By MMS Head of School, Monica Van Aken, Ed.D.
As I look forward to another year at Milwaukee Montessori School, I hope only to build upon the tremendous successes our school has achieved in the past. It is no accident that Milwaukee Montessori School is a national leader in independent schools; our exceptional students, devoted faculty, committed parents and hard-working staff have worked to discern the hallmarks of true educational value and convey it to our community in fresh and relevant ways.
Last year, MMS received prestigious accolades and impressive awards both in and outside of our halls. From the classroom to the playing field, there was much to be proud of last year. Our continued success in art testifies to the strength of our program and the innovative ways our students are expressing themselves with a number of different media. MMS students swept the 3D Division at the Milwaukee Regional Art Fair, took home the prestigious Gold Key Award at the Scholastic Art Awards, and earned the title of “Most Innovative Use of Materials” in the State Fair Youth Art Exhibit.
MMS also excels at providing opportunities for students to use their ideas, imagination, and initiative to create valuable projects and products. Last year students began using the World Peace Game, designed by famed educator and TED speaker John Hunter, to work collaboratively to solve 50 intensely complex and interrelated global problems while maneuvering around the obstacles presented in the rules. Our students were able to collaborate and achieve World Peace within the allotted time, catching the attention of Milwaukee’s TMJ4 news, which featured the students’ success in their popular “Positively Milwaukee” segment.
MMS was also recognized in the news for our use of cutting-edge technology, including using MinecraftEdu to design complex worlds and three-dimensional structures, and to bring these prototypes to life using the school’s 3D printer. We were featured on CBS58 News, as well as JSOnline for our students’ creative suggestions for how to protect oneself on the Internet.
Outside of the classroom, our athletic program is among the school’s most prominent extracurricular offerings. Last year, over 80% of our student participated in some kind of athletic offering, and among those students MMS counted a number of athletic achievements. Our 5th and 6th grade girls’ volleyball team had an outstanding 9-1 season, and our 7th and 8th grade boys’ basketball team took home first place at the St. Matthias 8th grade basketball tournament. We had another successful year in track and field, as well, sending seven our of students to the Hershey State Track and Field meet, and an impressive showing at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championship by student Catherine N., who placed 22nd nationally in the 800-meter run.
Though we are proud of the achievements of the past, we are excited about the fresh slate the new school year brings us. Just two weeks ago we learned that MMS will be one of the first schools featured on the new web site of the National Association of Independent Schools for our innovative instruction, and our commitment to applicative learning experiences. Within the coming year we expect that the incomparable quality of our education, and the subsequent outcomes expressed through our students, will continue to be recognized locally and nationally. Here’s to a new year filled with new achievements for our school, our students and our community!