2013 Annual Meeting: State of the School

Following is a transcript of Head of School, Dominique Mouthon’s, State of the School speech from the Annual Meeting on October 18, 2013.

Good evening!

I sincerely regret not being with you tonight. Personal obligations have called me to France at my parents’ side for a few days. I am here however in spirit and expect that Judd will give you a great reading with French accent included!

There is much to celebrate that took place in the past year. First and foremost I am truly appreciative of all the support I have received from all of you, parents, staff and trustees. We all know that a lot of our energy was consumed in our building project. The road we traveled was full of energizing, positive achievements as well as unexpected hurdles. The Board worked tirelessly in a pro-active fashion to anticipate and respond to the challenges set in front of us. The resolve, dedication and unity demonstrated in the face of adversity carried our community. I cannot forget how so many of you filled the seats at the Board of Adjustment hearing last June. Your presence and energy made a difference! We now have a different type of work to do to see our project through. However, our commitment remains the same, as we know that this piece of land on Harden Road is the perfect location for FCM for many years to come. The current set back is allowing us to put in place more refined and elaborate processes for the advancement of our organization, processes that will carry us through a capital campaign when the time is right.

Last year, as many of you remember I am sure, was the first year we launched our new language program in Children’s House. Spanish teacher, Carina came three times a week to visit the children’s house classrooms and speak Spanish to the children. We were really proud of this achievement as it adheres to the Montessori approach: we were able to find a native speaker who was willing to “float”, as we so beautifully say in our Montessori jargon, between 3 classrooms, in an unobtrusive way. Young children were drawn, some faster than others, to this brand new person who spoke a language they did not understand.

Collaborating with the Parents4FCM group, we redesigned the End of Year Carnival and created a community event with a flavor consistent with our Montessori principles. Despite our best planning, the weather washed out the event, but the children enjoyed the lollipops during summer camps! We continued to refine a fairly new community event, the Spring Expo, by bringing more hands-on activities for all age groups. Any and all school events require the organizational support of parent volunteers. We could not do it without you!

Our fundraising efforts were hugely successful last year! Every single contribution, at any level makes a difference. Because of an incredibly successful auction we were able to send 10 people to the International Montessori Congress in Portland, OR, this past August. Being able to offer our staff opportunities for growth and renewal benefits every student in the community. Many of our colleagues at the Congress were impressed by the fact that there were 10 of us from the same school attending the congress. Many were, frankly, jealous when we shared the type of support our school demonstrates toward its staff and faculty. Many were also very impressed to learn about all the other offerings that take place at the school: parenting support groups and classes, book clubs, classroom socials, school-wide get together, etc.

I like to assert that the education FCM provides is not only one of great quality from a Montessori perspective, but also from a community aspect! Providing a community like ours requires that we all work together, dedicating much energy toward a common goal, and for that I thank every one of you!

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