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    Woodinville Montessori School is excited to announce that Ryoma (Hemi) of the Class of 2024 (12th grade) is a Commended Student in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.

    About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2024 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2024 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

    “Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as they key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their education opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

    Hemi has been enrolled at WMS since 4th grade (Upper Elementary).

    Congratulations to Hemi on this academic accomplishment!

  • Woodinville Chamber Student of the Month

    Ryan, a WMS Senior, was awarded the Woodinville Chamber September 2023 Student of the Month. Ryan was selected for showing leadership and involvement in community events.

    Photo courtesy of Photography by Carol Hook. Read more about Ryan on their blog at: 

  • WMS & MMUN 2023

    In March 2023, for the seventh time, WMS students had the opportunity to participate in the Montessori Model United Nations, Montessori-MUN. As has been the case every year, representatives among our student delegates were chosen by their committee peers to speak during their final United Nations assembly session. With the exception of 2020 and 2021, when we participated in an online conference, myself, delegates, and parent chaperones made the trip to New York City, where the Montessori-MUN committee sessions and special events take place in the Marriott Marquis Hotel, located in Times Square. It’s always a jam-packed and enriching experience: 1,500 or more Montessori youths and chaperones gathering with a shared purpose of emulating the United Nations’ process of debating critical topics, drafting resolutions, and eventually coming to consensus in their committees on actual resolutions, in formal United Nations-approved language.

    On the final day of the conference, everyone boards buses to travel across town to United Nations Headquarters, where student delegates gather in the General Assembly Hall, and representatives of each committee share the final resolutions on both topics that their committee has addressed. The event is live-streamed and recorded, accessible on the Montessori-MUN website. After the event has concluded and everyone has gone to their respective homes in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, their work is shared with the Secretary-General of the UN as representative of student voices, concerns, and objectives.

    At WMS, Montessori-MUN is a voluntary Middle School club we call MMUN. To prepare to participate, MMUN delegates meet for an hour once a week beginning in September right up until we depart for NYC in mid-March of the following year. To run the club, I work with student teaching assistants (TAs). For four years, Meera has had the TA job; this year and last year, Marco has assisted, as well. Once the students choose their countries and select two topics assigned to those countries—a process hundreds of young people concurrently undertake, so first choices are not always available—the serious work begins.

    Along with my TAs, I help students locate numerous resources that address the issues they must learn about. Basic information on their countries comes from the CIA World Factbook. Complex issues, facts and points of view are found in materials published by journalists, NGOs and relevant associations and agencies (e.g., the International Atomic Energy Commission), and the governments of the countries they represent. Student delegates skim, read, highlight, and identify factual material and evidence they can use to support the content they are crafting for their required position papers. The additional essential sources are materials produced by the UN itself, such as documentation related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reports from related entities such as the World Food Program, and resolutions the UN has passed in the past or has under discussion. Every paper must follow specific guidelines, all sources are attributed and footnoted, and relevant resolutions are identified and directly referenced. Each paper concludes with the students’ proposals for how they believe the problems they have learned about should be addressed—but in the language and point of view of the nation they must represent. This aspect is one of the most interesting features of the work we do because students are challenged to both think for themselves and to think if they are not themselves, but a person from another culture, government, and socio-economic position. To learn to drop the ‘me’, to not be ‘I’, is a great way to practice putting oneself in another’s shoes—or formal suit, given the dress code!)

    Topics student delegates have addressed over the years include overfishing, peacekeeping missions in Africa, xenophobia, issues impacting landlocked developing nations, nuclear disarmament, protecting biodiversity, support needed for rural women, the impact the war in Ukraine is having on food access, and many others.

    In addition to preparing Position Papers, students make Country Displays, project boards filled with information and illustrations about their countries, accompanied by decorative materials that can enhance the aesthetic excitement of their work. These are set up on tables in the hotel for all the delegate groups—arriving not only from the USA but from Montessori schools in many other countries, as well (e.g., China, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Mexico, etc.).

    With their papers finished, they write and practice 60-second speeches they can give during the introductory sessions of their committees. Everyone checks out the dress code to ensure compliance: formal business attire is expected, and once the conference is underway, WMS students and more than 1000 other middle and upper elementary students show up on time at every session looking well-prepared and ready for business.

    In the committee sessions, delegates are expected to stay in their role as representatives of their various nations. They sit with their fellow delegates, they raise their placards when they wish to speak, and they continually call themselves by a formal means of address, e.g., “The delegate from the Republic of Kiribati...”— no one is an I, a you, or a me!

    When we are in New York, we add in some great field trips: walking through Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and one year, the Tenement Museum. Among the Broadway shows the group has selected and seen are The Great Comet, Prom, The Phantom of the Opera, and this year, Six, a musical about the wives of Henry VIII. Each year, MMUN features a cultural celebration one night and a party the last night before the trip to the United Nations. For many years, Montessori-MUN has worked with DJs and a rap entertainer, Alexander Starr, who not only leads the party—this year, with his band—but who also works every year with a group of interested delegates to compose one or more songs for this culminating event.

    A final vital feature of the Montessori-MUN experience is that it does not have to end after Middle School. As exemplified by Meera, who graduates High School (Ash Class) in June, former delegates to the conference can choose to participate in a Bureau training session. After that, they may take on various roles in the conferences as members of the student Bureaus that run the committee sessions and make sure their delegates emerge from committee ready with resolutions for presentation to the conference body as a whole. This is an excellent way to continue to develop global awareness and understanding, establish connections and networks, make friends, and support and reinforce their Montessori sensibility.

    By the time we left New York this March, several WMS students are planning to take the Bureau training as high school students—which means we may have the benefit of a vigorous and committed group of both Middle and High School students for the 2023-2024 conference. That commitment can continue on into college, as it has for many and may for Meera, if she can schedule the time.

    In an era where the urgent nature of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is evident, and the importance of nurturing the Montessori philosophy of peace is imperative, the Montessori-Model United Nations is an exciting, non-competitive, and meaningful way for young people to engage with both of these objectives.

    View images from the experience in the March 2023 Grapevine newsletter:

    Sharon Elise Dunn
    High School Humanities & Advisory Teacher,
    WMS Montessori-MUN Teacher Coordinator

  • WMS National Merit Semifinalists 2023

    Woodinville Montessori School is excited to announce that two students in the Class of 2023 (12th grade), Musashi (Tane) Koh and Meera Kohli, are Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

    Tane and Meera will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

    Tane has been enrolled at WMS since 4th grade (Upper Elementary) and Meera since Early Childhood.

    Congratulations to these high school seniors and their families on this academic accomplishment! 

    To learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Program, read the full press release here:  

  • Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!

    Dear WMS Families,

    Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! We have been working hard over the summer to get our environment ready for students to return to their classrooms. Renovations in both Buildings 1 and 2 are complete and students will see the difference when they come back. Families will also be able to see classrooms either during level orientation or during class picnics. 

    WMS is accredited by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) and American Montessori Society (AMS). Both these agencies expect schools to be on a path of continuous improvement and to be true to their mission and vision. Every 7 to 8 years the school has to be reaccredited. Step one of the reaccreditation process is to do a self-study. Guided by specific questions in different areas of focus, we reflect on our practices and write a comprehensive answering narrative. Last year, while we were dealing with the various demands of the pandemic, and extensively over the summer, we worked on our self-study. This school year, teams from NWAIS and AMS will visit us for several days in early March 2023. Typically, the visiting team makes recommendations based on our self-study and their observations that we can then use to further improve the school. 

    “Learning to co-exist with COVID-19”- this phrase from the Department of Health (DOH) summarizes their guidance for schools this year. We are following their guidance as we have done since the start of the pandemic. All the details are in the COVID-19 guidance for families document.  Testing symptomatic students and adults is our best strategy to minimize spread. We are relying on you to work with us to mitigate risks of outbreaks.

    After years of restrictions on gatherings, building and strengthening our community is a major focus for this year. This is an area identified by the Board of Trustees and by the school administration as a strategic goal. You can read the Strategic Plan on our website. We plan to have in-person events and gatherings and we hope to open our doors soon to volunteers. Coffee with Sunita will happen in-person as well. Details on times and locations to follow. 
    Thank you for choosing our school to educate your children. We are looking forward to watching students learn and grow at the school.



    Sunita Pailoor
    Head of School

  • High School students in Zorbs.