We are VdM: The Schroeder Family

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 Faith, Tim and Ethan Schroeder. The Schroeders joined VdM last year, and Ethan is currently a second-year student in Ms. Sarah’s Lower Elementary.

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

The Schroeders: It’s the old city-girl-meets-country-guy, fall in love, get married tale! Tim grew up in Perryville, MO and Faith is from Chicago. Each of us lived in many different places before we met and married, much later in life. Our faith is the focus of our lives and sparks our volunteering, serving and some of our traveling. We have two cats and Faith likes to rescue cats that she comes across, finding them new homes. Tim is our chief gardener with a large and prolific 3-season vegetable garden in our backyard. Our son Ethan is a study in contrasts: both autonomous and wants to be with people all the time, friendly and shy, leader and follower, active and bored, joyful and complaining, and always talking. Right now he is taking volleyball lessons, loves reading Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts comics, playing video games, and as a family we are watching old episodes of Green Acres.

VdM: What do you and your spouse do, career-wise?

The Schroeders: Tim is a product design engineer at Husky Corporation where he improves fuel nozzles, and Faith is an art director in a local company’s marketing department.

VdM: How did you find Montessori and what brought you to VdM?

The Schroeders: When we were looking at daycares, we came across a Montessori daycare and really liked it. So from 3 months old, Ethan has been in a Montessori environment, continuing through daycare into preschool and kindergarten. We chose Villa di Maria for its commitment to the Montessori philosophy, the warm and caring staff, and its wonderful open space.

VdM: What is something your family plans to do this summer?

The Schroeders: We have been planning this summer’s vacation for a while! In July we are going to Orlando for a week and a half. First, we will attend our church’s international conference where we will be learning, worshipping, and getting to see a lot of friends. Afterwards, Faith’s side of the family will join us from Chicago for several days at Disney World. We have been there before when Ethan was much younger; this time he is looking forward to riding roller coasters with Tim, while Faith is hoping he will ride Haunted Mansion with her!

VdM – A question specifically for Ethan: What has been your favorite work in Lower Elementary so far?

The Schroeders: Ethan didn’t want to answer this question when asked. But he talks a lot about his math lessons, how he is moving up in Table A, Table B, C, etc. And he takes pride in his cursive writing!

photo credit: Melinda Smith

Thank you, Faith, Tim and Ethan for giving us a glimpse into your life and for being a part of the VdM community!

Uncredited photos courtesy of the Schroeder family.

.

Women’s History Month 2020 – Events for the Week of March 9

We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.Malala Yousafzai

March is Women’s History Month in the United States—a time to celebrate the many contributions women have made in American History. The theme of this year’s Women’s History Month is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” in honor of the work done by women in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries to ensure the ability of all women to vote.

Throughout March we in St. Louis have many opportunities to learn about, celebrate and honor the many women who’ve played central roles in U.S. history with events at libraries, museums and other venues in our region. Check back here each Monday this month for a list of those events for the coming week.

Coming up this week, March 9 – 15

 

We are VdM: The Davies Family

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 Heather, Trevor, Ella and Cade Davies. The Davies family joined VdM last year. Cade is currently a second-year student in Ms. Sarah’s Lower Elementary and Ella is a fourth-year student in Upper Elementary.

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

Heather: We are an active family of four who enjoy hanging out together and exploring the St. Louis region for fun family activities. I grew up in northeastern Indiana, and moved here in 2002 for a job at Fontbonne University. Trevor grew up in Chesterfield, with frequent trips to Wales to see family in the U.K. We met several years after I moved to St. Louis, got married in 2008, and had Ella and Cade shortly thereafter. We live in Chesterfield with our two guinea pigs Zipper and Zeus.

VdM: How did you find Montessori and what brought you to VdM?

Heather: We did not know much about Montessori before we started searching for daycare for Ella when she was nearly two. Luckily, a friend suggested that we check out our local Montessori school and after one visit of watching children wholly engaged in their work in a very peaceful environment, we signed Ella up for their toddler program. She flourished, and when Cade was old enough, we enrolled him as well.

I work with Rebecca Callander’s husband Tim, who kept stopping by my office to tell me how happy Rebecca and Winston were at Villa. So, when we decided that it was time to find another school, Villa was our first (and ultimately only) stop. It was important to us that the school was AMI certified. After we visited the campus, talked with Laura, and discovered that other We Stories families were here, we knew it was going to be a great place for our kids. It took Ella and Cade a bit longer to be convinced, as after their first visit they were dismayed that there was no playground equipment. Now the open fields, woods, sledding hill and fort building are some of their very favorite things about Villa! We love that their total development is supported, the approach to learning, and how much the staff and other students care about them as people.

VdM: What do you and your spouse do, career-wise?

Heather: I am a professor of communication and chair of the Department of Humanities at Fontbonne, where I’ve been since 2002. I love teaching classes like message analysis, public speaking, argumentation, and persuasion. Every day I get to learn interesting things, talk with others about them, and also support a whole department of people who do the same thing—so I’ve been living my dream. Trevor is the CFO of the manufacturing firm that we co-own, GrassWorx. We make a variety of products, but the most recognizable is probably the green astrofurf doormat with the daisy in the corner!

VdM: Tell us about your typical weekend.

Heather: On a typical weekend, we try to find time for a little bit of work “caring for our environment” and also work to include some kind of fun adventure. Sometimes that includes short road trips—like to Clarksville, MO for Eagle Fest and to learn about the lock and dam system or playtime at O’Day Park in O’Fallon and then on to Washington, Missouri for super ice cream shakes at Main Street Creamery. We found Main Street Creamery last summer on our “Sweet Summer Ice Cream Adventure” where we visited a new ice cream shop every week and then made YouTube reviews based on criteria we find important in an ice cream shop. This winter we have enjoyed roller derby matches at Queeny Park, ice skating, local festivals, the Zoo and Fitz’s for dinner (more ice cream floats) and the monthly Home Depot building projects followed by lunch with friends. Ella and Cade are in their third year of training in Taekwando, so we try to make a session of that on the weekend as well.

VdM – A question specifically for Ella and Cade: If you had to choose between living on the beach or living in the mountains, which would you choose and why?

Heather: Cade would choose to live on an island with a volcano so that he could enjoy both.  Ella would prefer living at the beach when the weather is cold in St. Louis, and then traveling to the mountains to learn to ski.  These  answers are pretty typical of Ella and Cade—they are “both/and” kids!

Thank you, Heather, Trevor, Ella and Cade. We are thrilled to have your family as part of ours.

Photos courtesy of the Davies family.

.

Women’s History Month 2020

There shall never be another season of silence until women have the same rights men have on this green earth.Susan B. Anthony

March is Women’s History Month in the United States—a time to honor the many contributions women have made in American History. The theme of this year’s Women’s History Month is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” in honor of the work done by women in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries to ensure the ability of all women to vote.

Throughout March, we in St. Louis have many opportunities to learn about, honor and celebrate the many women who’ve played central roles in U.S. history with events at libraries, museums and other venues in our region. Check back here each Monday this month for a list of those events for the coming week.

Coming up this week, March 2 – 8