The Grapevine, June 26, 2020


Bogda Zbyszewski
Happy retirement, Bogda!

Thank you and happy retirement, Bogda!

When Bogda Zbyszewski arrived at Woodinville Montessori School in 1989, she had a small child, a beginning English vocabulary and a history degree; and had been out of communist Poland for just seven years.

Today, Bogda clocked out of Woodinville Montessori for the final time after 30-plus years as the WMS bookkeeper. She admits to mixed feelings—mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented effect on all routines and expectations. But for that, she had said she was retiring at 66, and she has grandchildren to enjoy, and family in Poland to visit.

Bogda, her husband and son, immigrated to the US just two weeks before the communist government there declared martial law in December 1981. The government wanted to break the Solidarity movement that would eventually be very influential in the fall of communism in 1989.

“Just two weeks later I wouldn’t have been able to come,” Bogda says. “In a communist country, curfew meant curfew.”

The family moved first to Arizona, found it too hot, then moved to Colorado before landing in Washington state. Her son was 3 years old and she was taking English classes, when she realized he needed to attend school with other children, and that she needed to find a job. She sought out day care and schools, found a Montessori school, enrolled her son and took a position there as an assistant and babysitter. When the owner closed the school, she recommended the children go to Woodinville Montessori. With her son in half-day classes with Debbie Hines at WMS, Bogda became a half-day assistant to Carol Stonich, before stepping into a half-day office position that opened that August.

“I was good at math, then I was full time in the office and the rest is history,” Bogda says with a chuckle. “I never thought about being a bookkeeper, I’m detail-oriented, I like things to be done. I think it was good for me, something I could do with limited English.”

From the first building at the Woodinville campus to two campuses and 400 students, Bogda takes with her many favorite memories: of day care, studying (she would drop into classrooms and listen) and knowing all of the kids.

“It was so much fun, really like family,” she says. “Once a year we went somewhere to be together for a few days.”

Bogda will now help keep on eye on her two grandchildren, and she would like to visit a cousin in Utah. She hasn’t been to Poland for three years, but is hoping to go there for her mother’s 90th birthday this October, and stay for several weeks.

On June 22 the WMS staff threw a virtual retirement party for Bogda via Zoom. Everyone had a chance to write a special letter for her, and of course, there were gifts. Bogda has been dedicated to the school, and to doing her job well throughout her time with WMS. She will be missed!

Congratulations to our staff for their years of service

On June 22, we recognized our staff for their years of service. Thank you to:

20 years
Amy Fujimoto
15 years
Alaine Davis, Carol Roorbach and Jody Sagawa
5 years
Durga Kanjinghat, Kaitlyn McElrath, Emily Schlieman and Dhunitha Yelamali

Now you can wear a WMS face mask!

We’ve just added some new items to our Squad Locker online, on-demand spirit wear store: face masks in gray, black, navy and lime; and face and neck coverings in dark orange and khaki, with the WMS logo. We also now offer infant and toddler t-shirts and sweatshirts, and additional t-shirt options for adults and hoodies for youths.

Our standard logo isn’t compatible with some of the items, so those are offered with a simplified logo. If you would like something that we don’t presently offer, please email Claire Tuohy-Morgan, communications director, and we will try to meet your request.

Face masks
This screenshot from our Squad Locker store shows the options for face masks.


Monday, June 29
•  Summer camp session 2 begins
June 30
•  Annual Giving Campaign ends
•  Fiscal year ends
July 3
•  Fourth of July holiday observed. NO CAMP, offices closed
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.

Download your child’s Seesaw work

Did you know that you can download a .zip archive of your child’s work?

If you want to save your child’s work and photos outside of Seesaw, this process is much simpler than downloading everything individually.

This link provides step-by-step instructions.

Put this virtual playdate on your calendar

The Admissions office will host virtual summer play dates for Toddler through Elementary levels on July 15. An invitation with the Zoom link will be emailed to families in advance. Here’s the schedule:

  • 9-9:30 a.m.: Toddler
  • 10-10:30 a.m.: Early Childhood – Woodinville campus
  • 11-11:30 a.m.: Early Childhood – North Creek campus
  • 1-1:30 p.m.: Lower Elementary
  • 2-2:30 p.m.: Upper Elementary

Middle and High School summer events will be announced separately.

Read senior’s project online

The Senior Seminar Edition of the Secondary newsletter, the Raven Review, consists entirely of now-graduate Taylor Sibthorp's senior project, a story on City of Bothell Development, with maps and photos.

If you haven’t yet read it, we hope you will, and enjoy learning about development in the City of Bothell, as well as the culmination of Taylor's work and education at Woodinville Montessori School. Kudos to Taylor, and to her senior thesis advisor, Sharon Dunn.

Summer hours

Administrative staff work year-round, so will be available during their regular hours most of the time this summer, depending on individual vacation times. However, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, administrative non-essential staff will continue to work from home as much as possible. Please call or email the school or individual if you have questions or need to make arrangements for anything, as you have been doing for the past several months.

Please log your volunteer hours

As a reminder, if you have not done so already, please take a moment to log your volunteer hours for the year.

  1. Sign into Family Portal
  2. On your account, find Family on the left sidebar, expand the arrow to Family Home and click on Family Home.
  3. On the Family Home screen, the service hours module will be the center top panel on your screen.
  4. You may see a dropdown above the module to select your name or your partner’s name, if you wish to specifically credit the service hours.
  5. Click “Add+” on the upper right of the module.
  6. Choose a description of your service from the dropdown. (If you are unsure, choose "Other.")
  7. “Verified by” can be the person in charge of the task (teacher/staff/etc.) or leave it blank. Then save the entry.
  8. Contact Director of Development, Laureen Ng, with any issues or questions about recording your volunteer hours.

Some Montessori activity videos

Here are some videos, developed by Montessori Gym, for keeping children active the Montessori way.

Keeping Children Active The Montessori Way, Part 1 English

Keeping Children Active The Montessori Way, Part 1 Spanish

Keeping Children Active The Montessori Way, Part 2 English

Keeping Children Active The Montessori Way, Part 2 Spanish

About the Grapevine

Welcome to the Grapevine newsletter. The Grapevine is published every Wednesday afternoon during regular school weeks. We welcome your submissions of photos and articles that are about or directly relevant to WMS students, subject to approval by the Director of Communications & Marketing. All submissions are due by 4:30 p.m., Mondays. We do not accept advertising.