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Wheaton Montessori News

Celebrating a 17-year Anniversary with Mrs. Fortun!

Categories: General Knowledge Fund
In early Spring 2000, Mrs. Fortun and her husband moved to the area from Minnesota, where she had worked in an AMI school for 6 years as a primary teacher.  She was expecting her first child and visited the only AMI accredited school in the area at the time, in Northbrook, Illinois.  This is where she met Rebecca Lingo, who was the infant/toddler teacher there at the time.  She mentioned that she had a sister. Elizabeth Berdick,  who was also a Montessori teacher and also pregnant with her first child.    (During later discussions with Amy Chiste, Mrs. Fortun and Ms. Chiste have talked about the very distinct possibility that Amy’s daughter Cammi was one of the toddlers in the class at the time that she observed!)
A friendship between the sisters and Mrs. Fortun flourished, with all three women pursuing AMI-training and teaching.   Tracy and her husband began getting together fairly regularly with Rebecca, who was undergoing doula certification training at the time.  She  wound up asking Rebecca to serve as a doula for Henry’s (and later, Scout’s) birth!  (This school really is a family-oriented community!)
Meanwhile,  Elizabeth and Rebecca were shopping for a location to open their own school.  When they had purchased the building at 1970 N. Gary, they called and asked Tracy if she would like to eventually come to work with them.    She joined the staff officially in the Fall of 2001, heading up a class of 11 students in what is now the upstairs Adolescent space.   Mrs. Fortun remembers that Liz may have had 15 or so students in her classroom across the hall at the time.

Mrs. Fortunand a proud student way-back-when she was a Primary teacher at Wheaton Montessori School.

After two years of teaching in the Primary (the second year having moved my classroom to the basement to make space for the third classroom upstairs), Mrs. Fortun spent a semester performing the duties of Office Manager/Admissions until Scout was born.  During the next few years while she stayed home with Scout, Mrs. Fortun helped out at WMS in various ways by writing the school newsletter and promotional materials, leading parent workshops, and subbing for Rebecca and the new Elementary teacher Emily Searcy while they attended training.

Once Scout was old enough to attend WMS, Rebecca and Liz invited Tracy to come back on staff as the assistant in the Elementary.   Mrs. Fortun had never considered Elementary training before, but once she spent some time in that environment she was hooked (as are most parents who observe in the Elementary!).  She signed up for the next AMI Elementary training course, which she completed in 2009.  And she’s been the Lower El teacher ever since!

Mrs. Fortun presenting the Timeline of Life to WMS parents during a recent Parent Discovery Night. This iconic lesson in the Montessori elementary classroom gets daily use!