MSA-CESS -> Q & A with Middle States Commissioner Michelle D’Antonio, Head of School, Montessori Academy of Chambersburg
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Q & A with Middle States Commissioner Michelle D’Antonio, Head of School, Montessori Academy of Chambersburg
Commissioner Michelle D’Antonio talks about the flexibility of the Middle States accreditation process and the importance of celebrating accomplishments. What’s on this Wonder Woman’s playlist? Read this short Q & A to find out.

Q. Why did you choose a career in education?
A. I have always loved to learn, and to share that love with others. I like to find ways to get people of any age excited to learn something new, regardless of what it is.
 
Q. How long have you been involved with Middle States and why?
A. I've been involved with Middle States for 12 years. I believe in the power of accreditation to keep a school focused on improvement, but also on maintaining standards in core areas. I appreciate the Middle States flexibility that allows for differences in learning organizations to be true to their individual missions, while meeting those standards and continuing to strategically plan for improvement.

Q. What do you see as one of the main benefits of Middle States accreditation?
A. The Middle States self-study process does identify what needs to be improved, but it also identifies what your school is doing well. It is important to acknowledge the strengths of your school and to celebrate what you do well, what you have accomplished, what is unique, and what brings smiles to the faces of your students, families, faculty, staff, board and community.

Q. Who inspires you and why?
A. I am inspired by most people I meet. Every day, I am inspired by children, especially my own, as they are accepting of others, regardless of differences, easily forgiving of others, and they laugh often.

Q. What books are on your nightstand right now?
A. The books I read are a diversified group! My favorite book of all of all time, Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities that I purchased in Paris at the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore across from Notre Dame. The second is The Principles and Power of Vision, Keys to Achieving Personal and Corporate Destiny by Dr. Myles Munroe. I love to read books that inspire, motivate and encourage me to be more than I was yesterday, and this is one of those books. The third book is You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello: The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care by Tom and Karen Brenner. Our Montessori staff has been working with a local Memory Care Program to create interactive activities for our students to share with the residents at the Care Community. My mother and the relatives of some of our staff members are living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, so the research and activities give us hope and an opportunity to make a difference.

Q. What songs are on your current playlist?
A. My current playlist is a mix of genres that I run to. Some of my favorites are:
  • Don't Stop Believing – Journey
  • Pressure – Billy Joel
  • Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
  • Poker Face – Lady Gaga
  • We Don't Run – Bon Jovi
Q. What is one thing about you that might surprise people?
A. Being in a leadership role usually requires being fairly serious and dressing in a professional manner. However, I have three fabulous boys, two wonderful nieces, and a brother, who have taken "dress for the job you want" to a whole new level. We go to the large Comic-Con in Philadelphia, and dress as superheroes, or sometimes villains, and have fun taking photos and seeing all the great artists. My favorite is always Wonder Woman.

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