Leann Enninga to be new Montessori directressWORTHINGTON — The new school year will reflect change for the Worthington Montessori School.
By: Ana Anthony, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The new school year will reflect change for the Worthington Montessori School.
After more than 30 years as directress of the program, Sally Anne Benson retired in May. Stepping in is Leann Enninga.
“I’ve done preschool teaching, know about the Montessori program and I’ve been an administrator for a school,” said Enninga about what makes her an ideal fit for the Montessori.
In her 35 years of experience in education, Enninga said she has taught all levels ranging from preschool to adult education.
Additionally, Enninga is bilingual in English and Spanish.
“One of the things I hope to be a more integral part of the Montessori, is to recruit families and parents of the Latino community,” said Enninga, who hopes to be able to communicate better with Latino families in their native language.
Enninga is also part of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, a statewide program that aims to facilitate students’ success among minority groups and American Indians.
“I think it illustrates my passion and interest in education as whole,” she said.
Her main teaching method is to address children at their individual levels.
She attributed her ability to assess each student’s level from having been around children throughout her life. Equally important, Enninga said, is to know that all children develop at different stages.
“I think of it as working with the students, their parents and their surroundings,” she said.
“Leann has a high level of energy and she enjoys learning, so I hope she is going to instill that level of learning in the children,” said Sam Becker, president of Worthington Montessori’s parent board.
According to Enninga, the emphasis of a Montessori differs slightly from that of a preschool.
“The Montessori method stresses that the child can develop on their own to some degree, but what the Montesorri teacher offers is the guidance for them to develop,” she said. “My goal is to go where they are at.”
The Montessori school will be hosting an Open House event today beginning at 5 p.m. According to Enninga, visitors are welcome to learn about background information of the program from 5 to 6.45 p.m.
Parents who wish to utilize the free day care during that time will be able to do so. Following this session will be a parents’ meeting.
Becker will be chairing the parents meeting from 7 to 8 p.m.
“The parent board meets every month to discuss issues that may affect the Montessori,” said Becker, who is also a teacher at Worthington High School.
As a non-profit organization, Becker said there are constant opportunities to raise funds.
“Because this is a non-profit school, everybody is part of the organization,” Enninga said.
Worthington Montessori currently has one session from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The class takes a maximum of 20 students from ages 33 months to 5 years old, Enninga said.
“The beauty about Montessori is that Maria Montessori, the founder, believed strongly in inter-age grouping,” she said.