Silvia Vega has recently become the new owner of Winter Haven Montessori. Silvia is married to Dr. Celestino Vega, who works for Lakeland Regional Hospital, at a clinic in Auburndale. Silvia was born in Cuba and her family came to the states when she was ten. Her father was a physician and her mother was a nurse. They both were licensed and practiced in Miami. Silvia went to school in Miami and then studied nursing and worked until the birth of her first child. They have two children, Catherine, a third year medical student and Mathew who is beginning his Pathology Residency Program in Chicago.
With her children well on their way, Silvia has always dreamed of having her own school. She worked as a teacher at the school for 10 years. When the previous owner, Melissa Davis, decided to leave, an opportunity presented itself. Silvia decided it was time to make her own dream come true. When asked what her husband thought about this monumental undertaking, she said he thought she was crazy.
Montessori is a method of education which allows a type of “discovery“ model where the child learns concepts by working with materials rather than direct instruction. An example of this was in their activity room where little bags were lined up with a letter on each bag. Silvia pulled out a bag and poured out a number of objects. There were items all beginning with the letter “W.” A tiny water bottle and other things could all be held and discussed while making the sound Woo. These real life experiences are integrated into learning.The classrooms tend to be organized by ability rather than strictly by age. Winter Haven Montessori is dedicated to providing a challenging educational environment in which each child is empowered to grow to his/her fullest potential academically, emotionally, physically and socially at each stage of development.
“I truly believe in Montessori as it is a great environment to raise children in. It teaches discipline, responsibility and how to care for others,” Silvia said.
The school can accommodate children from three-month-olds to one-year-olds in the same class. The ratio is four children to one teacher at this age.
The toddler class is for one and two-year-olds, and has one teacher for every six children.
The two, three, and four-year-old class has one teacher for every 15 children. The ratio is the same for kindergarten.
“When I took over this school it went up to Kindergarten. Now we will be opening classes to third grade. We already have students lined up for these grades.” Silvia said. “I have great teachers. They come to work with a smile on their faces and truly enjoy being with children. My teachers have all been trained in the Montessori Method and any helpers are expected to take courses for certification. I am pleased to pay for the training. We are like a family. I have an excellent Director, Courtney Brooks. She is in charge of all paperwork for DCF, ELC, and all the phone calls. She is like my right hand. She is amazing.” Silvia is excited to start the new school term in August and welcomes parents to come and visit.
Developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952), Montessori education is practiced in an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old. Please visit online or call for 2019-20 tuition rates.
305 Ave E SW
Winter Haven, FL 33880