"Ms Lisa and the school she has created, Montessori in the Pines, is a beautiful example of a true Montessori environment. Our son is shy in groups and she has helped him adjust and come out of his shell socially. She provides loving guidance and encourages him to explore materials outside of his immediate interests. I was shocked when he spontaneously started reading at 3! The animals at the school are also a huge added benefit for our son. He loves animals, and Bun Bun and the chickens really helped him relax and feel at home. "
-Mother of current 3 year old student
"Lisa is an amazing teacher who displays never ending patience and understanding when dealing with the children in her care. She genuinely enjoys their idiosyncrasies and takes the time to ensure that all the children are nurtured and attended to on an individual basis. My daughter has learned patience and empathy and has improved in her social interactions dramatically since being in Lisa's class. As such, my daughter loves going to school and always loves spending time with Lisa."
-Magda M., mother of 4 yr old student
"As a parent, one of the most important decisions you will make is who you will trust to nurture and educate your young child. Lisa Maruna has all the attributes of an extraordinary teacher and has our highest endorsement--she nurtures, encourages and inspires children to reach their greatest potential. When our daughter started in Lisa's classroom, her biggest aspiration was to learn to read (even though she was not even close to recognizing all her letters). Miraculously, a few short weeks later, Lisa had her bringing home short books to read aloud to us and now she shares her joy of reading by reading to children in the toddler classroom. The same could be said of our daughter's concept of mathematics: upon entering the classroom, she could not count to 20 without losing herself in the teens, but six months later, she is mastering basic subtraction. But, reading, writing and 'rithmetic are but small components of educating the whole child and Lisa knows this, cultivating in the children under her care a sense of citizenship, camaraderie and essential kindness to one another. Lisa had the children build a garden and sample the various foods that they have nurtured from seedlings. They also bring home fantastically creative art projects, serve one another snacks modeling their best manners and stay on task engrossed in their work projects for much longer than I would have thought possible for young bodies simply because they are so jazzed about their discoveries. We'll be living overseas for our daughter's kindergarten year. I was worried about how she would manage in a foreign kindergarten and how well she would be able to reintegrate into an American first grade, but by the time she finishes in Lisa's pre-kindergarten classroom, she will have mastered ALL the benchmarks standards for an American kindergarten, freeing her up for a year of discovery abroad. In a recent parent-teacher conference with Lisa, I walked away feeling that of all the teachers who have worked with our children, Lisa was the only one who truly understood our daughter in the same way that we did. As if that were not a strong enough endorsement, I asked my daughter what she would say to another family who was thinking about bringing their child to Lisa: "Mommy, Lisa is the BEST TEACHER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!"
- Laura H., mother of 5 yr old student
"I have a high-energy, spirited child and Lisa celebrates his enthusiasm and capably channels it into productive use."
"Her unique contribution is that she instills a love and respect for nature and for all flora and fauna. The kids spend as much time as possible outside, exploring their surroundings. They are encouraged to look carefully and notice the small and delicate. "
-Nisha and Evan M., parents of 5 yr old boy
"Words cannot even express our thanks! For the past 2 years, first with one daughter, then with our other, Lisa's care and concern was an awesome introduction to school and a wonderful transition (first time being away from mom) and they were so well- prepared for kindergarten! We are so grateful for her role in our family as someone truly caring for our kids!"
-Randi H., parents of 2 alumni students