The very best part of Villa di Maria is our people. Our community of families, faculty and staff is something to be proud of and something to hold onto during our school’s COVID-19 closure. In this series, We are VdM, we’ll highlight the energies, talents, humor and wisdom of some of our amazing people—and we’ll stay connected!
Today, we’ll meet another longtime VdM family: the Steinmans. Heather Steinman has been our P3 Children’s House guide since 2014, but she joined the VdM community as a parent in 2002. Her youngest daughter is currently in Mrs. McAuley’s Children’s House and her youngest son will join his sister next fall. Read on to get to know Heather, her husband Brian and their children, Danny, Andra, Emerson and Miles.
Villa di Maria: Tell us a bit about you and your family.
Heather: There are a lot of us! Our crew includes me, my husband Brian, Danny, who is 21 years old, Andra is 19, Emerson is almost 5, and Miles just turned 2 years old! Of course, I cannot leave out our family mascot Jackson, he is a 90-pound yellow lab that we love like crazy.
My husband Brian is the Executive Chef at Charlie Gitto’s on the hill. We have known each other since middle school, and he makes me laugh every day.
Danny is a VdM alum and he even worked at Villa during late stay hours and summer camp in his high school years (some may remember him as “Mr. Danny”). He is currently a student at Ranken Technical College studying electrical engineering and will graduate this spring. Upon graduation, he will be moving to Huntsville, Alabama for a job working with Sargent and Lundy.
Andra is also a former Villa student and she too worked at late stay and summer camp! She is currently in her freshman year at the University of Kansas where she is studying nursing. She has also enjoyed being a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Emerson is in her third year in Mrs. McAuley’s Children’s House. She is a bundle of energy and super excited about her upcoming birthday and turning 5!
Miles has just turned 2 and spent his Tuesdays this school year in the parent-child class, he will join his sister in Primary 1 this coming fall. He is the baby in our family, but he is ready for some big things!
VdM: How did you find Montessori and what brought you to VdM?
Heather: When my older children were little, I was a stay at home mom. Around the time Danny was 2 ½ I realized he needed more than just being at home with his mom and little baby sister and began looking for play groups and nursery schools so that he could be social with other children. After spending some time at a little school in Kirkwood we came across Villa di Maria. When I came to visit the school, I was immediately intrigued and excited about what I saw, and we signed Danny up immediately. It didn’t take long for me to become fascinated with the Montessori method and I volunteered at Villa as much as I could. By the time Andra began coming to school in the Children’s House, I was lucky enough to get the chance and come to work at Villa as Mrs. Milos’ assistant, and the rest is history!
VdM: Tell us something your family is doing to make the most of this extended break from school?
Heather: I think mostly, we are trying to embrace the fact that we can all be together, we do not get that chance usually. Brian and I usually work opposite schedules and the older children are always on the go when they are here. We rarely have time for the whole family to be together, so we are thankful for that part. I’m pretty sure Jackson thinks he has hit the lottery! We try to get some time outdoors each day despite the weather, and family dinners each night have been pretty great. And MUSIC, we listen to a LOT of music and have ridiculous dance parties. If you are not yet incorporating the music you love into your days, please do, music can heal, inspire, create joy and spark activity. Mrs. Steinman loves to dance and sing 😊 We are hopeful for life to return to normal but for now, we are just making the most of an unbelievable situation.
Villa di Maria would like to add something here: Heather has also been working during this break to stay connected with the P3 families and children through emails, phone calls, voice calls and Zoom sing-alongs in our distance learning program. She and all of our amazing guides have been working tirelessly to keep our community together and learning. We would not be VdM without them.
VdM, A question specifically for Emerson: What is your favorite thing about summer?
Emerson: I like the swimming pool in the summer, because it’s cool. I like to jump in and have the things that sink to the bottom and you get them.
Thank you, Heather, Brian, Danny, Andra, Emerson and Miles for sharing your lives with us today and every day at Villa di Maria.
Uncredited photos courtesy of the Steinman family.