Hudson -- Students weren't the only ones starting a new year at Hudson Montessori School, 7545 Darrow Road on Aug. 27.
Christie Stover is the new Head of School at Hudson Montessori, replacing Julie Brown, who was Head of School for 16 years. Hudson Montessori has 234 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, 31 staff members and 5 administrative employees.
Stover attended the University of Illinois, receiving her degree in secondary education with a major in English and minor in economics. She worked in corporate training and development and received her master's degree in labor and human resources from The Ohio State University.
The daughter of a school superintendent and a school teacher, Stover said teaching and education are where she finds joy and challenge.
"I'm very excited to join the Hudson Montessori School community and look forward to immersing myself in the Montessori philosophy and also becoming a part of the local community," Stover said.
In a Montessori environment, instruction is differentiated and every student is challenged to develop to their highest potential, Stover said.
"Students are able to construct their own education," Stover said. "Every child can hit their potential."
Since children are already curious, learning is an active experience, Stover said. Hudson Montessori children are engaged in a series of learning experiences that support them from the youngest ages to develop and construct knowledge, thinking relationships and an approach to learning where they take control.
Hudson Montessori has mixed ages in its grade levels to stretch and encourage students to set goals and then achieve them, Stover said.
"The environment is carefully arranged to offer opportunities for authentic, hands-on learning and students develop a deep foundational understanding of abstract concepts through materials and interactions with highly trained teachers and also with other students," she said.
Stover said by the time students graduate, the world they face will be very different from the present one adults live in.
"They will need a skill set to enter into a variety of settings -- a global world of multiple problems and the ability to process new knowledge," Stover said.
Joy and rigor go hand in hand in learning, Stover said. Students discover a satisfaction in learning by asking questions and finding the answers.
Hudson Montessori Middle School students will learn more about the community of Hudson this year through a project to learn about the history, politics, business and economy of Hudson.
"We want to understand how we interact with each other," Stover said.
Montessori classrooms strive to develop the whole person and build a community of respect, stewardship and compassion, she said.
Stover is inspired by the quote "Let your life speak" and it hangs in her kitchen and her office.
"It is reminder to focus on what really matters and what will make a difference in the lives of others," Stover said.
Her husband, Scott Stover, works for Quantum Health, where he is the director of Small and Medium Organizations. They have a blended family of five children, ages 12 to 22.
In their free time, the Stovers frequently can be found watching their children compete on the playing field. They also love the outdoors and are looking forward to exploring the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
"We couldn't be happier to be joining the Hudson Montessori School community," Stover said. "Thank you for such a warm welcome. We look forward to getting to know each child and family, and to continue the tremendous work and learning that takes place at Hudson Montessori School."
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing