Montessori Private Academy's mission is to prepare children holistically-- intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically-- not only for their years in school, but throughout their lives.  MPA alums share how their education and experiences at Montessori Private Academy have shaped their lives from childhood into adulthood.

Hannah Gustafson

Montessori Private Academy, 2003 – 2006 (3rd through 6th grade.)* Hannah is a freshman at Ohio Northern University
“Montessori Private Academy not only transformed the way I think about the world, but also the way I think about myself. Montessori gave me confidence. I was able to work at my own level and be all right with where I was. I was able to identify my strengths and engage in activities that incorporated them.
 I attribute much of my success in high school to Montessori; it taught me to take an active role in my education. As a result, I was able to talk comfortably with my teachers and become involved in extracurricular activities at the high school. Montessori prepares students very well for the future by instilling a passion for learning.
After my sophomore year, I qualified for the Running Start Program. The Running Start Program allowed me to prepare for the future by earning an Associate of Science degree from Rock Valley College and a high school diploma concurrently. Although all my classes were at the community college, I was still able to participate in extracurricular activities at my high school. 
DECA, a business and leadership organization, impacted my life greatly. As president of the high school DECA chapter, I coordinated various community service events which raised funds for healthcare organizations in Haiti and in my own community. This past year, I coordinated The Kenya Project. Our chapter hosted a benefit concert where One Drum, an eclectic world music ensemble, performed. Proceeds from the concert were donated to the Kibera Slums Community Development Program, an organization that provides a critical link for children with no other means of obtaining education and healthcare.   Through the concert, we raised thousands of dollars for medical, nutritional and educational needs in Kenya. 
Being the lead on this project inspired me. I realized the contribution I was making in the lives of others. The opportunity to make a difference for people is the reason I have chosen to pursue a career in the medical field. With my new found interest, I took courses directly related to pharmacy. Additionally, I volunteered at local pharmacies and shadowed pharmacists in both the retail and hospital settings. These experiences reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in pharmacy. In six years, I plan to graduate with my Doctor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Business degree. I hope to one day be part of a consulting team, which reduces pharmacy costs, enhances revenue, and improves safety.” 
* In 2006, MPA offered classes through 6th grade. (In 2013, MPA offers a full Montessori curriculum beginning with 2 year olds through 9th grade.)

Chris Dunkel

Montessori Private Academy, 1986 through 1993 (Early Childhood through Elementary) Chris received his bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University. Currently he is a software engineer for Harris Corporation.

One of my best memories of Montessori is learning long division for the first time from one of the elementary kids.  I remember the sense of accomplishment and ability I had from deciding, on my own, that I wanted to learn how to divide and having the freedom to carry out my decision. The biggest effect that Montessori Education had on me was giving me a tremendous sense of optimism about the world. To this day, I still believe that people are capable of fantastic achievements when they put their mind to them. 

I have a smart, talented group of friends, but I tend to think that I am the most diplomatic person in our group.  I think Montessori definitely had a part to play in that, fostering interpersonal relationships from an early age.

I've been involved with Montessori in one way or another for most of my life, and I have yet to find a better environment for not just learning, but for building confidence.  I will definitely seek out a Montessori education for my own children.”