Meadow Montessori - Education for a Better World.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
No news items

About MMS


IdentityLocationEnrollment
Opened in 1984, Meadow Montessori is an independent, non-denominational, coed, Montessori school, meeting the needs of children from infancy through high school.Meadow Montessori is located on 6 acres in Monroe, Michigan, with access to a 110-acre farm including woods and a pond. It is located across the street from Monroe County Community College and regularly utilizes the college's extensive facilities.Approximately 180 students are enrolled at Meadow Montessori.

FacultyHigh ScoresStudent/Teacher Ratio
All of our head classroom teachers have a Montessori diploma (AMI, AMS, TMI). 50% of our head classroom teachers have advanced degrees. The school employs 30 teaching faculty, including specialists and classroom assistants.The average composite score for grades 3rd - 9th on the Iowa Standardized Test is 97th percentile.9:1

Graduates Attending CollegeGeographical DiversityDiversity
100%70% of the Meadow Montessori students reside in the City of Monroe and 30% live in and around Monroe County and the surrounding area including Jackson, Dundee, Lambertville, Temperance, the Down River area and Toledo, Ohio.15% of the Meadow Montessori student body is identified as persons of color:
  • 2% multiracial
  • 4% African American
  • 2% Asian American
  • 5% Middle Eastern
  • 1% Hispanic
  • 1% international students

TuitionContributionsFine & Performing Arts
Please contact the school for specific information.Fundraising is essential to the school's operations. The Annual Fund raises approximately $115,000, whereas the Fall Auction contributes approximately $85,000 for the school's general operating fund. Since 2004, more than $1 million has been contributed to the current capital campaign, A Home of Our Own.The Fine & Performing Arts Department offers concerts, theatrical productions and art gallery showings throughout the year. Fine and Performing Arts events include:
  • Stone Soup Rock Opera (Kindergarten)
  • Holiday instrument programs (middle and high school)
  • Holiday vocal concert (all ages)
  • Solo and Ensemble classroom recitals (middle and high school)
  • Opera Production (elementary and secondary)
  • Spring musical performances (all levels)
  • Drama productions
  • Revolving art shows in the school gallery

ActivitiesAthletics
Activities and student organizations include, but are not limited to:
  • National Honor Society
  • MeadowLink (school newspaper)
  • Yearbook
  • Peer Tutoring
  • 4-H
  • World Music
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Running Club
  • Knitting Club
  • Yoga for Children
  • Chess Club
  • Service Projects
  • Prom
MHSAA
Meadow Montessori School is a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and offers the following sports:
  • Boys - Cross Country, Basketball, Track and Field, and Golf
  • Girls - Cross Country, Basketball, Track and Field, Vollyball, Soccer, and Golf

CYO
Meadow Montessori offers co-educational sports for students in grades 5 - 8 as a member of Catholic Youth Organization. We encourage students to participate in football, volleyball, softball, baseball, soccer, and basketball.

Meadow Montessori School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization accredited by the American Montessori Society, affiliated by the Michigan Montessori Society, and a member of the Association of Independent Michigan Schools (AIMS).


How we started and where we have been


In the Fall of 1984, Meadow Montessori School opened its doors for the first time to a small group of students -- forty-seven in all -- enrolled in three different programs: toddler, preschool, and elementary, as well as before and after school care. Earlier that summer, Catharine Calder established the school as a non-profit (501 C3) organization and worked with eleven members of the Board of Trustees to ensure strong policy guidelines and responsible fiscal management. By the end of the year, the school's numbers had swelled to sixty-seven students, and since that time, Meadow Montessori has followed the path of continual growth and evolution, adding classrooms, programs, and services each year. In 1985-1986, we added French to our program and took our first field trip. The upper elementary/middle school students traveled to Toronto, and because the trip was so successful, "travel" became an essential part of the curriculum.

Our students have traveled to the following locations within the United States:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Colorado: Crow Canyon Archeological Center
  • Milwaukee
  • Montreal
  • New Hampshire: Appalachian White Mountain Club
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wyoming: Grand Teton Science School
And the following locations outside the United States:
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy


In 1985, we established the Parent Guild, which has continued to be active in its support of MMS. In 1986, the Parent Guild purchased MMS's first computer-- an Apple-- and began construction on a large play structure. Hobby Nels, now a member of the Board of Trustees, was instrumental in the design and construction of this project. The following year, 1986-1987, we added Latin to our foreign language curriculum, introduced the History Fair, and hired our first part-time physical education teacher. We also invited Sanford Jones to Monroe to conduct our first summer opera workshop. By 1987 -1988, we had grown large enough to add a second preschool classroom, as well as split the lower and upper elementary classrooms. Up until this time, the elementary students had been in one room (ages 6-12), and now we had two preschool and two elementary classrooms. We also introduced Spanish to the curriculum, so students could now choose from French, Latin, or Spanish. Our first graduate from 8th grade went on to Culver Academy in Indiana for high school the following September. MMS founded its 4-H program, which has become one of the largest clubs in the state of Michigan. In 1988-1989, we hired our first full-time music teacher. This was also the year we introduced the first week-long opera production into the school year. It was also the year that we ran our first deficit budget ($4,000 in the red) and it wasn't until 2006-2007 that we were to see black ink at the end of a fiscal year. During the 1989-1990 academic year, our students participated in the National French Exam for the first time (and did remarkably well). In 1990-1991, we added a third elementary class (our second lower elementary), as well as an art program. We participated in MSBOA (Solo and Ensemble) for the first time, and we sent our first qualifying candidate to Mt. Clemens for the state-wide National Geography Bee. We also honored our first adult volunteer of the year (Doris Congdon). Students participated in the Midwest Talent Search for the first time in 1991-1992. The following year, 1992-1993, we traveled to Crow Canyon Archeological Center for the first time, and we also performed our first "in house" opera, written by Sandy Lentner. We added a second upper elementary classroom in 1993-1994 and introduced the Farm Program to the middle school curriculum. In 1995-1996, we introduced the infant program to our school community and at the other end of the age spectrum, we added the third year of middle school or 9th grade. We also added German to the elementary and secondary curriculum.


In 1997-1998 we undertook a major playground expansion in honor of a student, Kelsey Denton, who passed away. Hobby Nels was instrumental in this project. The 1998-1999 school year saw us expand into the international world. We included the children of two refugee families living at the IHM Motherhouse in our school community and took our first trip to China. MMS parents also organized a sports program-- soccer, basketball, and volleyball-- and we competed against other schools. By 1999-2000, we formed a committee to conduct an exhaustive search for a possible location change. The committee looked at the possibility of continuing to rent at SMC, renting in another location, purchasing an existing building, or building a new facility. The same year we launched our first sustainability program, emphasizing the three R's-- recycle, reuse, and reduce. The Board of Trustees formally decided that the school should move to a new location and build its own building in 2000-2001.


In 2001-2002, we launched our first capital campaign with a goal of $1.5 million. Ron and Pat Gruber graciously donated seven acres in Ida to MMS. We hired an architectural firm and began work on building plans. During this process, another parcel of property with an existing building located on Raisinville Rd. became available for purchase. Because the Ida property required additional infrastructure (water treatment plant, gas, etc.), the cost of purchasing property was almost equal to the cost of building on the donated land. The school made the decision in the summer of 2002 to purchase six acres and an existing building on Raisinville Rd. At the same time, we had to change our architectural drawings. 2002-2003 was a momentous year for MMS. As we poured the foundation for our new building, we also struggled with the administration of St. Mary Center. As the year began, we did not have a lease, but felt confident we would be able to remain at SMC for the entire year. The IHM sisters were engaged in a renovation of the Motherhouse, which was not scheduled for completion until the spring of 2003. Since 2001, the sisters had been living on the upper floors of SMC. In November 2003, it was clear that the renovation project was ahead of schedule, and the sisters would be vacating SMC in February or March. MMS, and the other agencies in the building, were told they would have to vacate the building by December 31, 2002. MMS choose to fight to stay. On December 16th, the headline in the Monroe Evening News read Montessori Evicted from St. Mary Center. On December 18th we received a $100,000 check from the Herrick Foundation for our capital campaign. By the end of December, MMS agreed to leave SMC by January 31st and the sisters agree to help with moving costs. In the meantime, we searched for alternative and temporary space. Nothing was available until Pastor Bryd of the Stewart Road Church of God offered MMS several portable classrooms and additional space within the church building. This space became available to us at the end of January, and we moved the entire school on Saturday, January 31st, and opened our doors on Monday, February 2. This space is still known to us as NATS (new and temporary school) and was to be our home until the first week of school. We moved into our new building in early June with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on June 24, 2003. In 2003-2004 we basked in the joy of having a Home of Our Own, but by the 2004-2005 school year, we were ready to start something new. We expanded our programs to include a high school, and three students enrolled in Meadow Montessori High School in September. We also hosted our first art auction, which has become an important source of revenue for our art program. We celebrated our first graduates in 2005-2006, who went on to attend the University of Michigan and Michigan Tech. In the summer of 2006, five Chinese students visited Monroe and stayed with our families for three weeks. Our enrollment continued to grow in 2006-2007, increasing each year by 10 - 15%. We hosted 150 people at the Michigan Montessori's Spring Workshop, featuring most of our teaching staff in various workshops.


In 2007-2008, we experienced a record high enrollment of 194 students, and we welcomed Xinping Li to Monroe from Henan Province, People's Republic of China. Xinping became a member of our staff, offering after school programs in Chinese, music, and art. She also planned a very special exchange program for our students for two weeks in March, 2008. During 2008-2009, we hope to host the Center for Montessori Training of New York's infant/toddler training, and although we do not know what the following year (2009 - 2010) will bring, we do know we'll be celebrating, with great pride and joy, our 25th anniversary. During our years, we have educated approximately 1,000 students, employed 168 teachers, assistants, and administrative staff, and have paid for the Montessori training of 14 teachers. If all goes well, we will train three more teachers in 2008-2009, and offer support to three teachers as they work for a Master's Degree in Montessori education.

Mission Statement


Mission Statement

Welcome to Meadow Montessori School

Mission Statement:
We at Meadow Montessori School commit to value and challenge each person to build a respectful community of trust, compassion, and academic rigor. As independent, confident, and competent people, we will engage actively in the world to promote sustainability, justice, and peace.

In the Fall of 1984, Meadow Montessori School opened its doors for the first time to a small group of students enrolled in three different programs: toddler, preschool, and elementary, as well as before and after school care. Earlier that summer, Catharine Calder established the school as a non-profit (501 C3) organization and worked with eleven members of the Board of Trustees to ensure strong policy guidelines and responsible fiscal management. By the end of the year, the school's numbers had swelled, and since that time, Meadow Montessori has followed the path of continual growth and evolution, adding classrooms, programs, and services each year. In 2003, the school community moved into its six-acre home that houses two buildings, athletic fields, organic gardens, chickens, and more.

Today, Meadow Montessori is the only school in the nation with programs from infancy through high school to be accredited at all levels by the American Montessori Society. Trained Montessori teachers, many of who have Masters degrees, lead all of our classrooms. Children received daily instruction in foreign language (Spanish and Chinese), music (instrumental and vocal), visual arts, and physical education. The school is noted as an institution for outstanding academic achievement. Specific curricular information can be found under Curriculum.

Meet the Staff

Click on a department to see the members.
Click on a member to view their bio.

Head of School


Burroughs, Heidi

Heidi Burroughs

Heidi has lived in Monroe all her life, less the eight-year period when she lived and worked in Houston, Texas.

Heidi is a graduate of St. Mary Academy and Albion College where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Management and Spanish. During college she also attended La Univeridad Iberoameircana in Mexico City, when she studied the Spanish language.

Heidi has worked in the area of finance for more than thirty-five years including the banking and insurance/financial service industries. Heidi joined the Meadow staff in 1998.

Heidi and her husband Mike have two children, Hollie and Elizabeth, a 2013 MMS graduate.

Heidi Burroughs can be reached at heidiburroughs@meadowmontessori.org.

Calder, Catharine

Catharine Calder: Head of School

Catharine Calder founded Meadow Montessori School in 1984, but to this day, she claims that her "fall" into the world of independent school administration was unintentional, whereas her "climb" into the world of teaching, thinking, and sharing with fellow human beings is on-going and intentional.

After earning an undergraduate degree in political science and Chinese Area Studies, Cathé traveled to Taiwan to continue her study of Chinese language. At the end of her three-month course work, she stayed on in Taiwan for an additional year, studying Chinese and teaching English, before leaving to spend another six months traveling throughout Asia. She returned home for a brief visit only to find herself married and with two (step)children within six months.

Back home in Michigan, Cathé entered graduate school at the University of Michigan and earned a degree in Chinese Area Studies, while working as a graduate assistant and lecturer in the Women's Studies Department. For several years, she taught at courses at the university level.

After the birth of her second son (the fourth child in the family), Cathé began volunteering at a small Montessori school in Monroe. The administrator urged Cathé to become a trained Montessori teacher. Once Cathé learned that this training was available in Europe, she packed up her three youngest children and headed for Bergamo, Italy. The experience of living in Europe only barely takes second place to the wonderful training she received.

Upon returning to the United States in 1983, Cathé discovered that the local Montessori school was going to close its doors in June 1984, so it was obvious that Meadow Montessori School was ready to be born. MMS opened its doors in the fall of 1984 to twenty-three students.

Cathé continues to teach and administrate, knowing that teaching is the more important of the two tasks. She shares her love of all things Chinese with her students, along with her love of writing, gardening, knitting, art, music and the outdoors. But in turn, she looks forward each and every day with what her students will share and teach her.

Catharine Calder can be reached at ccalder@meadowmontessori.org.

Fain, Julie

Julie Fain

Bio coming soon.

Julie Fain can be reached at jfain@meadowmontessori.org.

Harvey, Marina

Marina Harvey

Marina Harvey came to Meadow Montessori in 2012 when her daughter enrolled in lower elementary. She quickly found herself volunteering for clubs and choreographing dance routines for the Opera. The following school year, Marina was hired as part of the Administrative Team at Meadow.

Marina wears many hats at Meadow Montessori, she is the Director of Admissions and Public Relations, coordinates fundraising efforts, and manages special events. You’ll also still find her choreographing and teaching students dances for the school Operas!

Marina holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Western Michigan University. Prior to working at Meadow, she was a Recreation Specialist with Canton Township, an Assistant Director of Student Recreation at Wayne State University, and coordinated worksite wellness programs at various Chrysler plants in Metro Detroit.

She, and her two children, commute to Meadow from Downriver every day because frankly, "it’s the best choice for educating children in the area."

Marina looks forward to meeting you at Meadow Montessori!

Marina Harvey can be reached at mharvey@meadowmontessori.org.

Long, Lisa

Lisa Long

Lisa joined the MMS community in 1989, shortly after she and her family moved to Michigan from their native New York state.

Lisa soon joined the staff as a Children’s House assistant. She complete Montessori Infant-Toddler training through CMTE’s Adrian Michigan Satellite Program, and in 1995 re-opened the Toddler Program here at Meadow. She has also assisted at the Lower Elementary Level, and served as a Montessori Toddler Teacher Advisor.

She and her husband Bill have three adult children. Emily, Dylan and Wesley attended Meadow through the 8th grade. After 18 months as ’empty-nesters’, they decided to adopt two boys, William and Timothy, Timothy joined the Middle School Program in 2016.

Currently, Ms. Lisa greets Early Childhood Building students in the morning and works closely with our maintenance and work scholarship recipients to see that all maintenance and facility issues are managed appropriately.

In her free time Lisa enjoys horseback riding, gardening, and serving in her church.

Lisa Long can be reached at lblong@meadowmontessori.org.

Mason, Tiffany

Tiffany Mason

Tiffany became part of the Meadow family in 2014, when her youngest son Eli enrolled in Lower Elementary, and she became a full-time staff member with the start of the 2016 school year, working in various administrative roles.

A Florida native, Tiffany moved to Monroe in 1995, fell in love with Michigan and never left. She’s known as "Mom" to four pretty spectacular human beings. Tiffany lives on a small farm in rural Washtenaw county and enjoys spending her free time with her animals, learning about sustainable farming and gardening.

Tiffany Mason can be reached at tmason@meadowmontessori.org.

Patton, Beth

Beth Patton

Beth opened a State licensed in-home daycare in 1989, providing education, age appropriate activities, and swimming lessons for 12 children. Since licensing was limited to 12 children, in 1998 Beth chose to open a daycare center, in Livonia, that was licensed for 60 children. In this larger space there was so much more open for the education and physical development of children. Partnering with Perrinville School, Beth readily welcomed many special needs students that would not ordinarily have had a chance to learn in a mainstream classroom atmosphere.

Beth began mentoring in-home childcare providers that wished to open a child care center, through 4C of Wayne County, which is now known as the Great Start to Quality.

Beth currently resides in Monroe and is the mother of five children as well as a grandmother (Grammie) of nine.

Some of Beth’s interests outside of MMS includes biking, weight training, kick boxing, yoga, reading, scrapbooking, walking, and visiting her grandchildren whenever possible.

Beth Patton can be reached at epatton@meadowmontessori.org.

Amy Zarend

Bio coming soon.

Amy Zarend can be reached at azarend@meadowmontessori.org.

Abraham, Heidi

Lisa Abraham

Lisa Abraham has been the Directress of Children’s House East since 1999.

Lisa received her B.S. degree from Madonna University in Emergency Medical Management and her Montessori training from Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute. Lisa continues her love of learning by attending at least one Montessori workshop a year. Lisa has been a presented at several state workshops for the Michigan Montessori Society.

When Lisa is not working she enjoys gardening, cooking, and baking as well as entertaining. She currently live on Grosse Ile with her husband, Jim and their daughter Madelyn, who attended Meadow since she was three and is now a college student at Adrian College. She also has five other children who no longer live at home.

Lisa Abraham can be reached at labraham@meadowmontessori.org.

Bednarz, Catharine

Whitney Bednarz

Whitney Bednarz has been the lead teacher in our Middle School program since 2012. Whitney is certified by the State of Michigan in secondary education and is currently completing the final stage of her Secondary I-II Montessori credential with the Cinncinatti Montessori Secondary Education Program (CMStep).

Whitney lives in Carleton with her husband, Brian, and two children, Keelyn and Liam. Liam is a student in the Children’s house and Keelyn is a student of the Lower Elementary program.

Whitney enjoys gardening, cooking, woodworking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Whitney Bednarz can be reached at wbednarz@meadowmontessori.org.

Benedicto, Julie

Isabel Benedicto

Isabel Benedicto has been working as Spanish Immersion Teacher at Meadow Montessori School since 2007. Since then, she has attended Montessori Education workshops, learning the practice of "three period lesson" and putting into practice her training in the toddler room, kindergarten, and preschool classrooms.

In 2010, Isabel continued working on Spanish teaching from lower elementary to high school levels. She is actually continuing her education by pursuing a Spanish Educator Certification at Monroe County Community College.

Isabel is a native Spanish speaker with a certification on business/administration in Mexico.

Isabel Benedicto can be reached at ibenedicto@meadowmontessori.org.

Calder, Marina

Catharine Calder: Head of School

Catharine Calder founded Meadow Montessori School in 1984, but to this day, she claims that her "fall" into the world of independent school administration was unintentional, whereas her "climb" into the world of teaching, thinking, and sharing with fellow human beings is on-going and intentional.

After earning an undergraduate degree in political science and Chinese Area Studies, Cathé traveled to Taiwan to continue her study of Chinese language. At the end of her three-month course work, she stayed on in Taiwan for an additional year, studying Chinese and teaching English, before leaving to spend another six months traveling throughout Asia. She returned home for a brief visit only to find herself married and with two (step)children within six months.

Back home in Michigan, Cathé entered graduate school at the University of Michigan and earned a degree in Chinese Area Studies, while working as a graduate assistant and lecturer in the Women's Studies Department. For several years, she taught at courses at the university level.

After the birth of her second son (the fourth child in the family), Cathé began volunteering at a small Montessori school in Monroe. The administrator urged Cathé to become a trained Montessori teacher. Once Cathé learned that this training was available in Europe, she packed up her three youngest children and headed for Bergamo, Italy. The experience of living in Europe only barely takes second place to the wonderful training she received.

Upon returning to the United States in 1983, Cathé discovered that the local Montessori school was going to close its doors in June 1984, so it was obvious that Meadow Montessori School was ready to be born. MMS opened its doors in the fall of 1984 to twenty-three students.

Cathé continues to teach and administrate, knowing that teaching is the more important of the two tasks. She shares her love of all things Chinese with her students, along with her love of writing, gardening, knitting, art, music and the outdoors. But in turn, she looks forward each and every day with what her students will share and teach her.

Catharine Calder can be reached at ccalder@meadowmontessori.org.

Fedorowicz, Lisa

Meg Fedorowicz

Meg Fedorowicz has been teaching at Meadow Montessori since she and Catharine Calder opened it. She has been a 3-6 teacher, an art teacher, and an Upper Elementary teacher at Meadow. Meg has Montessori certification for 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 year olds. She has a BA in Studio Art and an MA in Education. Her state certification is in Art K-12, Social Studies K-8, with an Early Childhood endorsement.

Meg is passionate about science and has written a book titled Nurturing the Young Scientist. She has trained 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 teachers at Seton Montessori Academy, and has given workshops all over the country. She has also been to Cuba, Brazil, and Slovenia training Montessori teachers. Her children attended Meadow Montessori for 30 years, collectively.

Meg Fedorowicz can be reached at meg@meadowmontessori.org.

Forter, Tiffany

Dawn Forter

Bio coming soon.

Dawn Forter can be reached at dforter@meaodwmontessori.org.

Gilbert, Beth

Katelyn Gilbert

Katelyn Gilbert is the music teacher at Meadow Montessori. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education, and is currently working towards her Masters Degree at University of Michigan. Katelyn grew up in Monroe, but has taught strings in Louisville Kentucky and in inner city Detroit.

When Katelyn is not teaching she enjoys playing her violin, reading, baking, and spending time at home with her family. Her son, Scott, is currently enrolled in the infant room here at Meadow. She and her husband, Adam, also have a black Labrador named Guinness.

Katelyn Gilbert can be reached at kgilbert@meadowmontessori.org.

Howard, Amy

Charise Howard

Charise Howard is the Directress of the Toddler House and has over twenty years of experience working with children. Charise holds a Montessori diploma from Seton Montessori Institute as well as certification as a Child Development Associate (CDA). Using her talents as an organizer, photographer, and baker, she enriches our school environment and brings knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to her roles at MMS.

Charise lives in Monroe with her son, Max.

Charise Howard can be reached at charise@meadowmontessori.org.

Kourous,

Sharon Kourous

Sharon retired from teaching high school English Language and Literature several years ago. Finding travel, reading, writing, and gardening not quite enough, she is pleased to return to the classroom at Meadow Montessori. She has written and found publication for her poetry for many years, and spends time every day working on her writing. She shares her home with her canary, Jean-Luc. Her family includes her daughter’s family in Monroe, and her son’s in Rome, Italy.

Sharon Kourous can be reached at skourous@meadowmontessori.org.

Lansingh,

Gregory Lansingh

Gregory Lansingh works with both middle and high school students at Meadow Montessori, focusing largely on his favorite subjects of social studies and science. He has spent six years overseas including teaching in China, educational consulting in Russia, studying at Oxford in the UK, and traveling to over 30 countries, including at least a month each in Vietnam, Japan, France, and Germany/Austria. These experiences lend perspective to his history courses, while years spent as science director at Friends School in Detroit plus teaching outdoor education in California, Wisconsin, and Michigan inform his approach to science instruction. After graduating from T. Jefferson HS for Science & Technology in Virginia (often ranked as the #1 high school in the US), Gregory completed his BA at Wheaton College, IL with dual majors and dual minors, and later became involved in Montessori education, which he has taught at both the elementary and secondary levels.

When not teaching or commuting from Detroit, Gregory loves to enjoy free time with outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, and winter sports, plus less active pursuits such as stargazing and bird watching. Indoor hobbies include reading, cooking, and enjoying restaurants, concerts, and Wings games, along with searching for ethnic art, foreign coins, and geologic specimens.

Gregory is also involved in scouting and youth group activities, and has led high school trips to New Mexico, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the Adirondacks. His favorite travel experiences include an ultra-low-budget round-the- world trip through parts of Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as completing a 2,167 mile solo hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Gregory Lansingh can be reached at glansingh@meadowmontessori.org.

Lentner,

Sandy Lentner

Sandy Lentner has been music director at MMS since 1988. A native of Lebanon, Ohio, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Capital University in Columbus and also earned an elementary teaching certificate from the University of Michigan. With a major in piano and minors in string bass and voice, Sandy loves the opportunity at MMS to teach in all her areas of training.

Prior to 1988, she taught vocal music from kindergarten through ninth grade in Columbus, Boston, Portland (Oregon), and Monroe Public and parochial schools .....but not all at the same time :)

Outside of school, Sandy plays bass in the MCCC College-Community Band and accompanies her church choir. Her hobbies include gardening, genealogy, traveling, and bridge. She and husband, Tim, have three grown children (one who is also a music teacher) and six granddaughters.

Sandy Lentner can be reached at s.lentner@chartermi.net.

Loope,

Rebecca Loope

Rebecca has been a member of the MMS community since 2001 when she enrolled her oldest son, Bryce, in the Nest. She has been the directress of Lower Elementary East since 2004, one of our two lower elementary classrooms.

Rebecca is certified by the State of Michigan in elementary education, language arts and biology. She received her Montessori certification at MMTEC in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Rebecca earned her Masters of Arts degree in Education from St. Catherine University and completed her undergraduate degree at Siena Heights University.

Rebecca Loope can be reached at rebeccaloope@meadowmontessori.org.

McCormick,

Anya McCormick

Anya McCormick is an internationally trained Montessori teacher currently directing Lower Elementary West. She has a special understanding of the needs of the child and helps mold creative thinkers who love to learn. She incorporates the physical and emotional needs of the 6-9 year old through daily activities both inside and outside of the classroom.

A Montessori graduate herself, Anya also holds a B.S. from Wayne State University. She completed her lower and upper elementary Montessori training in Toronto, Ontario at the Toronto Montessori Institute. She earned a Master's Degree from St. Catherine’s University where she focused on Montessori education.

Anya has earned grants through the DTE Mini Grant Project, presented at various professional organizations and continues to coach Cross Country at Meadow Montessori, among other things.

Anya and her husband reside in Monroe, Michigan and continue to enjoy remodeling their historic, 1897-built home. She also looks forward to helping others strengthen and combine both the physical and mental aspects of learning while creating independence in a caring and respectful environment.

Anya McCormick can be reached at amccormick@meadowmontessori.org.

Montgomery,

Rachel Montgomery

Rachel is the Lead Infant Teacher of the Nest and has been working with children of all ages in Montessori environments since 2010, primarily with infants and toddlers. She enjoys working with families and providing a calm and nurturing environment for their children. Rachel was drawn to the Montessori philosophy because of its reverence for children as unique, caring and capable human beings.

Rachel, a lifelong artist, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Grand Valley State University and subsequently trained at Seton Montessori Institute for Infant-Toddler Montessori Education. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Michigan University.

Rachel is the mother of two boys who are in the Children’s House at Meadow. She enjoys drawing, biking, playing board games, being in the garden, and spending time with her husband and their children at home.

Rachel Montgomery can be reached at rmontgomery@meadowmontessori.org.

Morse,

Holly Morse

Holly Morse is the head teacher in Upper Elementary East. She also teaches Latin to upper elementary, middle school, and high school students.

Born in Michigan, Holly was part of a military family. She started her education at South Pacific Academy in American Samoa and continued school in many places, including Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. Her varied experiences in her own education led her to many interests, including music, Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin, and education.

Holly earned a degree in Music Performance and Pedagogy (oboe, English horn, pipe organ) at Alverno College in Milwaukee. A significant focus of her studies was the education of children, particularly in music. She studied for a time in Chester, England and taught students abroad. Music and education have not been her only interests. She was awarded a Master of Library and Information Science degree from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and worked in various academic libraries, helping students conduct research and tending computer databases.

Holly moved with her family to Monroe in 2003. She has worked with MMS students since 2010, teaching a variety of subjects, including music, Latin, and English as a Second Language.

In addition to her many pets, Holly also enjoys photography, science fiction, and visiting all sorts of museums. And figuring that no one is too old to learn, she is currently learning to play the cello. She enjoys seeing her daughter Lucy thrive as a student at MMS.

Holly Morse can be reached at hmorse@meadowmontessori.org.

Patton,

Beth Patton

Beth opened a State licensed in-home daycare in 1989, providing education, age appropriate activities, and swimming lessons for 12 children. Since licensing was limited to 12 children, in 1998 Beth chose to open a daycare center, in Livonia, that was licensed for 60 children. In this larger space there was so much more open for the education and physical development of children. Partnering with Perrinville School, Beth readily welcomed many special needs students that would not ordinarily have had a chance to learn in a mainstream classroom atmosphere.

Beth began mentoring in-home childcare providers that wished to open a child care center, through 4C of Wayne County, which is now known as the Great Start to Quality.

Beth currently resides in Monroe and is the mother of five children as well as a grandmother (Grammie) of nine.

Some of Beth’s interests outside of MMS includes biking, weight training, kick boxing, yoga, reading, scrapbooking, walking, and visiting her grandchildren whenever possible.

Beth Patton can be reached at epatton@meadowmontessori.org.

Peven,

Rob Peven

Rob Peven has worked with the Farm Program at Meadow Montessori since 1998. He has a BS in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin. His main goal with the program is to get children outside so they can learn to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, develop outdoor skills and gain an understanding of the environment. During the course of Farm Program, the students develop a true appreciation for farming, food, and nature.

Rob has led groups on hiking and canoe trips and on numerous field trips to local natural areas and parks. He has traveled with MMS students to Wyoming, New Hampshire, Colorado, Ontario, and northern Michigan. Students in the program have conducted a variety of service projects, visited area farms, collected seeds and restored natural areas, completed wood working projects, used scientific equipment in the field, and have learned a wide variety of practical crafts, cooking techniques and camping skills.

Rob has completed training programs in wilderness leadership, first aid, fire safety, and outdoor education. In his spare time Rob serves as the Monroe County Planning Director. Rob’s wife, Lucie Fortin, formerly taught French at MMS. Their two sons, Joel and Michael, are both MMS alumni. They are currently college students, Joel at Michigan State and Michael at Johns Hopkins.

Rob Peven can be reached at rpeven@meadowmontessori.org.

Staelgraeve,

Heidi Staelgraeve

Heidi Staelgraeve has been the Directress of Children’s House West since 2015. She has been a member of the Meadow Montessori community since 2012.

Heidi received her B.S. from Michigan State University and her Montessori training from the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute at Sienna Heights University. She has three children who also attend Meadow Montessori. Besides a teacher and parent, she has been a Girl Scout Leader since 2009 and is currently the Girl Scout Troop Leader of three different aged troops at Meadow Montessori.

Heidi Staelgraeve can be reached at hstaelgraeve@meadowmontessori.org.

Stroia,

Gabrielle Stroia

Gabrielle Stroia has been the art teacher at Meadow Montessori for several years. She attended Wayne State University and majored in Art Education. Her favorite artists range from Van Gogh and Monet to Picasso and Pollack.

Gabby credits both her mother, Lisa, and her high school art teacher, Mrs. Mcentyre, for her advancements in the world of art. She hopes in the future she can become even more advanced in her abilities, as to better equip her students in their journeys through the art world.

Gabrielle Stroia can be reached at gstroia@meadowmontessori.org.

Wang,

Yu Chun Wang

Yu Chun was born in Taiwan. Chinese, Mandarin is her first language. She moved to Michigan in 2000 and has a Master degree in the education related field with a Michigan Chinese endorsement.

She has been teaching Chinese for over 10 years. Her students range from 3 to 18 years of age. Yu Chun has a passion for teaching and loves to be with students every day.

Yu Chun Wang can be reached at ywang@meadowmontessori.org.

Weatherholt,

Dawn Weatherholt

Dawn Weatherholt started working at Meadow Montessori in 2003. Dawn received her Montessori Certification at MMTEC in Rochester Hills, MI. She completed her internship at Montessori Center of Downriver.

Dawn is married and moved to Monroe with her husband Todd, a lifelong Monroe resident. After the birth of her second child, Dawn decided to leave teaching to stay home with her two children. Once her children were in school full day, Dawn returned to teaching, and Meadow Montessori was pleased to welcome her on staff.

Dawn enjoys gardening, cooking, bike riding with her kids, and spending time with her family.

Dawn Weatherholt can be reached at dweatherholt@meadowmontessori.org.

Baron-Galbavi, Heidi

Amy Baron-Galbavi

Bio coming soon.

Amy Baron-Galbavi can be reached at abaron-galbavi@meadowmontessori.org.

Howard, Catharine

Tatiana Howard

Tatiana Ivanovna Howard comes to us from Voronezh, Russia. She holds degrees from Voronezh State University, with majors in world history and education. She also holds a masters degree in child psychology from the same university.

Tatiana moved to the USA in 1999 and began working at Meadow Montessori in 2000. Tatiana has experience in Toddler, Children's House and lower elementary. Tatiana has been a teacher's assistant in Lower Elementary East since 2007.

In addition to Tatiana's responsibilities in the classroom, she also heads up our Knitting Club, taking on eager knitters (young and old) from November through April each year.

Tatiana has also hosted a Russian Club in years past.

Tatiana Howard can be reached at thoward@meadowmontessori.org.

Paige Jondro

Bio coming soon.

Paige Jondro can be reached at pjondro@meadowmontessori.org.

Jones, Marina

Lynn Jones

Lynn Jones is a teacher assistant at Meadow Montessori in the infant room. She is a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors in Science. Lynn has been working with children of different ages for many years.

Lynn grew up in Sylvania, Ohio and moved to Monroe about a year ago which brought her to Meadow. She enjoys helping others, horseback riding, being with friends and family and planning her upcoming wedding.

Lynn Jones can be reached at ljones@meaodwmontessori.org.

Ma, Lisa

Paula Ma

Paula Ma is a teacher assistant at Meadow Montessori in the infant room. She graduated from Bluffton College with a Bachelor Degree in Child Development.

Paula enjoys spending time with her family. Her daughter’s, Claire and Leah, are Lower elementary students at MMS and her son Evan is enrolled in the toddler house. She and her family live in Temperance, MI.

Masserant, Tiffany

Abbie Masserant

Abbie Masserant first came to Meadow in 2006 as an assistant in The Nest and The Toddler Room. In 2011, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of Toledo. For 5 years, she taught a 3 and 4 year old class at a private school. Abbie has returned to Meadow as an assistant in Children’s House East. She is currently completing her Montessori training from Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

Abbie lives in Monroe with her husband, Shane, and daughter, Marlee. She is very excited to have her own child attending Meadow with her! Abbie enjoys reading, tea, shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family.

McKee, Beth

Lois McKee

Lois works in the Early Childhood Building. She enjoys being with children. Lois helps the youngest members of our community to explore the world with a respectful and loving hand.

Lois grew up in rural Lapeer, Michigan, living on a working farm, and she attended one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the State of Michigan. She graduated from Imlay City High School and has a B.A. from Spring Arbor College.

Lois has attended workshops on Montessori Education, worked at schools in Michigan and Texas and has been a nurses assistant in the home health field.

Lois’s hobbies are gardening, crocheting, and reading.

Motlagh, Amy

Trisha Motlagh

Bio coming soon.

Trisha Motlagh can be reached at tmotlagh@meaodwmontessori.org.

Richards,

Brittani Richards

Bio coming soon.

Brittani Richards can be reached at brichard@meaodwmontessori.org.

Torio,

Karen Torio

Karen Torio joined the Meadow Montessori teaching faculty as a Children’s House assistant in 2015 and has been a member of the Meadow Montessori community since 2009.

Karen received her M.Ed. in school psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1989. She has many years of experience working with children of all ages (preschool through age 21) and abilities. She worked as a school psychologist in Ohio for 15 years before “retiring” to be a stay at home wife, and later on, mother. She decided to take Montessori coursework when she began homeschooling one of her children. She received her International Montessori teaching diploma for lower elementary in July of 2012 from the North American Montessori Center. She also currently maintains her school psychologist licensure in Ohio.

Karen is passionate about horses and finds relaxation in caring for and riding horses. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, jigsaw puzzles and board games. She and her husband, Coady, have two children who attend Meadow Montessori.

Karen Torio can be reached at ktorio@meaodwmontessori.org.

Valentine,

Tina Valentine

Tina Valentine is a Teacher’s Assistant in Upper Elementary West. She teaches Language Arts and English as a Second Language. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in English language and literature with a concentration in writing.

Tina was born and raised in Monroe, and attended Monroe County Community College before transferring to CMU. After graduation, she traveled around the United States, particularly in the southern and western states, working two summers in Yellowstone National Park and a winter in Everglades National Park. She spent nearly a decade living and working in the Atlanta, GA area as a technical writer for software development companies. She has traveled to Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada. Prior to joining the MMS staff, Tina worked for LA-Z-BOY, Inc. as a continuous improvement specialist and project manager in their manufacturing division.

Tina enjoys reading, gardening, sewing, decorative painting, hiking, and spending time with her family and pets. Her daughters, Ava and Kate, are Middle School and Upper Elementary students at MMS. She and her family live in Monroe, MI.

Tina Valentine can be reached at tvalentine@meadowmontessori.org.

Our Campus


Our Campus

Meadow Montessori is located on 6 acres in Monroe, Michigan. With its home on Raisinville Rd, the school's neighbors are Monroe County Community College (MCCC), the Monroe County ISD, as well as the Monroe County Extension Office. It is one mile from the main branch of the Monroe County Library System.

The school has two buildings: an early childhood center and an elementary/secondary building. The grounds are home to organic vegetable beds, extensive flowerbeds, a meadow, and a display garden of specimens indigenous to Southeastern Michigan. A flock of chickens (fresh eggs each day!) and two small goats live in our "barnyard." The school has been recognized by national organizations for its efforts at protecting indigenous habitat.

Each age group (infant through middle school) has its own schoolyard / climbing or exercise equipment. The school also has a regulation soccer field.

The school utilizes a 110-acre farm within walking distance for the middle school Farm Program, summer programs, and other outdoor experiences. The farm includes two large woodlots, agricultural fields, and a fishpond. Additionally, MMS's 4-H club houses many of its livestock projects (pigs and lambs) on the farm.

MMS is located across the street from Monroe County Community College and regularly utilizes the college's extensive facilities. Our high school students are dually enrolled in classes and use the library and fitness center. We use the Meyer Theater for many of our musical performances, including our annual opera, and our students attend a variety of programs at the Meyer Theater - musical and theater - throughout the year.

Academic Success


MMS students do exceptionally well inside and outside of the classroom. Throughout the year, we focus on the four qualities that a Montessori-educated person should possess: concentration, self-discipline, love of learning, and social ability. We believe that these are the qualities that are necessary for a successful and satisfying life.

We are aware that there are many ways to measure "success," and in some ways the least meaningful is standardized tests. (For more information see On Testing). Although we are proud of the test results, we hasten to add that this test reflects only one small facet of a successful student. There are areas of success that cannot be measured in standardized tests that are just as important, if not more important. Test scores are only one small part of the picture.

Our students (elementary — middle school) take the Iowa Standardized Test each spring. Additionally, qualifying students participate in the Midwest Talent Search Explore Test (grades 5 — 6) and ACT (grades 7 — 8). Our high school students take the ACT, SAT, and Advanced Placement exams.

We are happy to share the results of these tests.

Iowa Standardized Test
The Iowa is a nationally normed test, which means that student scores are compared on a national and not local level. The results indicate how a student is performing compared to students throughout the United States. The Iowa scores are not based on minimal performance objectives (unlike the MEAP) but rather on a fairly wide range of knowledge.

The following scores represent the average for MMS students in a specific grade level in a particular subject area. We are reporting both grade equivalents as well as school percentile. This percentile is compared to other averages in schools throughout the United States, so the numbers reflect how the students at MMS compare —as a group— to other groups in the nation. For example, the average 8th grade composite score in 2010 was 98th percentile. This means that the 8th graders of MMS —as a group— did better than 98% of the 8th grade groups in the nation; in other words, they are in the top 2% of the nation. In 2011, this same group of students, testing at the 9th grade level, had a composite score of 99%, placing MMS' 9th graders in the top 1% of the nation.

Northwestern University Midwest Talent Search (NUMATS)
Students in our upper elementary program qualify for the NUMATS Explore Test with a score of 90% or better on the Iowa Standardized Test. Each year, between 50 — 70% of our upper elementary students qualify for the test. Likewise many of our middle school students qualify to take the ACT during their middle school year.

In 2012, one of our students, Waverlee Baron-Galbavi, received the Outstanding Achievement Award Certificate from NUMATS. Waverlee achieved the highest level of distinction as a top scorer in the 2012 competition with over 25,000 of the most able students for her perfect score (36) on the ACT Reading test.

AP Exams
Our pass rate on AP placement exams (students earning a 3 or higher) surpass both the state and global averages. Pass rate comparisons are as follows:

2014201320122011
MMS 80% 76% 88% 85%
State 66% 67% 67% 65%
Global 66% 61% 61% 60%

The averages for our high school Juniors who take the ACT are as follows:

EnglishMathematicsReadingScienceCompositeWriting
2013 27 27 26 26 27 27
2014 29 21 28 26 26 28

Please note: there is a link to our 2013 Iowa results under the Iowa Standardized Test section above. Please take a look and you will see that at almost every grade level, MMS ranks in the top 10% of the nation's schools.

 

Featured Students


Waverlee

Waverlee

Congratulations to Waverlee, who joins our high school program this year. Waverlee earned an important distinction from Northwestern University’s Midwest Talent Search this past spring. Waverlee achieved the highest level of distinction as a top scorer in the 2012 competition with over 25,000 of the most able students. Waverlee earned perfect score (36) on the ACT Reading test, and she did this while only 14 years-old.

Congratulations to Waverlee.

Madelyn

Madelyn

Madelyn graduated in 2013 from our high school program and is currently attending Adrian College.

Her “Start Something New” project was authoring a new opera for our school. The subject matter? Maria Montessori! The debut was in February 2013 and was greeted with critical acclaim.

We became accustomed over years to listening to Madelyn in the music room practicing her violin for our school orchestra, the Sinfonia Orchestra (Detroit Symphony–Youth Ensemble), or the Meadow String Quartet. Madelyn was also the accompanist again for this year’s Stone Soup Rock Opera.

Madelyn’s love of music and performance has been evident since her years in Children’s House. It has carried her through her academic career. Madelyn continues to be passionate about music as pursues a possible career as a music therapist. Best of luck, Madelyn!

Lila

Lila

Lila, is currently a student at Adrian College. Lila, a 2013 graduate, attend MMS from the age of two through high school. A competitive figure skater, Lila began skating lessons at the age of nine, and she skated almost every day during her years at MMS, before school (5:00 a.m.) as well as after school. Lila continues to skate regularly and is on the team at Adrian.

In her free time Lila enjoys listening to music, reading, watching hockey, doing crafts and being with friends (when she isn’t studying).

See Lila in motion: http://youtu.be/mqXmcHdLWyM

Maxx

Maxx

Maxx’s love of history was apparent when he ably presented his project, The SS and Hitler, to a panel of judges at the 2013 History Fair. Maxx walked away with the Grand Prize. Since then, Maxx has immersed himself in World History and AP Human Geography.

When Maxx isn’t busy with history, he loves math and especially algebra. Maxx, a third-year middle school student, is looking forward to learning challenging math throughout his high school years. Maxx currently studies Chinese with the high school students.

Maxx is an outstanding soccer player, and was a member of a championship team again this year. He plays soccer almost year-round (fall, indoor in winter, and spring).

When asked what he really likes to do, Maxx responded, “I enjoy doing my homework and talking to my brother.” He didn’t even mention video games.

Evan

Evan

Evan is now a student in our lower elementary program, after joining us for the first time as a kindergarten student.

Evan enjoys the outdoors. He lives on a large piece of land and spends much of his time fishing, playing in the dirt, playing baseball, helping his dad with projects, stacking fire wood, and taking care of his and Emma’s chickens. Evan has found new enjoyment in language, math and learning in general since starting at Meadow.

His teachers continue to comment that Evan enjoys working in all areas of the classroom. His cursive is beautiful, and Evan is working on addition and the decimal system.

When Evan isn’t in school, he is a big brother to sister Emma. He often helps his sister with projects, crafts and learning how to write.

Bella

Bella

Bella maintains her standing as a successful student in Upper Elementary East. Her quiet leadership and conscientious attitude in the classroom benefits all of her classmates. She displays the character traits of honesty, industry, and effort, and can always be counted on to help her peers. A fine mathematician, Bella has excelled in the Michigan Math League contest and her History Fair project last year won special honors. Bella is a fine dancer, having taken lessons for many years with the River Raisin Centre for the Arts, and has been featured in several productions of The Nutcracker. Bella enjoys sharing her dance moves by patiently and skillfully serving as choreographer to her friends and even Ms. Holly, to hilarious effect. When asked what she strives to become, she says she’d like to be an "engineer ballerina," and no doubt she will find a way to make this happen! We are proud to have Bella at MMS!

Max

Max

Max has been a hardworking and energetic member of Lower El West since 2014. Max is a caring and compassionate leader in the school community. His leadership has been recognized in the classroom among his peers, as well as in the community setting. Max has made an impression on others in more ways than one way. A parent in the community noted that Max was so helpful while playing with a group of children at the State Park. Max kept a watchful eye on the younger kids while playing in the water and playground. When one child injured his toe, Max was first to make sure the child was safe. The parent was grateful for Max’s concern but more impressed at how Max communicated with such a wide range of children and adults.

During the summer, Max doesn’t stop learning. He participates in many of the camps at MMS, and while at home, you can count on Max enjoying the outdoors, especially on his bike. Since he first learned to ride without training wheels, he has shown a love for riding, including circling the eight-mile path on Mackinac Island (four times!). Most weekends include an average of 10-20 miles on his bike and enjoying lots of time with his family and friends.

Sustainability


Sustainability

MMS has a long history of commitment to sustainability and environmentally responsible practices. Care and attention to our planet is part of our daily practices.

  • We use recyclable or washable (reusable) items (dishes, towels, napkins) whenever possible. Each classroom has recycling bins.
  • We provide a recycling center for our entire community.
  • We have several compost piles for weeds and food scraps.
  • We grow many of our own vegetables in organic garden beds.
  • We maintain a greenhouse in order to grow vegetables throughout the winter.
  • We raise chickens and enjoy their eggs at breakfast and snack.
  • We use environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies.
  • We have rain barrels to capture rain water for use in our garden beds.

 

 

MMS has been honored for its environmental efforts:

  • The State of Michigan has designated MMS as a Michigan Green School in 2010, 2011, 2012. In 2013, MMS earned the highest designation of Ever Green School.
  • The Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (S.A.V.E.) at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio named MMS the Eco School of the year in 2010.
  • S.A.V.E honored Rob Peven, director of our Farm Program, the Eco Teacher of the Year in 2012.
  • The Farm Bureau of Michigan named Catharine Calder, head of school and teacher, the Michigan Educator of the Year in 2008.

Board of Trustees for the 2016-2017 Academic Year

The decision in 1984 to establish Meadow Montessori School as a not-for-profit school with tax-exempt status under the direction of a Board of Trustees was a conscious one. The school was not to be, nor could it have been, the work of one person. We are alive and well because of the efforts and insights of a group of people, representing various segments of the Monroe community.

The members of our Board generously give their services without remuneration, to create a fine educational opportunity in the community of Monroe. We have much for which to thank our past and present board members. There is no doubt of their hard work and selfless dedication.

Click on a board member to view their bio.


Zarend, Amy
Parent Guild Representative
Harrigan, Helen
Trustee
Sabo, Deb
Trustee
Sennerikuppam, Kalyan
Trustee
Shah, Debra
Trustee
Smith, Kevin
Alumni Representative

Cindy Taylor

Cindy Taylor, the newest trustee on the MMS Board, is a retired public school educator. Cindy grew up in Allen Park. Upon graduation from MSU with a degree in Elementary Education, Cindy began her teaching career in Dearborn Heights. After twenty years of successful teaching at the upper elementary and middle school levels, she became an elementary principal. After five years in that position, she completed her career serving as the principal of Grosse Ile Middle School for seven years. Cindy has two masters' degrees from EMU in education: Reading and Educational Leadership.

Continuing her belief in life-long learning, Cindy is currently taking art classes at MCCC and spends many hours reading and creating jewelry. She lives here in Monroe, and was married to Dave Taylor, former superintendent of Monroe Public Schools. Sadly, Dave passed away in 2011.

Karpenko, Andrew

Andrew Karpenko

Andrew Karpenko grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He attended Albion College where he met his wife, Amy, a Monroe native. Medical school and residency training were completed at Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. He currently has an otolaryngology practice in Monroe and is affiliated with Mercy Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Karpenko has two children at Meadow Montessori. He enjoys outdoor activities including fishing and kayaking with his children. His primary concerns outside of medicine include conservation and community involvement.

Burroughs, Heidi

Heidi Burroughs

Heidi has lived in Monroe all of her life, less an eight-year period when she lived and worked in Houston, Texas.

Heidi is a graduate of St. Mary Academy and Albion College where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Management and Spanish. During college she also attended La Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she studied the Spanish language, literature, and history.

Heidi has worked in the area of finance for more than twenty-four years including the banking and insurance/financial service industries. Heidi joined the Meadow staff in 1998.

Heidi is married to a great guy, Michael, and they have two fantastic daughters, Hollie and Elizabeth.

Amy Zarend

Helen Harrigan

Hobby Nels

Hobby Nels has been on the Meadow Montessori School Board of Trustees since 2001.

Hobby is a Ford Motor Company retired Project Manager. During his thirty-three year career at Ford, he held numerous positions in manufacturing operations and electronic component purchasing. He has a B.S. from Cleveland State University and an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a licensed residential building contractor with the State of Michigan.

Hobby has been associated with MMS in various capacities over the last twenty years. Hobby is a parent of two sons who completed their preschool through elementary education at MMS. Hobby was our Construction Project Manager during the fall and winter of 2002 for the new MMS building on Raisinville Rd.

In addition to his service to MMS, Hobby also serves on the Monroe County Historical Commission and the Monroe City Library Advisory Board.

Preston, Sara

Sara Preston

Sara was elected President of the Board of Trustees in September 2004. Previously she served on the MMS Board as Parent Guild representative, after assuming the role of Parent Guild President in September 2001. As President of the Parent Guild, Sara helped with fundraising efforts, as well as organized other community-building initiatives within the school.

During the day, Sara is a manager for Ford Motor Company. Over the last many years, she has held various positions throughout the company in areas of Information Technology, Customer Service, Purchasing, Reengineering/Consulting, Market Research, and Marketing Strategy. She has a B.S. degree from Northwestern University, and her MBA from the University of Michigan.

Sara has two children who attended Meadow Montessori since preschool. She is a strong believer of the Montessori philosophy and approach and is thankful that her family has the opportunity to gain this experience within our school and its community.

In their spare time, Sara and her family enjoy going on vacation, exploring the outdoors (when it's warm out), and playing games at home by the fire (when it's cold).

Deb Sabo

Kalyan Sennerikuppam

Debra Shah

Zagorski, Maria

Maria Zagorski

Maria joined the Board of Trustees in 2010 as the Parent Guild Representative. Once she passed on her PG responsibilities, she remained on the board as a Trustee. Maria earned her Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, her Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit, and her Masters degree from Eastern Michigan University. She practices law in Monroe, where she resides with her two children.

Kevin Smith

MMS Parent Guild


MMS Parent Guild

All parents or guardians of the students at Meadow Montessori School are members of the Parent Guild. The Guild provides the opportunity for parents/guardians to support the school administration, the staff, and the students. It promotes the interests of MMS and the children through parent participation in fundraising and other volunteer activities.

Funds raised by the Parent Guild each year are used to support the classrooms and other school needs. When you learn of fundraising activities, please participate and know that when you do, you are supporting the school and helping to keep tuition down.

Additional parent support is also needed with other fun and worthy activities throughout the year, including the Auction and Book Fair, to name a few.

Room Parents play an important role as classroom representatives to the Parent Guild. They work with both teachers and parents to help plan and provide assistance for classroom activities, such as field trips, class parties, etc. Room Parents also may act as mentors to new families, to help them become acquainted with the school and/or their new classroom.

The Parent Guild generally meets on the first Wednesday of each odd-numbered month during the academic school year to discuss current plans and other ideas. We also support and sponsor other various activities throughout the school year, including the Opera, Staff Appreciation, Family Fun Day, etc. Parent involvement in these activities is necessary for their success and is an important part of maintaining a strong school community. We welcome and encourage parents to come and be heard, stay informed, and thus invest in their children's educations.

We acknowledge that each family is unique in how it may contribute to the school, and strongly encourage parents to participate however they can. In A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement, Anne Henderson explains that parent participation is important because:

"Programs designed with strong parent involvement produce students who perform better than otherwise identical programs that do not involve parents as thoroughly, or that do not involve them at all. Schools that relate well to their communities have student bodies that outperform other schools. Children whose parents help them at home and stay in touch with the school score higher than children of similar aptitude and family background whose parents are not involved. Schools where children are failing improve dramatically when parents are called in to help."
Thank you for your support!
MMS Parent Guild

Alumni

Click on an alumni to view their bio.


McKay, Rachel

Rachel McKay

Rachel McKay, an MMS grad is currently one of many Lockheed-Martin people who are working on the Space Based Infrared System. After high school, Rachel attended the University of Michigan where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees. In fact, she was the first student to graduate in a new space research program from the University's School of Engineering, Atmospheric Oceanic and Space. Since then, Rachel has earned two more master's degrees: one in engineering and one in business.

According to Rachel, how did it all start? Here at MMS, with a simple project. We used to launch small rockets every year (during Family Fun Day) behind the Motherhouse.

Swindler, Rebecca

Rebecca Swindler

The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus (www.holocaustcenter.org) in Farmington Hills announced the promotion of Rebecca Swindler to its director of programs.

As director of programs, the Novi resident is responsible for the Holocaust Memorial Center's exhibit, educational and historical programs, including exhibit openings, member/donor programs and cultural/film events. Swindler, who began her career at the Holocaust Memorial Center as an intern five years ago, also currently serves as the organization's social media and web master, database manager and internship coordinator. Additionally, she is the interim director of education.

"Rebecca's work ethic and skills made it a very easy decision to promote her to become director of programs," said Holocaust Memorial Center Executive Director Stephen M. Goldman. "She has helped us create several relevant and well-attended events in recent years that have enabled us to continue our mission of developing programs that best capture the interest and imagination of our visitors."
Prior to joining the Holocaust Memorial Center, the New Boston native worked at the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she graduated summa cum laude with a major in anthropology and a minor in German. Swindler also volunteered at the Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum during an archaeological field school on Easter Island.

It is the mission of the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus to remember those who perished and those who survived the Holocaust and, in a world increasingly faced with sectarian strife and intolerance, to set forth the lessons of Holocaust as a model for teaching ethical conduct and responsible decision-making. By highlighting those individuals who, in the midst of evil, stood for the best, rather than the worst of human nature, the Holocaust Memorial Center seeks to contribute to maintaining an open and free society.

Meadowlark-Literary Magazine


Room Parents


Room parents are one of the many ways we connect with you at MMS. Our school community is very busy, with activities for people of all ages (including adults!), so emails and text messages from your room parent is one way of gathering information. Don't be afraid to contact your room parent with any and all questions. He/she can be your "mentor" if you are new to the school, or a conduit to becoming more involved in your child's school.

Take time to introduce yourself to this year’s volunteer room parents.
Click on a Room Parent to view their bio.


Niquole Dunham

Niquole Dunham can be reached at itroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Wendy Willis-Mayes

Wendy Willis-Mayes can be reached at chnroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Jennifer Rimanelli

Jennifer Rimanelli can be reached at cheroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Kim Mignano

Kim Mignano can be reached at chwroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Mary Renwick

Mary Renwick can be reached at leeroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Trisha Motlagh

Trisha Motlagh can be reached at lewroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Stephanie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton can be reached at ueeroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Michelle Grider

Michelle Grider can be reached at uewroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Amy Zarend

Amy Zarend can be reached at msroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Missy Scully

Missy Scully can be reached at hsroomparent@meadowmontessori.org.

Testimonials


Holly

Holly

The high school years

I was talking today to someone about my son and the decisions that he’s making and how those decision will affect the rest if his life. As I talked about how I wish I would have done things differently as a parent – as I am sure thousands of other parents have done – I realized that the only one was wishing I would have started him off in Montessori.

If my son would have begun his education at a Montessori school, I believe the qualities he really needs as this moment would be more fully developed – the ability to think for himself and accept his choices. The foundation of an excellent early childhood program cannot be re-created once those years have passed. As a parent of a graduating child soon to graduate, I wish I had given him the life-long benefits of starting him with a Montessori foundation.

Helen

Helen

Math with meaning

My daughter and a friend were playing the game of “Life” in which you total up all your money at the end of the game to see who “wins” (hmm…). I watched as she automatically laid down the largest bills (eg, 100,000), then counted up with the next higher denominations, grouping logically into easy-to-count tens and hundreds etc, while her friend just made a big pile and asked for a calculator. I realized that her facility and intuitive understanding of both the relative value, and the most efficient way to tally, was a direct result of her exposure to math materials at Meadow Montessori. It made counting the big pile of money into an intuitively obvious task.

Helen, mother of an upper elementary student

Helen

Helen

The integrated curriculum

Seeds of Change – I *love* this book as part of the contextual history curriculum. I remember learning history in disjoint chunks, but am thrilled to watch my daughters understanding of the unfolding of human history in a context–based way; how you first learned about the native peoples of the Americas (and how they got there), and then used “Seeds of Change” to tie American prehistory to the age of European exploration/colonization, and now the great European Explorers (which I learned as a separate “chunk” somewhere else, and probably in high school) and how post Columbus Americas evolved (setting the stage for American History - again, in context, not as a “chunk” they way I learned it). What a beautiful flow.

And I *love* the literature that you read that ties in – it makes the world come live and seem real. My daughter said to me “I think I learn really well from reading,” when we were discussing “Birch Bark House” (which she loved - it’s her current “favorite book”).

Helen, mother of an upper elementary student

Shari

Shari

Lily and MMS

My daughter started at MMS in the Toddler House when she was fifteen months old. She and her older brother had been well cared for in a home day care previously. She had a lot of separation anxiety initially, and would cry every day when I left her and went to work. The teachers, especially Ms. Tatiana, had to hold her so much that a young student asked me why I had Ms. Tatiana’s baby when I attended Stone Soup.

She eventually acclimated and did quite well, moving on to preschool and kindergarten. There, she was significantly more interested in the practical life work than in things like reading and math. The teachers assured me that it would come.

She made amazing progress in lower elementary! Over those three years, she became a confident leader and role model, who was organized, self-directed, and very responsible. Participating on the Cross Country team and discovering that she was a good runner was a huge part of this. Ms. Anya was so encouraging.

Now she is an upper elementary student. Schoolwork does not come easily to her. She has to work hard, and sometimes doubts that she is as smart as her peers. However, she takes responsibility for her education, holds herself accountable, and strives to do her best. She, at nine years old, takes her education very seriously. I always tell her that with hard work anything can be accomplished, and she has proven this many times over, both at home and in school.

Shari, mother of three children at MMS

Shari

Shari

Why did I choose MMS? Well, how could I not have?

I heard about it from someone I was working with at the time, after I mentioned that I was looking for a part–time preschool for my three–year–old son. He and his sister, who was fifteen months old, were at a home childcare with a nice woman, but she had urged me to look into preschool. My acquaintance gave me an informational packet, I took a tour, and I was so impressed that, within a matter of days, I had enrolled both children. I actually felt guilty I had not done it sooner.

It wasn’t just a school. It was a family. It wasn’t just a classroom. It was an environment that fosters children to achieve their fullest potential. It was not just book learning, but so much more. The values instilled in them are close to my heart and in my home— non–violent crisis resolution/peace, respect for diversity, the importance of caring for ourselves and others as well as the environment, a love of learning, independence and self direction. I am grateful my children can have such a variety of experiences through the art, music, foreign language, and physical education classes, as well as the field trips. All of the staff are so caring and helpful.

That was 2003, and my children are now eleven, nine, and four. My four–year–old started school there when she was six weeks old. I have never regretted my decision to choose MMS.

Shari, mother of three children at MMS

Mary & Tim

Mary & Tim

A year ago I was sick with worry over my children’s education. My oldest, Peyton, was in kindergarten and not making the progress we were hoping for. My youngest, Parker, was preparing for Preschool and every place we visited just didn’t seem the right choice. Parochial, public, not a single one fit our family’s needs. But at last minute, literally a week before the 2013-2014 school year was set to begin, we toured Meadow Montessori. That visit was life changing. No exaggeration. I went from being sick with worry that my children wouldn’t get the education they needed in a warm and compassionate environment, to finally feeling like we found THE perfect fit.

As we wrap up our first year at MMS, Tim and I are amazed, overjoyed and completely over the moon with the level of education our sons have received.

Peyton went from being extremely shy and introverted to confident and happy. Within the very first week of school he went from being a non-reader to a reader. In one week!! That still amazes me.

Parker has flourished as well. Being gifted with numbers, all the other schools I visited didn’t know how they were going to work with him. Miss Holly immediately saw his gift, and gave him curriculum that keeps him challenged and engaged.

To all the staff at MMS, thank you. To all the parents who welcomed us with open arms, thank you. And to Miss Holly, Miss Cassie, Miss Rebecca, and Miss Tatiana, you’ve made a bigger impact on our lives than you could ever know, and for that we will be eternally grateful. Thank you.

If you’re a parent and question whether your current school is meeting your expectations, we implore you to take a tour of MMS. They won’t simply meet expectations, they will blow them away!

Gabriella

Gabriella

We chose to enroll Gabriella at Meadow Montessori at 9 weeks of age when I was ready to return to work. We have been more than pleased with the decision. We love it at Meadow. Ms. Lois and Ms. Stephanie are wonderful. I know that Gabriella enjoys it there too. When I drop her off in the morning she is all smiles and so happy to see Ms. Stephanie. It is comforting to know that I am leaving her someplace that makes her happy and excited. The staff has been more than great with her. The facility is so clean and has an "at home" feel to it. I couldn’t ask for a better place to bring my daughter.

- Vicki

Contact MMS


Thank you for your interest in Meadow Montessori. Below, please find helpful email addresses to contact us as well as our address, a map of the surrounding area and a link to get directions to our school from anywhere.

Email

Catharine Calder
Head of School
ccalder@meadowmontessori.org

Amy Baron-Galbavi

abaron-galbavi@meadowmontessori.org

Heidi Burroughs
Finance Director
heidiburroughs@meadowmontessori.org

Julie Fain

jfain@meadowmontessori.org

Marina Harvey
Development Director
mharvey@meadowmontessori.org

Paige Jondro

pjondro@meadowmontessori.org

Lynn Jones

ljones@meaodwmontessori.org

Lisa Long

lblong@meadowmontessori.org

Trisha Motlagh

tmotlagh@meaodwmontessori.org

Beth Patton
Administrative Assistant for Early Childhood Programs
epatton@meadowmontessori.org

Brittani Richards

brichard@meaodwmontessori.org

Karen Torio

ktorio@meaodwmontessori.org

Tina Valentine

tvalentine@meadowmontessori.org

Amy Zarend
Director of Parent Engagement
azarend@meadowmontessori.org

Address/Phone
Starting Address