What a way to start February 2020! Our 55th Celebration on Saturday February 1 was amazing. We called and our community answered. Our halls and rooms were filled to capacity. We did not stop greeting, talking, catching up, being surprised, looking back, and being in awe of the turnout for our beloved school. There were families and faces that took us back over the years and faces that we see every day mingling together to celebrate our anniversary. What a joy to behold, a perfect outcome, a perfect celebration!
Did you know that Westmont is the second oldest Montessori School in New Jersey, and one of only 10 accredited schools in the state? Our school was founded by parents who were seeking a stronger educational foundation for their children, and they found it in Montessori philosophy. From its humble roots in a church basement in Long Valley, to the beautiful campus we own today, Westmont has continued to live up to that same mission of providing the best educational foundation possible and developing capable people who love to learn.
Thirty plus years ago, when I entered the school for the first time, I felt something that I could not quite describe. It was the time of the “yellow trailers”, a few moves up from the rented space, and the beginning of Westmont’s tenure on the present site. From the outside, the yellow trailers did not impress, and I was unsure of what to expect. However, what I felt the minute I entered the doors drew me in and kept me here, as you all know. I have learned over the years that the building, although important for many reasons, has nothing to do with Westmont’s success. The spirit that resides inside the walls of the school is that which we refer to as the warmth and wonder of Westmont.
The gathered community at our 55th celebration embraced that Westmont spirit. Our parents, past and present, along with their children, complete our strong partnership. Our amazing staff boasts 100 plus years of experience and many are Montessori parents. They live what they teach. We all believe in the long-term benefits of a strong foundation supported by a nurturing and caring community. Together we keep Westmont’s spirit to the fore. Today, more than ever, it is important to prepare capable, community-minded citizens. We are proud to keep Dr. Maria Montessori’s legacy going and we treasure the families, past and present, who support us on that journey.
Here’s to 55 more years for Westmont!
Warmest regards, Colette