Shawn and Jaymee Thomas

Mary Thomas was just four years old in 2003 as she started in the Chickadees. There, she learned to read with the innovative Nightingale Montessori Sound Shapes Precision Phonics Preschool Reading Program. Our pictures show Eagle Mary wearing her pencil pouch, learning to type with the innovative Nightingale Montessori Primary Typing program and threading a needle with great concentration! She was promoted through the Owl and Falcon classes and is in her third year (Junior) of the Wing class now, thirteen years later. Her courses of study include classes at Clark State that include English, Psychology, Sociology and Public Speaking. Outside Montessori life, Mary enjoys learning and preparing for competitions and national tournaments in Kenshin Kan Karate and Muay Thai (kickboxing).

Since Mary is so near to completing her long tenure at Nightingale Montessori, we were especially happy to know that her parents still wanted to invest in our future in a new location. This is what Mary’s parents, Shawn and Jaymee, said recently about their decision to send her to Nightingale Montessori all the years from preschool through high school.

One of the things Jaymee and I agreed on from the beginning was for Mary to have a high quality education. A good education is a foundational gift that will stay with a child for life. It never gets old, never goes out of style, and is never outgrown. While it might not guarantee absolute success in life the lack of a high quality education is a near bar to that success. We weren’t making very much money but we decided that this was a commitment that we were willing to make. It was an investment that would be the greatest and most enduring gift we could give our child. We resolved that we wouldn’t be going out to eat, or getting new cars (ever) or going on grand vacations, or a bigger house, but it was a reallocation of assets that we believed, and still believe, was important to make for our child and her future.

Jaymee was familiar with and a proponent of the Montessori Method. I was a product of a small rural public school system and choose a small private undergraduate college and law school, so I knew the advantages of a small school environment. Jaymee came from a large public school and knew the disadvantages of that environment and agreed that we wanted a small nurturing environment for Mary. Diversity and tolerance in a safe environment was also at the top of our list. A professor once told me, you don’t have to like or believe everything but you must be able to appreciate it. Empathy isn’t an endorsement but closed mindedness is stunting for you. So we had a pretty tall order for our child’s education.

The choice of Nightingale was clear and fortuitous and as it turned out absolutely correct and the best decision we ever made. Contributing to a new Nightingale facility, even though Mary is almost finished was just a small thank you for all you have done and a small statement of support for the Nightingale family and a hope that you can continue on your path to provide future children with high quality educational foundations that will drive them to being the best that they can be and living a wonderful life that they deserve and can achieve through that educational background.

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