After 33 years of checking books out and in, shelving them, and teaching library classes and reading stories to thousands of children, our librarian, Thea Montandon, will be retiring at the end of the first summer session. Then she’ll be off to Greece to help establish a library on her favorite island.
Thea began here as a volunteer in our baby room in the school’s early years, then became the assistant administrator at Diablo Valley Montessori School. She returned as our librarian in 1989 and has been with us ever since.
All K–5 students have library class once a week, where they “learn to be comfortable and stimulated by what the library and books can offer.” Thea’s extensive library curriculum covers everything from learning to alphabetize to safe ways to conduct research on the internet. She reads stories to the younger students.
“Over the years I’ve come to know which books meet the interests of each grade level. Starting in kindergarten, the students quickly learn where their favorite books live, and since I’ve known many of them since they were in kindergarten, I can keep up with their reading levels and personalities and find their next best read.”
During Thea’s years here, she oversaw the barcoding of all 23,000 books in the library’s collection of fiction, nonfiction, and reference works.
Thea reflects, “We’re so fortunate to have a school library at a time when many have disappeared or have become computer labs. It's hard to imagine it not being there for the coming generations, and it's been wonderful to see so many of my former students all grown up and now bringing their own children.” (Two of her four children and two of her grandchildren are Meher School alumni.)
Thea will be at school during the summer to help hire and train a new librarian. She’ll also be offering tutoring (see “Bulletin Board,” below).
In September she’ll head for Greece, where she’ll help set up a library on the island of Skopolos. She helped establish the island’s first library in 1990.
“It's been a joy to be part of this wonderful place of such high standards, not only academically, but more importantly, to be part of this place of love.”