After many years of service, a noted educator has retired from the school she founded

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Nancy Pribnow, at left, retiring Head of School of the Whole Child Montessori Center, will be succeeded by Anna Langstaff, shown at right. This tree mosaic was a retirement gift to Nancy from the community of Whole Child.After thirty-four years of tireless work and dedication to the school she founded and lovingly nurtured, Nancy Pribnow has retired from the Whole Child Montessori Center, a preschool and kindergarten at S.E. 40th and Knight Street, just north of Woodstock Boulevard.

A retirement open house celebration was held on August 26th at which children, parents, staff, and alumni gathered to pay respects to Nancy, and to celebrate the continuation of this thriving school.

It was also an occasion for people to meet Anna Langstaff, the new Head of School since August 1st, who will be "working with the creative, innovative, and hardworking parents, Board Members, and staff" to help the non-profit Whole Child thrive for years to come.

Langstaff is inheriting a very strong and far-reaching school community.

"People think it might be a "family" school, because we have a family member on staff, [Nancy's second daughter, Dana, has been Assistant Administrator and Enrollment Coordinator for six years], but it is not my school," Nancy told THE BEE. "It is its own kind of being."

"One of the Board responsibilities has been to safeguard the school, to make sure it is around for future generations," observed Nancy.

After so many years of "giving her heart and soul to the school", as daughter Dana describes it, Nancy is retiring to spend more time with family – eight siblings, nieces, and nephews, in addition to those in her immediate family.

But Nancy will stay involved as President of the Board of Trustees, helping to steer the school toward that vision of perpetuity, which Nancy says is foremost in her mind.

Advocating for Early Childhood Education – early public education accessible to all children – is also something Nancy will do some volunteer work on, during her retirement.

Dana has been steeped in a Montessori environment all of her thirty-three years, and passionately expresses what she has observed in her mother over the years: "Nancy's love of children, her devotion to building community, her empathy and compassion, her untiring work ethic, her belief in Montessori, and passionate interest in supporting the growth and development of every child; her vision for peace through education, her energy and positivity, her humor and sense of imagination and wonder – all of these are woven into the fabric of Whole Child, and they will forever remain a part of what Whole Child is."

Anna Langstaff brings extensive Montessori experience to her new job, and is enthusiastic about leading Whole Child into a new era. To THE BEE she said, "I am honored to be here at Whole Child, and to be a part of this wonderful school community. I look forward to continuing Whole Child's long history of providing an enriching Montessori preschool and kindergarten environment."

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