VdM Class of 2020 – Oliver

At the end of a typical school year, we honor and celebrate our sixth-year graduates and their families on campus with a graduation ceremony and after party—lovely speeches, delicious food, laughter, tears and lots and lots of Fitz’s root beer. This year the pandemic forced us to change our plans and get creative. Graduating families came in their cars to watch a parade put on by our community and a screening of their prerecorded speeches, all the while maintaining a safe distance (and yes, there was root beer!).

While we did put on a pretty magnificent social-distanced ceremony (if we do say so ourselves), we think the graduates deserve to be celebrated just a little bit more. This summer we’ll highlight each of our sixth-year graduates on the blog. You’ll meet some of the best people we know, children we love and have watched grow and develop into thoughtful, funny, curious, exciting and vibrant young people. And you’ll get to watch their graduation speeches! Today, we’ll meet Oliver.

Oliver is kind, passionate and never afraid to speak their mind. The classroom won’t be the same without them. Upper Elementary fourth-year student

Villa di Maria: Introduce yourself! Tell us something you think everyone should know about you.

Oliver: My name is Oliver and I am a 6th-year graduate of Villa di Maria. I have been going to this school for 9 years and I am sad to be leaving.

VdM: What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do for fun?

Oliver: I really like to read, cook, and roller skate.

VdM: Do you have a favorite book or movie (or both)? What is it and why?

Oliver: Right now my favorite book is Fablehaven because I really like adventure and plot twists and that 5-book series is full of them! My favorite movie right now would have to be the 2 Maleficent movies. I really like them because it shows how misunderstood and not evil she really is! (I really suggest that you watch it!)

VdM: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of.

Oliver: I am proud to have been elected to the UN closing bureau on the topic of the Advancement of Women.

VdM: How old were you when you started at Villa di Maria?

Oliver: I was three years old when I first started at Villa. One of my favorite memories is when my best friend and I would race each other to the playground every day after lunch.

VdM: Let’s talk about this school year… how do you feel about closing out your last year at Villa di Maria with distance learning?

Oliver:I feel like distance learning has really cut off a bond between me and my teachers that would have flourished towards the end of the year and I am heartbroken that it had to happen like this.

VdM: What do you miss most about being on campus?

Oliver: I really just miss the feel of the environment that all of the other students and teachers make and I think that’s what I miss most.

VdM: What’s next for you? Where will you be going to middle school?

Oliver: The path to the future is really uncertain but I have gotten into a school in Milwaukee called Maryland Avenue Montessori and I am excited to start there!

VdM: What is something you’re most excited about going into your new school? Is there anything you’re not excited about?

Oliver: I am really excited to move on to new Math works especially more Algebra. Something I am not excited about would be the possibility of starting the school year off online.

VdM: Last but not least, you graduated from Villa di Maria!! How are you going to celebrate this summer?

Oliver: There isn’t much celebrating that I can do this summer because we are all quarantined but I will try my best to be happy.

Thank you, Oliver! It is truly bittersweet to say good bye. Villa di Maria will never be the same without you, but we know you are headed into a fantastic future. We are so proud to call you a VdM alum and we will miss you.

And now… Oliver’s graduation speech:

Photos courtesy of Oliver’s family and Melinda Smith.

 

VdM Class of 2020: Heidi

At the end of a typical school year, we honor and celebrate our sixth-year graduates and their families on campus with a graduation ceremony and after party—lovely speeches, delicious food, laughter, tears and lots and lots of Fitz’s root beer. This year the pandemic forced us to change our plans and get creative. Graduating families came in their cars to watch a parade put on by our community and a screening of their prerecorded speeches, all the while maintaining a safe distance (and yes, there was root beer!).

While we did put on a pretty magnificent social-distanced ceremony (if we do say so ourselves), we think the graduates deserve to be celebrated just a little bit more. This summer we’ll highlight each of our sixth-year graduates on the blog. You’ll meet some of the best people we know, children we love and have watched grow and develop into thoughtful, funny, curious, exciting and vibrant young people. And you’ll get to watch their graduation speeches! Today, we’ll meet Heidi.

Heidi, you’re a cinnamon roll because you are sweet and fun. You are delightful and pleasant. You’re smart and you have the best personality. You’re respectful and daring. We will miss your sweet smile that you brought to the class.Upper Elementary fifth-year students

Villa di Maria: Introduce yourself! Tell us something you think everyone should know about you.

Heidi: Hello my name is Heidi and I am a 7th year now I guess, and a few thingies to know about me… Well, I like hanging out with my friends and sleeping and anime shows are cool too. :3 

VdM: What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do for fun?

Heidi: So some hobbies and interests of mine are, I love to draw character design sorta things, I like to play video games, I enjoy messing around with my friends and reading Harry Potter with Katie and Elspeth. 

VdM: Do you have a favorite book or movie (or both)? What is it and why?

Heidi: I reaalllly love the book Spinning by Tillie Walden and a movie… I like the movie A Silent Voice.

VdM: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of.

Heidi: I am proud of doing my best to talk to new people. It’s kinda hard for me to do that stuff so I try my best.

VdM: How old were you when you started at Villa di Maria?

Heidi:  I started attending Villa right when I could go to school. All the way through Primary to Upper El. 

VdM: Let’s talk about this school year… how do you feel about closing out your last year at Villa di Maria with distance learning?

Heidi: I, like most others, wish I could have seen my friends before graduating, especially the ones that will be moving soon. I didn’t even get to hug them goodbye. It all kinda felt so fast, and it wasn’t the graduation I was hoping for but it’s better than nothing. 

VdM: What do you miss most about being on campus?

Heidi: The biggest thing I miss about being on campus was probably the recess. Just being able to go play around anywhere and just sitting down in the grass and just talk. 

VdM: What’s next for you? Where will you be going to middle school?

Heidi: Right now I actually don’t know where I’ll be going but it’s being worked on and we’re still figuring it out.

VdM: What is something you’re most excited about going into your new school? Is there anything you’re not excited about?

Heidi: Well there’s quite a few things I’m nervous about going to a new school, but a thing I am exited about it is going on trips maybe.

VdM: Last but not least, you graduated from Villa di Maria!! How are you going to celebrate this summer?

Heidi: I’m not sure how I’m “celebrating.” Like, I didn’t know that was a thing. Oops. But maybe by just going to a new school? I don’t really know 😐 #kaledudes

Thank you, Heidi! You and your family have been part of Villa di Maria for so long, and we will miss you very much. Good luck in your new school, and don’t forget to come visit and tell us all about it.

And now… Heidi’s graduation speech:

Photos courtesy of Heidi’s family and Melinda Smith.

VdM Class of 2020: Jordan

At the end of a typical school year, we honor and celebrate our sixth-year graduates and their families on campus with a graduation ceremony and after party—lovely speeches, delicious food, laughter, tears and lots and lots of Fitz’s root beer. This year the pandemic forced us to change our plans and get creative. Graduating families came in their cars to watch a parade put on by our community and a screening of their prerecorded speeches, all the while maintaining a safe distance (and yes, there was root beer!).

While we did put on a pretty magnificent social-distanced ceremony (if we do say so ourselves), we think the graduates deserve to be celebrated just a little bit more. This summer we’ll highlight each of our sixth-year graduates on the blog. You’ll meet some of the best people we know, children we love and have watched grow and develop into thoughtful, funny, curious, exciting and vibrant young people. And you’ll get to watch their graduation speeches! Today, we’ll meet Jordan.

Jordan is one of the most funniest people we know. He can tell the funniest stories to help cheer you up. But he can also tell the scariest stories to make you jump out of your seat. He comes up with the best games. He is super adventurous. He is our best friend.Upper Elementary fifth-year students

Villa di Maria: Introduce yourself! Tell us something you think everyone should know about you.

Jordan: Hi my name is Jordan, and my birthday is in March.

VdM: What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do for fun?

Jordan: I like to draw, watch YouTube, and play video games.

VdM: Do you have a favorite book or movie (or both)? What is it and why?

Jordan:  I don’t really have a favorite book because they’re all really good.

VdM: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of.

Jordan: I am really proud that I am learning how to animate, and my personality. I am proud that I have worked on myself and have grown and will continue to do so.

VdM: How old were you when you started at Villa di Maria?

Jordan: I was five years old when I started Villa. My favorite memory from the early days was when I had brought a watch to my school and everyone thought it was really cool. So a small group of people started following me around and staring at my watch and I thought that was really funny. Especially when Mrs. McAuley had to separate us.

VdM: Let’s talk about this school year… how do you feel about closing out your last year at Villa di Maria with distance learning?

Jordan: I feel like it’s really depressing having an online school, because we aren’t really able to see our friends again and Zoom isn’t enough.

VdM: What do you miss most about being on campus?

Jordan: What I really miss the most about campus is the old lower elementary classroom that would be the office now. I really liked that building for the memories that were there with Mrs. LeBeau and Ms. Nidhi.

VdM: What’s next for you? Where will you be going to middle school?

Jordan: I will be going to Chesterfield Montessori after Villa.

VdM: What is something you’re most excited about going into your new school? Is there anything you’re not excited about?

Jordan: I am most excited about seeing the people that are from Chesterfield again, because from my visit at Chesterfield the people were really nice. However I am worried that I might have to do online learning which I feel is not the best way to be introduced to a new school.

VdM: Last but not least, you graduated from Villa di Maria!! How are you going to celebrate this summer?

Jordan: I usually don’t really plan out my summers as I do with the school days but I do have a little theme for each month like the first one would be friends because this is my last year, second would be gaming because I like video games, and last would be water parks/ pools. However, because of COVID-19 I am not sure how I will be celebrating summer other than occasionally going outside and manly staying in.

Jordan is calm, a great role model and the class would not be the same without him. Upper Elementary fifth-year student

Thank you, Jordan! We will miss you at Villa, but know you and your family will come back to visit often. We can’t wait to see all the great things your future holds!

And now… Jordan’s graduation speech:

Photos courtesy of Jordan’s family and Melinda Smith.

Now Welcoming Children 14 Months to 3 Years!

photo credit: Jess Jente

It follows that at the beginning of his life the individual can accomplish wonders—without effort and quite unconsciously. Dr. Maria Montessori

We are thrilled to announce our newest program, the Young Children’s Community (YCC), will open its doors this fall! The YCC will serve children ages 14 months to 3 years Monday through Friday year round. Now enrolling!

The YCC curriculum is thoughtfully and intentionally designed to aid children in the development of language, speech, motor skills and socialization. The environment also allows children opportunities to practice control over their bodies as they are encouraged to dress, eat and use the toilet independently. Children nap as needed and eat together in the environment. The morning program ends at 1:00 p.m., and optional extended afternoon care in the environment is offered at an additional cost.

The program will be led by Guide Reghan McAuley, who is AMI-certified in Assistants to Infancy. Reghan led the P1 Children’s House for a decade and is thrilled to be moving into her new role. She’ll be joined by her longtime Children’s House Assistant, Jess Jente. Reghan and Jess are dedicated to nurturing each child’s needs with grace, love and understanding, and we are proud to have them piloting our YCC program.

We are now enrolling in the YCC, but space is limited. We encourage any family interested in the program now or in the near future to complete an online inquiry form here. For parents of children younger than 14 months, please note that a future-enrollment list has already been started, so don’t miss your chance to jump on!

For more information about the YCC program, including tuition and fees, click here.