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 talents, humor, energies and wisdom of some of our amazing people. Today we’ll meet Jonathan Putra and his parents Abadi Kurniawan and Mikie Rachman. Jonathan and his family are new to Villa di Maria this year; Jonathan is in his first year in the Racks & Tubes Lower Elementary classroom.
Villa di Maria: Where are you from and what brought you to St. Louis?
Mikie: We were born and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved to St. Louis right after high school in 2004 to pursue an undergraduate degree in nursing and my husband (Abadi) moved to St. Louis in 2007 to continue with his Master’s degree in computer science. Even though we grew up in the same city and our house is only 30 minutes away, our first meeting is actually taken place here in St. Louis—10,000 miles away from home. Needless to say, St. Louis is our second home away from home. We decided to start our family in 2013, and Jonathan was born a year later right after the World Cup semi-final match between Argentina and Germany team.
VdM: How did you find Montessori and Villa di Maria?
Mikie: We heard about Montessori school when Jonathan was in Pre-K, but neither of us knows much about the school philosophy back then. However, when Jonathan was in kindergarten, we learned more about Montessori philosophy from multiple work colleagues who send their children to Montessori school and we really like its teaching philosophy. After doing some research around the St. Louis area, we chose Villa di Maria because we were impressed by everything we saw during the tour. When Jonathan had his chance to experience the school for one full day, he came home really excited and told us that he can’t wait to go to this school.
VdM: Tell us about your backgrounds, what do you and your spouse do career-wise?
Mikie: My husband work as a software engineer at 1904labs, building software for Fortune 500 companies in St. Louis. Outside of his full time work, he’s working on building his own startup with some of his friends. I am currently working as nursing research coordinator at WashU, collaborating with BJC healthcare to expand informatics research activities on their academic medical center. In addition to this full time role, I am also teaching a couple clinical classes for Goldfarb School of Nursing as part of my community service to help prepare future nurses in our region.
VdM: Do you have any hobbies? How do you and your family enjoy spending your spare time?
Mikie: My husband and Jonathan both love to play video games. Their favorite game is Minecraft. They spent a lot of time building, exploring, and going on an adventure in Minecraft world, and then tell the tale with me afterward. We enjoy experiencing new culinary from different countries, whether by going to restaurants (not so much during pandemic), or by trying out new recipes at home.
VdM: What are you most looking forward to this school year?
Mikie: Before the Pandemic, we were already excited to have Jonathan experience all different activities at VdM such as going out and cooking activities. Now, we are just happy that Jonathan has the opportunity to go to school in-person and make new friends in his first year at VdM. It was a tough decision to send him to school in person, but all the extra effort by Villa di Maria staff and teachers to make sure all the students can stay safe gave us the confidence and peace of mind.
VdM: A question for Jonathan – What is one of your favorite things to do at school so far?
Mikie: Jonathan loves spending time outside, exploring the woods while he is at school. Additionally, he also loves learning about Science especially when he has a chance to conduct science experiments. He always excited to share some interesting scientific facts with us while at home.
Welcome to Villa di Maria, Jonathan, Abadi and Mikie. We are so happy to have your family here!
Uncredited photos courtesy of Mikie Rachman and Abadi Kurniawan.