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!