A Letter from Ben Schwarz

December 2013

Dear Families and Friends of McGuffey,

As a McGuffey student, my childhood years were filled with a love of learning that has resonated in my life everyday since I left this wonderful place. There is no doubt in my mind that my experience at McGuffey in and outside of the classroom was one of the most influential of my life.  I will forever be grateful to my teachers and peers for all that I learned as a young boy calling McGuffey home.

This year I have had the treat of being able to return to McGuffey to work where I once played. It has been a pleasure for me to see the joy students find in coming to school; I can’t help but be reminded of my own days in these buildings and on these grounds.

I have had the privilege of getting to know the current McGuffey faculty. It is reassuring for me to know that the sense of warmth and compassion felt in every classroom here has not faded, though the teachers that I remember so well have since moved on. The notable exception to this is Janet Kretschmer, whose smiling face continues to be a McGuffey staple even after thirty years.

The classrooms of McGuffey have seen many exciting changes this fall as the Montessori approach has expanded to all grades, thanks to countless hours of work on the part of the talented faculty. It is great to see how the Montessori “works” bring definition and structure to learning, without sacrificing the opportunity for creativity and student choice that has helped make a McGuffey education such a meaningful part of our alumni’s lives, long after they have left Westgate Drive.

I am especially fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the Interim Head of School, Nancy Hawthorne. Nancy has been a constant source of inspiration for me as she works tirelessly to make sure every aspect of McGuffey’s operations are run with the sustainable efficiency necessary for McGuffey to continue as an oasis of learning and growth. Although this work at times seems never ending, each project brings McGuffey closer to ensuring that our next 30 years will be as meaningful as the past 30 have been.

All of this work requires time, energy, and money. Our school has many needs that simply cannot be met through hard work alone. Here are some examples of how your donation might be used:

  • Much needed instruments for our amazing Orff music program
  • Playground equipment (this fall we had to take down the playhouse)
  • Art materials that state materials funds don’t support
  • Montessori teacher training and professional development
  • Financial aid for students to attend McGuffey with reduced tuition

McGuffey’s annual giving campaign has a long history of providing the school with the financial resources necessary to make a McGuffey education and a McGuffey experience an option for families in the Oxford area.

During this season of reflection and giving, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to The McGuffey Montessori School.

Ben Schwarz

Attended McGuffey from 1996-2002
B.S. in Zoology with a minor in Philosophy, Miami University, 2013

McGuffey is happy to accept donations to our PayPal account using the “Send Money” feature. Please direct any payments to donations@mcguffeymontessori.com. 

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