Executive Director, Suman Harshvardhan starts her 26th year with the school. She served as the facilitator of the Parent/Infant Program from 1994 to 2013, and as the lead teacher in the toddler program from 1990 to 2003. Suman received her Infant/Toddler Montessori Credential in 1994 through MECA-Seton in Chicago. She has served as the Executive Director since 1999. Her husband, Harshvardhan, is a professor in the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department at Purdue. They have two children. Their daughter, Sujata, lives with her family in suburban Chicago. Their son, Anand, is an alumnus of MSGL, and graduated from Purdue University & Indiana University. He lives with his family in Colorado.
Suman had read about the Montessori Philosophy but had not seen a classroom until she enrolled her son at MSGL in 1988. Their family attended the open house and experienced the classroom setting and heard about parent involvement. Being a parent run school there were opportunities to be involved in the classroom and the school board. They rolled up their sleeves and got totally involved; Suman volunteered to help in the classroom, with book fair, fundraising. Her husband served on the MSGL board and was the treasurer while their son was at MSGL.
When the toddler teacher left the board president offered Suman the teaching position since she had experience teaching at a pre-school in Maryland. Working at MSGL turned out to be soul fulfilling for her; there are very few instances where one has the opportunity to work so closely in the development of a young person. In the first nine years there is so much growth, one gets to see and be part of the evolving individual from a helpless infant to a confident young person. The only other place to get to experience that is as a parent. Suman is very grateful for both those opportunities in her personal and professional life.
Her fifteen years as the executive director have been just as fulfilling as the teaching opportunities she had at MSGL. She was part of the team that included board members, parents, and staff when the decision was made to move to the current campus. None of decisions were simple or easy but this group of people did what was needed to accomplish the mission. From buying the property to renovation and moving the school within six month was a herculean task but the group effort paid off. Parents have always pitched in and helped; that is the main reason behind this school’s success.
Suman feels extremely blessed to have worked with so many wonderful teachers over the years, each with their own style, their special talents and gifts that have help raise thousands of children over the years. MSGL teachers share fond memories from twenty plus years of working with children to things that happened yesterday whenever they get together. These collective experiences and memories tie us together as humans and weave the fabric of shared values that is MSGL. Dr Montessori wanted children to have a better way of living and learning, these teachers have enriched their lives and their students as their continue Maria Montessori’s legacy.