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Montessori School of Greater Lafayette Blog


Insights and inspiration from our Montessori classrooms.rss


 

Thanks to the timeless quality of Montessori materials, it seems that only the faces have changed in these photos from MSGL classrooms in 2000.

It's a genuine Polaroid photo and the genuine Mr. Jeff.
It's a genuine Polaroid photo and the genuine Mr. Jeff presenting abstract computations with the Stamp Game.

 


We still use the same dishwashing stands in the classroom today.

 


Miss Chloe has been preparing the environment at MSGL for a long time.

 


The Unifix Cubes are not a Montessori material but they allow for counting, sorting, color recognition, and provide a clear control of error. 

 


It just feels good to put the colored pencils in their matching holders.

 


Taking the spindles out of the boxes reinforces the counting activity used to put them in - and it builds concentration.

 


Two friends can work together on the Teen Boards. They are matching the quantity with the symbol and witing the numerals.

 


Using scissors is classified as a language activity because it builds hand-eye coordination and strengthens the hand muscles required for writing.

 


A comfy chair is better when it's big enough for two.

 


And finally, what is Steve building? 

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me! Have a warm and wonderful Wednesday.   ~Heather


 

     Let's recap our Building MSGL series on Wayback Wednesday. Montessori Parents, Inc. purchased the Calvary Baptist Church on Soldiers Home Road in 1999. Demolition of the interior began in September, 2000. Now it's December, 2000 and the stud walls are in place so that wiring, plumbing, and drywall work can begin.

 


Looking toward the Oak Room in Building B.

 


Standing in Catalpa looking through the wall into the Oak Room.

 


Looking out the door of the Maple Room into the office hallway.

 


Here's the view walking in the office door.

 


Here's that same view just a couple of months later.

 


This is the Maple Room looking toward the stairs.

 


This is the Willow Room looking toward the kitchen area.


And here is the Spruce Room filled with drywall supplies.

 


The Harvey & Son Construction crew. Steve, Don, Nolan, and Tony working over Thanksgiving Break.

 

That's all for this week. Have a terrific Wednesday!

 


 

     It's been a long week for everyone at MSGL and it's only Wednesday. The roots of our beloved river birch tree, which shaded the sandbox for more than 10 years, finally overtook the sewage pipe coming from Building A. The tree was cut down, the sandbox was dug up, and the lovely pergola that Ron Stier designed and built to shade the children has been dismantled. This is the sight today as workers remove roots and begin to repair the pipe. As luck would have it, we received 3 inches of snow this morning so classes were cancelled.


It's not a pretty sight right now on the playground. (Photo by Tony Harvey)

 

Yesterday, we said goodbye to the river birch tree.


The river birch comes down, one limb at a time. (Photo by Lena Atkinson)

 

        But this is Wayback Wednesday and we have to go way back. So let's take a look back at how we got here. This is the sandbox under construction in 2001. The river birch was planted later that year. It probably seemed like a really good idea at the time.


2001 - Sandbox under construction.
 

     Two years later the children are enjoying the new sandbox. The birch tree is wrapped in black at top left.


2002


     Miss Sherry and friends enjoy the shade of the river birch and the pergola during summer camp in 2010.


2010
.

     And here is a nice photo of the whole area from Summer, 2011.


2011

 

     Certainly one of the most popular areas in our outdoor classroom, the sandbox is going to be sorely missed until it can be reconstructed. But even as we lament this loss, it's good to remember that things could be worse. Back in September, 2007, this was the view outside of Building A.


2007 - Old toilets being removed during demolition of Building A.

 

     Take heart, friends. The water will soon be flowing in Building A and children will once again play in a shady sandbox. And Spring is only eight days away. Have the best possible Wednesday!

~ Heather

 


 

     This week's installment of Building MSGL focuses on the work of the jackhammer, a tool that was put to much use during the first few months of the construction project. Lots of concrete had to be broken up and hauled away so we could remodel the buildings and install new steps and sidewalks. 


Tony Harvey breaks up concrete in Building B to make space for new plumbing for sinks and bathrooms. This was one of his least favorite days of the entire 6-month project.


Looking at Building A as the concrete demolition gets underway.

 


Later that day, it looked like this. Watch that first step - it's a doozy.

 


Don Harvey and Craig Lamb prepare to take out the upstairs landing.

 

     As the demolition continued, it became apparent that the light-duty jackhammer they had been using was not going to cut through some of the steps. One parent volunteer took a look at the slow progress they were making and set off to find a better solution. Half and hour later he pulled in with a trailer-mounted mobile air compressor and a much more powerful jackhammer. Tony Harvey said that was a real game-changer for this phase of the project.

     "We had a little jackhammer that you could plug into an outlet in an airplane bathroom," he joked. "This parent came back with a rig that looked like Iron Man built it. When we flipped the switch on the big one you could see lights flicker in the apartments across the street," he said, once again, joking. "We had been working all day on those steps and in just 20 minutes with the big hammer, they were dust."

 

The old steps are broken up to make way for the new stairs/ramp that will lead into the upstairs hallway in Building A.
 

     Just for fun, I am including before, during, and after photos from Building A so we can admire the progress from an old church basment entry to a modern, ADA-compliant school entrance.


Before.

 


During demolition.
 


Here it is with the concrete walls freshly poured. 
 


Here,  the railings are being installed.

 


And here it is that first summer, looking quite lovely.

 

Thanks for joining me in the wayback. Have a super Wednesday!

 

 


 

"No matter what we touch, an atom, or a cell, we cannot explain it without knowledge of the wide universe." 
- Maria Montessori, 1948, To Educate the Human Potential

 

The Elementary students present their space projects in these photos from 2000 - 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Stay warm out there and have a terrific Wednesday!


 

     If there truly is a flashback movie that plays in our heads just before we die, the remodeling of the MSGL buildings will certainly be a part of mine. And the sweaty people covered in dust will be in it too, smiling (mostly) like they were in these photos from the first week of demolition.

     The following pictures represent some of my favorite memories of the building project because we were all so young and optimistic. We didn't truly grasp what working for six months through the winter with no electricity and no toilets and no babysitters would be like. So many parents, teachers, spouses, and extended family members gave their days off and their nights and weekends to prepare this space to be our new and improved Montessori School of Greater Lafayette.  They did it for free and, most importantly, they did it with a sense of humor.


Dragging the folding partitions out of the basement. 

     The above photo brings to mind a particularly disheartening day. The church basement was divided up into classrooms by these heavy, orange, folding partitions. Before we could start cutting into the concrete floors and tearing out the ceilng, we had to remove all of these partitions. Did I mention that they were extremely heavy? So heavy, in fact, that we couldn't move them once we got them detached and rolled up on the floor. I recall seeing Craig Lamb, Beth Nichols, and Tony Harvey pushing on them with all of their might and they just weren't budging. The wise, manly men in our group decided to drag them out of the basement using the Bobcat. Don Harvey did just that. As Tony, project manager, recalled, "That part of the demolition was really brutal. You would go in and see what was going to beat the heck out of you that day."


 

     Just like in a Montessori classroom, every volunteer found a niche. Some of the parents didn't want to see anything go to waste, so they took out the light fixtures and the doors and anything that might be of value and marked it for a remodeling sale we had a few weeks later. 


Ellie's mom is organizing the salvaged items in the future toddler room.

     One of the reasons we had such a dedicated group of volunteers is that demolition work is really fun! After a long day we could put on our grubby clothes and work gloves, grab a Wonder Bar and tear into the drywall and studs.


Ron and Cathy Stier.

 


Brian Berndt.

 


Beth working in the future River Birch room.

 


Beth and Cathy take out nails so we could re-use the studs.

 


Tools like the Sawzall made the job a lot more fun. This volunteer is standing in what is now the Willow room.

 


Tony unloads another wheelbarrow of debris.

 


Water girls, Gaia and Grace.

 


The author was concerned about lawn maintenance.

     I was really worried that the lawn would grow too long and we would look like bad neighbors. This was the first and last time I mowed the entire campus with a push mower.

 

     That week was lots of fun, but I'm glad it's done. Have a great Wednesday!

Heather

 

 

 


 

The weather forecast calls for all of this snow to be melting in about a week. In case you think you just can't wait that long, here are some photos of MSGL summers past to see you through. 


1994 - Digging in the tiny sandbox at Morton Center.

 


2000 - Hula hooping at Morton Center.

 


2001 - Hi Cathy!

 


2002 - The Parent/Infant class posing by the sandbox.

 


2003 - Waiting for a wagon ride.

 


2009 - Sack racing at the family picnic at Happy Hollow Park.

 


2010 - Releasing a newly-emerged Monarch butterfly.

 


2011 - Summer camp besties.

 


2012 - Shoveling in the shady sandbox.

 

2013 - Gardening at summer camp.

 

It will only be a few more days until warmer, friendlier weather arrives. Until then, take heart! Spring never fails to arrive.

Have a terrific Wednesday.

 


 

     1996 - Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics this year and Prince Charles and Princess Diana were divorced. Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned. The first version of the Java programming language was released, HotMail started providing free email service, and just over 10 million people were using the internet. 

     Do you know someone who attended MSGL in 1996? You just might find them here.

 

Parent/Infant Class

 

Toddler Class

 

Preprimary Class A

 

Preprimary Class B

 

Preprimary Class D

 

Preprimary Class E

 

Extended Day Kindergarten

Thanks for reading. I hope you have been able to go sledding in all this snow. Have a terrific Wednesday!


 

     One full year before MSGL acquired the property that is now our campus, the Calvary Baptist Church invited us to hold an open house for our families. These photos, from September 24, 1999, show lots of familiar faces and a campus without ramps, fences, or the 10 inches of snow that is on the ground today. 


 
 Suman Harshvardhan and Joy Kane.

 Mary McKay and Karen Hoagberg.

 The predecessor of the toddler playground.

 The future campus as it looked in September, 1999.

     I can't bear to throw away a good opportunity for a photo comparison, but we don't have a current photo taken from the same perspective. Here are two beautiful photos that offer an idea of what this view looks like today.  

 Thank you to Dave Wegiel for this photo from November, 2013.
 Thank you to Lena Atkinson for this photo from August, 2013.

      I hope you were able to enjoy seeing some green grass and leaves on the trees. And I promise that Spring will come exactly when it's supposed to. Until then, thanks for reading and have your best possible Wednesday! 



 

     On September 21, 2000, Montessori Parents, Inc. officially closed on the purchase of the property at 2552 Soldiers Home Road that would become the new campus of the Montessori School of Greater Lafayette. To celebrate and prepare for the next step, the board of directors and some staff and parents met that evening in the sanctuary of what was the former Calvary Baptist Church. Board president Craig Lamb offered a toast with champagne served in paper cups. 

 
 Board members, staff, and parents celebrate the beginning of the construction of the new MSGL campus.

     The next morning, demolition of the buildings began. MSGL parent Tony Harvey coordinated the building project. His father, Donald Harvey, was the general contractor.


 
 
 Don and Tony Harvey

     These are photos of the front of the sanctuary that is now the northwest corner of the Catalpa Room. When asked about these photos, Tony said that the gold walls on the left were part of the room that lead to the baptistry. "If you came to Calvary Baptist Church and you wanted to be saved," he explained, "you had to go through that room."

 
 
 Tearing out the walls of the former sanctuary to create the Catalpa Room.
 
 Just for perspective, this is the same wall four months later with new heat/ac, drywall, and paint.

     This was just the beginning of 5 months of hard and dirty work by many dedicated staff and parent volunteers. Three generations of families came together for one common goal. True friendships were forged. A lot of those people are still involved with MSGL today. I look forward to sharing the few photos and many stories of that time here on Wayback Wednesdays. If you were part of this amazing project and wish to share your stories, please add them as comments to the bottom of these posts or emaill me and I will be so happy to include them in an upcoming post. Of course, any photos you share will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for reading! Have a terrific Wednesday.


 

     January of 2000 saw the beginning of the beginning for our current location on Soldiers Home Road. The architects at Schwarz Associates in Lafayette began designing our new space. This is the architect's rendering of the exterior of both buildings. 

 

The photos below were taken over a year later in October, 2001.

 

Here is the current head-on view from 2013.

   

 

Thanks to non-acrophobic parent and board member Mary Mckay for taking those aerial photos in 2001. Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

 

Happy Wednesday! Thanks for reading. 

 

 

 

 

Winter is upon us and the staff of the Wayback Wednesday department is preparing to head south for the season. (The staff certainly wishes this was true.) Okay, we're not really going anywhere but we have discovered a treasure trove of awesome photos. We will be scanning them and organizing them over winter break. When everyone returns in January you can look forward to the beginning of "Building MSGL." It's the story of how our families built the MSGL campus that we know and love today.

To whet your appetites I am posting one photo from that winter of 2000. Look at this photo and see if you can figure out where in the school it is. The first commenter to get it correct wins a free Wayback Wednesday t-shirt. (The staff certainly wishes this was true.) Okay, no t-shirt but you can still be first. Have fun guessing!

 

Have a terrific Wednesday and an awesome winter break!


 

This week we look back at some photos from 1998. 

Anita McKinney, our first executive director, was leaving MSGL to live closer to her family in Florida. Her MSGL family held a farewell reception in her honor just before the winter break. These are photos of some of the children wishing her well.

 

 

 

Anita started working at MSGL in July, 1991 when the parent-owned school decided it needed a full-time. Up to then, the office staff coordinated with the Board of Directors. This next photo is actually from about 1996. It shows Anita with Beth Nichols, who was then the office manager, in the teeny, tiny office at Morton Center.



Beth is still with us and now works as our accountant. Anita has been working with Florida's Duval County Extension office since 1998. She is currently teaching personal financial management in Jacksonville. She is retiring in January and will start another "job" taking care of her twin grandchildren Dominic and Danica. She is excited about this new chapter in her life and told me, "They will be three by then , so I will start my own little Montessori home-school with them. I am looking forward to this next step!"

Best wishes, Anita! And happy Wednesday to you, faithful readers.

 


 

Today's Wayback Wednesday comes from March, 2000. The children in Room B were treated to a science presentation by a group of MSGL parents.

 

 

 



 

 

 

These parents must have been SO COOL! We are thankful for all of the Montessori parents and grandparents who have shared their interests and their time with our children over the past 41 years. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 


 

We're keeping things simple on Wayback Wednesday this week with a short and sweet little collection of photos from October, 2002. Teacher Judy West took the children of the Red Oak class on a nature hike to Purdue's Horticulture Park to enjoy the crisp morning, collect leaves, and hug some very deserving trees. 

 
 Berries for collecting, not for eating.

 
 

 
 Making a bark rubbing.

 

 
 

 

 
 Waiting for the chipmunk to make an appearance.

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

Do you have favorite photos you would like to share on Wayback Wednesday? Please contact me at heather@msgl.org. Have an outstanding Wednesday!


 

Today is school picture day! 

 
 Harriet tries to convince Ian to blow that silly ducky off her head.

When Harriet and "the ducky" show up to take our pictures, you can bet that the children are well-dressed, the snack is no-mess, and the staff is slightly stressed - for two whole days. Sometimes there are tears and pouty faces, but never in front of the children :)

These teachers from 2004 look pretty happy. Enjoy this week's Wayback Wednesday photos from 2004.  

 
Spruce Toddler class 3-day and 5-day 
Teachers Cheryl Whiteman, Lena Schurr, Karen Bernier,

 
 Spruce Toddler Class 2-day and 5-day
Teachers Jennifer Tyrell, Cheryl Whiteman, Lena Schurr, Karen Bernier.

 
 Red Oak Preprimary Class
Teachers: Erica Wallskog and Judy West.

 
 Willow Preprimary Class
Teachers Ana Orizondo, and Jessica Burdge,
 
 Catalpa Preprimary Class
Teachers Ginny Meyer and Revati Nemani.
 
 White Oak Preprimary 2-day and 5-day Class
Teachers Judy West and Janice Schuster,
 
 White Oak Preprimary 3-day and 5-day Class
Teachers Judy West and Janice Schuster.

 
 Globe Willow Bilingual Preprimary Class
Teachers Ana Orizondo and Veda Chandrasekar,
 
 Catalpa Pods Kindergarten
Teachers Ginny Meyer, Angie Shamo, and Heather Harvey.

 
 Hickory Elementary Class
Teachers Linda Bolam, Linda Teller, and Kelly Haley,
 

 


Smile, silly ducky! And have a terrific Wednesday.


 

The MSGL photo archives are a bit disorganized and I usually have to sift through them to come up with a Wayback Wednesday post, but this week the work was already done. After leading the toddler families on this field trip to Lafayette's Columbian Park Zoo in the Spring of 1998, teacher Suman Harshvardhan put together this little photo album for the children. 

 
 Look who's ready for a ride on the Columbian Park Express!

 

 
Suman makes sure everyone has a snack. The old Big Dipper slide can be seen in the background. The slide was dismantled when the park was renovated in the early 00's. Here's a photo of the slide in it's glory days...


 

 

 

 
 

 


 

 

These kiddos are college freshmen (or nearly) now. Thanks for reading and have a great Wednesday!



 

 


 

We're really reaching back here for Halloween gold - all the way back to 1989. Back in the day, the whole school had a costume parade in the Morton Center gymnasium. It was a big year for bunnies, clowns, and superheroes. 


 
 1989 costume parade in the Morton gymnasium.



 
1989 costume party in Room D.


 
1989 - Long-time teacher Durga Desai and Room A's costume parade.


 
 1990 - An apparently fabulous convocation with art, pumpkins, and puppets.

 
 2000? - Briana Hinds scrubbing a pumpkin in Cathy Stier's ADP class.


 
 2000? - Toddler class Halloween party. Mason Arndt facing camera.


 
 2001? - A Halloween tradition - Ginny Meyer greeting the children dressed in her spider costume.

 
2003 - Becca and Tessa Farmer, Grace Harvey, Catherine Chua, Hannah Hawkins & friends at a Montessori family Halloween party.

The classrooms don't dress in costumes as much anymore, but they usually go on field trips to the pumpkin patch.

 
 2004 - Miss Jennifer and the Toddler class carving a pumpkin.


 
 2004 - Darby B., Hannah D., and Bridget O. on a field trip to the pumpkin patch with Ana Orizondo's Willow class.


 
 2004 -Zoe with her treasured but kind of icky pumpkin.


 
 2005 - Revati Nemani helps a friend with the parts of the pumpkin work in Catalpa.



 2008 - Dana Adamson carving a pumpkin with River Birch children.


 
 2009 - Heather Harvey carving a pumpkin with River Birch class the following year.


 
 2010 - Elementary class goes to the pumpkin patch.


 
 2010 - Emma and Zach scoop out the pumpkin guts.


 
 2011 - Ashton's big haul from the pumpkin patch trip with Canoe Birch.


 
 2011 - Anita Trent helps carry Red Oak pumpkins from the patch to the bus.


 
 2012 - Willow class friends share a special fall party treat.


I hope you have enjoyed our first-ever Halloween edition of Wayback Wednesday. If you know anyone in these photos and want to share their names with us (or our website with them) we would really appreciate it. Have fun tomorrow and I hope you get lots and lots of candy - or not. Whichever you prefer :)

 
Do you recognize anyone in this photo of the MSGL staff from 1992? We have grown from a staff of 12 in 1992 to over 30 today, 21 years later. 

Montessori School of Greater Lafayette Staff, 1992

 
 Back, l to r: Suman Harshvardhan, Toddler class; Nakhat Ahmad, Class D; Karen Weddle, Toddler & ADP; Mary Sue Reutebuch, Class E; Durga Desai, Class A; Vicky Carswell, Early Arrival. Front, l to r: Linda Swain,  B & Extended Day; Ginny Meyer, Class B & Extended Day; Anita McKinney, Executive Director; Maureen , Class A; Cathy Stier, ADP. Not pictured: Judy West, Class D.


Here are the year's class photos. If you recognize any of the children, all should be in their mid-twenties now, consider directing them here. We would love to hear from them and from the teachers.


Class A - Morning Preprimary, 1992

 
 Teachers Maureen Northacker (L) and Durga Desai (R).



Class B - Morning Preprimary, 1992

 
 Teachers Linda Swain (L) and Ginny Meyer (R).

 

 


Class D - Morning Preprimary, 1992

 
  Teachers Judy West (L) and Nakhat Ahmad (R).

       

 

Class E - Afternoon Preprimary, 1992

 
Teacher Mary Sue Reutebuch 



Class C - 3-day and 5-day Toddlers, 1992

 
 Teachers Karen Weddle, Suman Harshvardhan, and Prafull Rathore.

 

Class C - 2-day Toddlers, 1992

 
 Teachers Karen Weddle, Suman Harshvardhan, and Prafull Rathore.



Class - Extended Day Afternoon, 1992
 
Teachers Ginny Meyer (L) and Linda Swain (R). 

Thanks for reading and have a great Wednesday!


 




 
Wayback Wednesday: 1998 - Peter Cottontails and Banana Bombs

1998 was a big year for MSGL because we announced our expansion so we received lots of media coverage. This week's Wayback Wednesday post features another story from the Lafayette Journal and Courier. On July 7th, a story about our summer camp cooking class filled the 4 Kidz Only page. (I love that the J&C embraced phonetic spelling!)

The photos are beautiful and the children's quotes, especially about date math, are really sweet.

Featured teacher, Revati Nemani is still with MSGL today in the Catalpa class. The children featured in this article are now in college. Are any of them studying to be chefs? We would love to know. If you know Alie Magnante, Daniel Plesniak, Asher Bogdanove, or Andrew Staiger, please pass this along. It would be great to hear from them.

And maybe you and your young ones will give one of these recipes a go? We would love to hear about that, too.