Who We Are: Cecilia Prandi and Harold Hopwood

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As part of a series we’re calling Who We Are, we’re working to build and connect our community by interviewing the talented, dynamic parents and staff who make up the people of Villa di Maria. Today, we meet new-to-St. Louis Cecilia Prandi and Harold Hopwood, and their daughters Victoria and Helena. Below, they share their International roots and what they hope to find in the Montessori community. Enjoy!


Villa di Maria: Tell us a bit about your family.

Cecilia Prandi: My husband Harold is Dutch, and was raised in Argentina. I was born and raised in Argentina. We moved to the United States in 2008, so we are very close to celebrating ten years in the U.S.! We first lived in Tennessee, where Victoria was born five years ago, then we moved to Miami, where Helena was born three years ago. We’re not planning to have a baby in Saint Louis!

VdM: Can you tell us about your background and education?

CP: Harold is an engineer and just finished an EMBA at Kellogg. His job brought us to Saint Louis; we’ve only been here for about a month. I studied Fine Arts and Stage Design.


VdM: Do you have any hobbies? How do you and your family enjoy spending your spare time?

CP: These days we enjoy exploring the city and seeing new places – especially restaurants, parks, and museums.


VdM: How were you introduced to Montessori?

CP: While living in Miami, Victoria was attending a Montessori school so we are pretty familiar with the methodology. We wanted to continue with that type of education and make it the same for Helena. This will be her first year; she did a shy summer camp test and ended up doing very well so we are confident she will do great at VdM.

VdM: What are you looking forward to most this school year?

CP: For this school year, we want our girls to learn a lot and to have many many happy experiences!


Welcome, Prandi-Hopwood family! We are so happy to get to know you a bit better, and we’re thrilled to have you here with us!