Alumni Blog

Read the MMS memories of past students as well as the stories of where their years post-MMS have taken them.


Author:  Alumna, Kylie Nelsen-Freund


Kylie with DSHA volleyball teammates during her sophomore year.

As I sit parked in the MMS pick-up line waiting for my little sister, I cannot help but look back on my Montessori years. Although I have long since been removed from MMS, I know that my Montessori education has helped make me the independent and involved student that I am today.

So many of my high school friends have asked me, “Wait! You didn’t have grades at Montessori!? What was your incentive to do well in class?” I had not even thought about this before, but the answer is really quite simple, at MMS we had to be self-motivated. We had to want to learn for ourselves, not just to get the “A.” Ultimately, I am glad I did not have grades in grade school; although, at first I was a little worried that it would be difficult to adjust to the high school environment. But, because I had to learn to be my own motivator at such a young age, I think I actually had the advantage over many of my DSHA peers. Even though I did not have experience with grades, my internal motivation provided me with the resources to succeed. I never hesitated to stay after school to talk with teachers and always asked questions in class to ensure that I fully understood the course work or what was expected of an assignment. In fact, many of my teachers have made an effort to compliment my tendency to be a leader in class.

Kylie on a mission trip during her junior year.

My internalized motivation to do well carried over into my extra-curricular life as well, which was perfect for college applications. Being a senior in high school now, my past year has been filled to the max with various odds and ends for applying for college and scholarships. One of the most important aspects of these applications is the activities list, and thanks to the independence and confidence that MMS instilled in me, I was able to pull together an impressive resume. Right away freshman year, I was looking for ways to get involved in student congress, grade school recruiting, and sports, and this involvement only continued and improved over the years. I believe that exposure to new and interesting things at Milwaukee Montessori, such as going to Nature’s Classroom, planning graduation, and learning African-style dances, have all made me more open to new experiences.

In short, I have my Montessori education to thank for my independence, self-motivation, and openness, and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.



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