These last couple of months have been an emotional roller coaster ride! My heart is overflowing with pride as I see many of our former children and graduates, walking across the stage for their grade 8, high school and even university and college graduations.

As I take the time to reflect on what this means, I also came to realize just how many children and families we have had the privilege of nurturing and guiding over the years. This coming school year will be my 25th year as the proud owner and director of Montessori Children’s Academy. Seeing these incredible young people succeed in school and more importantly in life, reminds me of why I do what I do each and every day.

This past week I had a visit from a very special lady, Miss. Angela, Miss Angela was MCA’s first employee and my first classroom assistant. But for me, she was so much more than an employee and classroom assistant, she became my friend, my mentor and she was one of my biggest cheerleaders in those early days which she has continued to be until this very day. I have a tartan pillow that she gifted me on our first Christmas together and stitched on the pillow is this; “from small beginnings come great things”. Angela had faith and confidence in me and my goals, and what she may or may not know, is that that faith kept me strong through my doubts and worries, it inspired me and her unending support kept me motivated to keep on my path. A big part of my success and where I stand proudly today was rooted in those early days when things weren’t easy, thank you for always believing in me Angela, you saw me through!

Although we are a small part of a child’s education journey, we are an important part! Dr Fraser Mustard told us, “We now know that nurture in early life as well as nature is important in early human development and that nurture in the early years has major effects on learning in school and physical and mental health throughout the life cycle.” The first 6 years of life set the stage for the rest of our lives, and at MCA we strive to help each and every child that walks through our doors reach their greatest potential.

Here at MCA we have seen some exceptional humans pass through our hallways, some for a short time, while others have left their mark on our hearts forever. All of these humans made impact and helped make MCA the special place it is today. In the early days Miss Aleta and Miss Melysa, Miss Kelly, Miss Sue, Miss Chantel, Miss Emily and Miss Liz, were all cherished members of our team. More recently we had the gift of Miss Coleen M., Miss Sheena, Miss Grete and of course our most recent retirement Miss Herm. Each of these amazing ladies will always be a part of our legacy even if they no longer grace our hallways. Today our team is built on the foundation that has been laid by those who came before. I am proud to boast that Miss Jennifer has 15 years under her belt, Miss Teresa not far behind with 13 and our Miss Kim is coming up on her 10th anniversary with MCA! Our children and families over the years have truly been blessed to have been nurtured, guided and loved by some of these wonderful educators.

This past year I completed my Master’s in Educational Leadership. Many people asked me why, why did I choose to do this? I chose this because I believe we are always learning, growing and changing on our life journey’s and for me, this was a bucket list goal! I loved each class I took, I soaked up so much knowledge and I learned a lot about myself too. I also had the amazing opportunity to travel to Boston with some of the members of my team for the annual AMS conference in March and in August I travelled to Thailand for the Montessori Congress. My knowledge cup is full.

“Clearly, we have a social duty towards this future man, this man who exists as a silhouette around the child, a duty towards this man of tomorrow. Perhaps a great future leader or a great genius is with us and his power will come from the power of the child he is today. This is the vision which we must have.” Dr. Maria Montessori, (The 1946 London Lectures, p. 140).

To all of our children past and present, the future is yours! It is my hope and dream for each of you that your education, your experiences and the person you are inside guide you on the path that leads you to your destiny. You are difference makers in this world, let’s see what you can’t do!!