Newsweek Magazine, June 27, 2011 Edition.
Protect Your Child’s Future, Choose the Best Education
The late Italian educator Dr. Maria Montessori is smiling somewhere. So are a growing number of children and parents throughout greater Dallas. They smile with good reason. It is an unlikely success story of how Castle Montessori Schools are changing the way we view education, one child’s life at a time. Their rise to success is so fascinating and pure it bears an unexpected resemblance to all that we love and hope for in our own children, no wonder it’s been the focus of special reports from major respected news outlets CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and Bloomberg television.
It began in 2005, with one family’s struggle. For months, husband and wife, Vikas and Varsha Patel, searched throughout Dallas to find the right school for their two young daughters. While many schools in the area offered good environments, they did not offer the nurturing faculty or staff that a loving parent yearns for. At the same time, if they were impressed by a school’s teachers, their facilities did not meet expectations.
Their frustrations were understandable and eventually led them to close the doors on their successful careers in the corporate world and open the doors to what is now considered to be one the top independent private school systems in the country.
In 2007, the first Castle Montessori school opened in Carrollton, Texas with an enrollment of sixty children (including their youngest daughter) and a single dream, “to make a significant difference in the American education system,” in the words of founder Vikas Patel. With three more schools built in four years, they are doing just that.
The Montessori Method
The first Montessori school opened in 1907 under direction of the revolutionary educator, scientist and humanitarian, Dr. Maria Montessori. Her unique method creates a child-centered environment encouraging self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher. Castle Montessori Schools follow her doctrine closely by fostering an environment where kids can learn about leadership and time management as early as age three.
At its core, the Montessori Method encourages children to think freely as opposed to being told how to think. Castle Montessori Schools are looking to turn out the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs like Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, both of Google’s co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, and legendary business expert Peter Drucker, just to name a few past Montessori school graduates.
What to Expect from Castle Montessori Schools
Hiring an experienced, enthusiastic and loving teaching staff is their first priority. Castle Montessori only hires AMS, AMI, or MACTE certified teachers, the top three types of certifications that a teacher can receive, and each candidate must go through a rigorous screening process before being offered the position. Castle Montessori schools are rooted in the belief that a strong administration and experienced, caring teachers make the ultimate difference in any school. As Varsha Patel puts it, “The quality of the people, the staffing, management’s attention to detail – these things always make the difference.”
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