Tobin Achieves an Historic Milestone!

Tobin Achieves an Historic Milestone!
Posted on 06/19/2015

This month Tobin School celebrated a huge milestone in a huge way.  Now that the American Montessori Society has granted Tobin full accreditation, the John M. Tobin Montessori School has become the first fully-accredited district-level public Montessori School in the United States!  Much hard work by Tobin leaders, faculty, staff, students, and parents over the past 10 years led to this achievement.

On Tuesday June 2nd, students, faculty, parents and an array of dignitaries gathered in the gym to celebrate this honor beneath a giant balloon arch in the AMS logo colors of blue, green, orange, and white.  Special Guests included Cambridge School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Young, assistant Superintendent Maryan MacDonald, School Committee Members Fred Fantini, Fran Cronin and Patty Nolan, former Tobin principals Paulette Jones and Seth Lewis-Levin, current principal Martha Mosman, and future principal Jaime Frost.

5th graders Ania Hearn and Gefen Shapiro served as ushers handing out programs to guests as they filed into the gym.  Once inside, students were thrilled to be greeted by a life size TOBIN TIGER MASCOT (performed by VLUS gym teacher Brendan!), giving them high-fives and fist bumps  The VLUS trumpet ensemble (comprised of Will Bent, Andrew McGaffigan, Sam Bebergal, Elias Hyde, and Tobin/VLUS Ensemble Teacher David Cross) kicked things off with a fanfare of the theme song to "Rocky."

Event producer, emcee, and parent Jenn Oberhauser, dressed as a Tobin tiger, opened with a Moment of Mindfulness and led the community in three deep centering breaths together.  We were then graced by the surprise appearance of none other than Maria Montessori herself, impersonated impeccably by costumed 5th-grader Kira Hartness.  5th-graders Olivia Orlick and Pratyush Venkatakrishnan spoke about Dr. Montessori's life, methods and philosophy.  Then each of the principals took turns telling the Tobin Montessori story, in chronological order, literally passing the baton from Paulette Jones (2005-2008),  Seth Lewis-Levin (2008-2011), Martha Mosman (2011 to 2015) and finally to our current Literacy Coach and incoming principal, Jaime Frost.  Each told about their part in the ten year journey to our current Accreditation status.  

We then unfurled our brand new 20' foot Tobin Montessori BANNER to be hung on the front of the school building.  Then Jenn O conducted the distribution of 400 “peace pole” balloons and taught the kids how to launch them in the air as well as what to expect from balloons and how to dispose of them in a way that is responsible to our Montessori code to Care for the Environment.  Special volunteers were selected to launch their peace balloons from behind the banner as Jenn O performed some quick juggling to dazzle and focus the students' attention for an all school photo.

Finally everyone launched or waved their balloons into the air as we celebrated to some excellent music with much jubilation and exuberance before eventually going back to class.

Thanks to the many unsung heros who contributed to this event, especially parents Whitney Allen and Sara DeSimone who donated so much of their time and skill on the original Steering Committee that conducted all the work entailed in earning us this Accreditation status in the first place.  Congratulations John M. Tobin Montessori School!

During lunch the next day, students were asked their impressions of the AMS CELEBRATION CEREMONY and of TOBIN MONTESSORI SCHOOL! Here's just a bit of what they had to say...

“I think it was great how they made it fun for kids and made it so the younger kids could understand that we are one of the best schools.”   Nathaniel  M.

“The Tiger was so nice giving high fives.  Little kids loved that!”  -Nina H.

“You know; knowing that I go to the best school in the country.” -Gavin
“I feel proud of this school.”  -Ilora R.

“You know the banner thing?  That one was like, well, it was it looked new kind of, and also I was glad it was the first one in the country.  Nice job school!”   Bethel A.

"I liked the tiger -the big tiger- and the balloons". AJ. J

"It was very well done.  My kids couldn’t stop talking about it.  They went up to everyone, even strangers.  They are so proud of their school!"  Alina Haddleton, Mom/ Assistant Teacher