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Spotlight on Neil DiMaio (2016)

Spotlight on Neil DiMaio (2016)
Posted on 12/16/2016
neilHere is the always kind and gracious Lower Elementary teacher Neil DiMaio!

Where did you grow up and what brought you to the Tobin Montessori School? 

I grew up in a village called Byfield, MA. There are no sidewalks, and there is only one traffic light. When I was little, there were no fire hydrants and no leash law. My dog (a beagle named Sherlock) would sometimes be gone for days, hunting in the conservation land behind my house. Then he started wandering to the local boarding school, the Governor's Academy, where the students snuck him into the dining hall and fed him (and he was even in their yearbook one year). But our veterinarian scolded us for letting Sherlock get too fat. We also raised animals in our backyard, such as rabbits, chickens, geese, and a pig. One of our geese won the blue ribbon at the Topsfield Fair!

As a teenager, I worked at a summer camp at a Montessori school. I later worked with Meghan Cahill at the Stoneridge Children's Montessori School.

I eventually went to graduate school in Baltimore but flew to Boston for a week of job interviews. A friend mentioned a brand new Montessori school called Tobin, and I managed to squeeze in a last-minute interview just hours before my flight back. Brittany MacDonald and I were the first elementary Montessori teachers at Tobin.

Favorite time of year and why?

All seasons. The Zen poet Wu Men, says, "If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life." I agree.

Favorite teacher and why? 

In 5th and 6th grade, Sally Bardsley was my English Language Arts teacher. She helped everyone with reading, writing, and being humans! She gave me my first blank book, and I wrote lots of fictional stories where mice were the main characters.

Skiing in Aspen or sunning in the tropics?

Neither. Hiking in the Plum Island Wildlife Refuge--in all weathers!

Favorite movie?

"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" and "Blue Velvet," both by David Lynch. If I can have more than one favorite season, then I can have more then one favorite movie, right?

Dark or milk chocolate? 

Dark.