2018 8th Grade Reflections
Having attended MMS for the past ten years of her life, Clara has great memories of her time here. “My experience at Model UN in New York City has got to take the lead. We learned all about economics and globalization in Upper Elementary while playing the World Peace Game. Model UN complements those concepts as problems taking place halfway around the globe impact our lives, and our country. We spent weeks preparing for the Model UN conference by researching our given topic, representing countries other than our own, and once in New York, working on a committee with other students from around the world. I was a representative of Mozambique, and my research topic was about radiation poisoning and the economic, and health consequences for countries most affected by it.”
Of the MMS clubs and activities, Clara chose to focus her talents on volleyball. “I think it’s paved the way for me to try other sports,” she says. In fact, she plans to train more for volleyball this summer.
Clara has a beautiful singing voice. The clarity and maturity of her voice impresses everyone. Clara also performed numerous solos in our many concerts, and in Chicago, but remains modest when talking about her innate talent as a vocalist.
While she is going to miss the environment at MMS, as well as her teachers, (who she describes as “the best role models a teenager could have”), she is looking forward to working this summer as a camp counselor and also as a part-time pet sitter.
Of her favorite academic experience, Clara was reflective,”My profound interest in blood began at Milwaukee Montessori School. While some people were queasy during DNA lab, I couldn’t look away. I knew blood, and its attendant diseases were calling to me.”
This fall, Clara will head off to Dominican High School. She trusts that her love for science, instilled by her years learning from MMS teachers, will help her in her pursuit to study Hematology at Howard University.
Mehul began his academic career at MMS in 2010 as a first-grade student. Throughout his time spent here, he has amassed a multitude of friends, memories, and hobbies. “I participated in Flag Football, Chess Club, Robotics, Summer Volleyball, Basketball, and Track.”
Of his friendships, Mehul says, “First they were my friends, and now they feel like my family. During one of my track meets, I could hear my friends and their parents cheering me on from the packed-in crowd, giving me a reason to push harder. At that moment I realized that with people supporting me like that, I felt unstoppable and capable of completing anything.”
Mehul has been awarded the Headmasters Award, a generous merit scholarship to The Prairie School where he looks forward to taking advanced math classes.
This summer, Mehul will be spending three weeks at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania for a Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Summer Program. Looking back, he says “I will miss everything about MMS. My teachers taught me to aim high and strive beyond what I see as possible. So far, it seems to be a pretty good strategy.”
Larisa came to MMS when she was four years old and endeared herself to her teachers. Mrs. Brys said, “In first grade, Larisa made me a card, which I take out every year for my Easter display at home. She was writing, Happy Easter Mrs. Brys,” but she realized that she was going to run out of space in the card. So, resourceful as she is, she inserted the ‘Mrs’ in the only space left. The card, with foam letters and pastel glitter, says, ‘Happy Mrs. Easter Brys.’ It is darling, and the effort and love she put into making it is precious to me.”
Thinking back on her ten years at MMS Larisa says, “My favorite part about being at MMS are the friends I made here. I believe we will be friends for life.” One of Larisa’s favorite memories has been her time playing on the volleyball team. “The best part was that we made it to the St. Mary’s tournament! It was exhilarating being part of a team.”
As she prepares for Pius XI High School, Larisa plans to join the swim team over the summer and try out for the volleyball team before the academic year begins. While she doesn’t have a specific college in mind yet, she does hope to participate in high school theater and while in college, prepare to become a Criminal Psychologist. While Larisa says she will miss being in the only school she knows, she feels confident that MMS has challenged her to strive to be her best self in her future endeavors.
Known today as the only MMS student to have read War and Peace twice, Quinn joined the MMS school community as a 4-year-old. “He was always hard-working and ambitious,” recalls Mrs. Loder. Mrs. Brys, Quinn’s Lower Elementary teacher, said, “At six years old Quinn had diplomatic ways of holding other six-year-olds accountable for their responsibilities. He was gentle, saying, ‘Maybe you should put that back over here.’ He was so observant, organized, and dedicated to the order of the day. I could have said, ‘You’re in charge Quinn, call me if you need a sub.’”
Throughout his ten years at MMS, Quinn took advantage of after-school programs, including the SeaPerch and Lego League Robotics teams. “No matter what problem came our way, we always managed to solve it as a team.”
However, it was through the Track and Field team that Quinn says he found his true calling. He recognizes Coach Mohr who helped him to find his “inner runner” and spark his interest in the sport. He plans to continue to run competitively throughout high school.
As his time at MMS comes to an end, Quinn emphasizes how influential his teachers have been and how much he will miss them as he continues his education. “Everything I know has been taught to me here, whether it was educationally, physically, or the important character-shaping life lessons. MMS has prepared me for life, not only for high school but also about how to be a decent, informed citizen out in the world.”
Although he and his family are soon set to relocate to Philadelphia, he plans to stay in touch with his fellow MMS graduates. “We are practically inseparable so it will be hard to say goodbye since we have grown up with one another,” he says. After graduation, Quinn will be preparing for his family’s move to Pennsylvania. He then plans to complete some summer reading, after which he will then begin cross country at Harriton High School. He hopes the team will be a great chance at meeting his first high school friends. In the far future, Quinn has his eyes set on “Princeton, Georgetown, or Swarthmore.” After all, he muses, I did read War and Peace twice in 7th grade.”
Emily began attending MMS along with her sister, Shannon. Emily recounts coming to school with enthusiasm every day. “I loved and still do love coming to school,” she says.
Throughout her many years at MMS, Emily maintains that one of the best decisions she made was joining the volleyball team. During her final year of playing, the team received first place in the St. Mary’s Seaton Catholic Tournament.
Emily’s success at MMS hasn’t just been on the court. She received a Gold Key Writing Composition Award in 2017 for her essay entitled A Love Flavored with Hate, as well as a Scholastic Silver Key in student artwork for her photograph, Wading.
Once her summer is over, Emily will attend Wauwatosa West High School, where her sister, a freshman, also attends. “Most of my academic focus will, of course, be heavy in math and science, and I am in honors classes for the Fall. By my junior year, I anticipate taking AP levels for sure.” Emily’s academic strengths are varied, “I love writing, and as a naturally dramatic person, I plan on participating in performances in high school theater.”
Not surprisingly, Emily, has detailed plans for her future, “I am going to become a dentist, I love people, and I kind of like teeth. Ultimately though, so much of a person’s overall health comes from oral health. For example, poor oral health could be linked to developing heart disease. I also like the idea of becoming a dentist in remote, poor regions of the world where I can help children who do not have access to regular dental care, sort of like the Peace Corps, but for dentists.”
Emily knows she will miss all of us here at MMS, but she is confident that she will have great high school years. “I know that with the skills I’ve learned here, I will be able to achieve my goals in high school and beyond.” As for missing us, Emily pointed out, “My first real paying job starts this summer, working at MMS as a counselor in training! It’s going to be awesome.”
When Owen was three years old, he walked into Mrs. Loder’s class and was inspired by everything. He loved math, art, music, and he wanted to learn how to read almost the moment he arrived. Mrs. Loder reminisces, “One day we were working with the moveable alphabet, and he sounded out the letters, “P” “O” “D” again and again. Then it dawned on him: “That spells sugar snap pea!” Mrs. Loder also said that Owen never tired of bringing in Marquette basketball tickets for show and tell.
Owen’s enthusiasm for learning remains intense. He has been dedicated to many different activities and clubs. From impressive showings in the SeaPerch and First Lego League Robotics teams to basketball, Owen has always had the drive to participate and challenge himself. “He is a dynamic, valuable, strategic, and inclusive team player,” says Ms. Wszelaki.
Ultimately, it is those real-life academic challenges that inspire the most energy and enthusiasm from Owen. He credits, “all of my teachers,” for his love of physics, coding, calculus, chemistry, and music.
In the short term, Owen plans to get a summer job, “something with robotics, coding, and math,”(employer alert: this kid can do almost anything). He plans to spend time with his family, and also progress in Magic the Gathering—a trading and digital game where players combine collectible cards with strategy. After the summer, Owen is set to attend Marquette University High School.
Owen asserts that MMS has prepared him for what his high school academics have in store for him. “MMS has cultivated and improved my work ethic, which will certainly help me in my future.”
Nishant has been at MMS since 2005 when he was 18 months old. He has many fond memories of his time here, especially, he says, when he was in the 7th-grade musical last year. “It helped me to discover a talent that I didn’t know I had, and now I’m thankful I discovered it.” In fact, he used that newfound talent again this year in the Junior High musical, Guys and Dolls. Nishant has participated in other various activities, clubs, and teams over the years, including Flag Football, Chess Club, Robotics Club, SeaPerch, Basketball, Soccer, and Track.
After a busy summer filled with classes and spending time with his friends and family, Nishant plans to attend Brookfield Central High School in the fall. “I want to continue developing the passions I’ve discovered here at MMS,” he adds. And while he says he will miss his teachers here, he feels they have prepared him for the new challenges that may lie ahead as he begins high school. “MMS has prepared me very well for the future. My teachers have helped set me up for success.” While he says it’s “too early to tell” where the far future will take him, Nishant aspires to pursue a career within the medical field.
When Adam was four years old, he became a bright light in his Children’s House classroom. He was always such a sunny, charming boy,” recalled Mrs. Brys. “I will never forget when I was walking in Target one day I could hear a child laughing hilariously with his mother. I thought, “Oh that is so adorable, they are having such a good time together.” Then I rounded the aisle, and there I saw Adam and his mother Jenny, red-faced and laughing, she had tears on her face.
Adam has been busy taking advantage of everything MMS has to offer. He spent multiple seasons playing on the basketball team and participated in the First Lego League and the SeaPerch Robotics Teams. He remarked that “since I’ve been on the FLL Team, I’ve moved on to Sectionals three different times and made it to the State level once.” He has also received six superior ratings and two trophies in Piano Federation, as well as an Honorable Mention for his Scholastic Writing Essay entitled War.
This fall, Adam plans to attend Marquette University High School where he would like to focus on his favorite subject—Environmental Science. He hopes that his studies will help him to fulfill his dream of going to college to become a Marine Biologist.
Like many of her peers, Samantha first began her journey at MMS in Children’s House. But her years of MMS stardom began in Upper Elementary when her unique artistic talent became apparent. “She is a versatile artist, it is remarkable,” says Ms. Wszelaki. “She can draw just about anything with a level of sophistication beyond her years. She can sculpt with clay, solder metals, and make jewelry using our enameling kiln.”
Samantha has been a member of both the Lego League and the SeaPerch Robotics Teams. “She is the best tether tender we have ever seen before,” says her robotics coach, Ms. Wszelaki. “She also designs the teams’ t-shirts every year, and she constructs robots with an engineering and artistic eye.”
Samantha is also in charge of the SeaPerch posters and team displays because, as her teammates attest, “While we are all pretty good with Photoshop, Samantha is a master of Photoshop.
Throughout her time here, Samantha has discovered a love for music, sports, and Spanish. She played basketball and volleyball, received honorable mention titles for her essays and artworks through Scholastic Competitions and moved onto Nationals in the US Navy’s Seaperch Robotics tournament.
Before starting at The Prairie School in the fall, Samantha will be joining a summer basketball team and help her dad in his upholstery business.
As her final year at MMS comes to an end, Samantha feels confident for the next chapter in her life. “I look forward to high-school-level expectations,” she says. “I would not be who I am today without my teachers, friends, and the creative learning environment at MMS.”
Eleanor has been at Milwaukee Montessori School ever since she can remember, beginning at 16 months old. “I enjoyed being in school, and there are plenty of highlights, but I remember going to Camp Edwards with Mr. Swanson and the entire 6th grade. We did a ropes course and it was so high up. We were all on the course at the same time, split into teams. Everyone was shouting to each other, strategizing how we would get through different obstacles.”
Eleanor is active in a multitude of activities including robotics, volleyball, track, and lessons in violin. Through her time at MMS, Eleanor feels as though she is well prepared to begin her journey at Divine Savior Holy Angels (DSHA) this fall. “The time management preparation has helped me the most. Being able to organize and complete all homework is going to make high school easier to handle.”
Before she begins high school, Eleanor will be heading to North Carolina where she will attend Duke University’s program for academically gifted students. She will participate in First Stage Theater Camp, and most likely a soccer camp.
“I think I will miss my teachers, my lessons, and my friends here because they are the people I grew up with. In fact, we are planning a reunion for next year.”
In high school, Eleanor will follow her current passion taking as many writing and creative writing courses she can. “Then, of course, orchestra, theater, art, sports, math, science, I see myself doing everything and anything that appeals to me. My MMS teachers prepared me to seize all opportunities.”
From receiving medals while on the track team, winning awards in SeaPerch and First Lego Leagues, as well as earning Honorable Mentions in the Scholastic Writing awards, Caleb continues to strive to improve in his academic and athletic growth. “This has been the best academic experience I have had,” he says. Teachers helped me here, and I understand that work ethic trumps everything. Mr. Swanson says it all the time, “It takes practice, but work ethic is key to success.”
Caleb plans to attend Marquette University High School in the fall, where he hopes to join their Robotics Team. Caleb is confident that his teachers at MMS have prepared him for his future endeavors and the rigor that comes along with his aspiration of becoming an engineer. “MMS has prepared me for high school academics and has put me further ahead in math. I’m ready for new challenges.”