Montessori Academy Celebrates Employee Excellence at 2017 Annual Gala Ball

On Friday 8 December, Montessori Academy hosted its annual Excellence Ball at Clarence House, Belmore to celebrate the successful completion of 2017.

The event provided more than 300 employees from across 23 Montessori Academy locations with the opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and dedication of staff throughout the year.

The Excellence Ball began with a welcome address by Colette Assaf, Director of Montessori Academy, who provided a recap of the key achievements of Montessori Academy’s teams in 2017.

This included the opening of two new state-of-the-art early learning campuses at Earlwood and Engadine, and the achievement of Exceeding Ratings at the Castle Hill and North Parramatta campuses.

“It is our pleasure on this night to celebrate the many successes our wonderful educators, which are nothing short of outstanding. We have formed an amazing team that thrives on change, diversity, and progress.

“Our educators are using current theory and the Montessori Philosophy to improve professional practice, accelerate learning, and provide exceptional opportunities to our students that are of the highest quality; meeting a diverse range of children’s learning and developmental needs,” she said.

Following, was the first set of Staff Awards, recognising 36 employees who have been with Montessori Academy for more than five years.

In 2017, 16 employees achieved their five-year anniversaries, 17 achieved five – nine year anniversaries, and three employees exceeded their ten-year anniversaries with Montessori Academy.

Rami Nassif, Chief Operating Officer, said: “At Montessori Academy, we strive to provide the highest quality of education and care to our students and families.

“This commitment to excellence relies on having staff who are consistent and passionate about their role as Montessori educators every single day.

“Thank you all for your many years of service, and we look forward to celebrating your achievements for many years to come,” he said.

The final stage of the evening’s formalities celebrated Montessori Academy’s Excellence Awards, which recognised nine employees who achieved outstanding outcomes in terms of personal growth, educational leadership, centre support, and innovation.

The top award for the evening, Employee of the Year, was awarded to Vanessa Callum, Centre Manager at Castle Hill Montessori Academy.

Vanessa was recognised for leading her team to an Exceeding Rating as a result of the Assessment and Rating process, as well as her passion for Montessori education, and exceptional mentoring and leadership abilities.

The Castle Hill campus was also recognised as the Top Performing Team across Montessori Academy’s group of early learning services. The Castle Hill team achieved an exceeding rating in all seven areas assessed under the National Quality Standards, and have established a strong reputation for delivering excellence in all areas of early childhood education within the Castle Hill community.

The Excellence Ball concluded with a preview of what 2018 has to offer, in terms of exceptional staff training opportunities, and the opening of three new campuses in Carlingford, Oran Park, and Narellan.

Colette Assaf, Director of Montessori Academy, said: “As we all look to the future, and everything that 2018 has in store, we hope that you are inspired to be courageous, innovative, and actively shape the future of our organisation.

“As our founder Doctor Maria Montessori states: “Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create. We are all co-creators in Montessori Academy’s future, and the education of the future generation,” she said.

Anniversary Recipients

Five Year Anniversary Recipients

1. Dora Corrente, Croydon Montessori Academy
2. My Nguyen, Burwood Montessori Academy
3. Shymala Thiele, Burwood Montessori Academy
4. Rania Tannous, Strathfield Montessori Academy
5. Shanthy Maginthan, North Parramatta Montessori Academy
6. Vijayagowry Sivakuraman, North Parramatta Montessori Academy
7. Amanda Boustani, Bankstown Montessori Academy
8. Khanyi Mlilo, Penrith Montessori Academy
9. Vivian Zazour, Auburn Montessori Academy
10. Renuka Grero, Greenacre Montessori Academy
11. Roslyn De Pasquale, Burwood Montessori Academy
12. Rose Jabbour, Engadine Montessori Academy
13. Yuri Kim, Strathfield Montessori Academy
14. Lara Cowan, Condell Park Montessori Academy
15. Chloe Youssef, Condell Park Montessori Academy
16. Frozan Meherpoor, Smithfield Montessori Academy

Five Years+ Anniversary Recipients

1. Katia Kalouche, Bankstown Montessori Academy, 6 years
2. Rania Dagher, Burwood Montessori Academy, 6 years
3. Rita Ishac, North Parramatta Montessori Academy, 6 years
4. Stacy Gao, Castle Hill Montessori Academy, 7 years
5. Rima Boustani, Croydon Montessori Academy, 7 years
6. Rita Abed El Ahad, Greenacre Montessori Academy, 7 years
7. Shahana Chowdhury, North Parramatta Montessori Academy, 7 years
8. Rajany Ramanthan, North Parramatta Montessori Academy, 7 years
9. Zoe Bishay, Smithfield Montessori Academy, 7 years
10. Munira Ali, Montessori Trainer, 7 years
11. Mandy Elkazzi, Head Office, 7 years
12. Kristina Silalahi, Auburn Montessori Academy, 7 years
13. Hilda Maroun, Greenacre Montessori Academy, 7 years
14. Wildan Siddik, Auburn Montessori Academy, 8 years
15. Azad Boustany, Burwood Montessori Academy, 8 years
16. Hanny Lahoud, Burwood Montessori Academy, 8 years
17. Manjula Ganeshalingam – Area Manager, 9 years

10+ Year Anniversary Recipients

1. Kellie Chahroura, Senior Area Manager, 10 years
2. Bernadette Azzi, Assistant Area Manager, 10 years
3. Jessica Banh, Croydon Montessori Academy, 13 years

Award Recipients

Growth Award
Noelle Tsang, Macquarie Park Montessori Academy

Innovation Award
Christina Salevski, Gymea Montessori Academy

Peer Recognition Award
Zena Badiha, Smithfield Montessori Academy

Excellence in Montessori
Dilki Sonali, Barangaroo Montessori Academy

Excellence in Education
Neha Juvekar, Macquarie Park Montessori Academy

Head Office Award
Shelly Li, Head Office

Top Performing Team
Castle Hill Montessori Academy

Outstanding Team
Leichhardt Montessori Academy

Employee of the Year
Vanessa Callum, Castle Hill Montessori Academy