My years at Litchfield Montessori School were some of the best of my life. In addition to being incredibly fun, my time at LMS established a foundation of independence, self-confidence, and intellectual curiosity that allowed me to thrive at the subsequent schools that I attended (Rumsey Hall, the Taft School, and Stanford University).
My strongest LMS memories are of the Montessori educational materials that were featured in the classroom, particularly the multi-colored counting beads. To this day, I continue to associate numbers with the colors of the beads (1 = red, 2 = green, 3 = orange, and so on). Additionally, I have always been interested in maps and geography (I will often pick up an atlas and look at the names of random cities in different countries and imagine what it must be like to live there), which was nurtured by the colorful puzzle maps that we used to trace and cut out our own maps in the classroom. While none of this is directly applicable to my day-to-day job (although being able to name all of the states that border Indiana often makes me a big hit at cocktail parties), it is a testament to the type of intellectual curiosity that the Montessori approach helps foster.
The single greatest skill that I developed at LMS is the ability to be a self-starter. I currently work as a business consultant helping some of the world’s largest companies solve their biggest business problems. My job requires attention to detail, organizational skills, and (most importantly) the ability to operate in an unstructured environment. Being responsible for choosing one’s own activities and structuring one’s day in the classroom are unique attributes of the Montessori experience that have helped me tremendously throughout my career.
I am incredibly grateful to Litchfield Montessori School, and I am excited to watch the school grow and see the impact that it will have on future children.
Matt is pictured above in his Paul Cryan school picture from 1989 and with his wife and daughter.