Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan
Celebrating the Class of 2013
Yesterday was a proud day for all of us at Wilmington Montessori School. We celebrated the graduation of the 10 members of the class of 2013.
It was a beautiful morning that began with a breakfast for the graduates, their family members, and WMS teachers and staff. The delicious muffins were baked by fifth-graders and their families, who also coordinated decorations and served the food. At the breakfast, Liz Madden presented special certificates to each child. The certificates described each graduate's unique gifts and interests, which were carefully identified by the 9-12 teachers. Specials teachers also recognized each graduate by sharing lists of each child's distinguishing traits, along with an acrostic poem based on their names.
Following the breakfast, 9-12 students spent time signing each other's memory books, then gathered outside in the Peace Park to remember their time at WMS. The class held hands, singing a song about friendship and love, before it was time for the sixth-graders to head to the gym for the graduation ceremony.
As each graduate entered the gym, we were all impressed by their poise and confidence. The annual tradition of watching a slide show of memories of each graduate throughout the years brought forth both laughter and tears from the graduates and their guests. The class of 2013 then came onto the stage as the formal ceremony commenced.
|Check out our album of graduation photos on Facebook!|
I was so proud as Grant Farabaugh spoke about the sixth-graders' trip to the United Nations and their fundraising efforts for the organization Save the Rain, through which they raised $607. This project is a perfect example of how WMS empowers students to care for others and make a positive difference in the world around them.
The graduates continued another WMS tradition by reciting the poems they wrote, entitled "Where I'm From." Each poem was different, but reflected similar sentiments - the child's gratitude for their families and their love for WMS. These poems will be compiled into a book that is placed in the admissions waiting room (next to Theresa's office). I encourage you to read them next time you're in the building. Here is a sampling of a few lines that reflect the graduate's feelings about our school:
WMS taught me to go my own unique way,
to be confident in my every action,
to enjoy every moment.
- Crescentia Jung
I am from becoming a more open person
to hoping I will stay that way for the rest of my life.
From singing with my friends at recess
to singing with them on the bus.
From getting to know people on the sixth grade trip
To getting to know them even more in Odyssey of the Mind.
- Dharini Simon
I'm from the greatest feeling ever
Having SO MANY amazing friends
Sometimes even Amigos
I'm from all of those wonderful things
But most of all
I'm from WMS
A place I will always cherish
- Dylan Garvin
Don't be fooled, where I'm really from is WMS. The place that carried me
through all the rough and hard times and situations.
There is only one school like this where I served my meerkat years and loved
them all. That place is WMS.
- Ahmad Taylor
After the poems were read, the big moment arrived - it was time for me to present the graduates with their diplomas. I am so proud of each of them!
Finally, as the ceremony drew to a close, friends and family members selected by the class of 2013 came to the stage to bring the graduates their "graduation baskets," another WMS tradition. The bags were full of fun gifts for the graduates, who were then ready to celebrate!
Before leaving the gym, each graduate selected a paper crane from the jar that was filled by each child and staff member on Peace Day. These cranes will help them remember their days at WMS and the community they will always be part of. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a splendid day for these wonderful children.
Thank you for a wonderful year!
This is the last Wednesday Weekly of the 2012-13 school year. If you will be joining us again in the fall, look for news and updates from the school throughout the summer, including information about WMS's 50th anniversary year. Yesterday was the last day of classes; however, child care continues through June 14 and Camp Montessori begins on June 17. There are 215 students (and counting) registered for camp this summer. I will be here all summer, except for some vacation time, and I will be here when students return on September 3.
Staffing for 2013-14
There are a few changes in staffing for the new year. Other classrooms will continue with this year's staffing. Here is an update.
Room 5 - Preschool
Joyce Hutchison has decided to retire as a lead teacher at WMS. Joyce has been at WMS for 13 years, and I am particularly grateful for her leadership of the new preschool classroom we opened in January. In a short amount of time, she was able to create a peaceful community in Room 5. Joyce will continue to be present in our school next year as she serves as a part-time substitute teacher.
Room 15 - 5-7 Class (Kindergarten/First Grade)
We are excited to welcome Erin Wehler to WMS, who will lead the class with current 5-7 teacher Jill Pyle. Erin brings with her a multitude of experience as an AMS-credentialed early childhood teacher. She comes to WMS from Starmaker Montessori School in Maryland, where she has taught for 11 years and has also recently taken on some administrative responsibilities. Erin attended WMS as a child and looks forward to returning and bringing her two daughters to the school as well.
New 3-6 Class (preschool and kindergarten)
Betsy Haas has accepted a new position at WMS as the leader of a pilot 3-6 classroom at WMS. Her experience as a preschool and 5-7 teacher makes her the perfect person to lead this new program! Please contact Liz Madden to learn more.
Rooms 12 & 14 - 7-9 Program
Carol Wiswall and Melissa Connelly will continue as co-teachers in our second and third-grade classroom. Sadly, Cheryl Jones is leaving WMS after eight years at the school. We will all miss the gifts she brought to the classroom as a talented teacher, particularly in the realm of writing. We wish her the best in the next steps in her teaching career.
Rooms 9 & 10 - 9-12 Program
Joanna Breger and Shelley Robyn will return to the classroom as lead teachers, along with Melissa Sugzdinis who will return to the classroom as a full-time lead teacher after spending the last two years leading our professional development program and subbing in the classroom on a regular basis. Cheryl Wilsey-Cleveland, who started at WMS last fall, will be leaving the school to pursue an opportunity to teach at a community college. We thank her for her service to WMS and her contributions to our community this year and wish her the best. Lisa Lalama will continue to oversee curriculum and programming for the 9-12 Program.
Important Surveys - Please respond by Friday!
All-school year-end survey
Many thanks to all of you who have filled out our 2012-13 parent survey! If you haven't filled out yours, there's still time. Please submit your survey using the link below by 4 p.m. Friday. Your feedback is truly valued!
Survey link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/wmsparents2013
This survey was created through a combined effort between WMS staff and Board. Those who fill out the survey can receive one hour of co-op time (please submit a co-op form for this as you would any other co-op work with a copy of the "Thank You" page that appears when you complete the survey) and will be eligible to win a gift from the school store! Please direct any questions about the survey to Noel Dietrich at email@example.com. If you choose to include your contact information to be eligible for the prize, it will not be shared or connected with your responses.
NAEYC survey - licensing requirement!
All toddler, preschool and kindergarten parents should have received a paper survey from your teacher last week. These surveys are part of the self-study portion of our re-accreditation process for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It is important that we have a high response rate to ensure the validity of the results. These surveys are also due by 4 p.m. Friday. Extra copies are available at the front desk if you've misplaced yours. If you would like a copy sent to you electronically, please contact Liz Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all of your input!