MBTS alumnus Dominic Dyer, recipient of Dart’s 2017 Minds Inspired William A. Dart Memorial Scholarship, will be pursuing Economics at prestigious Columbia University this year. He recently contacted MBTS to share that he had chosen to write about his exceptional Montessori education at MBTS in his university entrance essay. Read the essay below.
Congratulations, Dom! MBTS is so proud of you!
Hi, Miss Debbie and Miss Kourtni.
I am writing to let you know that I was accepted to Columbia University this evening. Needless to say, I am ecstatic!
Part of my application process required me to write an essay with the prompt: “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.” and I chose to write about my time at MBTS. A copy of my essay is attached.
I still draw on my years spent at MBTS and as you can see from my essay, my education consisted of significantly more than reading, writing and arithmetic. I will be forever grateful to MBTS and the head start it gave me in life, and the life skills I acquired will always stay with me.
I cannot thank each of you enough for what you and your vision in starting MBTS has done for me. You certainly have created a Legacy of Limitless Possibilities.
“Larry Page, Sergey Bin, Will Wright, Jimmy Wales and Jeff Bezos. Calling these five men successful would be a serious understatement. Without them we most likely would not have Amazon, Wikipedia, Sims or Google. But what do they all have in common?
Like me, they all went to a Montessori school.
I was born on a tropical island with a population of 50,000 where iguanas outnumber humans by a ratio of 10:1. Growing up I attended Montessori By The Sea – which, as the name suggests, was a Montessori school on the edge of the beach with unparalleled views of the tranquil Caribbean Sea.
It was a small school, on a small island, with a very tight-knit community. My grade had 10 children in it, but classes were comprised of three grades. This meant the younger students had role models who they interacted with on a daily basis, while the older students acquired leadership skills and could reinforce their learning by teaching lessons to younger students. I have continued to develop these leadership skills, and am currently student council president and captain of the Junior Cayman Islands Track and Field team.
The school was made up of two houses that had been partially converted to create an idiosyncratic learning environment. In the “Upper Elementary” classroom, we were taught group lessons in one bedroom, had a library in another bedroom, had a walk in closet for a science lab, a kitchen to prepare meals if we wished and, the living area, filled with school tables and chairs was where we did our work in group settings. Being able to learn in such a serene environment meant I always enjoyed my time at school. I looked forward to school every morning and acquired a positive outlook towards learning at an early age. Seeing how the houses had been transformed into such a nurturing environment validated the school motto “A legacy of limitless possibilities”. I have always believed in the motto and continue to do so.
My Montessori education imbibed me with other attributes that still stand me in good stead. All schoolwork was allocated on a Monday morning and it was understood that any unfinished work was to be completed in our own time at home, teaching me to be organized and personally accountable. This work could be performed where and when we wanted; whether this was sitting at a desk, laying on the floor, or at a picnic bench on the beach. My work was self-directed and I could follow my own interests and decide what I wanted to learn. If there was something I found particularly fascinating such as long division, I could use the “Stamp Game” or “Test Tubes” for hours; I was able to master long division from working with the materials and discovering how to do it, rather than being directly instructed by a teacher.
My eight years spent at Montessori By The Sea not only provided for my academic development but also gave me life skills that I have continued to utilize. Some of these skills included independent conflict resolution, respect for your environment, as well as grace and courtesy. Additionally in every classroom you could find an identical poster with the words “The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which continues to be a guiding principle in my life.
I am forever grateful for the foundation and love of learning that my Montessori education has given me. With all that I have gained from my one of a kind Montessori education, together with my excellent High School education at the leading secondary school in the Cayman Islands, and a degree from a world-class university, I hope to one day be as successful as Larry Page, Sergey Bin, Will Wright, Jimmy Wales and Jeff Bezos.”