Wednesday Weekly
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April 3, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 


WMS Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament

Please join me in congratulating the three Odyssey of Mind teams who participated in the state finals competition at Smyrna High School on March 23. I was there to watch the exciting events! I am proud of them! Thirty schools participated and all of our students were outstanding! Two of our teams will represent Delaware at the 2013 World Finals at Michigan State University this May.


Participants in the State Tournament were:


"Pet Project," Division IA - 2nd place

Charlotte Davey, Jordan Ranji, Alex Ropars, Adin Shweiki, Ariel Shweiki
Coached by Dave Ropars, Kerry Shweiki, Susie Ventresca  


"The Email Must Go Through," Division I - 2nd Place

Lauren Aussprung, Evan Bastianelli, Sarah Breger,  Annabelle Damude, Lauren Jones, Jackson Politis, Isabel Snyder  
Coached by Natalie Wolf Aussprung, Leslie Bastianelli, Suzanne Jones 


"The Email Must Go Through," Division II 

Rachel Aussprung, Grant Farabaugh, Dylan Garvin, Katie Krawczuk, Michael Lober, Dharini Simon, Juliana White 

Coached by Natalie Wolf Aussprung, Laura Farabaugh, Tonya Garvin


Re-enrollment Reminder 

We are now accepting new students for school year 2013-14. Some of our current families have not yet re-enrolled. I urge you to do this now to ensure your child's placement for September. Some classrooms are close to full already so it is very important that we receive your paperwork and deposit so we can secure your child's space. If you have questions, please contact me ASAP at 475-0555 or As usual, my office door is always open.


Board News

Congratulations to Meredith Amado and Drew Matalonis, who have been elected to the Board of Trustees. They began their term at the recent Annual Meeting. Special thanks to Susan Thomas who retired from board service after nine years as a member. We are grateful for her dedication and commitment to Montessori education and WMS's children and families, as well as her important contributions to the school's strategic goals. Her son Jonah is in the 7-9 class, and she also has two sons who are WMS alumni.


Auction 2013 

The excitement is building for WMS's Lucky Pair Auction & Casino Games Night on Saturday, April 20. All of our staff members are coming with tickets donated by supportive parents. Plan to bring friends, grandparents and alumni! Tickets are available in the lobby and online. Some items will be featured in the lobby from now until the day of the auction. Thanks to everyone who is helping and to co-chairs Cathy Capper and Kerry Shweiki. 


Historic Visitor

Lakshmi Kripalani is a Montessori legend for many reasons. Now 92 years old, she studied and worked with Maria Montessori herself as young teacher in Karachi, India, during the 1940s.  Stop by our Holi celebration on Tuesday, April 9, after 11 a.m. to meet Lakshmi in the Great Room. Lakshmi was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Montessori Society in 2010, and we are honored welcome her to WMS. To learn more about Lakshmi, check out this video interview on YouTube. Many thanks to Seetha Raju for chairing this year's Holi celebration!

Alumni News
History Bowl

WMS alumni win Pennsylvania State History Bowl


On Saturday March 16, Elizabethtown High School hosted the Pennsylvania State History Bowl. While it was a competition for Pennsylvania, Delaware schools were also allowed to participate.


P.S. DuPont Middle School was attempting to put together a team on short notice. With only two competitors, the parent/coach invited members to invite a friend or two. P.S. DuPont student and 2012 WMS graduate Ben Connor invited fellow alum Ben Snyder (a student at Wilmington Friends) to join the team just three days prior to the event. As it turned out, the other original member, a student from P.S., was ill that day, leaving the team to just the two Bens (much to their surprise).


While some teams "prepare" by running practices, Ben and Ben had little notice of the competition and decided to approach this as a fun adventure.


The event consists of five rounds of competition, followed by a semi-final and final.  Each round has four quarters, each with a different set of rules. Typical questions are a paragraph long, starting with more obscure information, gradually leading to more commonly known hints by question's end.  Team members (up to four per team) use a buzzer to ring in, similar to what is done on the quiz show Jeopardy.


Ben and Ben did well enough to compete in the final and then take the trophy. Here is the summary as written on the PA History Bowl website.  Note that in the final, teams are given high school level questions!


In the Middle School division, Darren Pitts, a one-student team from Scranton, upset the #1 seed from St. Stephen's in the semifinal, and then faced the two-student team from P.S. DuPont in the finals. After an exciting match on high school questions that saw all but 1 question between the two teams get answered in the third quarter, P.S. DuPont pulled away in the fourth quarter to claim the title.


They received one plaque between them and had the dilemma of what to do with it.  The boys decided they wanted to share it with WMS, a place they not only feel at home, but also the school that brought them together as teammates and friends.

Siple kids at kite competition
Class of 2011's Becky Siple and sixth-grader Zach Siple fly away with awards at kite festival

During Spring Break, Becky and Zach Siple swept the awards at the Great Delaware Kite Festival. Becky came home with the medals for Most Unusual and Most Attractive teen homemade kite for her flying Pegasus kite and Zach came home with Most Unusual and second place for Best All-Around homemade kite for the 12 and under set for his Pi-themed kite.   


Have alumni news? Email!

Mark Your Calendars



3                Parent Workshop:

                  Montessori 101/Bringing
                  Montessori Home

                  6:30 p.m.



4                PTO Meeting

                  All are welcome!
                  7 p.m. 


8                Montessori Monday - Admissions

                  Tell a friend!
                  More on admissions events

9-10           WMS Holi Celebration 

                  Great Room
                  Join us at 11 a.m. on 4/9 to meet 
                  Montessori legend Lakshmi Kripalani                     (more info in Marie's Message) or join
                   your child's class when they attend
                   this celebration.

9-11           DAIS Art Show (featuring art by
                  all 9-12 students)                                            Reception 4-6 p.m. on April 9
                  The Tatnall School

11              Parent Education: Standardized
                  Testing & Classroom-Based
                  8:30 a.m., Room 26
                  More Info 


                  Toddler Spring Sing Fling
                  11 a.m., Great Room 

15-19          ERB Testing
                   More info to come from classroom 

17-19          Childfind Testing 
                   More info to come from classroom 


20               WMS's Lucky Pair: Auction &
                   Casino Games          
                   7 p.m., Gym  
                   More Info

22               Montessori Monday -Admissions
                   Tell a friend!
                   More on admissions events

24               Earth Day/Arbor Day activities
                   Details TBA 

25               Preschool Concert
                   9:30 a.m., Gym

                   Rummage Pre-Sale
                   For WMS Staff/Families
                   4-6 p.m., WMS Lower Level

27               Junque & Treasures 
                   Rummage Sale

                   7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
                   More Info

30               Student Art Exhibit begins
                   On display in the lobby 
Parent Education
Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

Parenting Tips
by Certified Parent Educator (and WMS Great-Grandmother)
Yvonne Nass 

Do you ever redo something your child has done to "make it perfect?" Do you rearrange them after they have dressed themselves to "make it perfect?" Do you send them back to do a piece of work until it is "perfect?" Do you have the need for perfectionism?

Expecting perfection in your child is very discouraging. It implies you are no one unless you are perfect. A child who feels a need to be perfect may eventually give up and not try. It impacts the wonderful sense of accomplishment and hard work that goes into learning. It takes away the courage to risk failure. A child will begin to avoid anything too difficult. Recognizing effort and accepting what a child can do is a way to build self-confidence and help a child to realize some things take hard work.

Saying "It looks like you worked hard on that. You must feel pleased," will encourage further risks in trying new things.



For more information about this and other parenting topics, contact Yvonne Nass at

TestingFree Parent Workshop: Classroom-Based Assessment & Standardized Testing
  April 11, 2013 - 8:30 a.m., Room 26 

Learn more about the ERBs and other testing and assessment tools used at WMS:
  • What kinds of assessment tools are used in WMSStandardized Testing classrooms?
  • What is standardized testing and what do the results mean?
  • How do WMS teachers use these results to help ensure that your child gets the best education possible?   

    Attend this FREE workshop to find out the answers to these questions and more.  

Register Now Button

For more information, call 302-475-0555 or contact
Free Parent Workshop: Montessori 101 / Bringing Montessori Home - Tonight! 
Pink Tower  
April 3, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.
Missed this morning's workshop? Don't worry - it will be repeated tonight for your convenience!

Join seasoned teachers/Montessori moms Betsy Haas and Melissa Sugzdinis in a two-part workshop that will introduce the Montessori philosophy and teach parents how to bring it into the home.

The first part of the workshop will include an overview of the Montessori Method and how it is utilized and experienced in the classroom. The second part will include tips on how to foster independence and creativity by bringing Montessori into the home - without expensive materials!

This workshop is free and open to the public. Please register to secure your seat. Families from outside the WMS community are welcome.  Please share this invitation with your friends who are interested in learning more about Montessori education!

Register Now Button

Note: Two hours of co-op time will be given to each WMS family that attends. 

Child care:
For your convenience, child care is available for the 6:30 p.m. session at $10 per child (for those who did not register by noon yesterday). To register, please contact as soon as possible. Child care is available to all WMS students and for children ages 3 and up from outside the school.
News & Notes
rummage sale 80s fashion shoot
Coming to Facebook soon... WMS alumni '80s clothing fashion show, featuring items from the Rummage Sale!
Junque 'n' Treasures Rummage Sale - Only 3 1/2 weeks to go!
Many thanks for all of the wonderful donations that have been pouring in. When we ask, we receive. Check out the displays in the glass cases in the lobby and near the art room for a preview!
We are still in need of our most popular items: Jewelry and furniture items! Can't drop off? We can pick up! Contact Nancy Sakaguchi (email or call 302-475-4162) to make arrangements.


Also, get ready to set sale with us on Thursday, April 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the lower level of the school. This "pre-sale" is for the WMS community only!
The sale to the general public will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. - be sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends.  Last-minute donations are always welcome and will be accepted up until 6 p.m. on Friday, April 26. We are also looking for clothing racks and hangers to be used for displaying items.
Co-op Corner
Lacrosse 2012
Wanted: Lacrosse Coaches

Earn co-op hours while exercising! 
Physical education teacher Adrianna Cichonska is looking for parent volunteers to assist with coaching boys and girls lacrosse for grades 3 through 6. No experience with lacrosse is necessary -- although if you have experience, we would love to have your expertise! Lacrosse begins on April 2.

email Adrianna if you're interested.

The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  Please send submissions to by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior to the issue in which you wish to include your information.  Content may be edited for length and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Communications Officer.

Our Mission

Wilmington Montessori School is a collaborative learning community rooted in Montessori principles, inspiring the joyful discovery of self and a passion for learning and independent thinking. We empower children to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to the global community.