Head of the Class

Our area is teeming with great and unique schools. guaranteed to meet the needs of your students. Meet local leaders as they share their visions, inspirations and for the new year.


Lynn Fisher, Head of the School
West Side Montessori 

What sets West Side Montessori (WSM) apart from other schools in the community?

(Our) philosophy of experiential learning inspires children to discover their potential and produces independent, self-motivated graduates. The highly-enriched curriculum includes world languages, introduced at age 3. Our forty-two teachers, administrators, and assistants fully implement a world-renowned curriculum for children, ages 13 months to 14 years.

What is something you hope to accomplish in 2017?

The school will complete the next phase of the 37- acre Toledo Campus development with the construction of larger art and music studios, a gymnasium/community gathering space, and additional classroom space. A tornado safe room will also add a new level of security for the 400+ students.


Dr. Romules Durant, Superintedent
Toledo Public Schools

What is the biggest change you see
in the education system?

The biggest change I see is developing advanced pathways for students to acquire college credits and ‘on the job’ work experiences.

How did you become an educational leader?

I became an educational leader through spiritual revelations and committing to my purpose and passion in life.

What is something you hope to
accomplish in 2017?

We are hoping to continue to develop more relationships [with] more co-ops and internships for students, along with developing more career programs and career-based schools.


Vanice Williams, Administrator
Life Skills High School 

What sets your school apart from
other schools in the community?

Life Skills…is a dropout recovery community school that works with the ‘whole student.’ The students who come to our school come with various needs, whether it be academic or social, and we try to help them acquire resources that will help with the barriers that may prevent them from attending school regularly. Last year to meet the needs [of our students] we opened our first Clothing Closet, Hygiene Pantry, and Food Pantry. With an enrollment of 95 students and 95% below the poverty line, we felt [this] was a necessity.

What motivates you everyday?

I am motivated to help the community’s youth because I was one of them at one point. I faced some of the same challenges they face, [and] I used school as an outlet to escape from my troubled home life, and I want Life Skills to be an escape for my students. I want my daughter and students to see that you are bigger than your circumstances, and life comes with hurdles, but how many you can jump over will determine how close the finish line is.


Gary Boehm, Head of the School
Maumee Valley Country Day School

What sets MVCDS apart from other schools in the community?

We are the only preschool through Grade 12 Independent School in NW Ohio/SE Michigan. This means that we are able to provide continuous service to students from the time they start school through graduation. Being independent also means that we have great flexibility in how we teach and what we teach students. At Maumee Valley, we keep classes small so that students can receive the personal attention and care they need to be successful. We are also unique in that 100% of our graduates go to a four year college.

What is something you hope to accomplish in 2017?

We have embarked on a journey to make a Maumee Valley education personal, experiential, and global. Each year we set goals to bring that vision into reality. In our efforts to personalize learning, we envision a school where education is less standardized, and where each student has an evolving sense of who they are, what they are good at, where they are going, and a plan to achieve that.

As part of [that] vision, we are developing a network of alumni, parents, and community leaders to help us provide students with real world experiences and challenges. I’d like to see that network grow in 2017. In addition, I’d like our recently developed Campus Master Plan to move from the drawing board toward an actionable plan for campus improvements.


Gina Gilbert, Director
Little Sprouts Academy 

What is your main goal for the school?

My main goal…is to maintain the positive reputation that precedes us and to build upon that….[and to] continue to provide phenomenal, first-rate early education to our students. This includes exceeding educational standards while providing our unique, family-oriented atmosphere.

What motivates you everyday?

I am motivated daily by the individual children we serve here. They come from many diverse backgrounds, but if you work in preschool or childcare long enough, you see the same eyes in different children. These children need a place where they are stimulated, read to, encouraged, and given all of the fundamental building blocks of education in a manner that shows them that learning is not just necessary, but fun. They need to feel safe, and they need to genuinely bond with their instructors. I feel that in our program, we offer just that.


Nichole Flores, Principal
St. Ursula Academy 

What is the biggest change you see in the education system?

There are too many to name just one. However, one of St. Ursula Academy’s Core Values is openness to change, and we are ready for anything that may come our way.

What is something you hope to accomplish in 2017?

Our vision is that we are the premier education choice for young women and their parents, fostering a learning environment that develops young women of wisdom, service, and faith so that each is empowered to embrace the challenges of the world with leadership, courage, and compassion.


Fr. Eric Schlid, President
Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School & St. Kateri Catholic Academy 

What is your main goal for the school?

My main goal for the school is to make disciples of Jesus Christ on the path to Heaven through the rigors of an academic and extracurricular experience that is challenging and rooted in excellence.

What motivates you everyday?

The students motivate me everyday. As an educational leader, everyday I am able to experience students through their failures and successes are learning and striving for excellence. It’s awesome to be able to see students who come from challenging situations come to a school where they know they’re loved and a part of the family. That motivates me to help inspire these kids to greatness.


Debbie Miller, Owner
Little Wonders Child Care Center

How did you become an educational leader?

I started in the field of education in 1981 as a Penta student and continued my education at Owens College while still working in the education field. I have been a teacher, head teacher, supervisor, site director over many centers and ended my journey as the owner and director of Little Wonders Child Care Center. I have been in the education field for 35 years.

What sets your school apart from others
in the community?

I started the center to be convenient for parents by having extended hours and a part time and full time care for children of all ages. We allow the parents to move to morning to afternoons at anytime because not all parents have 9 to 5 jobs. Little Wonders opens at 4:30am and closes at 10:30pm. We have six different age groups starting at 6 weeks old all the way up to 12 years. We help with transportation to local schools like Coy, Toledo, Lake and Northwood, to name a few.

We are a step up to quality starr 4 center and participate in the USDA food program. We also have contracts with county assistances and a pre-K grant program that helps 4 years to come to preschool for free. We are part of the Healthy Foods Healthy Kids program. Finally, we offer a 3 and 4 year old Head Start program at the center that runs Monday through Friday from 8am-2pm.


James Jones, Principal
The Autism Academy of Learning

What sets your school apart from other schools in the community?

The population of our school is what sets us apart. Our school is 100% special education. I would say 85-90% of our population has Autism and the other 10-15% has various other disabilities. Our school size sets us apart as well with having a max enrollment around 57 students it ensures a good staff to student ratio, which is important when dealing with this population.

What motivates you every day?

Coming to work every day knowing that I am making a difference in someone’s life, by providing a safe place where students can learn the skills necessary to be successful. Also, knowing that I am surrounded by great staff that are able to deal with the ups and downs that come with working in this field.


Tiffany Adamski, Regional Director
iLead School

What is your main goal for the school?

My main goal for iLEAD Spring Meadows is for it to be a joyful learning community where we all (learners and facilitators) come together to learn and grow everyday. I love the quote, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” It is our goal at iLEAD to fan those flames of interest and inquiry, fostering an environment where everyone is free to think and inspired to lead.

What motivates you everyday?

The people in my iLEAD Spring Meadows learning community. From the eagerness and loving hearts of the learners, to the passionate and dauntless facilitators, our iLEAD family is an incredible group and I am so proud of them. They keep me on my toes trying to stay one step ahead of them with innovative programs and support but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are the reason I am here and I find joy each day in doing my very best for them.


Joseph Cordella, Principal
St. John’s Jesuit High School
and Academy 

What is the biggest change you see in the education system?

Clearly, technology is evolving faster than even the field of education, so at times it can be tempting for technology to drive changes. Jesuit educators value along with many other skills, the ability for students to be able to think critically as well as to see themselves as advocates for those populations that are underserved.

What sets your school apart from other schools in the community?

At St. John’s, we focus on educating the whole person, to allow each student to grow into their full and unique potential. With ongoing and individualized curriculum planning, our college preparatory program prepares our students for college and world beyond.


Scott Gibson, Superintendent
Toledo Christian

What is the main goal for the school?

At Toledo Christian we provide students with a safe, nurturing environment where they can excel academically, grow spiritually, and thrive relationally. The opportunities to play multiple high quality sports while participating in an outstanding fine arts programs sets us apart. Our mission is to Educate, Disciple, and Prepare students to follow Christ and impact culture and our graduates are well-equipped to confidently step into the next phase of their lives.

What motivates you every day?

At Toledo Christian our motivation is our students! Knowing that we have been blessed with the opportunity to leave a lifelong impression on the life of each student that walks through our doors is very rewarding

Erin Schoen Marsh
Erin Schoen Marshhttp://www.erin-marsh.com
Erin is a writer/editor, yoga teacher, and mama to two little ones.

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