2012 Graduation Address
Linda Amos, Head of School

We have so much to celebrate! Thank you, Miss Lilaha Bolen, Ms. Dominique Corbeil, and students! I have been to numerous children's music programs over the years, and I must say this program ranks right up to the top! Lilaha, your dedication to make each program the best, is amazing! Thank you for all your talent and hard work.

Well this school year is about to end, and I can't express enough how honored I am to be a part of this fabulous Wichita Montessori School! It is such a joy working beside such a talented, passionate, creative, and caring group of teachers, students, parents, and of course, Mrs. Jane Saunders!

I feel there is a need to give a special thanks to the WMS faculty for their consistent commitment and dedication to the growth of our children. The care and love with which they teach subsequently shines from within each of them. I witness this every day…the buzz and joy of learning. It is an amazing sound!

There is another group of people whom I want to thank profusely for their hard work and dedication. They help WMS be the warm, loving, engaging, and energetic place it is, both for the children, staff, and all the parents. I am talking about all the committed parents who volunteer and contribute in so many ways. Thank you for being such an engaged parent community. I encourage all of us to continue this great spirit of volunteerism. This opportunity provides us a model for our children in this school….a true gift of being a Montessori school parent.

Wichita Montessori School has a mission that is committed to preparing students for the journey ahead of them and equipping students to meet life's challenges. We present students with an opportunity for education based on the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, built upon the psychological characteristics and needs of the developing child. Their natural curiosity and intellect is stimulated which opens the windows of knowledge. We provide our students with a solid foundation based on the time-tested principles of Montessori education and this Wichita Montessori School. Here at WMS we spark the students' life-long love of learning and encourage them to think for themselves and to cultivate a compassion for others. As we all partner to achieve this mission, we lay the foundation for our students' personal fulfillment and academic success, while contributing to the world around them.

Before us today are twenty 3rd and 5th year students ready to take the next step in their life's journey. They have a strong basics foundation…in fact I need to stop here for a minute. Last year being my first year at WMS, I was pleasantly pleased when I viewed the 3rd, 4th, and 5th year students' Stanford Achievement test scores. Wow, I thought, I didn't realize the students here were so well prepared! Now, we have just completed those same tests this year. Another fabulous year of test results! The Montessori philosophy isn't really to brag, but to family and friends here, I do have to let you know our program truly works. The 3rd and 4th year students' scores were impressive too, but here is a specific example of our students who will be going into Middle School next year. I took their grade equivalent from the complete battery of tests and averaged all the 5th year students' scores. This grade equivalent average was 10.1. Which means 10th grade first month. This doesn't mean they should all be jumped to that grade, but it does say their averaged scores are at the level that an average 10th grader in his/her first month would score on the same test! Nearly all students scored in the Post High School level on one or more subtests. Wow! Most of these students have been with us for most, if not all, their educational experience! Parents, tomorrow your 3rd, 4th, and 5th year students will bring home their personal results from these tests. This is a glimpse into your students' academic success. I don't like to put too much emphasis into tests, but it does show WMS is a place where learning comes to life!

Our students also apply this knowledge to solve problems, they have higher-level thinking and study skills, are creative, and responsible for their own work. They have learned to work hard and they have gained knowledge in subject areas not traditionally introduced in elementary school. They have an appreciation for art, music, physical education, and are familiar with computers. In fact this year 3rd, 4th and 5th year students began a new Type to Learn program. They have knowledge of Spanish, cultural subjects, which includes the geography-a-thon, spelling, reading/literature, history, mathematics, some 4th and 5th year students even went beyond and competed in Math-Olympiad this year! They learn a lot about the sciences and even have science lab once a week. The upper elementary students have also just begun a Leadership class. As I presented to them the 12 Character Traits of a Good Leader, I thought to myself, these traits are what our Montessori philosophy is all about. These traits are:

Besides all that, they have joy, laughter, a love for learning, a heart for caring, and they respect themselves, others, their environment, and the world around them. They are good citizens and the "whole child".

With joy and a little sadness, I send you, 3rd and 5th year students, on your next path. We wish all of you great success and please keep in touch. Thank you for making such fabulous memories together and for choosing WMS for your school! You will, always be a part of the Wichita Montessori Family.

Dr. Montessori stated…"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him (and her), into the world." With our logo being the butterfly…it truly represents the transformation of our children.

So to all of you, on behalf of our school, I thank you for a profound, and amazing year!