Making an Impact
September / October 2020
Dear TMS Families and Friends,
In this very unusual school year, we are finding ourselves feeling so grateful for the families past and present who have supported us in so many important ways. Without your generosity, our ability to open the school during the current pandemic would not have been possible. A snapshot of our history illustrates this unequivocally.

In 1970, nine families (Lloyd & Gwen Bobb, Stuart & Rochelle Deutchman, Manfred & Lois Dorn, John & Jean Kiernan, Irving & Mildred Orenstein, Norman & Eleanor Pomplas, Terry & Juanita Sanks, Hugo & Virginia Verges, and Andrew & Matilda Verzilli) founded a small Montessori school, that is TMS today. Their vision and generosity gave the school a home and provided a fledgling elementary school with Montessori Guides and materials, even volunteering as administrators. The school flourished adding a preschool and Upper Elementary, and ultimately a Toddler program.

Jumping ahead to 2006, many families made significant donations to allow us to purchase our current 1701 Jarrettown Road property. At the time, we had “lost our lease” and needed to move quickly. In retrospect, our 2006 move has allowed us to be responsive to the pandemic. The generosity of so many families ensured that not only did we have a new home, but one that included the potential for oversize classrooms and a substantial amount of outdoor space.

In 2010, the generosity of the Lucinda Duncalfe & Russell Holt family made possible the transformation of a bi-level blacktop play area to a natural playscape for our toddler and Children’s House programs. This was another improvement that significantly impacted the children’s experience and has ultimately provided an expansive open space for social distancing during the pandemic.

Another unwitting step toward pandemic preparedness, took place during the summer of 2015. Once again generous and dedicated friends and families of The Montessori School came together to fund the modernization of the 1970’s era modular school. This modernization provided for the addition of decks to each classroom for working outside, expanded classrooms designed specifically for Montessori education, the installation of security systems, and an updated and healthy ventilation system for heating and cooling.

We invite you to honor those who have supported TMS in so many ways over these 50 years! CLICK HERE for the link.
Laura Stulb, Head of School
Zaharchuk Family
This month we would like to shine a spotlight on generous supporters of The Montessori School: Susan & John Zaharchuk

Sue and John Zaharchuk have been ardent and generous supporters of the Montessori School for many years in many ways, believing in TMS, its mission and academic excellence. Sue and John’s sons, Nick ‘05, Alex ‘07 and Pete ‘09, each began as Toddlers with Cindy Robinson and graduated from Upper Elementary under Mrs. Beck. Their support of TMS did not end with their sons’ graduations, however. Sue and John have served the school in many capacities as a Board of Trustees member and Board Chair, Annual Auction Chairs, Golf Outing Chair, Annual Fund leaders, and Campaign Chairs for the school's 2006 acquisition of the Jarrettown Road property. Today, Sue is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.

In addition to their service, Sue and John have generously supported the Annual Fund each year, while also making historic major gifts to the school. In 2006, a leadership gift of $100,000 to the campaign for a new school enabled the school to reach its goal of purchasing our current facility. Sue's mother and father, Jayne and David Haines, also made a significant contribution to this campaign, recognizing the valuable role TMS played in their grandsons’ lives.

In 2009, TMS established The Susan and John Zaharchuk Award to recognize Sue and John’s immeasurable gifts to this institution. Since then membership has grown to include the Tracey & Ron Sandmeyer and Lucinda Duncalfe & Russell Holt families whose service and significant financial stewardship have ensured that TMS remains an important educational option to families and children in the Philadelphia area. In 2015, Sue and John again helped to lead the effort to fund the modernization of our building, with their gift of $25,000. Recently, Sue decided she wanted to make a meaningful contribution to TMS in its 50th year to ensure that the school remains a valuable educational option for another 50 years. Especially during this time of hardship for many, Sue felt it important to provide support to families who value the gift of a Montessori education for their children.

Most recently, Sue has given The Montessori School a gift of $50,000 in memory of her father, David Haines. Sue announced that her gift this year was made specifically to help TMS families experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About this gift, Sue explained, “First and foremost, my father believed that to whom much is given much is expected in return, and I was able to make this gift due to my father’s generosity to me. My father was always very impressed with my sons during their elementary years and felt they really benefited from a Montessori education, so he would be happy that I helped give that gift to others.”

Now in our 50th year, the vision of Sue and John and family to perpetuate The Montessori School is truly a gift to all of us who treasure this education. It is her hope that her gift will inspire others who are “given much” to join her in ensuring that The Montessori School will live on to serve many other children. We are humbled by the confidence that Sue and John have placed in The Montessori School for so many years, and committed ourselves to her vision of resilience for The Montessori School. Our heartfelt thanks to Sue and John and their family!
Are you aware that individuals and businesses can lower their tax bills through the PA Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the PA Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC)? These programs allow donations to private schools, scholarship organizations, pre-K programs, and other educational enrichment initiatives. TMS has been an approved recipient of EITC scholarship money for many years. This year, TMS entered into a partnership with the Central PA Scholarship Fund (CPSF) to help manage ETIC donor contributions.

To qualify, you must be an employee, owner, or shareholder of a business authorized to do business in Pennsylvania - OR - be a retired or a non-profit employee who owns stock (at least 1 share) in a business that operates in PA. If you or your business have a minimum annual tax liability of $3,500, you can help TMS!
Visit The Montessori School EITC/OSTC webpage PA TAXES AND YOU (or copy and paste this link into your browser). You will find this and more:
Thank you to TMS families, Tammy Tran & Matt Brinker, Kimberly & Doug Burke, Jason & Sarah Schein, Rachel & Matt Shearon and Oya & Ali Yuksel for joining our EITC program during the Fall 2020 cycle. We're also grateful for Spring 2020 cycle donors, Joan & Jim Levin, Tracey & Rod Sandmeyer, Karen Walsh & Jay Lipschutz and Sue & John Zaharchuk.

These gifts of tax dollars to The Montessori School will allow children to remain at TMS by providing scholarships!
Throughout the past eight months, our medical advisory team has been especially helpful in drafting reopening plans, and continues to provide valuable advice to TMS as needs arise.

Thank you to Matthew Sherman for designing and building 25 plexiglass safety screens with Alemji Taku and their son Niko for student tables in Children’s House and Elementary – the children look forward to being able to sit with someone for lunch!

Thank you also to Tammy Tran and family (Matt, Molly, Miles and Lucy Brinker) for COVID welcome bags for TMS staff as well as health and safety supplies for TMS.

We are grateful to other TMS parents who are donating disinfectant spray in our on-going effort to remain open in a safe manner. 
In Toddler
On the deck
On the Deck
Lower El
In Lower El
Plexiglass Safety Screens
The Montessori School
1701 Jarrettown Road, Dresher, PA 19025