January Newsletter 2018

New Year?

The mention of "New Year's" often gives educators pause. We speak about what we need to do or what we need to change “in the new year,” but we are usually talking about a new school year and not the new calendar year. That distinction is how we have come to measure time. So, in this same vein, we want to wish you a Happy Continued Year, since we are still in the middle of it.

I came across the following poem by an anonymous writer, but Maria Montessori or any one of my MEC colleagues could have written this poem. It simply states our hope for our students. It is not a hope that is reserved for a new year, whichever or however you celebrate, but a hope that we try to impart to our students every day. So, I am going to rename the poem from “This Year” to “Every Day."

by Cassi Mackey, M.Ed  (principal)


Every Day

Recognize your uniqueness

Serve others every day

Never give up

Focus on love, compassion, service, and peace

Keep growing

Practice gratitude

Choose happiness

Work hard

Speak up

Support what is right, in the face of what is wrong

Move forward

Be kind

- by Anonymous

Social Entrepreneurs

“Social entrepreneurs are society’s change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better.” This new catch phrase in nonprofit circles has taken off considerably in the past decade but has been around for a very long time. Maria Montessori and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would both be considered social entrepreneurs. Once again, Maria is ahead of her time.

As Montessorians, we are believers in the peace education that Maria Montessori so valiantly championed, and we are drawn to leaders that exemplify the same ideology, such as Martin Luther King. They were both tireless advocates for peace, equity, reciprocal respect, and a harmonious outlook for humankind. They both believed in the power of education and in the potential of our youngest citizens to change the world through kindness and service.

It is our duty as Montessori educators to continue to live up to what Maria Montessori and Dr. King asked us to do. Our students are not only an extremely valuable resource for energy, good will, and creativity, but are also the key to our future. Volunteering in community service projects and helping others can be very fulfilling, and, if we can create opportunities from a young age for our students to see how enriching it is to serve, they will hopefully start to make an association between helping someone else and their own joy. Maria Montessori understood this connection:  “Joy, feeling one’s own value being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production, are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.” It is our hope that our students experience this joy as children then continue to experience it as adults and, one day, possibly become the social entrepreneurs our world desperately needs.

by Cassi Mackey, M.Ed (principal)

MLK Day of Service at MEC

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:  what are you doing for others?” 

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Day of Service is Monday, January 15, 2018. Dr. King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and he encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America. The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community action that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, or it may meet a need of spirit. On this day and the week proceeding, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through service projects that strengthen communities, empower individuals, bridge barriers, and create solutions.

As announced earlier, MEC Main Campus received a federal grant sponsored by YSA (Youth Service America), State Farm Insurance, and CNCS (Corporation for National and Community Service.) This grant money is earmarked to support our MLK Day of Service project, as well as our Global Youth Service Day project in April.

MEC will be participating in the MLK Day of Service on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Since the beginning of December, our students have been engaged in lessons, activities and research that help them understand what service means and how to advocate and create action around service. This day will be a culmination of all our discussions and work around service. Each classroom will have a discussion on what the students are willing to commit to in order to create a better world for all.

The students will engage in a school wide I Will… campaign. Each student, faculty, and staff member will write her or his commitment on a piece of fabric. The fabric will be used to create a school-wide art piece. We will then take a picture of the completed art piece and print it on stationary. Students will then write letters (with the help of teachers) to our men and women in the armed forces thanking them for their service. They will also express to these fellow Americans the commitments the students have made to do their part to help the world. These letters will then be sent around the world.

When our art piece is completed, it will be displayed for all to enjoy. We will let you know when it will be available for viewing.

We encourage you to participate as a family in the MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 15th during the federally observed holiday. The following links give you more information about this day. As always, we would love to hear about your family's experience.



by Cassi Mackey, M.Ed (principal)

Thoughts from a New Staff Member

I am eager to continue spending my days with my students and colleagues as we begin the "new year." As the New Year's holiday always does, it gave me a chance to reflect on my journey through life.

Eighteen years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom with a daughter in kindergarten in a traditional public school. My niece was at a Montessori school. I was intrigued by the Montessori method and wanted my daughters to have this kind of education. So, I enrolled my two daughters in a Montessori school. I was also fortunate enough to be hired as an assistant teacher. I was able to go to school with my two daughters every day. I was so pleased with the education they were receiving; I planned to work there until they completed the program. By the time the girls were at an age to move on, the culture of the school was changing. Even though I decided to continue in the job, it soon became evident that I could not work in an environment that no longer followed the tenets of Montessori. Even though I knew I needed to leave, I believed so strongly in what the Montessori pedagogy has to offer children; I didn’t want this to be the end of my contribution.

Through fate or luck, I was made aware of an open position at Montessori Education Centre for the 2017-2018 school year. I was nervous but excited when I came to interview and tour the school. I was so impressed with the beautiful environment, the students, and the staff. The feeling of community that radiated throughout the campus is nothing I have experienced before. Their (now "our") committment to adhering to those tenets of Montessori was evident throughout.

This first impression has never waned in the five months I have worked here. In fact, I discover new things about the quality of this program everyday. It is an honor to work along side dedicated, inspirational, creative, loving educators, as well as with children who are kind, smart, courteous and fun. I know my journey in life is fluid, but I feel confident that I have found my forever home.

by Traci Harrison (elementary assistant)

Hearts for the Homeless 

It has become one of our school's favorite traditions to collect necessities and fun items for the children from Children First Academy (school for homeless children). Once again, our CFA friends will be coming to our Valentine Mercado. Not only will they get the opportunity to shop at our students' stores, but they will also take with them these much needed items that we collect as a community. Items are due no later than Tuesday, February 6th. 

Together we can make their visit one to remember!


We Need Your Help

In order to make sure each student receives all the necessities, we are asking each classroom to be in charge of bringing  particular items. Please bring new items.


Gary                                 3B             shampoo/conditioner/lotion (travel size only)

Cassi                                 3A             new toys for girls/boys (small/medium)

Kathy                               2B              girls' t-shirts for 8-9 yrs (not undershirt)

Nadine/Hollie                2A             new stuffed animals (small/medium)

Romie/Genine               4A              girls' socks for 8-9 yrs

Cyndy                              4B              toothbrush/toothpaste

Laurie                             4C               new colored pencils and markers

Jenna/Laura                 1A               boys' socks for 8-9 yrs

Tabitha                           1B              boys' t-shirts for 8-9 yrs (not undershirt)

Cecile/Susan                  1C             girls' hair accessories and wrapped candy

Heather/Vari                 1D            snacks for snack bags (fruit snacks, raisins,                                                                                                                                       cheese crackers, etc )


Please bring items no later than

Tuesday, Feb. 6th.

If we all pull together, we can make Valentine's Day a little brighter for these children. 

Thank you for your support and generosity. 


  • Thank you to all the families that showed up for our book fair at Barnes & Noble to support our school. The teachers are grateful and excited about their new books that will be added to classroom libraries. In addition, our share of the profit was $792.
  • Classrooms with the most attendance at the book fair won a basket full of books. Congratulations to the following classrooms:  1B Tabitha and Sally's class, 4A  Romie and Genine's class, and 3A Cassi and Pete's class.
  • Congratulations to Milo Feigner from Ms. Laurie's classroom who won the jar of gummy bears from the book fair! Milo's guess was 1596; the actual number of gummy bears was 1567.
  • Thank you to all the families who donated fabric or money for our MLK Day of Service art project!
  • Thanks to the Chavira family. They treated our entire faculty and staff to delicious homemade tamales...over 150 tamales! It was a perfect treat for a cool winter's day. 
  • Thanks to all the families that recognized the faculty and staff through holiday treats, special gifts, and cards. It is never necessary but always appreciated. Our gift is your trust in us with your loved ones, as well as the joy of getting to work with your children every day. 

Dates to Remember

School Resumes - Monday, January 8th.

Civil Rights Day - No school, Monday, January 15th.

Re-enrollment paperwork for 2018-19 will be coming home with your child Wednesday, January 17th.

Re-enrollment paperwork due no later than Thursday, January 25th.


  • 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).
  • LEAP - If you are picking up your child in LEAP, please stop at the front desk and let Roc's Ann know. Once she has called your child, please sign them out, then WAIT for them outside on the back patio. This will help keep the noise level down in the office so we can continue to conduct business. We appreciate your help with this.
  • Account Balances are due on the 15th of each month. A 10% late fee will be added to any unpaid balance on the 21st. 
  • Any changes for pick up at the end of the day need to be called in by 1:00 pm.

Book orders due Friday, January 19th.

Please make checks payable to MEC, not Scholastic. 

Thank you!

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.

By clipping Box Top coupons, you can help our school earn $.10 for each coupon you redeem. Please visit www.Boxtops4education.com for a complete list of "Box Tops for Education" products.