News Archive

Montessori Buzz – May 10, 2022

Dear MA Families & Friends,

Art Expo is tomorrow

Tomorrow is our biennial school art show, Art Expo! Showcasing the work of our Senior Casa through Year 8 students, it’s going to be a fun night of visual art, dance, improv and much more!
The event takes place between 6-8 p.m. in the Mercato Hall at Clare Hall. Parking in all the lots around Clare Hall is free during this event.


Staffing Announcements

Casa teacher retirements

After dedicating 31 years to our Casa students, both Deborah Carver and Halina Grabarczyk have chosen to move into the next stages of their lives…retirement!
And while we are so sad to lose these two MA-zing teachers, we are excited to have two new Montessori teachers stepping into these vacancies.

Bethany Payne will join Tara Protopapas in September in Casa 1. We are lucky to have had Bethany spend this year as a part-time intern with Tara and Deborah while she completed her Montessori teacher training. Therefore, she is very familiar with the students, parents and routines of the class. Prior to starting her Montessori training, Bethany worked as supply and yard staff at different locations at our school.  Bethany is also the Director of our Camp Discovery Adventurers this summer.
Monika Orr-Hanimann will join Basia Szmit in September in Casa 2. Monika is just completing her Montessori Casa training with the Montessori Teachers College in Toronto. Monika is from Switzerland and holds her Elementary Teacher Degree from there. Upon moving to Canada with her husband and children she worked in a Montessori school in Chatham; and realizing her love of Montessori, she started her training. Monika brings over 22 years in education to our team.

Music staffing change

In Elementary, Marty Kolls, our Lower Elementary music teacher, has shared with us that she will be moving on after 10 years at our school. She is looking forward to spending time with her family and new pursuits.
We are excited to have Lisette St. Louis take over Marty’s role. Lisette has been working at our school for the past year as a supply staff in Toddler and Casa as well as for the Elementary specialty staff. She has had many years of experience working as a music educator in the classroom setting and has also worked as a Children’s Entertainer, Musician and Voice actor. Lisette is also in an ensemble called The Bettys, who perform at a variety of venues and locations.

Maintenance retirement

Gregory Nowak will also retire from our maintenance team after a 30-year tenure with the school. In November, we welcomed Shawn Post to the team in preparation for Gregory’s retirement. 

Please join us in welcoming Bethany, Monika, and Lisette to their new roles with the school, and wishing Deborah, Halina, Marty and Gregory well, as they start the next chapters of their stories.

FYI: Kristen’s title changing to Principal

Hard to believe, but we’re starting to prepare communications for the 2022-2023 school year! If you receive any messages and notes about August or the 2022-2023 school year, you may notice that Kristen Crouse’s title will be listed as Principal. This is a change in title only. 🙂


Golf Tournament is cancelled

Unfortunately, due to low enrolment, the Golf for Education Tournament on June 1 is cancelled.  Thank you to all the supporters and sponsors who tried to make this new fundraising initiative happen.


Family & Friends event is June 9

Another MA-zing tradition returns. We invite our families to join us for our Family & Friends event at Storybook Gardens on June 9, 2022. (Rain Date is June 14.)
New this year: the Village Square will be open for families to purchase food! Menu items include hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, fries, and other hot food items. Cold beverages and ice cream treats will also be available. The Beavertails food truck will also be open. Bring some money… and your appetite!

Photos from the week

Toddler 2  planting seeds

Toddler 2 had fun planting sunflower seeds and basil.

Casa 1 music

Casa 1 has been learning about Percussion Instruments in music class. We have been experimenting with recyclables to create our own percussion instruments.  On Friday, we decorated them and rocked out to Lisa Loeb’s children’s song, “Turn It Down.” Sooo fun!

Mother’s Day greetings

We hope all our moms loved their Mother’s Day gifts this past (beautiful, sunny!) weekend.

Long Division in LE1

Some seriously lonnnnng division was happening in LE1 last week. Bravo!


LE 2 Greenhouse keepers!

Monday afternoon, the Year 2 students from LE2 were busy cleaning out the greenhouse, repotting seedlings to grow in its warmth, and making room for plants to hang out and thrive. They’re looking forward to being the new stewards of the greenhouse, taking part in the daily care of the plants. Yay spring!

Junior High’s Mine 101 donations

The sun was shining Thursday when a handful of Junior High students along with Ann and Kerry visited the Mine101 on Oxford St E. to deliver the donated gently used women’s clothing. All the profits that are made there are donated to Anova, an extraordinary organization that provides shelter, clothes, food, water and a safe environment for women and children who don’t feel safe in their homes.
We are immensely grateful that the news of this clothing drive reached the ears of many generous members of the Montessori community and alumni. Thanks to these donors we have not only supported those in need living at Anova, but took an important step to educate adolescents about fast fashion. This was helpful to the environment because we donated rather than throwing out clothes, which would have added to the multitudes of waste that endanger the planet.
Lastly, we would like to thank everyone again who participated in the clothing donation project and those who will continue to make positive change locally in the future!
“The world needs a little TLC.”

May 20 PD Day Camps

School of Hip Hop

NEW! Our good friends at the School of Hip Hop are hosting a PD Day Camp for our students on Friday, May 20. Ages 8+. David (our yard staff member and Elementary Lunch coordinator!) and some other instructors will lead the day filled with Hip Hop art, music, poetry and dance!
Find details and register online through this link:


Circle R Ranch

Circle R had a great time with our students on our last MA PD Day. Enjoy a day in nature at Circle R Ranch on Friday, May 20! There’s plenty of outdoor fun and activities planned for the upcoming PD Day. Ages SK to Grade 8. The program runs from 9:00 am- 4:30 pm. Register on the Circle R Ranch website:
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