Laura Phillips and St. Joseph Montessori School

“One of the best things my parents ever did for me was invest in a St. Joseph Montessori School Education,” states Laura Phillips, a St. Joseph Montessori School aluma.  

Laura is home from The University of Alabama on summer break and working as an office assistant in St. Joseph Montessori School’s Summer Learning Camp. Laura was awarded a full scholarship to Alabama that included tuition, room and board, books, fees, a computer, and a study abroad stipend. In addition to Alabama, Laura received three other full-ride scholarship offers to Wright State, Ball State, and Arizona State University, as well as a partial scholarship to Columbia University. Both Laura and her brother have benefited from their parents’ decision to invest in their education early.  Thomas, a St. Joseph Montessori School graduate in 2007, just completed his second year at The Ohio State University.  He is enjoying a full scholarship at the university as the recipient of the very prestigious Glenna R. Joyce Scholarship award.


Laura attributes her love of learning, curious nature, personal drive, and self-initiative to her days at SJMS. As she sees it, “I learned the skills necessary to have a successful future while at St Joes.” She learned how to manage her time for major papers and presentations through the Interest Fair. She still uses research methods and techniques taught to her by middle school teacher, Susan Walling. She also remembers working with Susan every Monday to come up with a plan for completing her assignments each week.  Laura learned how to organize her assignments, budget her time, work alone, and work in a group.  In the fourth grade Laura also remembers putting together her first PowerPoint presentation for middle school teacher, Karla McKenna.  These were all skills vital to her success in high school and college.


Laura additionally claims that her love for music, and the opportunities it has allowed her, is a direct result of her attendance at St. Joseph Montessori School. Music Teacher, Sandra Matheny, taught her to play the flute in fourth grade. After continuing to play in her high school marching band, Laura went on to play the piccolo in the marching band at the University of Alabama. She has since participated in three national championship football games at the Rose (2009), Sugar (2011), and Orange Bowls (2012) and traveled to play in Italy with several Italian bands and symphonies.


Laura plans to continue her education after graduation in December 2013. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in quantitative economics and a minor in mathematical statistics.  She plans on attending graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in either economics or statistics.  Committed to a life of learning, Laura envisions obtaining her PhD in economics, and would like to someday teach and do research in her field.