Ann’s Message – Welcome Back to a New School Year

July 24, 2015

Dear MSLF Families,

Something very special is going on here at the Montessori School of Lake Forest.

You can see it in our youngest students as well as our alumni. This summer, a record number of alumni work here as summer helpers alongside current students of all ages. This summer children are engaged in activities both inside and outside the classroom, from swimming and hiking, nature study and making s’mores, to reading, math and studying countries like Tanzania, India, Canada, and Germany. Their alumni helpers show their Montessori roots as they take everything in stride with optimism, good problem solving skills, and humor. And from youngest to oldest, students and alumni share the same traits of common sense, capability, and high spirits. If you want to know how adaptable and successful your children will be, come see for yourself!

As you can tell, Summer Splash is progressing splendidly, and the 2015-2016 school year is already off to a wonderful start. I’m eager to tell you about it. Throughout this year you’ll have plenty of chances to hear from Alumni. We’ll host them for a panel discussion and plenty of other related events.

  • Outdoor Education is taking off! Younger children experience garden-to-table work which dovetails with the Adolescent students’ work on the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm. And students at both campuses will learn outdoor skills in the nature preserve areas of each campus. (MSLF is a good steward: the Laurel Drive Campus is certified by the National Wildlife Federation and is being vetted by Conserve Lake County, which has already certified our Blue House land!)
  • Upper Elementary students will benefit from lessons with Adolescent Program faculty to learn Latin and ancient history, Spanish language and culture, art, physics, biology, childcare, architectural studies, and the history and practice of bread baking. Their class will also present a school play!
  • Lower Elementary will function as a unit, collaborating on math, language, and research projects, solving school problems, planning events such as “lunch around the world” and enjoying recess and PE. Students will also visit Upper Elementary for extra lessons, and Adolescent Program teachers will offer special lessons.
  • Elementary After School Club will be hosted by Jeff Daube, who has trained as an artist and at the Elementary level at Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, taught at Nature’s Classroom Institute and Montessori School and other schools, and is a partner in a kayaking company. Daube offers many skills and Elementary children will find that he will know how to help them get cool things done.
  • Primary and Elementary Breakfast Club will meet in the Elementary Club Room with Adolescent Program teacher Danna Victor, who has wide experience with young children. This program is piloting now and it works well. In addition to breakfast, Clubbers will enjoy Ms. Victor’s sense of humor, her curiosity, and her desire to teach math and physics to everyone!
  • Primary classes are filling up and we have a wait pool for our Toddler community!
  • Children aren’t the only ones who get to learn at the Montessori School of Lake Forest! Parents will benefit from the Parent Education series and exciting range of workshops and activities. And as we enter our 49th year (!!!), Parent Volunteer opportunities abound with variety and fun.

There is so much more to tell you, but I’ll wait to do that in person. Welcome back to another wonderful year at the Montessori School of Lake Forest. I can’t wait to see you!

Best Wishes,




Ann Jordahl
Executive Director

Adolescent Program Director Announcement

Dear MSLF Community,

We are pleased to tell you that we have succeeded in filling the role of Montessori School of Lake Forest Adolescent Program Director. Since Ann Jordahl left this position in order to lead the school in June, 2013, we have conducted two formal searches and directly approached several individuals, in ongoing efforts to fill this position. We are grateful to Bev Adamczyk who agreed to temporarily direct the Adolescent Program during the 2013-14 school year.

We searched carefully for an individual to fulfill our Adolescent Program’s distinctive criteria, including:

  • A wide range of experience in working with young people; developing and leading programs; teaching, collaborating with colleagues, students, and parents; expanding enrollment; managing critical issues-all skills necessary to ground the Adolescent Program.
  • The capacity to continue to build our Adolescent Program by developing local, urban, national, and international connections both within the Montessori community and within the larger worlds of higher education, sustainability, arts and culture, and service.
  • The ability to engage in critical thinking across the disciplines; offer sound and well-proven leadership skills; collaborate with and support parents; and serve as a good guide for students as they prepare to enter high school and college, and to develop part-time and full-time job opportunities.
  • Teaching experience with a wide range of youth; familiarity with Montessori education; possessing an advanced degree; the insight to engage successfully with the challenges of Montessori philosophy, and the maturity to collaborate well with our high performing faculty, our sophisticated parent body, and our richly varied and high-potential student body.

After a 3 year search, MSLF has appointed Stephen Sennott, a teacher and youth mentor who worked at Illinois Institute of Technology, where he served 14 years as Assistant Dean and adjunct professor in the College of Architecture. Steve is already known to many in the MSLF community, most recently as a Chicago tour guide for the Adolescent Program, a former committee volunteer, an alumni parent, and the spouse of Ann Jordahl.Read More

Montessori Times – Final Edition of the Year

Jamie Knight 6-3-15_Page_1

Download the full edition of Montessori Times Here!