Spending the day with children is the reason Laura Falvo has enjoyed a long career at Montessori School of Sudbury. Her recognition as a Community Builder in the Education category is well deserved.
Falvo has current students who are the children of her former students. That is an incredible testament to her abilities and the unique experience the school offers.
“If a teacher can change the life of one child, I think we benefited the community as a whole,” says Falvo.
The Montessori School of Sudbury was started by a small group of parents in 1978 to offer children aged from three to six years a Montessori education.
The Montessori principles focus on creating a student-centered environment. Teachers must complete specialized training to help them create a holistic approach to learning for students using the Montessori principles developed by Italian educator Maria Montessori in 1907.
The approach encourages creativity and curiosity and leads children to ask questions, explore, investigate and think for themselves.
Falvo, a graduate of Lockerby Composite School, earned a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Cambrian College and is a registered early childhood educator. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Laurientian University.
She began her teaching career as an educator and music coordinator for the Montessori School of Sudbury in 1991 when it was located on John St. In 1998, the school moved to its current location on Victoria St. in the old King George Public School building.
In 2003, when Falvo held the position of directress of Casa 2, she earned an international Montessori teaching diploma from the North American Montessori Center. In 2006, she became the school’s administrator.
“It has always been a privilege to be a part of such a wonderful learning environment,” she says in her biography.
“I often learn each day from the children and sit back and reflect how lucky I am to be involved with such wonderful children and families.”
Russell Fraser, a parent with two young girls who previously attending the Montessori School, says, “A teacher’s impact on a child is most often carried with that child for life. We are so grateful that Miss Falvo has had that impact on all of us.”
His daughters demonstrate respect, personal growth, sharing and helping classmates, traits that contribute to future community leaders, he says.
Samantha Udeschini, a former student of Falvo and currently pursuing a career in teaching herself, shared a poignant story about her teacher. “Although I was only six years old at the time, Miss Laura did much to make me feel important and respected throughout the course of my learning.”
Samantha had asked for a parade and Falvo let the young girl organize and hold one.
“She let me organize and lead my class – costumes and all – along the sidewalks of Victoria St. It was a defining moment in my childhood,” Udeschini shared in a nomination support letter. “She helped me realize I could pursue anything I was passionate about.”
Aside from Falvo’s leadership and teaching at the school, she has been a volunteer in the community. She was St. Anthony’s School council committee chair
from 1999 to 2006, and a member of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board’s special education advisory committee between 2001 and 2006. She is currently the vice-chair of the Planning Network of Sudbury Families.
Falvo contributes her expertise to new and important projects that interest her. She is about to embark on a new five-year project that seeks strategies for enriching children’s lives through inclusive environments that include exceptional children. The project partners include Community Living Ontario, Brock University and Inclusive Education Canada.