This section of our website is developing and we welcome the life stories and achievements of our former students. For now, what we can share with our readers is what a graduate from Northside Montessori is like.Our graduates tell us of their ability to accept challenges, of the fact that they take ownership of their learning, mix with diverse groups and have realistic knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses in high school and beyond. We want our students to have wings to fly – for them to find their passions in life and have the courage to pursue them. Our education allows that to happen. As so many of our graduates have mentioned, many years after their time at Northside, a Montessori education is not merely about books and learning. ‘We learnt how to make friends and get along with different people of different ages.’ Another said, ‘We learnt how to learn. We learnt about ourselves – to be true to who we are.’
We welcome back our former students who often attend our Soirees, Graduate Panels, Productions and other social events. We’ve even employed some of our former students in our Montessori classrooms!
One of very first students was Tony Chappel who was a student in 1978!
Tony Chappel recalls:
“I started at Stepping Stones in the inaugural class held in Julie and Richard Fox’s garage. It was the first year of the school – 1978. I attended until the end of 1982; from age 3 through to age 7.
I have fond memories of working bees where my parents spent weekends at the Bobbin Head Road site and well remember the school Guinea pigs, cooking classes, reading in the library and of course the wonderful tactile maths and grammar courses.
I’m now employed as Head of Government and Community Relations at AGL Energy, where I advocate for the transition to a renewable energy future and lead the community and government engagement around our new wind and solar projects, as well as the legacy conventional energy assets.
I feel I carry the Montessori credo with me every day in my work in so many ways – the way I break down impossibly overwhelming tasks into their component pieces, the idea that every person can add value in any situation and the use of visual components and symbols to break down complex relationships.
Tony has recently enrolled his daughter into Montessori as well!
At Northside, learning is something to be enjoyed and shared – a springboard for more discoveries. Our children learn how to learn. Our school is a place where mistakes, risk taking and experimentation are a noble and integral part of the learning process. Montessori alumni such as Sergey Brin and Larry Paige (founders of Google) credit these aspects of the Montessori approach with developing their innovative spirits.
The real test of an education is whether children can adapt to the next phase of their life and be happy in themselves and their abilities. This is our goal at Northside Montessori School. We want our students to ‘think bravely and deeply’. Our goal is for students to see the possibilities in front of them and to approach the future with excitement and optimism.
We invite former students to contact the school if they would like to share their story with us!