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Montessori By The Sea Welcomes International Montessori Consultant

As a part of the ongoing development of its academic program, Montessori By The Sea (MBTS) welcomed Ms. Hillary Drinkell, a consultant with the The Montessori Foundation, to its school March 29th – April 1st, 2011. Found to be a “Very Good School” by the Education and Standards Assessment Unit (ESAU) during its evaluation in March 2010, MBTS, which accommodates students from 21 months (Toddler Program) to 14 years (Grade 8), wished to gain insight from the perspective of a Montessori organization.  “The experience was both inspirational and invigorating. We look forward to moving our programs forward from strength to strength with all that we have gained from Hillary’s visit!” says Deborah Thompson, one of the Principals at MBTS.  Hillary also commented, “The dynamic discussions and excitement around enhancing an already very good program is always a joy to me.”

The Montessori Foundation “nurtures, inspires and supports the development of strong successful Montessori schools” globally. Sponsored by the MBTS Parent’s Guild, Ms. Drinkell was brought in as a consultant on authentic Montessori principles and practices from an international perspective. Having held the position of the Dean of Elementary at the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida, Ms. Drinkell has worked extensively in Early Childhood, and is trained in Elementary (6-12 year olds)  Montessori practice. Her training is MACTE accredited and she has her MEI Montessori. Her undergraduate degree is in Industrial Psychology and Speech and Drama and she has her Masters degree in Education with an emphasis on Montessori education. As a consultant with the Montessori Foundation, Ms. Drinkell has worked with schools internationally and writes articles for ‘Tomorrow’s Child’ and ‘Montessori Leadership’.

The brunt of Hillary’s time was spent working with the Administration of MBTS. “Having Hillary at MBTS was such an amazing experience!  She had so much to share and offer, and we have already begun implementing some of her suggestions.  Her time at the school was enriching and invaluable to all and we have already begun planning her next visit with us.” said Co-Principal Kourtni Jackson. Hillary also led both a Parent Night and a Staff Meeting, in order to share the wealth of her knowledge, experience and expertise and answer any questions. Both events were a success, extending well past the scheduled time as participants clamoured for additional insight! Ken Thompson, Chairman of the MBTS Parent’s Guild also shared the enthusiasm expressed from Hillary’s visit on behalf of the parents: “The Parent’s Guild at Montessori By The Sea had hoped that by arranging for Ms. Hillary Drinkel to visit the school she would provide a professional and perhaps a critical eye, on what was happening and offer suggestions on ways to enhance the school. I must say she exceeded our expectations! With her extensive teaching experience, and exceptional knowledge and love of the Montessori program she provided parents with very useful information, and for some it was confirmation they had chosen the right school for their children. There was a great deal of excitement over the evening session, and it was so well received that we may make it an annual affair.”

The Montessori curriculum is a spiraling curriculum that balances academic rigor with the developmental needs of the student. It is a student-centered, inquiry-based, individualized, holistic approach to education that encourages critical thinking, time management and organizational skills as well as innovation so that students develop the skills necessary for university and beyond.

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