The very best part of Villa di Maria is our people. Our community of families, faculty and staff is something to be proud of. In this series, We are VdM, we’ll highlight the energies, talents, humor and wisdom of some of our amazing people. Today, we’ll meet Emil Ohmes-Kelly, his mother Holly and his father Michael. Emil joined Ms. Braud’s Children’s House just a few short weeks ago!
Villa di Maria: Tell us a bit about you and your family.
Holly: Emil and I love our little blue house in the Princeton Heights neighborhood! It was built in 1906 and remodeled perfectly for us. We enjoy all the eclectic activities the city has to offer and love spending time out in the country with Oma and PaPa! Emil’s father, Michael, lives and works in Columbia, Missouri as a professional engineer. He is in the midst of starting a side business as a General Contractor for farms and homes. I have been teaching Yoga to all ages and creating several curriculums for over 25 years. I currently teach Silver Sneakers Chair Yoga at the Mid County YMCA and also sub Yoga, T’ai Chi, aqua exercise and swim lessons at the local YMCAs. I just started a volunteer position as a Live Yes! Meeting Facilitator with the Arthritis Foundation.
VdM: Where are you from and what brought you to St. Louis?
Holly: I am originally from O’Fallon, Missouri. I came to study at Webster University in 1993, where I then completed a Bachelor in Studio Art. I was raised in a rural environment, but found myself settling in St. Louis. Michael is originally from Kirkwood, Missouri, but has lived around the U.S. as his work requires travel.
VdM: How did you find Montessori and what brought you to VdM?
Holly: When I first came to Webster University, I took several education courses and was instantly drawn to the Montessori method. Years later I taught Learn to Swim and Yoga at a local Montessori School’s summer camp. I always thought if I had children, I would want them to experience a Montessori education. Emil attending Villa di Maria is definitely a dream come true for me!
VdM: Tell us about your typical weekend.
Holly: Our weekends are filled with favorite activities, new experiences, time with Michael and visits with Oma and Papa… soccer and swimming lessons at the YMCA, walks at the Botanical Gardens, lunch with Oma and Papa in Old Town St. Charles and all things artsy… reading, painting, playing the piano, ukulele and harmonica, writing songs, dancing…
VdM: A question specifically for Emil: What is your favorite work to do in your classroom so far?
Holly: When I first asked Emil what his favorite work was to do in his classroom, he answered, “painting!” A few days later I asked him the same question and the answer was drawing letters and numbers in the sand!
Welcome to Villa di Maria, Holly and Emil! We are so happy to have you here.
Photos provided by Holly Ohmes.