We recently found a hard copy of a beautifully crafted letter expressing gratitude to OMS, dated April 28, 2005. The author of the letter, Christopher Macies, had graduated from OMS Montessori almost ten years prior to writing the letter, in June 1997, after completing Grade 5. After reaching out to Christopher (via LinkedIn), who is now a Manager in the Advisory practice of Deloitte Transactions & Business Analytics LLP in New York City, he agreed to let us share his letter.
It isn’t often that people take the time to recognize their educational experiences, let alone their elementary experiences, years down the road. Christopher’s letter and its touching message, read as follows:
Hello, I’m Christopher (Topher) Macies. I’m not sure how else to introduce myself, other than tell you why I’m trying to get in contact. I am a senior at Irvington High School, in Westchester County, 20 miles outside New York City. Upon graduation I will be part of the incoming freshman class of 2009 at Columbia University in August of this year. As my school year has wound down, I’ve entered into my exams and in my last desperate attempts to procrastinate; I began to clean my room. As I was cleaning through my dresser, I happened to fall upon a tee shirt – one bearing the OMS dove. I dug deeper, into the musty recesses of my dresser and found a dark green tee shirt with the OMS Dinosaur I remember as a kid. Upon weeks of reflection (and days spent writing this email), I want to share my thoughts with you.
While the majority of my schooling has been spent away from Ottawa, the formative years of my life were not spent at Irvington High School, or any other of the previous middle schools I have attended, but OMS. As an OMS “alum” since 1997, when I left after the 5th grade, I am eternally grateful for the experiences. Many of my peers have struggled with independence and the classroom. Without a syllabus, many become disorientated and fell behind. Montessori has given me the necessary tools to succeed.
While I know many teachers may no longer be teaching at OMS, I would like to give special thanks to Francoise, Jackie, Janet, Finola and Mr. D. I have very Fond memories from each of those classes. I would like to thank all of the teachers I have not mentioned.
Your impact is profound.
However, a few musty tee-shirts are not the only reason I am trying to get back in touch. I was back in town to visit family over the winter holidays this year, where my old nanny, and forever friend, Katrina lives, when she told me she had been recognized in HMV [retail store], by a classmate of mine. I was awestruck. It has been over 7 years since I left Ottawa, and yet, the same students whom sit forever preserved in photo album after photo album still remember “me.” I was wondering if other students have written back, whether in expressions of gratitude, or lament, or just to wonder what’s up?
I cannot being to explain how grateful, not only I am, but also my family. I had two sisters, Jasmine and Rebecca, who also entered into the Montessori school. I cannot imagine that we are unique in this feeling.
Not because of the colleges or the universities its elementary school graduates head off to, but to the type of people it produces - the people who remember a face nearly a decade later. Thank you.
Christopher (Topher) Macies and Family