2017-2018 MIR Annual Report


Deep Roots

New Growth


Montessori in Redlands is an environment where

children begin a life journey of self-realization,

love of learning, and global responsibility.


Reflections from the

Head of School

s I reflect on the 2017-2018 school year at Montessori in Redlands (MIR), joyful

memories and meaningful accomplishments both come to mind. As Head of

School, I have had a front-row seat to witness the care and thoughtfulness that

the staff brings to their work each day. They continue to demonstrate their drive

for self-reflection, their pursuit of excellence, and the inspiration to prioritize the

good of all children in our community.

By working with the MIR Board of Trustees and the PTM, I saw how much

our volunteers care about this school and are willing to give their time and

knowledge to support our success. It was the greatest pleasure to build

relationships with all of you, the families who have trusted MIR with your

children’s learning experience. All of the adults working on behalf of MIR are

committed to Montessori education because we know that it prepares children

to be capable, responsible, creative, thoughtful citizens of the world.

My favorite highlight this year was the opening of the beautiful new Legacy

Garden & Walk on our campus. It gave us an opportunity to thank and recognize

the contributions of Margie and Leon Armantrout, our school’s founders and

life-long supporters. At the opening celebration, Margie shared the story of how

her connection with Montessori education had felt predestined and that her life’s

work was dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It gives me great joy that we will all

carry her vision of peace into the future through the work of MIR.

Thank you for welcoming me into your community and for your ongoing support

of the school.


Jenny Davidson

MIR Head of School

2 3

Statement from

the Board Of Trustees


t has been a great year at Montessori in Redlands! We welcomed a new

head and assistant head of school and it already feels like they have been

here for years. Thanks to the board’s transition committee, a great staff, and

our whole community, the transition of leadership was smooth and uneventful.

We also said goodbye to our interim head of school, previous assistant head,

friend, and colleague Peter Davidson. One of the most touching moments of

saying goodbye was seeing a young boy crying at Peter’s farewell ceremony be

comforted by friends after he took his seat. If only all children could experience

such love and empathy at school!

We celebrated the opening of our Legacy Garden

& Walk—a place for children and adults alike to

explore and reflect on the legacy of those who have

enabled MIR to be what it is today. We are grateful

that Margie Armantrout got to see the walk before

she passed away last spring.

We continue to see new additions to our beautiful

campus, most importantly the new children and

families who join us every year. MIR is a remarkable

place with a strong community that will ensure our

stability and success long into the future.

This was my last year as board president. It has

been my honor and privilege to serve this school

that has served my children and so many others

so well. I have gotten to work with many of the

wonderful and dedicated teachers, parents, staff,

and three of the best heads of school anyone could

ever ask for. I am happy to be able to hand over the

reins to Anne Desmarais, our new board president.

You are in great hands.

Trevor Norton

President, Board of Trustees


Trevor Norton, President

Anne Desmarais, Vice President

Alisa Evans, Treasurer

Tim Ormsby, Secretary

Michelle van der Maten-Bologna

Jennifer Burrows

Leila Khazaeni

Kathleen Leiss

James Maloney

Adrienne Ortega

Gabrielle Singh

Steve Wuhs

Ex Officio Members (Non-Voting)

Jenny Davidson, Head of School

Peter Davidson, Assistant Head of School

Mandie Schadwinkel, Assistant Head

of School

Lisa Oliver, Chief Financial Officer

Eleanor Haire, PTM President

Emily Drinkwine, Elementary Teacher

Sara Garcia, Primary Teacher

4 5

Facilities Update

Legacy Garden & Walk

We invite each and every one of

you reading this report to take a

walk through the Legacy Garden

when you have the opportunity.

The Garden belongs to the

entire MIR community.

After several years of planning, MIR unveiled the Legacy Garden

& Walk with an official ribbon cutting on March 12, 2018. The

Legacy Garden & Walk, located just south of the bridge and

arroyo, honors the history and present of MIR. It features native

plants, a sundial, labyrinth, pollinator garden, small sitting areas,

and small areas created by the students of MIR. The path around

the garden features engraved pavers honoring the families who

have ensured the long-term stability of MIR through generous

donations of $1,000 or more.

MIR founders Leon and Margie Armantrout were at the ribbon

cutting and were honored with a plaque memorializing their long

history with MIR. Their children, graduates of MIR, attended,

and several of their grandchildren who were current MIR

students did the official honor of cutting the ribbon.

6 7


Margie Armantrout

Margie and Leon Armantrout founded Montessori in Redlands in 1976.

Margie Jane Armantrout’s work, in

Redlands and beyond, was motivated

by love. Love was the guiding force

in Margie’s life. Neither sentimental

nor sweet, Margie’s love was powerful

and creative. Her head over heels

love for her husband, Leon, her

unconditional love for her children,

and her bountiful love for her

grandchildren were a reflection of her

love for the world, for humanity, and

for the universal child.

Margie’s love was, and continues

to be, boundless. Her love was

prodigious and fruitful. If we look

around to Prospect Park, Montessori

in Redlands, The Grove School

Farm, the Barton Schoolhouse, the

Redlands Circus Community Arts

Corporation (CCAC) and Great Y

Circus, the Redlands Conservancy,

Heritage Park, the Mitten Building...

These are also Margie’s children.

These are the products of her vision,

her joyful embrace of the

universe, and her commitment

to building community.

“If I listen long enough to you,

I’ll find a way, to believe that

it’s all true.”

These are the words of one

of Margie’s favorite songs. It

pretty much sums it up for me

when I think of Margie’s life and

power. As one of the lucky ones

who got to listen to Margie for

a long time, I came to see the

truth and power of creativity

combined with faith through her

vision. Her practice, her path,

was one of persistence and

disregard for obstacles. Nothing

was too difficult for Margie. No

outcome was too good, and

no dream was unobtainable or

beyond the realm of possibility.

Her standards were enormously

high, and those of us lucky

enough to bask in her love

were held accountable. She

made it clear that we all have

a responsibility to the world and to

each other, every day, in ways large

and small. Big dreams were in the

works for all of us and the details,

no matter how small, mattered. This

responsibility remains a burden and

an honor that I, for one, will bear

with pride.

All of Margie’s positivism, optimism,

and commitment to her community

resulted in so many amazing

contributions that will live on for

generations. I DO believe it’s all

true because Margie showed us

her seemingly magical approach

to manifesting reality, not worrying

or even acknowledging obstacles

and only believing that the perfectly

positive outcomes were already true.

This is the true power of Margie’s

influence on the world and in the lives

of those she touched.

Margie’s ashes may lie at the roots of

the chitalpa tree near the door of the

Barton School House, but her spirit

is alive and well and can be seen in

the lives of the children of Montessori

Love was the

guiding force in

Margie’s life.

in Redlands, the graduates of The

Grove School, the creative energy of

the Great Y Circus, and the countless

celebrations at the Mitten Building.

She continues to prod, goad, and

incite many of us to do our best in

countless situations and reminds

us to, to coin a Montessori phrase,

“work to perfection.”

Margie Armantrout’s life is a legacy

of service and affirmation of truth.

Through her determination, hard

work and creative vision, she

banished fear and opened doors for

countless others. Because of Margie

Armantrout, the world is a better

place. May she rest in perfect peace

while the rest of us take up her work

and spread her light and love to a

new generation.

~ Gena Engelfried

Former MIR Head of School, 1999-2001

MIR Middle School Teacher, 1995-1999

8 9

Financial Report

Where the Money Came From

Tuition 75%

Summer School 7%

Other 6%

Fundraising 4%

Childcare 4%

Fees 4%


Giving Report


IR is grateful to The Norman and Joan Kinsey Foundation for awarding the

school a grant for $15,000 in 2017 to support the Student Services program.

MIR Fund

The Board of Trustees, MIR staff, current families, and MIR alumni families

contributed $77,592 to the MIR Fund. Participation by the current community

(the Board, staff, and current families) reached 96%.

We offer our sincere gratitude to all MIR Fund donors. Your generous support

helped us to maintain our beautiful learning environments, enhance our

programs, and provide staff training and development, all to ensure the best

possible education for MIR students.

Where the Money Went

Payroll 75%

This report is published by the Development Office of MIR. Gifts listed in this

report were received during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Every effort was made to

ensure accuracy in this report. Please notify the MIR office of any errors so that

we may correct our records.

Facilities 14%

Other 8%

2017-2018 MIR Fund

Expenses Breakdown

Operating Expenses: $4,684,974

Principal Loan Payments: $177,537

Capital Improvements: $61,072

Total Expenses:


Administration 5%

Loan Payments 4%

Capital Improvements 1%

Founders Circle

($5,000 or more)

Leila and Babak Khazaeni

Paul Herman and Kendall Ponce

Patron ($2,000-$4,999)

Corey Oliver



Maura Joyce and Roberto Argentina

Allie Blackburn and Farbod Asgarzadie

Siow Wann Chew and James Blee

Jessica and Chad Brockardt

Nick and Carol Brown

In honor of Kenzie Roche, granddaughter

Ellen and Charles Camarillo

Alejandra Merino and Ismael Chivite

Joshua and Hailee Conroy

Del Morsette and Patricia Dang

Kristin and Jeffrey DeVito

Suneil Agrawal and Lupina Hossain

Laura and Evan Houck

Jenee and Thad Laferriere

Vijaya Annadevula and Naga Jyotsna


Shelley and Kendall McCarthy

In memory of Jordan G. McCarthy

Bill and Michelle Meehan

In honor of Aiden and Delaney Evans

Coral and Khanh Pham

Ryan Rettke and Elizabeth Raskin

Christopher and Alexandra Schreur

Karalee Vaughn

Shawnda and Bryan Zook

In honor of the Montessori Community

that’s supported our boys with their

life journey

Leader ($500-$999)

Wells Fargo

Jeffrey Karst and Amanda Aguilera

Alisa and Ryan Evans

Saskia de Jong and Marten Hogeweg

Tony Tsvetkov and Maya Ivanova

Lisa and Deane Kensok

Mary and Justin Kim

Pablo Velasco and Ichen Le

David Sugiyama and LaVonne Meadows

In honor of Kai and Niko

Gerard Sabate and Shanna Newbold

Jennifer Brainerd and Trevor Norton

Alfonso and Claudia Ordonez

Tim Ormsby

Andy and Amanda Schadwinkel

Gabrielle and Dave Singh

Bradley and Stephanie Wertman

Leigh-Erin and Alexander Zouros

In honor of all the great work that goes

into MIR.

10 11

Associate ($250-$499) Naila Khan and Feroz Abdul-Kadar

Matt Malouf and Gladys Colon

Jennifer Griffin and David Jassby

John and Amber Oros

Viral and Priya Shah

Foundation for Roanoke Valley

Imed and Imen Aidoudi

Tracy Martinez and Glen Copeland

In honor of the goddess Athena and In honor of Sienna Oros

Michael and Linda Shareghi

the god Vulcan

Pamela Ford and Ken Alford

Adrienne and BJ Alcantara

Daria and Steven Cross

Tiffany Ortiz

Kylene M. Mason and Dean Silliman

A. Monical Joseph and Antony

Sabine Barrera and Julio Andrade

Valerie and Gretchen Andrews

Jennifer Cadkin and Matt Crowder

Jeannette Kantzalis and Aron Orton

Dennis and Susie Silveria


Blue Calderilla and Oscar Asker

Jeff and Tawney Armantrout

Anthony Cruz

Lori and Allen Osborn

Allison Pate and Roger Smart

Theresa Joyce

Kent and Emily Black

Aedín and Michael Artigue

Peter Davidson

Scott and Danielle Osterberg

In honor of Everett Smart

Victoria and Michael Karalun

In honor of Ronan

Shreyas Shinde and Prachi Asher

Alisa and Christopher Davies

Elijah and Noreen Packman

Mona Jazayeri and Salvador Soriano

Maroun Hage and Sally Karim

C. Andrea Nieto and G. Alan Cassidy Tamara and Cristian Avram

Nikki Delgado

Katherine and Michael Paisner

Sheree Sosa

Carey Tilden and Melanie Knypstra

Sarah and Donald Craw

Julia Yunzhu Shi and Petko Bakalov

Anne and Denis Desmarais

Tan and Steven Payne

Kristopher and Rebecca Sovers

Jennifer and Ken Konior

Jenny Davidson

Neeraj and Jessica Bansal

Anuradha and Jacob Diekmann

Jody Pighin and Ash Pengelly

Timothy O’Gorman and Carolyn Spinelli

Maria and Alexey Korobko

Steven Ballinger and Reynisha

Robert Thoms and Kelley Barsanti

In honor of Asha Diekmann

Garrett Peters

Andrea and Christian Staack

Elizabeth Meade and Scott Kremkau


Joseph and Lara Bayles

Minh Ta-Dinh and Vi Dinh

Jennifer Peterson

Jeff and Lisa Stanners

In honor of Phoenix and

Anna Kudinov

Alexis Beard

Jean Bonner-Drinkwine

Mukesh Sabarad and Madhura

Kurt Steinle

Griffin Ballinger

Nina Kulkarni

Juan Reyes and Jennifer Benitez

Emily Drinkwine


In honor of Nocona Steinle

Gong Zhang and Deng Ding

In honor of Maria Montessori

Nathan and Lauren Bennett

Ethan and Ashley Driscoll

Deirdre Artigue and Marc Plummer

Holly and Joel Stillings

Janell and Todd Ehrler

Munro Galloway and Youna Kwak

In honor of Ethan & Kate

Elizabeth and Wesley Bernardini

Frank and Jasmin Duran

Ryoko Nishikawa and Shaun Stoner

Jacqueline Gimenez and Matias Farre

Krista Page and Derek Law

In honor of Alyssa Duran

Pablo Ponce

Dr. Robert Lee Stuart

Shaun Snider and Desiree Betancourt

Melissa and Eric Hanson

Belen and Jose Ledezma

Teesie Szubert-Emge and Thomas Emge

Aubrey Porras

Mazna Ahmad and Hasan Syed

Susan and James Blauth

In honor of Itzae Ledezma

Dinesh and John Imbriani

Venus Elliott

Dominick and Diana Povero

Gabrielle and Michael Symmes

Camilla and Stephen Bodnar

Kylie and Jaime Legarda

Brooks Johnson

In honor of Heather, Brooke, Susan, Jenny and Marc Ewalt

Rico and Brittany Povero

In honor of Sienna and Jessica Legarda

Joanne Parkinson and Thad Tilton

Cathy and Kyle Kasner

and Claire

MIR Annual Spring Gala & Auction


“Golden Age of Circus”

hanks to the generosity of bidders,

sponsors, and underwriters, MIR raised

more than $74,896 at the Spring Gala &

Auction to support the Student Services

program. The theme of the Gala was

“Vintage Carnival with a Steampunk flair,”

and attendees had a lot of fun dressing in

the spirit of the theme.

We are hugely grateful to everyone who

attended, bid, bought opportunity drawing

tickets, donated items, and donated their

time. A generous family donated Kelly’s

class I Spy table back to the school. The

table will be enjoyed by generations of

students as a part of our lobby.

Donors & Underwriters

Gala Team

Jill Huff

Lisa Kensok

Shelley McCarthy

Lisa Oliver

Coby Smith

Peter Davidson was honored

at the Gala for his years of

service to MIR. He retired at

the end of the school year.

Thank you to our

Platinum Sponsors


Program Book


Betty Auton-Beck, a Professional

Law Corporation

Brenda Miller

Mihai and Codruta Zgunea

Rodolfo and Carol Betancourt

The Reader

à la Minute

Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.

Arthur Murray Dance Studio

Augie’s Coffee House

Baker’s Drive-Thru

Big 5 Sporting Goods

Capital Genealogy

Cecilia Sung

Chick-fil-A (Citrus Plaza)

Children’s Discovery Museum of

the Desert

Children’s Museum at La Habra

Claudia Gates

Coral Pham


El Camino Ranch

Fiesta Village

Friendship Ranch

Grove Certified Farmers Market

Grove School PTG

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery

In-N-Out Burger

International Day Spa

Jax Toys

Kylie Legarda, Ambassador for

Barefoot Books

Lifetime Dental, “Love your smile,

love life.”

Little Black Glass

LulaRoe Leann Pulido

Melissa A. Hanson

Nails by Lisa Rudn

Nan Schweitzer

Natural History Museum of Los

Angeles County

Pali Adventures

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Pasadena Ice Skating Center

Peter Davidson

Redlands Gymnastics Club

Redlands Symphony Association

Ryan and Jessika Meyer

San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

San Diego Zoo Global

Scandia Ontario

State Street Winery

Studio Movie Grill

Teran Wong

The Broad

The Great All-American Youth Circus

The Smith Family

Traveler Guitar

14 15

Testing and Test Scores

nder the heading of “Practical Life,” 3

U rd -6 th year Elementary students take

standardized tests annually. MIR’s purpose is to offer test-taking as a skill for the

students to practice rather than to use the data to design curriculum. We do not

spend time “teaching to the test” as we feel that would narrow the scope of the

information we present to the students; the opposite of what Montessori is all about.

In 2017-2018, MIR administered the TerraNova Third Edition Complete Battery,

which is a paper-based test that has been used at MIR in previous years. The

TerraNova test is designed to measure proficiency in a variety of academic

subjects. We feel it provided consistent and reliable data for us in terms of what

a standardized test can measure.

2018 Terra Nova Grade Mean Equivalent

Reading Language Mathematics Science Social Studies

3 rd Grade 5.0 3.6 3.8 5.3 4.5

4 th Grade 5.3 5.5 4.8 6.1 6.6

5 th Grade 8.3 9.8 6.4 7.5 7.9

6 th Grade 10.8 11.1 7.9 8.9 9.2

MIR also finds it meaningful to look

at how our alumni perform when

they leave MIR, and when their testtaking

skills have developed more

fully. Most MIR alumni (~95%) attend

middle school at The Grove School,

and around 60% continue through

high school. The Grove School

administers the Preliminary SAT test

to all students in grades 8-11 for

practice and data collection.

To the right are the average PSAT

scores of MIR alumni compared with

the Redlands Unified School District

and the State of California. Note the

different total score possible (1440—

8 th and 9 th grades; 1520—10 th and

11 th grades in 2017).

2017 Average Totals (out of 1440)

8 th and 9 th Grade PSAT

8 th Grade


9 th Grade


District 2017 875 923

State 2017 761 761

MIR 893 991

2017 Average Totals (out of 1520)

10 th and 11 th Grade PSAT

10 th Grade


11 th Grade


District 2017 917 1100

State 2017 892 970

MIR 1069 1172

While student test scores offer

one set of useful data, there is an

uncontroversial body of research that

shows that the following educational

outcomes have a deeper impact on success in

life: communication, collaboration, engagement,

focus, perspective taking, innovation, confidence,

critical thinking, taking on challenges, reading,

flexible thinking, and self-direction. Beyond

conventional academics, these are the areas

where MIR teachers help your children develop

considerable experience and skills.

16 17

Parents and Teachers of

Montessori in Redlands


arent involvement is pivotal to the child’s Montessori journey. The

mission of Parents and Teachers of Montessori (PTM) is to build a strong

partnership between MIR faculty, staff, and families; foster an active and

vibrant community; and to support faculty and staff as they guide our

children on this journey.

To accomplish this mission, PTM establishes a direct line of communication

with parents through volunteer classroom representatives. Those

volunteers, along with the PTM Executive Committee and MIR staff, hold

open meetings throughout the year to discuss and share experiences,

exchange ideas, and plan upcoming events.

A variety of schoolwide events are coordinated and sponsored by PTM

each year using funds collected from parent fees; Box Tops for Education

redemptions; Amazon Smile donations; and ticket and food sales for skate

nights, carnivals, and camp nights.

2017-2018 was an election year for PTM. During April and May, the MIR

community nominated and elected a new PTM Executive Committee to

a two-year term. The incoming officers for 2018-2019 are: Shawnda Zook

(President), Gabby Symmes (Vice President), Emily Robison (Secretary), and

Victoria Hobson (Treasurer).

Eleanor Haire

PTM President, 2017-18

PTM Report



Fundraisers 2%

Camp MIR - Fall 6%

Camp MIR - Spring 7%

Halloween Carnival 8%

Skate Nights 14%

Spring Carnival 14%

PTM Dues 49%



Administrative 5%

Donations to MIR 15%

Community Events 44%

2017-18 PTM Executive Committee

Eleanor Haire,


Gabrielle Symmes,

Vice President

Victoria Hobbs,


Margaret Ohayon,


Jean Bonner-Drinkwine,

Staff Liaison

2017-18 PTM Classroom Representatives (“Room Reps”)

Sabine Barrera

Lauren Bennett

Roslyn Ceci

K.C. Hohensee

Laura Houck

Mona Jazayeri

Molly Liedtke

Jamie Macknet

Jessika Hughes Meyer

Lindsay Puder

Emily Robison

Jessica Sculuca

Holly Stillings

Stephanie Wertman

Younghee Wong

Karen Zwicker

A special thank you to JJ Cadkin for taking on the mantle

of Box Tops Coordinator for 2017-18. In 2018-19, PTM

is passing on the program to MIR’s 6th years to use as a

fundraiser for their annual trip to Washington, D.C.

18 19

“Times have changed, and science has made

great progress, and so has our work; but our

principles have only been confirmed, and along

with them our conviction that mankind can hope

for a solution to its problems, among which the

most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by

turning its attention and energies to the discovery

of the child and to the development of the great

potentialities of the human personality in the

course of its formation.”

Dr. Maria Montessori | From the foreword to

“The Discovery of the Child”, Poona 1948

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