Staff Spotlight: A Q&A with Admissions Director Debra Smith

Q: What is your new role at CMS? I am delighted to be the new Director of Admissions and...
Q: What is your new role at CMS?
I am delighted to be the new Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management. What a wonderful opportunity to connect families to the Montessori experience and the exceptional programs at CMS!
Q: Can you share your background in Montessori?
 I’ve been engaged in the Montessori world for more than 20 years, as a lower elementary teacher, an administrator (including three years at Washington Montessori Institute), a fundraiser, and a parent, which is the most important role of all!
Q: Why have you been such an advocate for the Montessori method?
It works. There is beauty and brilliance in the way the Montessori method was developed (by following the child) and the way it continues to become even more relevant and important over time. Montessori children are confident, compassionate, creative, and courteous. They are independent thinkers who know the value of working collaboratively and building positive relationships. There is a lot of joy in the Montessori experience.
Q: What is something about Montessori that parents may not realize?
It is an inherently mindful approach. Maria Montessori understood the importance of offering children the time and space they need to develop concentration and to learn more deeply. At its essence, the Montessori approach is about heightened awareness.
Q: What other work have you focused on in your career?
Writing guided meditations for children.

Can you tell us about your work at Harvard Graduate School of Education?
For the past four years, I’ve been a part-time Teaching Fellow in Children’s and Adolescent Literature at HGSE. I enjoy working with graduate students and exploring the ways in which books offer children new windows onto the world – and into themselves.
Q: Anything else you would like to share w/ our community?
Yes. Thanks so much for the warm welcome!
Located in the heart of Cambridge, MA, CMS is a private school serving children twenty-one months through grade 8 in four distinct programs: Toddler, Primary, Elementary and Middle School. CMS educates the whole child, applying the Montessori philosophy in a joyful learning environment.