessori School
Hershey Montessori SchoolTuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at 12:10pm
Message, email, or call us. We are happy to answer your questions.
For information on birth-grade 6, call 440-357-0918.
For information on grades 7-12, call 440-636-6290.
Hershey Montessori School
Hershey Montessori SchoolThursday, June 18th, 2020 at 3:10pm
Why do students love Hershey Montessori School? We focus on the wholeness of the child!
Hershey Montessori School
Hershey Montessori SchoolTuesday, June 16th, 2020 at 4:37pm
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. Here is what they shared.
http://ow.ly/Kk5w50A9m8A
Hershey Montessori School
Hershey Montessori SchoolMonday, June 15th, 2020 at 3:25pm
Embracing each other's uniqueness is part of the beauty of Hershey Montessori School. Our focus on care of self, care of others, and care of community is what sets our school community apart. We still have openings for our 2020-2021 school year. Message us if you would like more information.
Hershey Montessori School
Hershey Montessori SchoolSaturday, June 13th, 2020 at 11:25am
We can answer all your questions.