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Giving Report 2018-2019

Our Core Values Connections – We nurture respectful relationships with integrity and love between guide, parent and child. We instill a sense of interconnectedness by presenting links between student and the greater global community, between the past and the present. Dedication – We are present in the authentic work of the school and are motivated to achieve in the face of challenges. Potential – We unlock student potential by offering the children an environment that promotes independence and the freedom to explore and discover. Our students find satisfaction and joy through their work, learning to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and ultimately achieving their potential. Community – We value every voice and celebrate our individual and cultural differences. Together we strive to demonstrate active engagement, gratitude and support through fostering a sense of belonging. Curiosity – We foster curiosity by modeling and promoting life- long learning to our community.

reflections from the head of school Dear Families and Friends of Omni, Welcome to Omni’s 2019 edition of the Annual Giving Report – a review of the past school year, a celebration of our accomplishments as a community and a formal thanks to the many generous volunteers and supporters whose time and talents make the Montessori experience come to life on a daily basis for our students. Over the past year, we embraced the theme connections. For us, connections means nurturing respectful relationships with integrity and love between guide, parent and child. It includes instilling a sense of interconnectedness by present- ing links between student and the greater global community, between the past and the present. Throughout this school year, we demonstrated connections through a variety of activities. We instituted a new joint play time for our Extended Day Primary students and our Lower Elementary students while we continued our Friday joint play time for our Lower and Upper Elementary students. We also began gathering all of our elementary students and staff in the Activity Center for the purpose of sing- ing together. In addition, the Lower Elementary children began visiting their Primary reading buddies on a weekly basis. Several Primary and Elementary classes visited the Waxhaw Campus during the year, enjoying student led tours, picnic lunches, play time and even planting seeds in the garden. Our adolescent students completed a child development unit that included observing classrooms at the Blakeney Campus and then creating brochures for us to use in Admissions. Our students also connected to the greater global community through their daily explorations in the classroom. Our ninth grade students joined adolescents from Chicago Montessori School as they all traveled to Ensenada, Mexico to stay with students from El Centro Educativo Tipai for one week. The coming together of these young Montessori students and their guides was as seamless, joyful, and as natural as reuniting with long lost friends. How is it that these young people, in the awkward stage of adolescence, can quickly form deep friendships regard- less of their language, culture, or socioeconomic status? The answer is that all of these young people and guides have invested in what Montessori called Education for Peace. They have daily practiced mindful interaction and ap- preciation for “others.” They have been intrigued by, and therefore investigated, the fundamental needs of the human and how we, across the planet meet those needs in accordance with our respective cultures. They have learned to care for others, themselves, and their environment, regardless of their being from the Baja Desert, the Great Lakes, or the Appalachian Piedmont. To paraphrase one of the adolescents “I don’t understand why there is still conflict in the world. We didn’t even know each other a week ago and now we are all great friends who respect each other even though we come from different parts of the world, with different cultures and backgrounds. We have proven that peace is possible.” (continued on the opposite side)

Our faculty also connected with the greater Montessori community. Tony Losasso presented two break-out sessions at the AMI Refresher Course: Experience Culture (By Doing, Creating, Producing Throughout Our Humanities Projects) and Role of the Adult: Contributor to the Microcosm and Side-by-Side Guide (Pitfalls and Tips for Success). Many of our faculty members attended the AMI Refresher Course: Kati Roy, Veronica Kocak, Justin Chapian, Courtney Block, Rowan Webster, Portia Williams, Megan Sharp and Ashlyn Spangenberg. In addition, Tony continued to play an integral role in the Adolescent Initiative which is a project focused on designing an AMI diploma course for the adolescent level. Rowan Webster led a breakout session at the Montessori Guidance for Adapting to the Global-Digital Culture Conference on Navigating Social Media Across the Planes of Development. KK Gleason and Holli Andrews were attendees at that conference. Our parents and alumni also connected to Omni in a variety of fashions. Parents shared their holidays and countries of origin with students in our Primary classrooms. Our talented Parents Association reminded us that we are all connected to the Earth through a wonderful Spring Festival. Alumni came to our campuses to teach students drumming, work in our summer camps and share their experiences after Omni at parent education events. Former employees shared their square dancing and yoga skills with our students and former parents joined our staff, volunteered to help with bottle cap art and one served as the auctioneer at our Annual Gala and Auction. In closing, once one is connected to Omni Montessori School, one is always welcome to remain connected. It is through these connections that we remember our history, provide a rich Montessori experience for our students today and dream for the future. You – the trustees, the parents, the faculty, the staff, the students, the alumni, the grandparents, and supporters – keep us linked to one another and to the world around us, creating an interconnected community. Thank you for being a part of Omni Montessori School! With deep gratitude and appreciation, Cindy Curry, Head of School

from the board of trustees president Dear Omni Community, On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank you all for another successful school year. I would like to extend a special thank you to my fellow Trustees who have worked together diligently towards a common goal. Last summer this group of volunteers began working on a packed agenda. To date we have created the school’s first large gifts policy, voted to officially approve our campus master plan, completed an inclusion and diversity study with a school-wide survey and focus groups and supported the school’s fundraising initiatives. Additionally, our school’s continued success and the authentic Montessori education our children receive would not be possible without the generosity of our community. I am grateful to all our families and friends who contributed financially to the school and to those who gave so freely of their time volunteering on campus and in classrooms. You all come together every year to make this a community like no other. I would also like to thank our incredible faculty, staff and administration. Their tireless efforts in educating and caring for every Omni student is remarkable. In Omni’s first year with a new organizational 2018-2019 structure in place, their teamwork Board of trustees at every level has strengthened our school and community. Kris Phillips, President Jason Smith, Vice President Kevin Graves, Treasurer Over the past three years on the Diep Tran, Secretary Board of Trustees, it has been Jennifer Burney an honor to serve you all. I am Cat Cotman excited about the future of Cindy Curry our wonderful school as Jim Delli Colli Stacey Dougherty Omni continues to provide Chad Ewing and empower our children John Mudd Scott Orner with education for life. Khara Pride With gratitude, Mark Santo Kris Phillips Andrew Shaw President, Omni Board of Trustees Anamore Valdiosera

assessment of inclusivity and multiculturalism Omni Montessori School has long been dedicated to seeking and celebrating diversity. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Omni Board of Trustees and administration jointly undertook a major initiative to gauge and improve the inclusiveness of our school community. To do so, this school year Omni has participated in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM). The purpose of undergoing the AIM initiative was to help shine a light on topics that include: • progress in meeting diversity, equity, and inclusion goals; • success in existing diversity and multicultural programs and initiatives; • current level of inclusivity as perceived by multiple constituencies; and • areas of need, whether in infrastructure, governance, or services. The first step in the AIM initiative was an online survey that was made available to the whole Omni community, offered through multiple channels to maximize participation. The participation results by constituency were: • 47% of parents • 100% of students (4th year elementary through 9th grade) • 99% of employees • 90% of trustees.

Following the online survey, a series of Discovery Committee discussions were held in January, February and March. Parents and staff were invited to attend these meetings to explore and discuss: • School publications, enrollment, parent and guardian involvement • Admissions, financial aid and student life • Governance, leadership, policy and administration. After compiling and analyzing the results of the online surveys and the Discovery Committee meetings, the AIM Steering committee shared the results with the Omni community at the Annual Meeting of the Members on May 28, 2019. The Board of Trustees will incorporate the results into strategic planning efforts for the next school year and beyond while the administration will utilize the results to inform school operations and parent association activities going forward. Overall, AIM results showed that Omni is a multicultural and welcoming community as constituents indicated that they were satisfied with the school’s level of, and approach to, multiculturalism and inclusiveness. School morale also showed positive survey results, though some Discovery Committee conversations indicated that this was an area for improvement. Priority areas for future progress include financial aid, diversity among employees, on-boarding and community integration of new families, cultural immersion, and communication. It seems fitting to close this summary of the AIM initiative with the quote of Muslim origin that we used to open each Discovery Committee conversation, “A lot of different flowers make a bouquet.”

from the director of development Dear Families and Friends, As I reflect on the 2018-2019 school year, the first in my role as Director of Development, I am thankful and grateful for the Omni community and what we have accomplished together. I have enjoyed getting to know many of you, and value the connections I have made. I would particularly like to thank the parent volunteers who served on the Gala & Auction committee and the members of the Board of Trustees with whom I worked this year - it has been my privilege. As you will read elsewhere in these pages, we had a successful Annual Giving Campaign this year, surpassing our goal of $100,000! And for the first time ever, our faculty and staff supported the campaign with 100% participation. The Annual Gala & Auction was well-attended, and guests enjoyed a live auction with spirited bidding for the spectacular classroom artwork created by the children. Our theme this school year was connections. The beautiful artwork you see throughout this report was designed for the Annual Giving Campaign by Omni parent Mariam Phillips. Her artwork reminds us of the wonder experienced by children as they discover the world around them and find the interconnectedness of all things. At Omni we seek connections between guide, parent and child and between the student and the global community. We celebrate the connection between all of us who care about Omni and strive to make it a special place for our families. Thank you for all you do to support Omni, financially as well as with your time and talent. With gratitude and thanks, Lynn Nielsen, Director of Development Here are some examples of how your gifts will be spent: Sponsor AMI Elementary Training for an employee Sponsor AMI/NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies for an employee Add security cameras to the Waxhaw campus Remove aging white pines from our Blakeney campus Purchase laptop computers for staff Purchase replacement Montessori materials for Primary and Elementary classrooms

annual giving campaign Together We Give. Together We Grow. We are proud to say that the Annual Giving Campaign surpassed its monetary goal of $100,000 this year with pledges of $105,853 from the Omni community. The faculty and staff set a new record with 100% participation in the campaign, a first for the campaign and a wonderful show of support! Thank you to everyone who contributed – families, faculty and staff, grandparents, alumni, friends and local businesses. Funds generated through the school’s Annual Giving Campaign (AGC) are necessary because tuition alone does not meet all of Omni’s annual operating expenses. Your donations helped fund: salaries, benefits, teacher training, maintenance on both campuses, improvements in our classrooms, and special programs for our students. We are grateful for your donations that keep our school thriving and strong. This year we placed a special emphasis on encouraging families who work for companies that offer a matching gifts program to apply to have their donation matched. We utilized an app called Double the Donation that made it easy to find out if a company matched donations and a link to the application, streamlining the process. We thank our Omni families who took this opportunity to double their gift, and we thank those companies for their commitment to their communities. Thanks to your generosity this Employer and Foundation year, we raised over $140,000 Matching Funds in unrestricted funds from the AGC and the Auction Albemarle Foundation combined. We greatly Bank of America appreciate your continued Crown Castle support of the Annual Duke Energy Giving Campaign and the Intuit Annual Gala & Auction! LPL Financial Mass Mutual Microsoft RBC Foundation United Healthcare Wells Fargo

annual giving campaign supporters Thank you to our community—families, friends, grandparents, alumni, faculty and staff—for participating in the 2018 Annual Giving Campaign. Every gift, every dollar supports the children in our community. Purpose Honor, continued Joy, continued $25,000 and above The Duellman Family The Korvink Family The Baudhuin Family The Drouillard Family The Mansour Family Growth Joe and Shelly Hemler John and Shari Mudd $10,000-$24,999 Claudia Rojas and Excellence in memory of $7,500-$9,999 Jean Hester “Nana” Juan Carlos Velasco Commitment The Henry-Frank Family, Olga Ryzhikova and $5,000-$7,499 in memory of Anonymous Monica Henry/Mom Denis Ryzhikov The Cavanaugh Family The Kashyap Family The Strubbe Family Patrick and Cindy Curry The Kendrick Family The Vasireddy Family, The Lombard Family Respect Malison Financial Group in memory of $2,500-$4,999 The Montiel Aditi Pinnamaneni Cat and Tricia Cotman Valdiosera Family Portia and Greg Williams Alejandro and Nish and Gemi Patel Mr. and Mrs. Zhang The Paulsen Family Katherine Gutierrez The Pride Family Discovery The Leavenworth Family The Sandoval Family $250-$499 The Linch Family Jared and Kiran Smith Anonymous The Upadhyay and Sandeep and Foundation Gajurel Family The Shaw Family Celebration Poonam Arora Honor $750-$999 The Barncastle Family $1,000-$2,499 Anonymous The Brick Family Anonymous (2) The Cabral Family Dusty and Perry Crooke The Bell Family The Milan Family The Dawes Family The Braude/Scavone Joy The DeGabrielle Family $500-$749 The Dougherty Family Family Anonymous The Ehrhart Family The Bruno Family The Avila Family The Ferrari Family Beverly Burks, The Azmoon Family The Gadhia Family The Badiani Family Rebecca Giblin grandmother of Kate and John Brown The Jagganagari Family Henry Leavenworth Barbara and The Jambusaria Family The Burney Family Ted Carpenter Crystal Jordan Cedar Walk Family and The Lam Family on Cosmetic Dentistry behalf of Stephen Lam Lori Lauman

Discovery, continued Friendship, continued Friendship, continued The Lin Family, The Eskind Family Mike and Ellie Smith Chad and Jennie Ewing Mr. and Mrs. Jon Strubbe grandparents Kaye Ewing, in honor of The Thornburg Putt Family of Stephen Lam Dan and Christy Trimmer The Losasso Family Tristan, Miles, and Evan Mike and Ashley Walker The McDaniel Family The Finelli Family Silvana Wilkin Lynn Nielsen Maria Garcia Zabaleta Katy Yates The Oakley Family KK Gleason Meghan Yoho The Ogbuka Family Raquel Gonzalez The Olson Family The Haley Family Anish and Anjana Patel The Higgs Family TJ and Shalini Patel The Jacobson Family The Ralston Family The Keeter Family The Sebestyen Family Nigura Kurudimov The Sutorus Family The Klauder The Svenson Family Rowan Webster Family The Zhao Family The Liu Family The Zu Family The Lavie- Friendship Rodriguez Family $249 and below The Martinez Anonymous (8) The Andrews Family Family The Aurora Family Diane McCalmont Courtney Block The Mitchell Family Eugene Bloom Preston Morgan Jennifer Brearley The Nagaraja Family The Bunn Family The Ochal Family Sally Caffery, in honor of Carson Orner Esther Orner Margo Caffery-Draa Julian Orner The Catoe Family Miranda Orner Briana Cicero-Johns The O’Reilly Family The Clemmensen Family Vivian O’Reilly/ The Cristini Family Kirby and Mary Jane Crooke, Don Myers Connie Pendergast in honor of Daxton The Phillips Family and Annistyn Crooke Siobhan and Rich Reddick Renata DeMello and Cheryl Ricket Joao Luis Lorenzoni da Rocha Kati Roy The Spangenberg Family Megan Sharp Pamela Shaw Monica Simpson

annual gala & auction Thanks to the exceptional generosity of our donors and sponsors, and the hard work of our volunteers, Omni’s Annual Gala & Auction brought in over $38,000. More than 140 Omni parents, family, friends, alumni and staff enjoyed an evening at Ballantyne Country Club on March 2, 2019 that was both fun and festive. Once again this year John Vassallo, a longtime Omni parent and supporter, served as our auctioneer and emcee. The crowd enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while browsing the 100+ items in the silent auction, then moved on to a seated dinner which culminated in the exciting live auction, where John kept the bidding moving on many items, including the highlight of the evening – the beautiful artwork cre- ated by our students, which brought the highest bids of all! The evening was capped off by many on the dance floor, a fitting end to an event which brought the entire community together, celebrating the connections among all of us who love Omni. Classroom Art Volunteers 2019 Auction Committee Kate Brown Alicia Cristini Diana Cabral Felicia Dixon Elaine Cavanaugh KK Gleason Alicia Cristini James Cristini Jessica Jacobson Alcione Ferrari Scott Orner Lauren Heyen Anjana Patel Bill Higgs Carol Kilminster Connie Pendergast Nina Lopez Stacy Ralston Don O’Reilly Claudia Rojas Charlene Patrell Connie Pendergast Aimee Sebestyen Mariam Phillips Ashley Walker Stacy Ralston Veronica Rodriguez Auctioneer: John Vassallo Amy Sebestyen Andy Shaw Monica Simpson Vanessa Smith Alissa Svenson Clara Vasquez Nancy Vaughn Ashley Walker

thank you to our sponsors Patrick & Cindy Curry The Mansour Family with Adam’s Mart The Brick Family Denis & Olga Ryzhikov

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone . . . and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” —Sandra Day O’Connor

8 omni by the numbers 27 Hours of All Play enjoyed by the Lower and Upper Elementary classes this year 30 Number of Creative Expression and Physical Expression (CE/PE) courses taken by the 9th Years during their three years in the Adolescent Program 4,910 Number of miles flown roundtrip by the 9th Years on their journey to Ensenada, Mexico in March 20 Number of poems memorized this year by the students in both the Gingko and the Sweetgum rooms 15 Number of RAINY Pizza Fridays this year 100 Percentage of faculty and staff who contributed to the Annual Giving Campaign 74 Number of Primary children who went on the annual farm field trip on April 9th 126 Number of casseroles made by the Red Maple room for their service to Mel’s Diner Value of the countless volunteer hours dedicated by Omni’s loyal, talented, and hard-working community

statement from the parent association president The Omni Parent Association would like to thank our families, faculty, administration, and staff for a successful year. The PA organizes events throughout the year to promote and to encourage the supportive community which has thrived for many years at Omni Montessori School. We sponsored the Welcome Back Picnic and the Spring Festival, as well as various social events including the Parent Social. It is also important to the PA that we express to our faculty, administration and staff how much we value them for not only the education our children receive but also for their work in teaching them to be good citizens. This year the PA organized teacher lunches and gifts to serve as expressions of our gratitude. Lastly we raise money in support of our guides. The Book Fair and monthly Restaurant Nights, in addition to other fundraisers, bring in monies which aide in providing supplemental materials in the classrooms and over time result in the ability to make larger purchases for facilities. It has been another wonderful year at Omni and I am indebted to the PA officers, PA committee members, parent volunteers, administration, faculty, staff and students who all participate in the PA events. We are so thankful for this special Omni Community and hope that you all have a relaxing summer. See you next year! Laura Kendrick, PA President

2018-19 parent association officers President – Laura Kendrick Treasurer – Shalini Patel Secretary – Jennie Ewing Vice President of Community Affairs – Nancy Mansour Vice President of Fundraising – Elaine Cavanaugh Vice President of Communications – Heather Graves 2018-2019 parent association committee chairs Parent Social Tricia Cotman and Jessica Thornburg Spring Festival Alicia Cristini and Anjana Patel Social Outings Nancy Mansour Book Fair Caryn Sutorus and Dusty Crooke Restaurant Nights Scott Orner Teacher Appreciation Alexis Berman and Clara Vasquez Cultural Enrichment Liliana Milan Omni Rewards Billie Rice Yearbook Mariam Phillips and Amber Orner

2018 - 2019 faculty and staff Administration Cindy Curry – Head of School Crystal Jordan – Primary Coordinator Lori Lauman – Director of Finance Amy Losasso – Director of Admissions Tony Losasso – Director of Adolescent Programs Lynn Nielsen – Director of Development Portia Williams – Elementary Coordinator Primary Sarah Hagerty – Guide with Assistant Silvana Wilkin Veronica Kocak – Guide with Assistant Jennifer Tamalone-Brearley Kati Roy – Guide with Assistant Raquel Gonzalez S. Katherine “KK” Gleason – Children’s Nest Coordinator with Assistant Holli Andrews Lower Elementary Courtney Block – Guide with Assistants Kate Brown and Connie Pendergast Justin Chapian – Guide with Assistant Kristi Bentley Upper Elementary Susie Gaudioso – Guide with Assistant Monica Simpson Rowan Webster – Guide with Assistant Nina Lopez Program for Adolescents Ashlyn Spangenberg – Farm Manager and Guide Mark Bartholet, Megan Sharp – Guides Support Staff Holli Andrews – Movement Specialist Gene Bloomfield – Transportation Gerald Cummings – Encore! Coordinator Maria Garcia-Zabaleta – Spanish Language Specialist Nigora Kurudimov – Afterschool Programs Assistant Diane McCalmont – Receptionist/Office Assistant Connie Pendergast – Administrative Assistant Cheryl Ricket – Business Office Assistant Katy Yates – Spanish Language Specialist Meghan Yoho – Learning Specialist

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” —John Muir Art work courtesy of Mariam Phillips Blakeney Campus: 9536 Blakeney Heath Road · Charlotte, NC 28277 704.541.1326 Waxhaw Campus 7118 McWhorter Road · Waxhaw, NC 28173 704.843.3335

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