THE GRAPEVINE, ANNUAL WRAP-UP, June 26, 2020
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.