By Brian Corley, Head of School

I believe in Montessori education. I believe in Maria Montessori’s philosophy and her commitment to educating the whole child. Montessori education is timeless, adapting and evolving to meet the needs of all students regardless of their gender identity, race, social-economic status, or ability.

But what makes Near North Montessori unique from other Montessori schools? I think if you were to randomly ask students and staff in the hallway or parents in a carpool line, they would likely say, “the community.” 

The last 18 months have challenged and frayed our community in ways that few could have imagined. Yet, today I sense a special quality in our fabric that is still holding us together.

This community has been battle-tested: adapting to ever-changing COVID protocols, with students shifting from in school one week to working online the next; faculty members teaching from living rooms, oftentimes accompanied by lizards resting on their shoulders; or parents finding themselves working from home while also using household items to build Montessori materials for their children. It took the entire community working together to keep everything intact and the school moving forward. 

So the question is, what will it take to continue the forward movement? How do we reignite the fire that warms our school and fuels the community that we’ve known and loved? While I am not certain of what that might be, I do know it will again take us all to do it.

It will take an irrational commitment to empathy and grace, an overwhelming commitment to gratitude, an outlandish commitment to volunteerism, an uncanny commitment to sacrificial giving, and a preposterous commitment to loving accountability. All of these commitments are the DNA of the Near North community and will springboard us into a better tomorrow. 

I look forward to an exciting, joyous, and yet still challenging school year. And I stand firm in optimism because I see the spirit in this battle-tested community: we have shown that we can do hard things and can withstand the blow of separation.

So now it is time to come together with grace, empathy, and loving accountability. The Near North staff will be ready to welcome students and families back to campus soon. We are overjoyed to begin the process of building a stronger-than-ever community. 

I leave you all with two quotes that I found inspirational and hopeful:

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

—Maria Montessori

“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”

—African Proverb

Let’s continue our walk together. I believe that, when we do, we can go as far as our hearts desire.