Wednesday Weekly
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September 25, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 


One of the first questions that new parents ask when they come to the school is about our former students, and how they do when they leave WMS.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary year, we are also embarking on some data-collecting about all of our past students. Many have been out of college for many years. The first students are now 53 years old. Many have come back with their grandchildren, and many more have returned with their own children. Erin Wehler, who attended WMS in the 1980s and has now returned as a teacher in the 5-7 program, said the following about her reasons for sending her daughters Cider and Ginger to WMS:  

"I want them to experience what I experienced - to connect with the world they live in, learn empathy, make strong connections with people, and most of all, to love learning and have the joy of discovery nurtured."Family Information Form
This year, we have many students whose parents attended the school when they were children.  Here is a list of some of our currently enrolled students whose families have been dedicated to WMS during these 50 historic years:

Owen Bowker (Toddler) - Son of assistant teacher Liz Bowker
Ean Dulin (Preschool) - Son of Sean Dulin
Hayley (Elementary) & Parker Eng (Toddler) - Children of Brian Eng
Shaun Fath (Toddler) -  Son of T.J. Fath and grandson of Helen, our HR coordinator
Mason Ferraro (Toddler) - Son of Katie Ferraro
Fiona Kelly (Preschool) - Daughter of Kim Kelly and granddaughter of Helen, our HR coordinator
Marissa Lane (Elementary) - Daughter of Sharon Miller 
Cru Oberly (Preschool) - Son of Lori Oberly who works in development and at our front desk
Isabel, Lydia and William Snyder (Elementary) - Children of Board Chair Anna Quisel
Tatiana &  Adaliz Sosias (Preschool & Toddler) - Daughters of Zeus and Wanda Sosias. Wanda is an assistant teacher at WMS.
Ginger & Cider Wehler (Toddlers) - Daughters of 5-7 teacher Erin Wehler 


We thank each family for the support and dedication to Montessori Education at Wilmington Montessori School. Please be sure to let me know if we have missed your name on this list - we would love to talk to you about why you decided to return to WMS with your child! In addition, we would like all of our alumni and past students to fill out this information form so we can find out what you're up to and keep in touch.

Have a great week!


Marie's Signature   

Alumni News
Class of 1992 grad publishes first book

Jamie (Rohrbaugh) Stroble, who started at Wilmington Montessori School as a preschooler at "The Little Red Schoolhouse" in 1983 and 
graduated as a sixth-grader in 1992
, always loved creative writing. Now, along with her furry sidekick "Reuben the floppy tongue dachshund," she has fulfilled her life-long dream of becoming a published author with the release of her book A Guide to Braveries for Small Dogs (West Summit Books).

While her dog Reuben has only been in her life for a few years, the origins of his story can be traced back more than 20 years - to Jamie's time at WMS.

"My fourth- through sixth-grade teachers, Betsy and Helen, were so supportive of every student's creativity," Jamie says. "There were always lots of opportunities to practice creative writing." 

At WMS, Jamie also met Meghan Byrnes (class of 1992), who has remained one of her closest friends for the past 25 years. Meghan's encouragement, Jamie says, inspired her to create Reuben's award-winning blog Floppy Tongue Joy, which attracted the attention of a publisher for her book. "I always enjoyed visiting Meghan's dogs and cat, since I didn't have either growing up. We planned to write a book together one day with my words and her illustrations. It could still happen!" Jamie says.
Jamie adopted Reuben as a senior dog;he had already lost a number of teeth from an untreated mouth infection and had to have 11 more pulled at the vet. After his dental work, his big floppy tongue just wouldn't stay in his mouth without teeth to keep it in, and the adorable effect inspired Jamie to take lots of photos of him. Somewhere along the line Jamie says "he started to develop a voice of his own."

"Reuben is a very unique-looking dog who is quite silly, although he takes himself very seriously," Jamie says. "He believes himself to be the largest dog who has ever lived, despite the fact that he weighs 12 pounds and can walk underneath most other dogs. He also believes himself to be extremely brave, and he has elaborate excuses for why he shakes when there is a vacuum cleaner or a bathtub nearby."

While photos of cute animals run rampant on the internet, Jamie wanted Reuben's blog and book to be about something more. "We're donating a percentage of profits to dachshund rescue, and we're using the book as a platform to inspire people to adopt senior pets." 

Looking back on her time at WMS, Jamie says that teachers gave her the freedom to follow her interests, not just in creative writing, but in all academic areas. 

"They also introduced us to so many fascinating subjects and ideas, like architecture and Latin," she says. "I think the freedom of movement in the classroom and working on a weekly deadline helped me learn to take charge of my own education and seek out the things I wanted to know. Before Google, even!"

When asked about her favorite WMS memories, Jamie speaks enthusiastically about her opportunities to perform and unique field trip experiences.

"One of my favorite things about WMS was doing theatre! I performed in Lady and the Tramp, the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, among others. We took some really fantastic field trips - to the Folger Shakespeare Library and Washington, D.C.; the beach; camping at Gettysburg; Amish country; the Brandywine Zoo; Hawk Mountain - and I still love to explore new places just as much today."

Jamie was thrilled to learn that WMS is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. While she lives in North Carolina and may not be able to attend any of our upcoming events in person, she sends her congratulations to the school community:

"Happy birthday, WMS! Here's to 50 more years (at least) of inspiring children to follow their dreams."

Purchase A Guide to Braveries for Small Dogs in paperback or for Kindle. 

Mark Your Calendars
25Back-to-School/Curriculum Night (Preschool parents) - 7 p.m.
Child-care is available for $5 each. Contact for more information. 
26/279-12 Program Overnight Trip to South Mountain YMCA Camp
30Montessori Monday Open House - Admissions - 9:30 a.m.
Tell a friend! 



1WMS Dads Group Meeting - 6 p.m. in the gym
Learn more 
9 & 10Picture Days with Apple Branch Photography
Read more 
11First State Ballet - Artist in Residence Performance 
Details TBA
14Staff Professional Day - No Classes
Child-care available. Register Online 
16Admissions Open House - 9:30 a.m.
Tell a friend! 
18WMS Night at Ramsey's Farm - 5:30 p.m.
Come join the WMS community for a hayride & bonfire!


WMS celebrates International Day of Peace with Pinwheels for Peace


"Avoiding war is the work of politics, establishing peace is the work of education." - Maria Montessori 


Last Thursday, the WMS community gathered to celebrate the U.N. International Day of Peace with a school-wide festival. The festival included an assembly celebrating peace in both the school and greater community, followed by participation in the Pinwheels for Peace program.


During the assembly, students from toddler through 6th grade gathered in the gym to join together through music, led by WMS music teacher Mary Kate Newell, and reflect on the concept of peace around the world. Following the assembly, students and staff paraded around the school with their handmade pinwheels adorned with thoughts of peace.  

pinwheels 50
The entire WMS community formed a 50 with pinwheels in honor of the school's 50th anniversary.

The Pinwheels for Peace program began in 2005 as an opportunity for children to artistically express their thoughts about peace - last year, more than four million pinwheels were created as part of this movement!


During the annual U.N. International Day of Peace (officially held on September 21), millions of people around the world organize events to commemorate and celebrate peace. These programs are reflective of Wilmington Montessori School's mission, which includes the goal of empowering children to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to the global community, as well as Maria Montessori's focus on peace education.

Co-op Corner

Upcoming Co-op Needs for October


Several school events/tasks are on the October horizon. Some are parent co-op jobs that will earn parents a few hours and others will count for a larger portion of the 30-hour co-op requirement. These tasks are vital to the day-to-day life of the school and/or sustain cherished school traditions for all of our children.


Book Fair The WMS Parent Co-op Program makes even more possible!



Work with our Facilities crew to ensure that our flowerbeds are vibrant and weed-free! Fall is garden clean up time and the WMS gardens/grounds are calling.


Book Fair

October 2013 - help sell books or coordinate Family Fun Night for the Scholastic Book Fair at WMS. 10 people may sign up.

Dates: October 28 - November 1, 2013


Picture Day Coordinator

Run Picture Days (10/9 & 10/10), Make-up Day (11/5) and Group Photo Days (2/5 & 2/6). This job involves assisting staff with the scheduling of classrooms and helping teachers/children on photo days. (Half-priced packages are available for volunteers.)


Please contact Laurie Orsic if you are interested in signing up for any of the opportunities above or for additional information about the WMS Parent Co-op Program. To view additional co-op jobs, visit

News & Notes

DelawareCAN Project Update    

Last Friday, all WMS families received information about the 9-12 program's STEM and community service project for the Food Bank of Delaware - DelawareCAN! The 9-12 students are grateful for all of the food that has been collected so far and look forward to your continued generosity!


Check out the bar graphs hanging in the lobby to see what types of food are still needed. Several classrooms have decided to focus on particular types of food that are in highest demand for this project:


Rooms 15 & 16 - Progresso Traditional Soup 19 oz.

Room 14 - Ronzoni or Barilla pasta - 1 lb boxes of rotelle, penne, or farfalle (or a similar color/shape box)


9-12 students will be visiting other elementary classrooms to tell the children about the project and writing to supermarkets requesting items. Food will be stored outside of the Great Room as it's collected.


Watch WMS's DelawareCAN website for updates throughout the week! 


Picture Days - October 9 & 10 

School picture days are coming soon, and we are excited to announce that we will be working with a new vendor this year. WMS students will be photographed by Apple Branch School Photography, who offers a new approach to school pictures. Instead of purchasing photo packages prior to picture day, you will be able to view a preview of your child's photo and decide which package you would like to purchase. WMS has selected the background pattern below to accompany individual student photos. As our picture days get closer, you will receive addition details about the day and time of your child's photo.  To learn more about Apple Branch Photography, visit

Sample image using background that has been selected for WMS photos
Safety Reminder

As you're driving through WMS's parking lot, please be sure to drive slowly and stay alert for the safety of our children. 


We also ask that you follow the traffic directions and do not cut through the stones to park in front of the school.


Thank you for protecting our children!

dadsCalling all Montessori dads!    

Join other WMS fathers at our new "Montessori for Dads" Discussion Group.


First meeting: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the WMS Gym.

This will be an informal meeting to share ideas from experienced to inexperienced Montessori dads. We can grab something to eat nearby and talk Montessori. 


If interested, please contact Matt Harris, Everett's dad (Room 6), at, or contact Theresa Conaty with any questions.


Give to WMS through the United Way

Do you work at DuPont, Bank of America or another Delaware company that participates in a United Way campaign? Did you know that your donation can benefit WMS? 

When you make your United Way gift this year, please enter code number 12795 on your pledge form in the "Specific Care" area. You can also write in WMS and our mailing address.  

Your gift to WMS through United Way of Delaware will directly benefit your children by enhancing our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program, supporting the visual and performing arts, helping us retain and hire talented teachers and staff, and so much more. We thank you for your generosity!   
United Way Logo

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.
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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.