Dear Aidan Community,
Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year at Aidan Montessori School. While you may already know me, or have seen me around campus, I would like to formally introduce myself. I am Zoya E. Davis, this is my 3rd year on the Board of Trustees, and this is my first year as President of the Board. My husband, Sieam, and I have two children at Aidan. Zavier, my eldest child, will graduate from the Sweet Gum class this spring. Sheyenne, my youngest, is starting her inaugural year, also in Sweet Gum. I am eager to see the magic of my two children on simultaneous amazing journeys together in the same classroom.
We have been an Aidan family since 2012 when Zavier started in what is now the Mountain Silverbell classroom. I can still see him running excitedly into his Toddler classroom community while I was busy wiping away tears (instead of the reverse!). Two years later, his sister, Sheyenne, joined the Mulberry classroom and both my children were cultivating a joy of learning.
My husband and I have two distinct learning styles and I realized that our children could take after him, a kinaesthetic learner, or me, a visual learner, or even be a hybrid of the two. Because of this, we were both drawn to a Montessori education. We believed that a Montessori environment would foster a lifetime love of learning, no matter the type of learning style. When we joined the Aidan community, we were grateful that both our children thrived in this environment. They sought out new challenges, such as using the binomial cubes to analyze complex math problems or writing the longest story using the moveable alphabet. After 12 years on our Montessori journey, I can confidently say that Aidan has helped my children develop a love of learning and engagement that will serve as a foundation for them to fully reach their potential.
This year the Aidan community will journey together to find our new Head of School. While we are sad to lose Kevin, our current Head of School, we thank him for all he has achieved for our school, and we wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career. I ask you to please join me in seizing this unique opportunity to select a new Head of School who will continue on the same path of excellence that has propelled Aidan Montessori for the past 60 years. I am thankful that I have the talented and fearless members of the Search Committee to help achieve this goal: Aidan faculty members Phillip Katinas, Claudia Caihuara, Julia Isaza, and Board Trustees Daniel Widome, Josh Ackil, Eoin Healy, Lucy Liu, and Jennifer Paige.
I am honored to serve as the President of the Aidan Board and give back to the school and community that has provided such a tremendous start to the educational lives of my children and countless other children in the Washington, DC area. We have been tested by the shifting sands of a global pandemic, and through dedication and hard work, our little school not only survived—it thrived. Last year marked many important milestones for Aidan. We fully returned to campus at all levels, launched our strategic plan, completed a large-scale renovation of our air circulation systems and other school systems, and successfully celebrated our Diamond Anniversary. None of these successes would have been achieved without our families, faculty, staff, and alumni coming together as a community.
I want to thank our outgoing members of the Board of Trustees, Erika Braddock, Kennedy Wright, and Christopher Eanes, and our illustrious outgoing Board President, Rachel Li, for all the time, treasure, and talent they spent on helping to make Aidan the wonderful place that it is. I am also sincerely grateful for our current Trustees, Ellease White, Alysa Herrera Taylor, Brenda Haendler, Emily Skor, Mana Behbin Baltimore, and the aforementioned Daniel Widome, Josh Ackil, Eoin Healy, and Jennifer Paige. Finally, I want to thank our incoming Trustees, Lucy Liu, Kirk Freeman, Jacqueline Mendelsohn, and Eloise Hackett for willingly picking up the baton to ensure Aidan’s continued excellence.
We have an exciting year ahead of us. My one wish is that we as a community keep supporting one another. I hope we will continue to gather and engage in fellowship with one another both in the classrooms and throughout the various class levels. Our true strength lies in our families, faculty, and staff, and the more we tighten those bonds, the stronger Aidan becomes. Please come to a PA meeting, join a JEDI or APF event, chat with various parents across the levels—whatever you decide to do, it will be enough. We will continue to come together with grace to create an enriching and rewarding year for our community.
Yours in Aidan,
Zoya E. Davis
President, Aidan Montessori Board of Trustees