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Joyce McDermott

Joyce McDermott

Vice President of Corporate Communications, MasterCard

Joyce attended Montessori school from pre-school through 2nd grade. “After exploring activities and materials in all parts of the classroom, I spent as much time as I could in the language area, and my sister spent as much time as she could in the art area. Now I'm a writer and communications professional, and my sister is an architect and engineer. The Montessori approach helped us discover our skills, talents, and passions and nurtured them from a very young age.

“The Montessori environment enables a child's self-discovery. My son started Montessori at age 4 months. At 23 months, he is one of the smaller children in the class, but that does not affect his self-confidence or independence. He joyfully plays with bigger children and confidently helps his teachers lead walks around the campus. He could hold his own drinking glass as an infant and throws his napkin in the trash as a toddler.

“The multi-age groupings in a Montessori environment help children achieve their potential at their own pace, free from the restrictions of a more age-specific curriculum. Younger children see and aspire to the next stage of development while older children acquire leadership skills and compassion through helping others.

“And I've observed in my own life and in my son's life that the fundamental principles of Montessori education help a person embrace and embody fairness, respect, order, and peace far beyond the classroom.”

Photo: Eugene Listi 

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