To whom it may concern;
When our son, Evan, was in second grade, we found ourselves looking for a better educational environment for him than the one he was in. He had been in Montessori for some years before, and he was currently in a more traditional setting. We each (separately) observed Larry Cecio's 6-9 classroom at Raritan Valley Montessori for two hours. Each of us walked out of the classroom in tears, calling the other and saying "This is where Evan needs to be." Evan was invited to join the classroom for a two-day visit. He walked into the classroom unsure about saying goodbye to his current school. He walked out of the classroom upon completion of the first day's visit excitedly stating "I want to go back and say goodbye to my school friends and come to this school tomorrow!" with pure joy in his voice and eyes. Within a few weeks, Evan was welcomed with open arms by the RVM family.
Evan had a wonderful experience in the 6-9 program with Larry Cecio as a teacher. Larry provided an emotionally, socially and physically safe environment wherein each and every child was loved, nurtured, gently guided and most of all respected for who she and he was and for what academic, social and emotional needs she and he had. Evan was a proud third year graduate and all of us were very happy when we learned that Larry would be moving up to the 9-12 program along with Evan!
Evan thrived in the 9-12 program. Children experience a lot of transition from ages 9 through 12, and as Evan and his classmates moved through and graduated from Larry's classroom, we observed Larry's "kind and firm" style, his adherence to essential Montessori principles coupled with his understanding of the growing awareness and sophistication of his students, and his blending of traditional school practices in the sixth year for those who would be transitioning to 7th grade in a non-Montessori setting. It was amazing to watch, and inspiring as well!
Under Larry's leadership Evan became even more independent and developed an even stronger love for learning. He is completing his first year in the public school system, one of 300 seventh graders (900 total students) and
has had a very successful year. He is confident, enjoying school, making friends, loving his teachers and studies, and has maintained honor roll status throughout the year.
We attribute much of Evan's success to the inspiration, guidance, intuition, and love of Larry Cecio. Any person who is touched by Larry's gifts is a fortunate person.
Patricia and Chris Hardwick