Mountain West Montessori Newsletter

February 2022

Editor-in-Chief: Ms. Angie, Director

Managing Editor: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Director

Author: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Director



- EARLY RELEASE, PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES: Wednesday, March 2nd & Thursday, March 3rd

- NO SCHOOL, TEACHER COMP. DAY: Friday, March 4th

-NO SCHOOL, TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18

-NO SCHOOL, SPRING BREAK: Friday, April 15th - Friday, April 22nd


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Ms. Angie, Principal

Adults have to keep in mind what it feels like to get in trouble when you are a kid. Youthful offenses may seem laughable now, but don’t forget the pit of dread in your stomach when you gravely faced your doom in the form of teacher or parent. I can remember, and I was the world’s biggest goody two-shoes.

One incident stands out in my mind: I was in 5th grade and the biggest fad at recess was four-square; I was abominably lacking in any kind of sports skills, but I was pretty good at four-square and I would often make it to the “king” square. I was one square away, when, in-between plays, the boy I liked yelled, “Hey! Monkey woman!” at me, and I took my jacket, which was tied around my waist, and swung it at him in an awkward attempt at flirtation/revenge. This earned me the attention of the teacher, who made me put my “nose on the wall” for the rest of recess, and then run three laps around the playground afterward. Oh the shame. And to show you how deep and lasting the emotional impressions of elementary school are, I refuse to this day to tell you the name of the boy.

I remember a day when my own son came home from school and I immediately knew that all was not right with the world. He moped around for a while, and then grudgingly, eyes firmly locked on the floor, told me that he got in trouble at school and he needed a parent signature on the essay he had to write. With solemn expression I asked for the essay, and as I finished reading it, faced one of my recurring biggest challenges as a parent: trying not to laugh. Since we could all use a little light-heartedness right now, I thought I would share it with you, directly translated including spelling errors:

“I pretended to shoot people today at library and it was very inapropreeate for me to do that because it influences you and you might actuly shoot someone one day and go to jail. People are actually shooting people in the real world and that is wrong and I don’t want to go to jail just because I pretended to shoot people in 4th grade. I was shooting the girls and I know that makes it even more wrong to do because that is race descrimination. I know it was bad of me to do that.”

Coming across this essay reminded me that kids see the world differently, that they trust adults to know how to take care of things, and that everything seems big when you are small. One of the best things about my job is the chance to connect with children and get a glimpse of the world through their eyes.

To wrap up the story—I certainly had a friendly talk with my son, but I left the race discrimination alone. After all…in fourth grade maybe girls are a different race.

~Ms. Angie


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Ms. Sheri, Assistant Principal & Literacy Director

This month, I'm excited to share how teachers, educational assistants, the reading specialist, and I work together to provide excellent literacy instruction.

Learning to read is rocket science! We now know more than ever about the science of reading and what does/doesn't work! Teaching all children to read requires that every child receive excellent reading instruction and that children who are struggling with reading receive additional instruction from professionals specifically prepared to teach them.

My Role

I have a dual role at MWMA as the assistant principal and also literacy director. I have spent my career earning advanced degrees and advanced reading endorsements in order to direct excellent literacy instruction at MWMA. Opening the doors to literacy for all students is my passion! I meet regularly with teachers, reading specialist, and educational assistants in order to provide the best literacy instruction for your children.

Teacher's Role

Several of our teachers (K, LE, UE, special education) and Media Specialist are earning their Reading Endorsement by attending graduate-level Southern Utah University classes (that I teach as an SUU adjunct professor). Some of our teachers are also attending LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) training. In addition, our teachers have received extensive training on how to assess and diagnose the reading strengths and needs of students. Our highly trained teachers provide excellent and rigorous daily literacy instruction for ALL students!

Educational Assistant's Role

Our loving and caring educational assistants recieve training on reading intervention. In addition, they receive ongoing coaching and support from teachers, the reading specialist, and myself. Educational assistants work with students that need a little extra reading intervention using evidence-based reading intervention curriculum.

Reading Specialist's Role

Ms. Leticia, has advanced degrees and is extremely knowledgeable about the science of reading assessment and instruction. Ms. Leticia is highy dedicated and passionate about supporting the students receiving reading intervention. She supports, supplements and extends classroom teaching, and works collaboratively to implement a quality reading program that is research-based and meets the needs of students. In additon, Ms. Leticia and I meet twice a month with teachers and educational assistants to discuss how students receiving reading interventions are improving.

If you would like more information about literacy instruction or would just like to ask questions, please reach out to me. I would be happy to share my "geeky" literacy passion with anyone who is willng to listen!

~Ms. Sheri

Left to right: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Principal/Literacy Director and Ms. Leticia, Reading Specialist

UE and LE Educational Assistants

K - 6 Educational Assistants

Left to right: Kelsea, Yuli, Teresa, Alisa, Brianne, Gentri, Christian, Britta, Rebecca

Below: Nicole, kindergarten



Ms. Marianne, School Counselor

Things are hard right now. The pandemic just keeps going. Due to illness kids are missing more school than ever before. Teachers, parents, and students are all stressed and burned out. It is hard. One thing that I have noticed as a counselor is that there is an increase of anxiety throughout our community. Here are some things we can do to help our little ones when they are feeling so anxious about the world around them.

Keep a routine. I know everything is crazy and this can be difficult, but our kids need this consistency in such an inconsistent world.

Turn off the news and don’t discuss it with your children. This may seem a little extreme, but the news is so negative right now and is very controversial. Kids need to focus on school, play, and their friends. Leave the news for when they get older.

Eat healthy. Give your kids the nutrients they need to be their best selves.

Play. Let your kids go outside and play. Exercise is vital for the happy chemicals in our brain to work properly.

Get enough sleep. We all need sleep to feel better and to function in a high stress environment.

Practice deep breathing. Teach your kids to deeply breathe in and out. I often count to 5 each way to make sure that I get deep breaths in and then slowly breathe out.

Be kind. Teach through your example of kindness. Even though things aren’t ideal right now we can be kind to our friends, teachers, neighbors, and family. This will create a sense of peace and comfort for your child.

Remind your child of their inner strength. When things get tough, teach your child that they are strong and can handle this. Remind them that they are not alone and you are there to go on this journey with them.

If your child is still struggling, please reach out to your child’s teacher and/or the counselor. There are so many tricks that can help a child to feel safe and relaxed even when the world feels scary. Together we can beat the stress and lift each other up during this difficult time.



Mr. Alden, Computer Science Lead

I wanted to update you all on some of the great things we have been purchasing with the Dance-Fit fundraiser donations. We have been able to purchase many computer science books and materials that students will be able to use as they learn in class or pursue their own projects. We are working to make computer science authentic and engaging for students while also encouraging their learning in other subjects as well. Check out the pictures below of some of the items we have recieved so far. I look forward to sharing updates in the future as we receive the rest of the items we were able to purchase.

Thank you so much for your generosity!

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Do Your Part

Ms. Sarah, MS Theatre Teacher

Part of the teenage years consist of trying to get away with doing as little as possible, but that doesn't always serve anyone well! When everyone contributes, the load is much lighter all around. When it comes to work ethic, you can get a reputation quickly... at bare minimum, do your part and when you can, do more. You will reap rewards from being a person others can count on.

~Slightly adapted from Brooke Romney

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Melissa Zuckerman, MLIS

Library Media Teacher/Assessment Director

Dear MWMA Families,

The time has come for my annual geek-out over the newest Youth Media Awards winners! Now I’m going to be honest with you… not every award-winner is a winner with kids, so I just want to highlight a few (winners or honors) that I think are exceptional. If you’re interested in the complete list of Award and Honor winners, you can find it here:

Last week during our library visits I had students help me preview some of the Youth Media Award winners, we looked at the art, read about the plot, and talked about whether or not it sounded interesting. Here are our top picks, from youngest to oldest:

Beginning Readers:

Beak & Ally #1: Unlikely Friends, won a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor (aka “the Dr. Seuss Award). This series is in graphic novel format, and will make your beginning reader giggle. If they love the Elephant and Piggie books and are looking for more, this is a great, silly choice!

Short Chapters:

Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any short, easy-to-read chapter books that won awards or honors this year. Instead, I’d like to recommend Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series. If your reader is bridging from beginning readers into longer texts, I highly recommend the series! Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, book 2 in the series, won a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor back in 2007. These books are silly, sweet, and great fun to read!

Picture Books:

Mel Fell, Caldecott Honor winner by Corey Tabor, shows the exciting adventure of a bird learning how to fly! It reminds me of “After the Fall” a re-telling of Humpty Dumpty, in that it has a strong growth mindset message.

Soul Food Sunday, awarded a Coretta Scott King Honor for the illustrations, was a top pick among students. This story, told with exciting and vibrant colors, is about a young boy who spends time in the kitchen with his Granny, learning to make his favorite foods. It is a fun, family-focused story that leads to great discussions about our own food traditions.

Chapter Books:

The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera, winner of the Newbery Award and the Pura Belpré Award, is set in an exciting dystopian future in space! Fans of both Hunger Games and Maze Runner will enjoy this story, and those who disliked the violence of those two will appreciate this less aggressive look into the future.

Temple Alley Summer, by Sachiko Kashiwaba, won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English outside the United States. This is sci-fi, mystery, and ghost story all in one! And while it isn’t a graphic novel, it does have some wonderful illustrations every few pages.

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown, written by Steve Sheinkin, won a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor. This book is as exciting as a Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tale, but instead of the illustrations you get a ton more facts! Fans of spies and world history will enjoy this gripping read.


Melissa Zuckerman, MLIS

Library Media Teacher/Assessment Director

Mountain West Montessori Academy

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx



The Jordan Family Education Center provides FREE support services and classes for families and students in Jordan School District. Their services are provided by JSD school psychologists, counselors and school psychology interns.

Here are just a few of the many services they provide.

  • TIMELY TOPICS: One-night seminars for parents addressing various pertinent topics. Parents are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. Classes include: Co-Parenting Through Divorce, Video Game Addiction, Study Skills: Supporting Your Teen, Life Hacks for Coping with Depression, Internet Safety for our Children, and Raising Your Rainbow Child.
  • Excellent class topics for children and teens range from anxiety to making and keeping friends.
  • Several support groups are also offered.

Here is a link for all the supports and classes available.

For information or questions about classes, support groups, and counseling, call the Jordan Family Education Center 801-565-7442.



Ms. Hannah, Middle School FACS, CCA and CTE Teacher

Ms. Hannah was born and raised in Reno, NV. Hannah has studied photography, programming, culinary arts, and graphic design. Currently, her favorite subject is graphic design. Hannah started at MWMA as a substitute teacher, became a long-term substitute, and then moved into a full-time position. She loves the hands-on approach that is the core of Montessori education, which is also why she loves teaching FACS/CCA/CTE. If you want to cook, care for families, have a job, or use a computer, Ms. Hannah is the teacher you need!



February's Quote

A recent study found that when people gave three to five acts of kindness a day, they experienced significant increases in personal happiness. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference!

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