What Would Your Dad Say?
By Colleen Noll
Looking across the Montessori School of Silicon Valley (MSOSV) organization, you would notice that our leadership team is comprised of mostly young people. Almost all our guides and leaders started in the classroom, many as assistants – before rising through the ranks to eventually join our leadership team.
Ms. Melissa started with MSOSV at the young age of twenty-four. She had completed her degree in Child Development and was excited to start her life in Montessori. Ms. Melissa’s career quickly took off with rapid acceleration.
In the eight years after joining MSOSV, she completed her formal Montessori education and through a series of promotions (from Classroom Assistant to Lead Guide, then Head of School) was most recently promoted to the role of Program Director, reporting directly to me.
During this period that Melissa had been on her Montessori journey at MSOSV, her dad, Brad Wilson, walked her down the aisle when she married her husband, Chris and was by her side as her daughter Ava was born later.
Given that Brad was an entrepreneur and President of his company, it isn’t at all a stretch to conclude that Melissa’s strong work ethic and commitment to success, along with a smile and “can-do” attitude, comes from her dad.
Over the years there have been many instances when facing a challenging situation together, when I would ask Melissa “What would your dad say?”.
You see, Melissa’s dad, was also her best friend. He was always right there to coach her along the way. I knew his advice was solid, often listening to it myself and learning from him.
Earlier this year, Ms. Melissa and her family lost Brad to Liver Cancer. This loss was unexpected, swift and devastating for Melissa and her family.
Even though I did not get the opportunity to tell Brad directly, I suspect he was fully aware how amazing his daughter Melissa is.
In the Montessori philosophy we talk about the “Whole Child”. We work with children to understand how each individual learns, what makes them hum and bring things to the classroom community that interests them. We strive to meet the child where they are and then begin working from there.
As Ms. Melissa guides our staff and our leaders, she takes the same approach. She works to understand the whole person by taking the time to learn each staff member’s professional and career aspirations and then determining a professional development plan to help them achieve those goals.
She treats each person as an individual, meeting them right where they are. Ms. Melissa does this, all while ensuring our motto of “Children First, Always.”.
MSOSV a Community Partner!
In support of their mission to promote education, advocacy, support services and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease, the American Liver Foundation has created the “30 in 30 Challenge” fundraising program.
Helping in the community and helping a friend is a core value of MSOSV. Young children love the opportunity to help others. In our Montessori curriculum we even dedicate a full month to “Community and helping others”. Participating in the 30 in 30 Challenge was an easy choice for our schools.
The children at each of our campus locations were so happy to participate in the “30 in 30 Challenge”. The children at all 5 of our schools have been running, walking and riding their tricycles during their outside playtime – with the goal of reaching 30 miles during the month of March! MSOSV is matching the donations raised by the children and their sponsors up to $2,000!
Not only are we raising much-needed funds to continue the fight against liver cancer, but we also hope that we send a message of love and appreciation to Ms. Melissa for all she does for everyone with each day at MSOSV. We know she misses her dad and relying on him to help her be a better leader every day. Brad made it look so easy, with his kindness, work ethic and can-do attitude.
For those who had the opportunity to know Brad Wilson, he also touched lives the way Ms. Melissa does each day.
Ms. Melissa shared a personal story with me when her dad passed. His granddaughter, Ava is just over the age of one. He was waiting for her to be old enough to take her down to Baskin Robbins for a scoop of ice cream. Sadly, they did not get this chance.
If you contribute to the 30 in 30 challenge and your child rides the tricycle around and around, consider taking your child out for a scoop of ice cream. Add in some laughs and smiles! This is what Grandpa and Ava would do.
If you contributed to the 30 in 30 Challenge, thank you! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a donation today. You can also use your smart phone to scan the QR code on the right to make a donation.