Who We Are: Suzanne and Paraig Farrell

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

Suzanne Miller: We are a family who LOVES to travel and will do so as much as possible. Our oldest, Margot, visited NYC, the OBX twice, and 6 countries in her first 10 months. Having new experiences and meeting new people is something we love to do as a family.

My husband Paraig and I moved back to St. Louis in 2007 after I was away for around 15 years. Paraig and I met in Ireland where we lived for 6 years. Margot made us parents in 2009 and Rory completed our family in 2011. Our furry children are two very smart Westies called Lulu and Georgina (Georgie for short).

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

SM: I grew up in the St. Louis area and attended St. Louis University where I created my own major of International Affairs, which emphasized French, Political Science and Economics.  I mention this because I’m so grateful SLU gave me a ‘Montessori-type’ experience where I crafted my own studies.  From that I did an internship at the US Department of Stage and the US Information Agency.  I stayed on in DC in public affairs and then transitioned to financial communications in NYC and San Francisco. I had always wanted to live overseas so combined that experience with getting my masters in Dublin, Ireland. I met Paraig the first few months I was in Dublin and the rest, as they say, is history.

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VdM: What do you do career-wise?

SM: When I was in Ireland I started my own marketing and communications consultancy called Magellan Communications. After doing this for 15 years, I’m ready for a new challenge and now in stealth mode on a new venture that I hope to launch next year.

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

SM: It seems I can’t read enough and recently have really enjoyed working in my flower garden. Photography has been a longtime passion of mine and I even did portraiture as a side business before the children arrived. As a family we love to ski. But second only to Christmas for Margot and Rory for being the best day of the year is a day on the beach as a family.

The last two summers we have gone to Ireland and stayed on the island where my mother-in-law grew up.  When the weather looks like it will hold, all the extended family (sometimes numbering up to 40) take small fishing boats over to another island that is no longer inhabited but where my children’s great grandparents lived.  We picnic, hike, swim and the kids play soccer and rugby with the most breathtaking scenery as a backdrop.

VdM: How were you introduced to Montessori?

SM:  My mother helped co-found a co-op when I was small so attended that school, which was called the Acorn School.  We had materials at home that my mother would use to instill some lessons in practical life, and math (the golden beads).  For my own children, I was looking for a Montessori program and the stars aligned that the Lab School at Grand Center opened three years ago-just five minutes from our house.  Margot and Rory were students #5 and 6.  After the first day at that school I knew this was our path.

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

SM: Now that we have both children in the same school, we’re excited to get better acquainted with the VDM community, but I’m also enjoying observing Margot and Rory enter the second plane and expand their collaboration skills and social circles.

Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your family with us! 

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