A True Nod to Maria Montessori

By Nate Lyons, Athletics & PE Director

I’d like to share the story of our first and only sports games of the season that took place once the school was empty of students on the last day of the 2021 school year. 

I got the okay to host, as long as it was after the final day of school and that no fans attended. I sent an email out to the league, and only one school took me up on the offer. So Catherine Cook and NNM decided to play a girls volleyball game followed by a boys basketball game on June 11 at NNM.

Everything was set. We had our opponent and referees, the NNM tech team set us up with equipment to do a live video feed so parents could watch at home, and the scorer’s table was ready. Then suddenly I realized that I was the only NNM employee attending this event. 

How could I run the scorers table, live video feed, and coach at the same time? We were an hour away from tip-off when I finally had that realization. I was in a panic until I reached out to a few NNM grads (fully vaccinated) to ask for help. Within minutes I had four grads on their way. It just so happens that these same grads served as mentors for my current 8th-grade boys when they were in 5th grade. They built a tight bond that year and have stayed in touch, so they were honored to help out. A girl from the volleyball team offered to run the scorebook. Ryder Glickman ‘19 had experience running video in high school, so he jumped right in like a pro. Trevor Boyd ‘19 and Andrew Kelley ‘19, both prior team captains, handled the coaching along with Devin Parikh ‘20, and I was able to sit back and really enjoy the moment.

Our girls volleyball team looked really sharp, which was a shock since they hadn’t played together in over a year and a half. They were communicating well, cheering each other on, and having fun winning the game in two sets. Our boys basketball team was facing last year’s championship 7th grade team (NNM got third place in 7th grade 2020). Catherine Cook took a quick lead, but we fought back and pulled ahead. We ended up winning the game in the end by a score of 72–63. 8th grader Cooper Kavanaugh played the game of his life setting a school record for points scored with 57! All participants had a great time playing again after such a long break. It was so special for the 8th graders to play a final game in their beloved school and a true nod to Maria Montessori with the lone adult in the room simply observing while the young people lead.