"Some of my ﬁrst memories are of Montessori. I would not be the person I am today without my Montessori education. I am currently living in Los Angeles and working as a Costume Designer for ﬁlm, TV, commercials & music videos. My work has taken me to Puerto Rico, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and even back to Louisiana.
Many people ask me about what it takes to be a Costume Designer. It seems like an easy question to answer; you have to be creative. But many people don't realize that you also have to have very strong skills in leadership, organization, decision making, and time management. These four skills are crucial to making 16 hour work days run smoothly. All components must be in sync when reading scripts, meeting/presenting with directors, ﬁtting actors, shopping/designing/making to order, managing and maintaining your budget and department crew, adhering to location restrictions, and creatively satisfying producers, clients, and agencies. So much is easily lost in a ﬁnal product when you are lacking in one of those four factors.
I attribute my strong independence and skill in all four factors to my years at Montessori. Learning all of these skills at a very early age has enabled me to excel in my profession. Montessori has always, and will continue to be a signiﬁcant part of my work ethic and one of the biggest reasons I am able to do what I love and be proud of my work."
Emily Heyman, 2001 MSS Graduate
A recent survey of graduates yielded some great responses:
"The love of learning that I gained at MSS helped me tremendously. Also, the general sense of respect that Montessori values and instills helped me make better connections with my teachers. MSS also offered an accelerated pace of education that helped me handle the academic rigor of Caddo Magnet High more easily."
"MSS not only prepared me for high school and college academically, but helped me acquire traits and skills needed to succeed in todays school system as well as the real working world. I believe learning how to plan and manage your time is something taught very well in every level and helped me significantly. From as early as a first grade weekly work-plan all the way to a five week cycle in middle school, planning ahead was necessary, and I'm thankful for that. I also think MSS does a good job about teaching kids to think and brainstorm and use their creativity. As sad as it is, so much of high school is cramming/memorizing and forgetting (at least I forget). MSS not only taught me how to memorize, but also gave me skills I use to think things through and learn about something more as a whole. 'Let's just think about the big picture here...' - Angie Day would say."
"Montessori teaches you responsibility and encourages self motivation. Without that, I wouldn't have been as inclined to motivate myself to do my school work and excel in my learning environment. Also, MSS really instilled in me a love for learning and I think that really helped me look at and continue to look at school with a positive attitude. The Montessori method is an incredible one that I wish more people could experience and benefit from."
"I wouldn't be the same person I am today without MSS, and I say this all the time to people who ask me what's so different about the school. MSS gave me the room to figure out who I am and who I want to be, without feeling judged in any way. I never felt unsafe or alone amongst my peers or teachers. I've never regretted not going to a "regular" elementary, or middle school because I wouldn't have learned all that I did in any other place. It ingrains independence, self sufficiency, integrity in yourself and in your work, and my favorite, open mindedness and the ability to accept people the way they are and celebrate all that entails. I use these teachings in my life every single day, and I wouldn't be where I am without them."
"I feel so much more self-aware than other people who did not go to a Montessori school. I think for myself, and I do not feel a need to follow the crowd. I know that sounds cliche, but it is the truth. MSS taught me to be a leader because the generation after me will look to me for guidance, and I need to set the example that I want to last after I am gone. I live my life like someone is watching. This may sound strange, but my teachers at MSS never underestimated me, so I never underestimate myself. I believe I can change the world, knowing that makes all the difference to me through my actions and determination. The other thing about MSS is that it made me a kinder person. I have grown up in a very competitive time on Earth. Constantly, I hear warnings of how difficult it is to make it and that everyone is out to screw me over to get the job, the program, the opportunities that I want. MSS reminds me not to worry about anyone else that I only need to be concerned with myself and my abilities and my work ethic and my own issues. If I show good work, it will pay off. In that sense it made my peers feel less like competition."