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 the charismatic, musical Kiley and Steve Kozel who share their sacred Sunday night tradition and what they love most about VdM. Enjoy!Villa di Maria: Tell us a bit about your family.
Kiley Kozel: We are the lucky and exhausted parents of three little boys. Brixton (5), & Blair (2) are in P3, and Baby Wyn (5 months) is mommy’s sidekick throughout the day along with our 9-year-old, Jack-rat-terrier, Pocket. Brixton is bright, curious, a complex thinking, big feeler, and ridiculously caring oldest brother. Blair somehow has the physical and comedic timing of a seasoned stand-up, accompanied by platinum blonde hair the texture of cotton candy which compliments his overall effervescent spirit. Baby Wyn is nearly perfect as he hasn’t had a tantrum yet. As for Steve and myself, while we are complex, individual human beings, perhaps nothing can explain us more succinctly than our Meyers Briggs: Steve – INTJ, Kiley, ENFP. 100%
VdM: Can you tell us about your background and education?
KK: We met at Webster University. Steve graduated with a degree in film (2004) and I graduated with a B.A. in music (2006). Both of us were able to study abroad (Steve, a quarter in Vienna and myself, a semester in Thailand) and we feel the abroad experience is mandatory for our boys’ future education. After college, we played and toured in an indie band for a handful of years before eventually becoming full-fledged adults with a mortgage, a lawn, and a zygote. Or three.
VdM: What do you do career-wise?
KK: Steve works downtown at Osborn Barr as an account planner and I have a piano studio, “Kiley Ko. Piano” teaching private piano lessons as well as “BabyGrands,” a baby music class, out of our home in Rock Hill. I am also returning as the piano accompanist for the Primary Classrooms at Villa this week!
VdM: Do you have any hobbies? How do you and your family enjoy spending your spare time?
KK: Steve is at his happiest learning, creating, and doing something with his hands. I enjoy interior design & decorating, occasionally writing in my blog, and reading recipes I will never make. Brixton and Blair spend a lot of time drawing and coloring and are diving headfirst into an obsession with Rescuebots.
VdM: How were you introduced to Montessori?
KK: We were introduced by Meg Mottl, who was a VdM cheerleader-extraordinaire. She also gave me two books on Montessori which sit lovingly on our shelf, untouched. Because, time.
KK: We are excited to watch our boys grow together in Mrs. Steinman’s classroom, and especially to watch Blair begin to transform there (language, skills, interests, socially, independently, etc.) the way we watched Brix. We are also excited to continue to get to know VdM families and develop relationships with other parents and children. We have made some really wonderful friends from VdM, which is perhaps reason 1,794 why we love it here.
Thank you, Kozel family! We are so happy you are here with us!