Having witnessed how Montessori brought out the full potential of a child, I was extremely motivated to find a Montessori School for our then two-year-old, and we found Pincushion. As soon as he made the cut, we became part of the Pincushion family. We had our worries and concerns that he was too young when he started at USCH, that he would have difficulties to warm up and trust his teachers when he had more than his fair share of constant changes at his formal daycare center. With love and care from his teachers and everyone else, he made his transition and blossomed. If a child cries because he misses his school and friends, something is terribly right about the school. Pincushion not only offers the academic excellence, more importantly, it helps a child become a loving and caring person, fosters their curiosity, teaches them friendship, respect and teamwork in solving problems and conflicts, and prepares them for the challenges ahead throughout their lifetime. As a family, Pincushion didn’t forget the parents. It has taught us valuable lessons through our children and help us to become better parents. The fact that my five-year-old reminds us from time to time that we need to find ways to work out our differences is incredible. If all children in this world were brought up this way, we would not have so many conflicts and distrusts. As parents, that’s the best gift that we can offer to our children.
Three years have passed, our little boy is growing up in this warm environment. There is no word in the world that can describe our gratitude towards the teachers and staff at Pincushion. As he is moving on from Children’s House to Lower Elementary, we are looking forward to the next three years at Pincushion and beyond.
Pincushion Hill Montessori School is a lovely place for kids to learn, explore, and have fun. It was the first school my three-year-old daughter Emily ever attended. The teachers and staff spent quite some time to make her transition smooth, and she really loves to attend school and play with her favorite friends and her teachers. I am impressed by how organized the kids were in the classroom, and Emily has brought the habit home as well. The enrichment program at Pincushion is very good as well. Emily loved the art program so much that she keeps drawing and coloring at home endlessly after she comes home from school. She also loves to attend the music and dancing enrichment programs. Emily can’t wait to come back to Pincushion for another great school year. As a parent, I really enjoy my interactions with the teachers and staff. They are very approachable and take my feedback seriously.
Great school, wonderful teachers, and we love it!
We couldn’t be more pleased with Pincushion Hill Montessori School. Our daughter has blossomed with their quality educators and surprised us at how well she has adapted to the Montessori experience. Everyone there helps to create a safe, intellectually challenging learning environment where diversity is celebrated and curiosity is rewarded. The proof is in my daughter’s smile every time she talks about what she is learning and in our amazement at the depth and breadth of her knowledge at such a young age. We would recommend Pincushion to any parent!!
Lester and Patricia Allen
My kids were very timid when they started at Pincushion, and after being at the school for the last four years, they have achieved a high level of confidence, independence, and the eagerness to learn. We know for a fact that these skills had been significantly developed and honed by the school’s nurturing and well-disciplined teaching and learning classroom environments. The teachers at the school are not only GREAT, but they have a knack for fostering and promoting opportunities for the kids to develop their own individualities in both academics and social areas. My kids are not only happy with but they enjoy and love to go to the school. Another part of the school we like is the feeling of being part of a community and a wonderful “family.”
We are excited to have our child at Pincushion. We are particularly excited because the school continues to understand and emphasize a global experience. Understanding global diversity, cultures and relationships is very important in today’s world. We appreciate that our child has the opportunity to learn from and enjoy children and faculty from all walks of life. Pincushion offers a nurturing, safe environment and appreciates each child as an individual. We are very happy with the Pincushion faculty and community.
Our daughter was a student at Pincushion from 2005-2010, and our son has been a student since 2008. We have had a great experience with the school and faculty, and our children have benefited from the curriculum and the Montessori environment. The multi-age setting and the daily activities and interactions with their teachers and other students have helped them develop rapidly in many ways–academically, socially, and being emotionally intelligent. We see their inquisitive minds working all the time, and they have developed self-awareness that drives their ability to independently learn through reading, observing, and replicating. We believe in the Montessori methodology, and we especially like the Pincushion Hill Montessori School.
Rajitha and Bhaskar Purimetla
Consistent with the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, Pincushion has kept its promise for pursuing excellence and creating an environment that fosters the organic unity between school and home. While immersing themselves in learning, our children do not feel the usual pressure and artificiality most commonly associated with educational institutions. Pincushion is the school and home of our child. The wonderful teachers, staff and of course the Kovago Family are dedicated and nurturing, giving us the sense of belonging to society at large and connecting to the diverse and fascinating world of today. We are seeing on the transformation of Hanne and the unfolding of her multidimensional potentials on a daily basis. Her curiosity and creative responses to her surrounding have deepended. Being a member of this community has so far been a privilege and a blessing.
Dr. Evgenija Garbolevsky
Our two girls–four and six years old–are both starting their third year at PHMS. Why do they stay there, you ask? Well, the school has been everything we hoped for and more. Our six-year-old has been reading chapter books for over a year. She blows us away every day with her vocabulary, and she writes journals without help. Our four-year-old just told us how eager she is to start reading on her own. After playing outside recently, she came in and told us how a Monarch butterfly went by her head–not just any butterfly, a Monarch butterfly!
If that’s not enough, let me tell you that they have brought home more food from their garden at school that went right into dinner.
It’s wonderful to send our children to school knowing that they are getting an excellent education and practical lessons for life.
We were thrilled last summer when Thom enrolled at Pincushion for 2010-11 school year. During his first year, he had many positive educational and social experiences. He made many new friends and his teachers have been instrumental in his growth. The curriculum and activities that children can choose from are impressive. It offers children the opportunity to learn in the manner with which they are most comfortable.
We are looking forward to Thom continuing his education and growth at Pincushion and are excited that Cate will also be attending!
The Maule Family
We can’t believe that Sophia has been at Pincushion for two years. Putting her in Pincushion is one of the best decisions we made. We are so happy to see she changed from a timid, shy baby to a confident, intelligent girl. She enjoys her every day in school. The teachers are so nice. She loves them very much, and she learned a lot from them. She has made a lot of friends because all of the kids here are well-mannered, well-educated.
We will let Sophia stay at Pincushion as long as she can. We also plan to send our second child there since we believe this is one of the best environments for kids.
The Hou Family
We would like to thank the teachers and staff of Pincushion Montessori for the wonderful education and care over the past year. We are thrilled to have found a nurturing, safe, and diverse place for our kids. In addition to high quality academics, our kids are learning key life skills while gaining more independence, curiosity, and confidence. The teachers are also very attentive and nurturing, and we are impressed with their level of communication and feedback. We are looking forward to continuing their education at Pincushion.
Having Anya at Pincushion this past year has been a most enriching experience. Anya joined Pincushion when she was still under three years old, and the rich Montessori environment at Pincushion, along with the most dedicated, patient and involved teachers we’ve met, has contributed to her growing into a confident, curious, and empathetic young four-year-old. We look forward to many more years at Pincushion!
The Ratanchandani Family
Pincushion's teachers, administrators and support staff are all focused on creating a friendly, independent learning environment-giving each child the amount of space or attention necessary for success. As a parent, watching the independent behaviors learned at Pincushion translate to the home is truly satisfying.
The O'Donnell Family
Pincushion Hill Montessori is a truly exceptional school. The teachers are intelligent, creative, caring and responsive to individual needs and they manage to get the kids to take real pleasure in learning. My two children learned so much during their years there. I recommend this school wholeheartedly.
The Tam Family
We kind of stumbled on Pincushion Hill by accident. I was looking for *something* to do one Saturday in February with my very active three year old, Daniel, and saw an ad for an open house at this place call Pincushion Hill Montessori, and thought, well… they won’t mind an active kid climbing all over their stuff! We walked in, and instantly, *I* wanted to go back to school. The classroom was so warm and inviting and full of things that looked liked they’d be so much fun to learn with. We were thrilled when Daniel was accepted.
Since then, we’ve watched Daniel blossom under the watchful eyes of the very attentive faculty. They clearly enjoy seeing him grow and learn just as much as we do. We worried a little that Daniel would not respond well to the self-directed nature of the Montessori classroom. In fact, he did have some problems keeping himself productive each day, so the faculty suggested a process for helping him come up with a daily work plan that gives him structure, but still allows him the freedom of choice that is so important to the Montessori method. This creative solution has been critical to his success, and, I think, an excellent example of the kind of solutions typical of the faculty of the school.
This year, his younger sister Emma has joined the school. We continue to be so thankful that we have the opportunity to provide this kind of education for our kids. Emma is a very different kind of kid than Daniel, and that’s reflected in the educational approach her teachers take with her. We really appreciate the respect that Montessori schools have for the individual child, which allows our different kids to both grow in the same environment.
Roy Lurie and Mary Beth Rettger (2006)
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kovago,
We are so grateful for everything. What a wonderful experience both of the kids had! You guys are truly running the place in a best way possible. We couldn’t have chosen a better place for our kids to grow and build a great basic educational foundation in their early lives. We are so sad to be saying goodbyes. Many many thank yous from the bottom of our hearts.
With love and Respect,
The McLaren Family (2011)
Dear Chris, Gus, teachers, and administration,
It is hard to believe that after so many years, we will not be dropping off anyone at Pincushion next September.
It is impossible to quantify the effect you’ve had on our family.
We are fortunate to have had you as part of our family, and will have you in our hearts forever.
We hope that our love of photography would help expand the learning experience at Pincushion.
Omer, Stav, Bat-Chen, and Ohad Zeliger (2010)
Pincushion Hill will always mean the world to me. It taught me the most valuable life lessons I couldn’t have learned in a happier or more enjoyable environment. It was there that I made my first friends, people that have stayed with me all the way until today, and who I know I will stay friends with for the rest of my life. I learned the importance of respect and teamwork at Pincushion, through working with other children collaboratively to solve problems. I will never forget the teachers who guided me for all those years, who taught their students with dedication and appreciation for their subjects, and then passed their interest on to us. I had the best experiences at Pincushion, learning about the world with a hands-on, engaging manner that encouraged me to ask questions. The school gave me a jump-start into life, providing me with the confidence and courage to speak for myself, and the encouragement to follow my dreams. Thanks to Pincushion, I became a curious, well-rounded young adult, and I owe all of my successes to the school that taught me to believe in myself.
Patricia Vosburg, Former Pincushion Student (2005)
Now that the school year has ended and the realization that our children will no longer attend Pincushion, we reflect on the years our children have attended the school. In doing so we realize how fortunate we have been for our children to be part of such a wonderful environment for learning. This school has made a tremendous difference in the lives of our children. We are truly grateful for the love and interest you have devoted to them.
We cannot thank you enough for the patience and hard work extended towards them, for the personal attention specific to each of their individual needs. All these things and more have helped shape them into the wonderful children they are. The skills and knowledge they now possess, as well as the positive attitudes they carry, reflect the success the school has had with them. To see their confidence, enthusiasm and desire toward education is remarkable. They enjoy attending school- another testament of the schools ability and consistent effort. It was a privilege for us and our children to have the opportunity. We wish you many more years of success with the children of our future. You do make a difference. We have experienced that. Thank you!!!!! We will miss you all.
The Hayward Family (2005-2009)
Dear Chris and Gus,
Words cannot describe how I feel every time I realize that both Nitika and Medha are now moving on from Pincushion. They blossomed under your care and warmth, and I will always be deeply grateful for all that you and Pincushion taught them.
I can still remember Gus talking to us and mitigating our fears about Nitika joining Pincushion 10 years back! I vividly recall how kind you were to Medha when she was adjusting to the new environment 6 years back.They have learned and grown to love learning, and I know we made the absolute right school choice when we chose Pincushion.
Thank you for all that you’ve done. We’ll miss you.
With a heavy heart and warm regards,
With a heavy heart and warm regards,
Monisha Shekhar (2005-2009)
As a parent of a child who has spent three wonderful years at Pincushion, I am very happy with how my daughter has blossomed from a quiet and shy three year old into an expressive, assertive, and independent student. The teachers and setting have been absolutely wonderful for her and I look forward to having my second child who will start school in Fall 2007, thrive just as beautifully in the Pincushion multi-age environment.
Priya and Rajesh Yadav (2004-2009)
The very first time we stepped into Pincushion, our son Andrew was still in diapers. We were struggling to find an environment that he would enjoy and grow both academically and emotionally. Now, Andrew is seven and thriving. Looking back, we’ve traveled a long way.
Andrew started at Pincushion four years ago in the Upstairs Children’s House and was there for three years. He is now a first year student in the Lower Elementary classroom. Moving from Children’s House to Lower Elementary, Andrew went through no transition phase, he jumped right in. He commented one day on how much he loves to come to school by saying to us: “I wish I could live in my classroom!” This was simply music to our ears. As the years are passing by, it is amazing to watch Andrew blossoming from a frustrated little toddler into a well mannered, well-educated, confident young boy. Pincushion is a very nurturing environment not just from the academic point of view. The teachers and staff at Pincushion, especially Chris, make great efforts to care about the Children’s overall well-being. They are not only there to teach the kids ABCs and 123s, they are there to teach the children how to be confident, how to hold their heads high, how to grow up to be a balanced and caring human being. To be honest, they even teach us to become well-balanced parents. At the end of the day, what’s making us coming back to Pincushion year after year is the ultimate trust. We trust that our son is at the care of a very safe and nurturing environment, we trust that all the teachers are doing everything solely for the well being of the children, and we trust that Chris and Gus will do whatever they can to keep the quality and the integrity of the school for years to come.
Kate Yu and John Deng (2004-2009)
We are very glad that we are part of the Pincushion Hill Montessori family. The directors, teachers and staff truly care about the well being of children. After the first couple of weeks of attending, the teachers have already learned about my son’s character and make him feel comfortable to communicate with them.
We are very happy that we find a school that gives our son a wonderful and positive school experience. Children are exposed to a variety of subjects and activities, such as Geography, Maths and Science. The mixed-age classroom works out very well. The children learn how to care and respect each other. Our son is very shy and we can’t believe he can perform singing and dancing on the stage during “Evening of the Arts” night. That is the power of a great school.
Ernest Ng and Elsa Leung (2006-2009)
Our daughter Bella started at Pincushion Hill Montessori school at the age of 3 and half two years ago. We were at first a little worried about transitioning her from her old daycare to Pincushion because Bella is a shy and reserved girl, and we were not sure how well she would do in a new and more structured environment. However, I did like the Montessori method and philosophy. I believe in respecting children as individuals and fostering the joy of learning at an early age. I liked the fact that the Montessori way of teaching encourages independence and freedom with limits and responsibilities. So we decided to give this new school a try.
Now Bella is five and she is thriving in all areas. She is reading independently. She loves numbers and interesting math problems. She is keeping a journal. She is counting in Spanish. She is saying good morning and thank you. She has educated us on what the proper way of interrupting others is! She knows the importance of respecting other people, their work and their feelings. She is very proud to be the snack helper and to help clean up the classrooms and water the plants. She has made so many friends at school and she is very confident and comfortable at Pincushion. Every day she comes home happy and enthusiastic, telling us all about her day. We love the fact that the classroom doesn’t have those noisy shiny commercial toys. All the work materials are very carefully designed to make learning fun and natural. We love the fact that there are different ages of children in the same classroom. Bella is still on the shy side. The Montessori structure gives her an opportunity to help the younger kids and assume a leadership role. The classroom environment is stimulating, but non-competitive and not overwhelming. Kids get exposed to a large variety of subjects, including language, math, music, science, practical life, arts, foreign languages, etc. We also love the fact that Pincushion is a multi-cultural environment. We think it is very important for our child to learn and respect other cultures. The teachers at Pincushion are just wonderful. We think the parent teacher communication at Pincushion is the best. We get a bi-weekly report on our child and a five page progress report twice a year. There are three one-on-one parent teacher conferences. We feel that we are very involved in our daughter’s school life and the teachers are always happy to provide updates and discuss issues by email or on the phone. The staff here are also very helpful and friendly. The two directors are very serious in what they do and they are very warm and dedicated. Everybody that works at Pincushion shows a tremendous pride and love towards the school and the kids. They are truly doing everything possible to make this school the best they can. They made us feel that we are a member of the Pincushion family. We know what the school has done for us and for Bella, so when our second daughter became old enough to attend Pincushion, we didn’t hesitate to enroll her also. We have so much confidence in this school and its faculty that we feel that we are giving our daughters a great learning opportunity and a nurturing social environment.
Qing Dong and Steve Tate (2005-2006)
I have been thrilled with Pincushion Hill Montessori School. The Montessori environment, so well presented by the Pincushion staff, meets the child at his or her level. Rather than teaching the student class as a single entity, Pincushion teaches to the individual student. While lessons or lectures may be given to a class as whole, the follow up work is then personalized to the needs of each child. The result is a classroom of children happily focused and engaged. My oldest child, who started Pincushion terribly shy, has blossomed into a confident, happy second grader who loves to learn. My more outgoing younger child has embraced the Children’s House Montessori material and is equally at ease scooping, pouring and sanding in the practical life area as she is practicing multiplication with numbers in the thousands. We could not be happier.
Tracy W. (2004-2005)
We are truly delighted with how our children are embraced, nurtured and supported by the Pincushion teachers. The way the Montessori philosophy is implemented by Chris Kovago and her team is resulting in confident and happy high-achieving students.
Drs. Christina and Per Lampe-Onnerud (2004-2005)
Pincushion Hill Montessori provides a caring and nurturing environment, where we have watched our children excel in math, reading, science, Spanish, music and the arts. Our children have been very proud to show us their work and tell us about their days at school. We are often amazed at what they are learning in Preschool and Elementary school, as we weren’t exposed to these concepts until middle school.
As parents, we are always encouraged to come in and observe classes. It is a safe, warm and friendly school. We also appreciate the multi-cultural environment, where the children are exposed to the world and the various cultures within it. The Library and school materials cover a wide range of topics and can accommodate studies up to 8th grade. The teachers are very dedicated and able to adjust to children’s needs for growth, due to low teacher/student ratios and Montessori training. We are very pleased to have chosen Pincushion for our children and encourage everyone to visit the school to see things firsthand.
Suzanne and Jeffrey Barnes (2004-2007)
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kovago,
It is extremely difficult to touch the life and make a difference in the life of even one child. You, Mr. and Mrs. Kovago, have touched the lives of many children. Your work is truly commendable. Thank you both so much for taking such an interest in our children. The best thing that could have happened to Siddardth has been Pincushion. We truly appreciate your effort.
Mr. and Mrs. Parasnis (2004-2005)
As the school year begins I can’t help but think of you, because for the past five years it has been your cheerful face I see on the first day of school each year. Now Laura and Eric are grown up (relatively!) and going their separate ways and I feel this strange feeling of leaving the warmth of the nest you made for them at Pincushion. I could never thank you adequately for everything you did for them in their half-decade in your care. Your love of children and your stake in their future is unsurpassed by all but God and their parents! My gratitude is eternal, and I wish you all the best at Pincushion and at home.
Dear Chris & Gus,
Barry and I wish to thank you for your constant efforts in making Pincushion an incredible school. Returning to your school was probably the best decision we’ve made for our children. They have thrived this year thanks to your teachers that you have trained. You are constantly smiling, comforting, and of course teaching the children all aspects of life…above all – respect for each other and of course our planet. There aren’t many schools that do that. With warmest thanks and a happy, relaxing summer.
Veronica and Barry Lundgren (2004-2005)
Dear Chris and Gus,
Thank you both for everything that you do to run this beautiful school. We appreciate your dedication, intelligence, and warmth. Our children have had a successful and inspiring year – we look forward to another year in the fall!
Dianna & John Vosberg (2005)
I toddled into PHMS at two and a half years old and now I am walking strong and proud, ready for the seventh grade. Throughout my years at Pincushion Hill Montessori School, I have discovered many things. Here I have enjoyed learning the typical school subjects, like math and language, and of course I have learned important social skills that have helped me make treasured friends.
This school has taught me the importance of caring and friendship, compassion and determination. I’m sure all of these things will help me in the future. But none of these things would have been possible without the Kovagos, teachers, staff and specialists. The people who give so much to the children at Pincushion are amazing, and without them I would really be nowhere. So I really want to thank them, especially the Kovagos, for all the things they have given me. I will be sad to leave Pincushion, but I am confident that wherever I will go, I will do fine – all thanks to the wonderful school that started me on this journey into the wide world.
2005 Graduation Speech by Patricia Vosberg