There are many ways you may know Melanie Mitchell, a 2008 graduate from The Montessori School (TMS). Whether through her time at TMS in the late 2000s, her state winning theatre performance at Loy Norrix, or now in her role as a graduate research assistant at Western Michigan University, Melanie has always been an active member of the TMS and Kalamazoo community. 

Melanie attended TMS from her preschool years all the way through 5th grade — the highest level of programming offered at the school at that time. During that time, her favorite part of school was all the curricular enrichments such as art and music. She loved that even outside of music and art time, concepts from those subjects were still incorporated throughout the lessons. She also particularly loved Halloween parties and the science fair. 

Above everything, though, the biggest value to Melanie from her Montessori education was the balance between independence and inter-personal connection she was able to find. Being able to do things on her own, “made me love learning,” Melanie said. Beyond building independence, she cites the individualized approach as helping her create lasting personal relationships with her teachers and classmates, giving her the confidence to try new things, and providing an environment where everyone felt comfortable expressing themselves. In turn, Melanie feels as though her time at TMS made her a more accepting and caring person. 

Melanie has also excelled academically. Since graduating from TMS, she has gone on to earn a 3.5 GPA or higher in all her successive academic endeavors, including from Loy Norrix High School and at Western Michigan University where she received a bachelor’s degree in engineering and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in chemistry. Extra-curricularly, she has multiple high school state championships in theatre and held a highly-coveted internship at an engineering firm during her undergraduate career.

We are so thankful to have Melanie and other alumni representing our school so well in the community, and cherish the opportunity to stay connected and hear about their successes.