Category Archives: Whole School

Anja Van Genderen Makes MBTS Proud

Anja-van-GenderenMBTS is proud to see a familiar face gracing one of the “Proud of Them” billboards in Cayman: MBTS alumna Anja Van Genderen.

Anja was recently chosen as one of the honourees of the Cayman Islands’ “Proud of Them” program.  Recognized for her outstanding achievements as a scholar and as a young role model, Anja was also awarded the DART Minds Inspired High School Scholarship in 2014. CLICK HERE to read about her impressive and well-rounded accomplishments, from her commitment to academic excellence, her exceptional leadership, to her creative talents.

Anja attended MBTS from Toddler until the completion of Upper Elementary in Grade Six in 2012, and continued her higher education at Cayman Prep. She recalls her time at MBTS with fondness, and credits it with setting the foundations for scientific curiosity and love of learning:

“I look back at my time at Montessori By The Sea with fond memories. There, I found a love of reading and science, which has led me to choose biochemistry as the subject of my university education, which I hope to start after the summer. At MBTS, I was both challenged and encouraged to learn. The Montessori environment helped me to become the confident and curious young scientist I am today. Montessori not only gave me an education, but taught me how to love learning.”

Anja’s parents, Hendrik and Gelia Van Genderen, were also kind enough to share their thoughts on Anja’s education at MBTS:

“When we considered a school for Anja, we got as far as checking Montessori by the Sea. We got a tour of the school and we liked it so much that we did not consider other options. Anja enrolled in the Toddler Programme and stayed at MBTS throughout Primary School (Toddler to Grade 6).

The Montessori approach worked very well for Anja, in that she learned certain things at the time she was ready for it. The grouping of students of different ages in the same class room provides an opportunity for the older students to develop mentoring skills and self-confidence. The Montessori approach matched Anja’s learning style very well and has provided a foundation for easing her into further education at the secondary level and soon her tertiary education.

A very special memory of Anja’s time at MBTS was the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. The school was damaged, had no electricity and water and could not open right away, but Kourtni and Debbie realized that there was a need for a school for those parents who were still in Cayman with their children. MBTS was the first school that opened after hurricane Ivan; they had arranged for a temporary classroom in the center in George Town as the school could not open yet.

Anja was one of the first seven students who showed up for school in the second week of October 2004, and over time more and more students returned. It gave us as parents more time to focus on the recovery efforts at the Water Authority, a job which required a lot of our time and energy. We appreciated it so much that Anja could go back to school so quickly and that she got back to a more regular life after the storm.”

The entire MBTS community congratulates Anja for her shining achievements. You make all of us – and the Cayman Islands – truly proud!






A Spectacular and Sporty December

Photo credit: Neil Martin
Photo credit: Neil Martin

Throughout the month of December, the Elementary and MYP students of MBTS proudly represented their school community in three different sporting events: the Sailing Regatta, the PSA Track and Field Meet, and the Inter-Primary Swim Meet. In all three events, our students displayed steadfast and stellar sportsmanship by always trying their very best, cheering loudly for their teammates, and showing grace and courtesy to others in the community.

The willingness of these young athletes to go into a highly competitive setting and challenge themselves to reach and surpass their personal limits – while always remaining grounded and team-minded – was truly inspiring.

Please scroll down to learn a bit more about each team that competed in the three events, and go all the way to the bottom to see the photo gallery!

Sailing Regatta:

  • Isabelle (Upper Elementary)
  • Lyndon (Upper Elementary)
  • Sophia (Upper Elementary)
  • Vin (Upper Elementary)

Upper Elementary students from MBTS displayed excellent sailing skills and tactics during the recently-held Sailing Regatta, and even applied some of their knowledge in Mathematics to the sport by figuring out the shortest distance and the best angles for the competition. Our masterful MBTS team did an exceptional job putting forth their best efforts and proudly sailed into second place!

Special thanks go to our parent volunteer for this event, Annie Briggs.

PSA Track and Field Meet:

  • Abiu (Upper Elementary)
  • Dante (Upper Elementary)
  • Harper B. (Upper Elementary)
  • Harvey (Upper Elementary)
  • Kai (MYP)
  • Seanne (MYP)

All of the students who participated in the PSA Track and Field Meet held December 7th put their best foot forward, and every single participant beat their own personal best scores! Many of them beat their best times during practices at school by a significant margin, and Grade Six student Abiu earned a Gold medal in Long Jump, while MYP student Seane earned Silver medals in the 200 m and 800 m races. Our fantastic MBTS team dashed into third place overall, and never wavered in their commitment to doing their best!

Special thanks go to our parent volunteers for this event, Terri Barrowman and Simone Bilchuris.

Inter-Primary Swim Meet:

  • Amber (Lower Elementary)
  • Brayden (Lower Elementary)
  • Emma (Lower Elementary)
  • Imogen (Lower Elementary)
  • Roman (Lower Elementary)
  • Sierra (Lower Elementary)
  • Tessa (Lower Elementary)
  • Xavier (Lower Elementary)
  • Allison (Lower Elementary)
  • Flinn (Lower Elementary)
  • Qinn (Lower Elementary)
  • Riannon (Lower Elementary)
  • Harper N. (Upper Elementary)
  • Kaitlin (Upper Elementary)
  • Keanna (Upper Elementary)
  • Madison (Upper Elementary)
  • Sarah (Upper Elementary)
  • Sebastian (Upper Elementary)
  • Emma (Upper Elementary)
  • Gabriella Lulu (Upper Elementary)
  • Sophia (Upper Elementary)

The students of MBTS showed some stupendous school spirit during the Inter-Primary Swim Meet held December 8th. Many of the children were first-time participants in the event, with several of them never having competed before. They showed tremendous heart and bravery, and learned how to overcome feelings of nervousness by remembering to try their best and have lots of fun! Some of our younger children even fearlessly volunteered when it turned out that there weren’t enough participants in some of the relays, displaying terrific and true sportsmanship!

MBTS proudly placed fourth overall, with Grade Two student Tessa earning first place for her efforts in the 25 m breaststroke, and Grade Four student Harper placing first in the 25 m freestyle, and placing second in the 25 m breast and backstroke races. Grade Four student Sarah placed second in the 25 m freestyle and breaststroke, and Gabriella placed second in the 25 m breaststroke.

Special thanks go to parent Neil Martin, who shared some of the fantastic photos he took during the event.

An Island Christmas at MBTS

The children of MBTS joyfully brought the holidays home to our island this Saturday, during this year’s annual holiday concert, “An Island Christmas.” Families and friends all came together at Mary Miller Hall to share in the children’s magical and musical celebration of the wonders of Christmas and our island home.

Under the guidance of specialist teachers Ms. Ana, Ms. Helene and Ms. Michelle, the students creatively wove together a wonderful tale of elves and pirates who have very different notions of Christmas. The jolliest pirate of all, Whitebeard (a.k.a. Santa Claus) emerges from the North Pole to bring everyone together, and help the once-marauding pirates discover the true and selfless spirit of the season.

Every child at MBTS played a part in the spectacular show, with each class and level performing at least one song, some Lower Elementary children confidently serving as hosts, and Upper Elementary and Middle Years children playing speaking parts with dramatic aplomb and expression.

MBTS would like to thank all of the children for their brilliant efforts on stage, the families and friends who came out and supported the students during the performance, and all of the staff who made the production possible. Special thanks also go to the MBTS Parents’ Guild and Mise en Place, who provided delicious treats and refreshments to make the concert experience even more delightful.

We hope that you all enjoyed the show, and that the spirit of Christmas fills your hearts with the warmth and wonder of the holiday season!