Graduate Highlight: Luke


We are halfway through our graduate highlights, in which we share with you the wonderful, funny, and delightful speeches of the most recent sixth year graduates from Villa di Maria. Hard to believe it is already July, and in just a short couple of months, these amazing kids will be moving on to the next phase. We hope you have enjoyed the speeches so far. Below, Luke’s memories of his favorite lessons, plus a few funny stories from his time here at VdM. Enjoy!

Sometimes I like to think of school as an ollie, (the skateboard trick, not my little brother.) Primary is the part where you kick the board into the air, Lower Elementary is the part where you slide your foot up the board and propel yourself forward, and Upper Elementary is the part where you land and roll away.

Let’s start with Primary, the kick. I actually didn’t attend primary at Villa di Maria, I lived in Chicago back then, and went to a place called Chiaravalle Montessori School. My favorite material from there was probably The Pink Tower and/or The Brown Stairs. I remember I worked on them so much that my teachers would come and say, “Luke, that’s the third time you’ve done that today. Maybe you should try something else.” My favorite memory is a funny one. You know how there’s the adjective barnyard lesson? Well, one day I was messing around with the horse and this other kid took it.  I asked for it back with my hands. This results in him throwing the horse at me. And before you know it, everyone is throwing animals at everyone. I don’t remember exactly what happened after that, but I’m pretty sure we all got in a lot of trouble. My life lesson for Primary was restraint. I know a lot of you might say I have no restraint whatsoever, but all I have to say is, if I didn’t go to primary, it would have been worse.

Now for Lower El, the slide. This is where I first came to Villa. I had two amazing teachers, Mrs. Nidhi and Mrs. Lebeau. My favorite material was definitely Racks and Tubes. I can’t quite remember why I loved it so much, but I certainly did it a lot. My favorite memory there is also a funny one. My friends Ben and Beacon and I were sitting at a table for lunch in the science room. Anyway, Ben had some applesauce and couldn’t open it. So, he did the logical thing and started hitting it with a spoon. Beacon said, “Ben, I don’t know if that’s a good idea.” Unfortunately, Ben back then was not the smart guy he is now, and continued hitting it. I started to say, “Ben, I think Beacon—” but just then he hit it super hard and it exploded everywhere. It was all over the microscopes and then Mrs.Nidhi walked in to see what all the commotion was. Ben instantly pointed at Beacon and yelled, “Beacon did it!” Anyway, it was super funny. My life lesson for Lower El was probably working together.

Now for upper el, the landing. I’ve had a lot of fun at upper elementary, with my three amazing teachers, Mrs. Rebecca, Mrs. Anderson, and Mr. Justin. I’ve done some great things here from leading over twenty other students in a MMUN resolution, to building a Cajon box drum. My favorite material was definitely Square Root, probably because it was one of the few math lessons I understand. My favorite memory was definitely MMUN. MMUN has fueled my love for politics and social justice. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. And now I’m rolling away feeling excited for the future, grateful for my education so far, and ready for whatever the future holds. And last but not least, I’d like to thank all my teachers, friends, and family for an amazing elementary experience. Thank you.