I am so excited to be a part of this community. I finally feel like I am home. I graduated from Eastern Washington University a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with Reading as my major, ESL as my minor and a Masters in Educational Leadership. I have spent the past twenty-five years serving students and their families.
I have a beautiful family with four exceptional children- all of whom have been educated in the Public Montessori System in Spokane, Washington. I served as a board member for the Community of Montessori Parents for many years and know Maria Montessori’s method provides the best learning environment for all children. I moved to Nevada two years ago and I am honored to be a part of this peaceful community.
I feel a kinship to Dr. Maria Montessori and believe that I share her strong will and sense of self, along with Dr. Montessori’s unwavering desire for progressive leadership.
This opportunity is my organic match. Montessori is ingrained in my DNA and who I am as a leader, mother, teacher and community member.
Paramount to my leadership philosophy is that I am a constructivist. I firmly believe that what is known comes from within and needs to be developed through relationships, prepared environments and the leadership of expertly trained teachers/practitioners. This is the environment that empowers and motivates people. I have a growth mindset and have been immersed in the practices and beliefs of Montessori for over 20 years as a mother, teacher, instructional coach and leader. But more than that, I was raised by parents who knew that Maria Montessori’s classroom was the right spot for me and that was the classroom where I began my educational journey.
Our reality at High Desert Montessori Public Charter School is focused around sustainability and fundraising for our newest Montessori teachers. I have actively been a part of City Wide Comp as a Parent-at-large, former Comp North President and a Montessori Parent for the past twenty years. I supported the private Montessori Primary Program at Spokane Falls Montessori where my children once attended. My service and dedication centers from my core beliefs around the Montessori Method that is integral to my parenting, community involvement and career. My innovation, creativity and diplomacy are natural talents I balance with my knowledge of best practice, sensitivity to social justice, and a genuine drive to empower and unite people. I am committed to sustaining the authenticity of the Maria Montessori Method and growing the program with fidelity to Dr. Montessori’s Methods.
At High Desert Montessori Public Charter School, we house Primary through Adolescent ages. We are undergoing strategic planning in preparation for a capital campaign, sale and remodeling of property to meet the demand for Montessori education in Nevada. Our hope is to partner with local universities and open the first training center in the state of Nevada while maintaining the highest quality teachers and environment conducive to the Montessori method.
My leadership experience in traditional settings transcends.
I bring with me skills as a leader in traditional educational settings and in my current role as principal at High Desert Montessori School and I am excited for the opportunity to learn more. I have experience with aligning district initiatives, developing and sustaining a professional learning community, evaluation through the Marzano’s frameworks with the TPEP model and designing and facilitating professional development. I have a vast knowledge of the Common Core State Standards and dedicated many years of my career studying best practice, all of which Maria Montessori knew one hundred years ago.
My leadership style is collaborative and innovative. I have been steadfast in improving community relations and building partnerships with parents by designing school events and outreach programs with community stakeholders for participation, both physically and fiscally. I balance the managerial skills of being a building leader with my leadership style, all with authenticity and my standards for rigorous learning and love of my community. Accurate evaluations through observation is also an essential skill to effective leadership. After a recent TPEP observation, I received the following email feedback:
“Rhonda, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to observe me and spend over 45 minutes of your time giving me feedback on what you saw when I taught. It’s hard for me to express what I want to say but I will try. I so appreciate how thoroughly you ‘observed’ me while frantically typing away at the same time. I was surprised at the level of attention you were able to give during an observation. I would imagine paying attention to overall big ideas but you didn’t miss anything, which I so respect because that matters to me too. The fact that you grasped certain details that I would imagine could have easily gone unnoticed really surprised me and touched me. Your feedback was positive and helpful, your questions were insightful and valid, and your ideas were original and wonderful.”
While the foundations of the Montessori classroom community include the 3 Period Lessons, prepared environments, and independent work; the ability to observe and not interrupt learning is crucial. Montessori teachers/practitioners are committed to the practice of anecdotal observation. Likewise, my ability to observe and follow the child within each of us in our school community has consistently created positive interdependent relationships that are crucial to a growth mindset.
My dedication and devotion, my knowledge, my connectedness & reverence of the Montessori Method are my guide.
While the unification and move is foremost on our priority list I know that growth of this wonderful program will be in the planning stages as well. In anticipation of the growth our school I am working to help bring together our AMI and AMS trained teachers. I hope global accreditation and both AMI and AMS can see the importance of this partnership to the survival and progressive growth that is needed. The future really is held in the public sector. I want to be a transformational leader in this movement. Dr. Montessori believed that secondary education should “aim at improving the individual in order to improve society.” The heart of this philosophy is empowerment, critical thinking and best practices; where children are developing what is within them not digesting what is delivered to them. Together with our community partners, parents and all stakeholders the possibilities for urban projects can foster such goals. Together is better. The design, planning and collaboration essential to this growth needs the natural talents I possess, and I have demonstrated.
This work is real and it is aligned with my core values. The time is now to do what we do best; get to work- real work, around a dream come true. This is my definition of harmonious success.
I will further my education within the Montessori philosophy through formal training and I will collaborate with the teachers/practitioners/leaders. Through my direct and indirect experiences with the Montessori Method, I will continue to eloquently articulate the unique philosophy, design and advantages of Dr. Montessori’s research.
My arms are strong enough to fund-raise and sustain this program; my mind is sharp enough to learn while collaborating and creating the future; my heart is genuine in welcoming challenges and embracing new members to our community; my spirit is illuminated with my purpose: to serve the cosmic task. So…
“If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate the people.”