Dr. Maria Montessori:

“Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.”

(not pictured: Dr. John & Dr. Nathaniel)

 

Our Hillsboro Team

Some of our students, ages 6-18, interviewed our team at the beginning of the year.

Here are the results:

 

     Ms. Connie, one of our co-founders, is a parent volunteer. As our Business Director, she keeps us operating without a glitch, even in robotics! Fortunately, she was a computer scientist and programmer before she retired to raise her three boys. Her youngest goes to Hillsboro, and as a mom she appreciates that he gets to learn at his own rate because he enjoys doing above grade level work in some areas.  In addition to making sure everything is running smoothly, she also donates big blocks of time to take us on amazing adventures around the USA. This year she will be chaperoning trips to Boston and Acadia National Park; Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and the Lost Colony of Roanoke; Washington D.C.; and Yosemite, if that is where the middle school finally chooses to take their last trip of the year.  Thanks to Ms. Connie’s attention to details, humor, and patience, our trips always turn out to be trips of a lifetime!    -E, 17.  cedwards@thehillsboroschool.org

 

We are very excited to welcome our new tour director. Dorothy Ewing was looking for a camp for her son when she stumbled upon The Hillsboro School. Since then, Mrs. Dorothy has been a megaphone for our school, connecting us to the Helena community as well as the Ross Bridge Market. She has helped our students with our business and marketing when we attend events like the markets at Ross Bridge and in downtown Helena. When Mrs. Dorothy isn’t meeting prospective parents at the school and introducing them to our learning community, she is working as the owner and baker of a local cookie company. -K, 13, and C, 11.  dewing@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

   

 

 Ms. Jen teaches English and history for the middle and high school at The Hillsboro School. She says, “Teaching at Hillsboro feels like I have a partnership with the students and the faculty and families. I know I’m tasked with treating each student as an individual, and in return, I get to be myself, too.”Her favorite part about the school is the fact that it provides a community where learning is holistic, active, and relevant. “I love the people, and our commitment to each other and the community.” Outside of school, Ms. Jen is a film fanatic who often plans events for the students and their families to hang out in the evenings or weekends. She also loves to travel, spend time with her dogs, and be a goof with her kids.   -S, 18.  jcampbell@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

 

     Dr. John is a dentist as well as a parent volunteer. He and his wife, Dr. Wendy, split work weeks at their dental office to allow them to be so involved with the school and with their children. Dr. John coaches robotics. To say he is invested is an understatement as he has the robotics table in his living room!  Dr. Wendy and Dr. John tried lots of different schools for their two kids but nothing seemed to click until they sent them to a week-long summer camp at a Montessori school and both of their daughters instantly loved it. They’ve been attending Montessori schools ever since.   -A, 16.   jpoczatek@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

 

     Ms. Meghan believes that Hillsboro is a second family to her. She enjoys her time working with people as our Administrative Assistant.  Having the opportunity to help the school get stronger and function like a well-oiled machine brings her satisfaction. It’s a lot like working with family. She has a number of hobbies including anything Disney, hiking, camping and traveling any chance she gets. She is from just about everywhere because she has moved so much. She has a lot of business experience, but she really likes Hillsboro the best. Ms. Meghan has been working here since Hillsboro opened. -C, 13.  medwards@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

 

 

     For 30 years our co-founder, Dr. Melinda Bray, has been dedicated to developing communities that are based on how students and teachers learn. Dr. Melinda started her career at the International School of Basel in Switzerland and has since taught in Germany, Japan, Russia, and given presentations around the USA as well as in Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland.  She also consulted for the Smithsonian Museum regarding how to develop meaningful collaborations with schools. She encourages such collaboration, stating: “Planned trips allow students to pursue knowledge with a purpose and passion that can’t be replicated inside the classroom. Learning in the classroom is a springboard to exploration and discovery outside it. Nothing beats observing students building gardens and painting bridges with school children in Puerto Rico, or seeing the joy in older students’ eyes when they built a garden bed for our Hillsboro preschoolers.” Ms. Melinda is truly a second mother to the majority of students, making sure that they have a balance between their personal and academic lives. -E, 18.  drmbray@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

     Dr. Nathaniel is a parent volunteer who assists in STEM related topics from tutoring math to coaching robotics. After graduating with honors in biology from Harvard, this NY native came south to earn his masters and doctorate in education from Vanderbilt, where he met and then married, Dr. Melinda. He constantly seeks to spark that love of learning in others.  While he is continually reminded it does not fall under his field of expertise, Dr. Nathaniel insists on pursuing his favorite form of English: the pun. Unfortunately for students, a bad pun a day does not keep Dr. Nathaniel away. Students know that they can always count on him to answer a question when they need it. His two daughters, who attend Hillsboro, know this, too! -H, 15.

 

 

 

Who is Mr. Patrick? He is the new elementary teacher this semester.  In addition to teaching, he enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, woodworking, and gardening. He loves the challenge of teaching all ages, and he has been teaching for 21 years! Mr. Patrick says, “there is no one way to teach,” and “you never stop teaching.’’ He enjoys volunteering and has been a youth advisor, a trainer for teachers, and more. Mr. Patrick has owned West Coast Video and a landscape company. We are excited to have Mr. Patrick as one of our new teachers.  -C, 10 and J, 10.  pschrader@thehillsboroschool.org

     

 

Ms. Raji teaches the preschool students. On a scale of 1 to 10 she likes teaching a 10! Not only does she like teaching, but she makes learning fun. She is Montessori certified and has taught for five years in Montessori schools. She likes the philosophy because she loves how the children learn and knows that children are able to learn a lot more than most people think we can. When she is not teaching or planning cool lessons, she likes to read and take walks.  -C, 9 and J, 9.  rthopay@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

 

     Ms. Samima teaches the three, four, and five year olds. If she was not a teacher she would still do something with children, like gardening with them. She likes working with young children because she believes “early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” She has been teaching for six years. The Montessori philosophy of guiding the child and following their interests motivates and encourages her to work her hardest. She loves The Hillsboro School! -C, 10 and S, 6.  shassan@thehillsboroschool.org

 

 

 

     Dr. Wendy is a parent volunteer who works with everyone from our preschool students to high school students! She teaches the high school and middle school business class with Dr. Melinda. Dr. Wendy also teaches the entire school gardening as well as the elementary students robotics.  Dr. Wendy houses bees to help the garden and helps teach kids through lots of hands on experiences how to produce from the earth without harming it. -A, 17.  wpoczatek@thehillsboroschool.org

 

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