Head's Corner, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Dear CMS Families,

It is hard to believe the school year is over. To observe our graduates as they move on and to our littlest students cross the bridge last week is to appreciate the passage of time. It has been quite a year as we celebrated our 50th Anniversary.

In our 50th year we can boast our highest enrollment, our biggest fundraising gala event, and a year marked with celebrations big and small. We reconnected with old friends and celebrated those whose shoulders we stand on as we grow.

This year has been marked with challenges but has also been a time for growth, change and opportunity. During the course of this year our students engaged in a rigorous authentic Montessori curriculum, while our faculty and staff continued their passion for life-long learning. Four teachers attended the American Montessori Society Conference and 12 teachers and administrators attended the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts conference. Four of our Primary Assistant Teachers, Gaby Brabazon, June Griffith-Gomes, Maria Portilla and Sarah Zimbler completed their Montessori training this year. Our Toddler/Primary Program underwent re-licensing through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Childcare in December and passed with flying colors!

In the Elementary Building we are getting ready to add a third Lower Elementary classroom—the Turquoise Room. Much time and effort has been spent of planning for the expansion—from facilities, to placements, to schedules. We cannot wait to welcome you back in September to see the new classroom!

While June is a time for celebrating all that we have accomplished it is also a time of saying goodbye to those who will not be returning in the fall. Primary Lead Teachers Jennifer O’Brien and Alison Woods will be moving on. Alison has served as Assistant, Associate and now Primary Lead Teacher at CMS (most recently in the Orange Room) for eight years. Jennifer leaves the classroom after five years—but not our community, as she remains a longstanding current and alum parent. Kari Crawford, in the Blue Room for five years before taking maternity leave, has decided to stay home with her son for at least the next school year. A parent and teacher for the past 8 years, Kanan Patel leaves the Lilac Room this year as well as having served in the Purple and Yellow Rooms previously. Jessica Fahlberg and Abby Zelenka are also heading onto their next adventures. Jessica has been with CMS for 5 years as an Assistant Teacher and Passport staff member and most recently as an Associate Teacher in the Lilac Room. Abby began in Passport 5 years ago before moving into the Blue Room as an Assistant Teacher this year.

In the Elementary and Middle School Program we bid farewell to Katie Tremblay after ten years of teaching our upper elementary students in the Jade Room. Rowan van Ness will also be moving on from her time teaching our “elders”—the students in the Middle School Infrared Room. Antonia Vicente, our Elementary and Middle School Spanish Teacher for the past four years will be leaving us as well.

Our Passport staff will also be saying goodbye to a few team members. Though they may not have been with us long, their flexibility and willingness to jump in and support the entire CMS community throughout their tenure have endeared them to many at CMS. After Passport Summer Camp, Charlotte Petty, one of our Primary Extended Day Teachers, will be heading out on her next adventure, working on a farm in Hawaii. Anya Morales, an Elementary Extended Day Teacher, will be moving to New Hampshire, where she’ll continue to pursue her education degree. Both Deb Leary and Steve George, who have worked with our Toddler, Primary and Off-Campus Teams, will be remaining local, but taking on different professional endeavors. We are so happy that Steve will be staying with us for camp this summer, and are hopeful that we will be able to bring them both back on campus next year as substitute teachers.

Administratively, there will also be some changes. As previously announced, Gretchen Felopulos, our School Psychologist will be leaving and has begun the transition to assist our new School Psychologist, Nicole Coman. Our School Nurse, Rahimah Ahmad will be returning to her own schooling this fall and will be leaving CMS. Durell Lymon, who supported the Development Office and Athletics for three years bids farewell to CMS as well. After 6 years serving in Admissions and Development, Kyla Graves has decided to move into the other side of education—as a teacher.

Change in any organization is good, it is healthy, and it helps us bring new people and ideas into our community. We are grateful for all that these faculty and staff members have given to this school and wish them well! While we will miss those members of our community not returning, we look forward to staying connected and celebrating their future successes with them. That includes those families who will be leaving us by moving to new parts of the country or world. Please keep in touch. We love hearing from you!

I wish you a relaxing and restful summer. I look forward to greeting you in the fall as we begin our 51st year of educating children at Cambridge Montessori School!

Warm Regards,

Dr. Ingrid Tucker

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