December Newsletter 2017

Water Around the World

Water. Agua. Aigua. Ama. Eau. Wetter. Acqua. Maza. Mamba. Awa. Woda. Vasser. Maji. Water, no matter what language you speak, translates to life. Cultures and regions all over the world have special ways of honoring water. In a recent trip to Cambodia, my family was able to experience the joy and celebration of our most precious resource.

The Cambodian Water Festival is a long-standing tradition in the country of Cambodia that pays tribute to our precious water. Cambodia has a geographical anomaly flowing through its city center, the Tonle Sap. During the dry season (November-May), the Tonle Sap acts as a river and drains into the mighty Mekong that pulses through most of Asia. During the monsoon season (June-October), the Tonle Sap actually reverses its flow and forms a lake. The Tonle Sap is world-renowned for its ability to be both a river and a lake, a river that has the power to change its flow!

Each year, on the full moon after the wet season, all of Cambodia rejoices for the turning of the Tonle Sap. Townspeople flood the city center for the three day festival, meeting where the Tonle Sap meets the mighty Mekong. Each region forms teams and competes in fierce races with up to seventy rowers in each boat. Boats are lit with spectacular wonder as they parade up and down the waterway for thousands of people to enjoy. A sense of reverence and respect fill the hearts of Cambodians and tourists alike as they give thanks for their precious water that provides fertile lands and bounteous fish.  

This holiday season, let us all rejoice in the water that weaves us all together; give thanks through celebration, conservation and collaboration to ensure this precious resource is sustainable for generations to come.

by Jenna Whiting   (primary teacher)

Thoughts from an Alumna

I just turned 18 years old. I am wrapping up my senior year of high school, and I am preparing to take the next steps in my education. While looking at all of the possibilities my future holds, I often find myself doubting my potential.

A month ago, I took a trip to the place where it all began, MEC. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for, I just went. When I walked through the office doors, through the patios, and to my old classroom, I was greeted by some new faces, but mostly by the familiar faces who continue to teach at MEC, even long since I left. These people, this staff, they are my people. I have never had as strong of a community rooting for me, as I do them. After a long conversation with my teachers, I felt as powerful as I did when I walked out the doors of this school, 6 years ago. The community at MEC is so important because they taught me more than any school subject could; they taught me the lessons I will carry for the rest of my life. So many schools dial their focus on having excelling, academically-driven students, but they don’t mind so much how the student grows as a person. The Montessori culture puts the student before the academics. They nurture students with patience, motivation, power, and belief in themselves. And naturally, the academics follow closely behind, because students who believe in themselves are unstoppable.

In my opinion, I would not be half the person I am had I not attended Montessori Education Centre. This school taught me so much more about myself than ever before or since. I am a stronger person from the lessons I learned at this school. MEC not only prepared me for the education I received from 7th-12th grade, but for the rest of my life. I could not recite all of the lessons I learned because there would be too many to fit into a newsletter. However, take my word when I say this school has your child’s best interest in their heart of hearts.

After my visit, I felt empowered and confident that I will be extraordinary in my life as it comes. There is no doubt I will come face to face with the biggest obstacles I have ever seen, but I know that I will get past them, because this community has thought me that I can. They have taught me to rise to the challenges that stand in my way. When I feel weak, or discouraged, or far from home, I will always know that I can come back to this school, and that they will accept me with open arms, and remind me of the lessons I learned so young in life. Whatever I become, I owe it to this school, to the staff, and to my teachers, because they have taught me that I can do anything, and I will.

by Bianca Gomes (18 year old former MEC student)


I dance on wood

Rising high in the sky

Then before I realize

Sparks begin to fly.

It’s hard to look away from me

You can’t help but admire

I am bright and beautiful

After all, I am fire.


I leap from the ocean

Falling down with grace

Yes, I may be still and calm

But I can hit you in the face.

At times I get dramatic

When the weather is hotter

You may call me a rollercoaster

But I’m only water.


I run through the world

With a sense of freedom

Without me none could live

The earth is my  kingdom.

I can be dangerous

But I can also be fair

Moving things with a simple breeze

For I am the air.


I give the world life

Making it full of colors

I have many accents and features

Like the world's 7 wonders.

I’ve been around for quite a while

You’ve known me since birth

Right below the sky and stars

Because I am Mother Earth.

 by Isabela   (age 11)

Fabric Needed

During the month of December we will be collecting fabric for a school-wide art project to take place during the MLK Day of Service in January. We need a lot of fabric. It can be any size and any color. We will take it all. You can drop it off in the office or give it to your children's teachers. If you are inclined to ask stores for donations, please ask the office for our school's Tax ID number. We also will accept gift cards to fabric stores.

Any donations are appreciated. Thank you for supporting our children in their endeavors to make a difference in our world. 


  • MEC just received news that we have been awarded the MLK Day of Service and Global Youth Service Day Grant given by Youth Service America. 
  • Our MEC community collected $1065.56 for UNICEF this year. This amount is the greatest we have collected thus far. Thank you for your generosity and for supporting your children's efforts to serve others. This year, funds raised through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF will support UNICEF’s emergency relief work for children affected by recent disasters. 
  • Congratulations to the MEC students and staff for being recognized by Youth Service America during World Kindness Day.  Getting to share our Year of Service video with their national audience was an honor. 
  • As our staff continues to further the cause of education and Montessori on a global level, our school will be involved in the American Montessori Society National Conference in Denver, Colorado this spring. Our principal, Cassi Mackey,  has been asked to be a presenter at the conference to provide insight into some of the work we do to make MEC an example institution.

Upcoming Events

MEC Barnes & Noble Book Fair - Our book fair this year will be at Barnes & Noble on Val Vista just south of I-60 in Dana Park. It will be Friday, December 15th from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. From books and music to educational toys and games, we'll earn 20% on any purchases you make during our book fair. Purchases made at the Barnes & Noble Café also count toward earnings! There will be craft tables, story telling, cupcake decorating, and, of course, a classroom wish list table. MEC will also be adding some delicious treats:  The Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes and cupcakes! You will be able to pre-order cupcakes and whole cheesecakes (white chocolate raspberry, Hershey's chocolate, triple chocolate, red velvet, blueberries and cream, and plain) through the MEC office to be picked up the day of the book fair in the Barnes & Noble Café. Order forms for The Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes and individual cupcakes to decorate are available in the office and due back to the office by 3:00 pm on Friday, December 8th.

Dates to Remember

Gold Canyon Candle - orders are due Tuesday, December 5th.

Parent/Teacher conferences - No School Friday, December 8th.

Cheesecake Factory and cupcakes - orders due Friday, December 8th by 3:00 pm.  

Barnes & Noble Book Fair - Friday, December 15th from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm.

Winter break - No School Friday, December 22nd - Friday, January 5th. 

School resumes - Monday, January 8th.


  • Kindness Rising:  Hasbro and Youth Service America are calling on youth and adults to take the BE FEARLESS BE KIND pledge.  Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 250,000 children in need this holiday season who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, South Florida, and Houston as well as Fire victims in California. If your child  hasn't already, they may take the pledge at
  • Re-enrollment paperwork will be coming home with your child Wednesday, January 17th. It is due back to the office no later than Thursday, January 25th along with your $75 class fee for the 2018-2019 school year. We DO NOT automatically re-enroll students. If you don't receive your re-enrollment paperwork, please stop by the office to pick up the applications. 
  • Toddler and Preschool - for the 2018-2019 school year, tuition will increase by $50.00 per month and the enrollment fee will increase to $75.00 (one time annual fee).
  • If you are picking your child up in LEAP, please sign out and proceed through the back door to wait for them. We appreciate you helping to keep the office quiet. 
  • Please call the office at (480) 926-8375 by 10:00 am to let us know if your child is absent that day.
  • Please help us to keep our school healthy by keeping students home when they are ill. Your child may return once they are fever free (under 100 without medication), no longer vomiting, diarrhea free, and rash free (or not contagious) for 24 hours. 
  • If you arrive before or after morning carline, you must walk your child in to the office and sign them in. For the safety of the child, they may not be dropped off. 
  • Any changes for pick up at the end of the day need to be called in by 1:00 pm. 
  • If you are late picking up a child in carline, they will be dismissed to LEAP after carline is over. 
  • Account balances are due on the 15th day of each month. A 10% late fee will be added to any unpaid balance on the 21st. We accept all major credit cards, checks and cash.

The Arizona School Tax Credit Program

allows you to direct up to $400 for a married couple or $200 per individual to our Charter Extra-Curricular Fund. This donation replaces dollar-for-dollar funds that you otherwise would owe in state income taxes. Donations can be made anytime but must be received by April 17, 2018 to qualify for the 2017 tax year. 

Clip Box Tops

By clipping Box Top coupons and bringing them into the office, you can help our school earn $.10 for each coupon you redeem. Please visit for a complete list of "Box Tops for Education" products.