Montessori Matters

November 22, 2019

Time for Community Blessing at Montessori

Each year the K-HS community (parents and faculty included) comes together around the flagpole to offer gratitude for what we have been blessed with and to offer “blessings” to our fellow community members – be they young or old. The fifteen-minute tradition hopefully sets the tone for your own family Thanksgiving time. Pennies are collected to be put into the “Pennies for People” jar, signifying that even loose change, a penny here and there, builds up to something significant when contributed collectively. This money is then distributed to a local charity organization. The second part has to do with feeding: canned goods and staple products are arranged on our special Harvest Table to be taken to the Soup Kitchen by our upperclassmen and dispersed from there.

The third element of this ritual has to do with a different kind of feeding – that of feeding the spirit of fellow friends, faculty, and family. In two circles, we offer a blessing that is sung to each new face on our journey together around the flagpole. It is done with dignity and thoughtfulness. Listen to the heartfelt meaning of this ritual by one of our graduates as she looks back on a fond tradition:

“The tradition of the Thanksgiving blessing has always been special to me. Very rarely can an entire community claim they have wished every single member a year of blessings and peace; Montessori has the ability to do just that. It gives everyone, from student to teacher, the opportunity to open their hearts and souls in an honest, simple way. Looking back on all those years around the peace pole, it is truly one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had the honor to be a part of.”

Erica Britenburg - Montessori graduate

We welcome and encourage you as one of our community members to join us. You will quickly understand the simple “take a step to the right” and the hand movements associated with the words. I guarantee that you will feel the essence of this blessing as you witness the beauty of the faces before you.

See you Tuesday, Nov. 26th at 10:00 am.

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Dates to Remember

November 25 - Board Meeting at 6 p.m.

November 26 - Thanksgiving Blessing at 10 a.m.

November 26 - Donation drive items due

November 27-29 - No school -- Thanksgiving Holiday

December 7 - Reindeer Run -- see below for important form due date info

Reindeer Run Forms Due Before 8:00 AM

If you have any outstanding Reindeer Run forms to submit for the school competition, those must be turned in before 8:00 AM on Monday morning in order to be turned in to count and to qualify for the discounted race rates. Please turn yours in to the front office by 8:00 if you haven't already!

Operation: Share the Warmth Tree

Nurse Merriman will be placing a Christmas tree in the MSA front office over Thanksgiving break. It will only have a ribbon on the top and lights. Our students, families, MSA classrooms, and clubs are asked to provide the decorations consisting of new mittens, gloves, socks, and scarves. Gently used jackets, coats, and shoes will also gladly be accepted. The tree will remain on campus until December 20 when the school closes for the Winter Holiday. The items will then be donated to Anderson Interfaith Ministries, a local charity organization. This allows our Montessori students and families to provide the basic need of warmth to those who may not have the ability to stay warm during the cold winter months.

Holly Jolly Fair

MSA sponsored a crafting table at last weekend's Holly Jolly Fair at the Anderson Civic Center. Visitors were able to craft snowflake ornaments out of Popsicle sticks, glitter glue, and holiday-themed stickers. Thank you to the volunteers that organized the event and ran the table!

Primary Communal Meal

The Primary classes celebrated Thanksgiving this Friday by having communal pot-luck meals in each room for families to enjoy a meal together. Everyone enjoyed delicious home cooking followed by time together out on the playground. For many more photos from the event, click on this communal meal gallery link.
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Region Honors Orchestra Concert

Sophomore William Cline successfully auditioned to join and performed in the cello section in the Region Honors Orchestra Concert held at Anderson University this past Saturday. Congratulations, William, on this great accomplishment!
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Denver Downs Orchestra Performance

Our upper school orchestra had the opportunity to perform at Denver Downs a few weeks back and did an excellent job!
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Emergency Kitchen Trip

Lower Elementary students took a trip Friday morning to the Emergency Kitchen and Clean Start to get a glimpse into the impact of MSA's Thanksgiving donation drives. Please don't forget to return your blessing bags with the following items to help our community by this Tuesday:

We need canned foods (especially super-large cans), rice, pasta, pasta sauces, peanut butter, jelly, and dried beans for the emergency soup kitchen.

We need "lunch foods" -- single-serve soups with pop tops, small boxes of raisins, fruit cups, drink boxes, and crackers (Nabs) -- for Meals on Wheels emergency (inclement weather) lunches.

We need personal toiletry items -- individual-size shampoos, soaps, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpastes, and detergent and bleach for Clean Start.

And don't forget Pennies for People!

Thank you for your generosity! Together we can help many!

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Dr. Jeff Holt Receives Scientific Honor

Mrs. Holt was out of the country last week in Paris where her son, 1975 MSA graduate Dr. Jeffrey R. Holt, Ph.D., was honored as the 2019 FPA Scientific Grand Prize laureate for his work using the CRISPR method to eliminate genetic deafness. Mrs. Holt had this to say about her son’s experience:

Now mind you ... this was an absorbed little child who spent many of his early Montessori years watching white mice in cages, wondering why some ran faster on their wheels than others. By the age of 14, he and a friend opened their own “guppy supply” shop selling to all the local pet stores exhibiting some entrepreneurial skills.

But he also had dysgraphia (poor handwriting) and was a poor speller, so no one particularly knew that he had that kind of scientific mind until his junior year at Wofford when computers with spell check came into play. After that - his course was set in the sciences.

The take-away from this: help children find their passions, support them in those passions, and understand that humans reveal their strengths on no particular schedule. The main thing is to maintain a healthy sense of self despite any seeming disabilities/challenges or lack of purpose. Success is not what you have accomplished but how you live your everyday life with awareness and appreciation. Sometimes accolades follow. Sometimes they don’t. But how you go to sleep at night with the feeling of a day well-lived – that is success. Trust me …
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Feeding Fish and Watching Them Eat

This Toddler 1 toddler got to feed the fish this week and enjoyed watching them eat afterward.

3D Printing Mentoring

For their Lower Elementary mentoring project, a Middle School student chose to teach the students about 3D printing and even brought in his 3D printer to demonstrate the process! He printed small Martian figurines for each student to show them how it works. See this 3D printing mentoring album for more photos.
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Mrs. Lockhart's Baby Shower

During the High School MAPS mentoring meeting this past week, students, staff, and faculty surprised Mrs. Lockhart with a baby shower for her baby boy due in February. See this album for more baby shower photos.
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High School Meets the Board

Three of our board members, President Jennifer Cline, Vice President KD Simpson, and Treasurer David Rogers, stopped by the High School this week to introduce themselves and the other members of the board to the students, describe the role of boards of directors in businesses and organizations, and describe their roles as part of the MSA Board of Directors.
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On the Way to Model UN

The High School students left this week for William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia to participate in Model UN. For the event, students take on the role of a United Nations delegate from a particular country, research a topic for a committee they will serve on, write a position paper from the perspective of that country, and then serve as a delegate of their country in their committee. The students arrived a day early and took a tour of Colonial Williamsburg to help them get into a historical and political mindset before arriving at Model UN. Please enjoy a few photos from their trip below, and click here for more -- thank you to Michaela Tomberlin for keeping the high school families updated with photos!
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Meet the Teacher -- Kelly Wickiser, High School Spanish


About me:

I am from Costa Rica, a very small country located in Central America. It is well-known for its friendly and peaceful people. In 2006, I moved to Anderson where I have lived since with my two grown children, Nicole and Joel, a teen daughter, Layla, a granddaughter, Anala, and one more granddaughter scheduled to arrive the first week of January, and three dogs, Khloe, Teddy, and Princess.

My education/experience:

  • Bilingual secretary in charge of international communications in the service department for a Mercedes-Benz dealership for about 12 years

  • Administrative manager for a Chevrolet dealership for four years

  • Office manager of a health care center in Costa Rica for two years

  • C.A. Radiologist and insurance clerk for two years

  • Language Coach for three years for the South Carolina Virtual School

  • Spanish teacher at New Covenant School for the last 8 years

  • Spanish teacher at MSA for the last three years teaching Spanish 1, 2, 3, 4 and Advanced Spanish

My favorite things:

  • Book - Bible
  • Movie - Avatar
  • Color - Black
  • Food - Middle Eastern
  • Snack - Fruits
  • Activity/Hobby - Working out, outdoor activities, sewing, and painting
  • Vacation spot - Flamingo, Costa Rica
  • Favorite thing about teaching at MSA - I love to see all the stages of students becoming mature young adults. Also the Administrative and Staff members; I love to see how much they care for students and how kind and welcoming they are.

Energy Kit Challenge

Hey parents! Don't forget to request your FREE energy efficiency kit, and help our school win cash rewards. Go to, request your free kit, and be sure to credit Montessori School of Anderson with your sign-up. Together our school can save 20,000 kWh of energy and meet the #MyEnergyKitChallenge!
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Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.