For Joseph (Joe) Cialdella, some of his favorite memories at TMS took place during the annual camping trips. While he, of course, cherished his experiences in the classroom, it was the time spent outdoors with his classmates that he remembers most fondly.

Joe attended The Montessori School at our Howard St. campus between the years of 1990 and 1997. He spent his formative years in the care of beloved TMS guides Judy, Michael and Jim. He credits his time at TMS, and the Montessori philosophy, with his desire to create and adapt within any context or environment he finds himself — something he has applied throughout his life and career. “The Montessori philosophy prepared me for my future pursuits by training me to experiment, act, and create in conscientious ways,” said Joe.

Following his time at TMS, Joe attended The Gagie School for middle school, Hackett Catholic Central for high school,  and The University of Michigan where he earned a B.A., M.A. and PhD. He also went on to become a Enid A.Haupt Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution.

Most recently, work Joe led at the Michigan Humanities Council received the Schwartz Prize for Outstanding Public Humanities project. In partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Michigan Humanities Council’s Heritage Grants Program, Joe helped to collect and organize oral histories, art, and other cultural artifacts that, “explore local histories of race, ethnicity and cultural identity in Michigan.” The culmination of the project can be found on the Michigan Humanities Website.

TMS helped Joe find his voice, and now he is helping the many diverse communities in Michigan find theirs. Thank you, Joe.

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