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Alumni Scholarship Award

We are delighted to announce the application period for the 7th annual CVMS Alumni Scholarship is now open. The Board of Trustees of Chemung Valley Montessori School established the CVMS Alumni Scholarship in 2017 and it was created to honor a graduating high school senior with at least three years of experience at CVMS with $500 for academic and life accomplishments.

The Board created this scholarship to honor and acknowledge the unique relationship that our alumni students and their families had with CVMS in the past; a relationship in which the education and the development of the alumni is exhibited by a successful graduate.

The award of $500 will be presented in June at the CVMS CELEBRATION of LEARNING CEREMONY.  The award recipient is expected to attend the ceremony on June 15, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. to accept the award and take pictures. Additional awards may be made at the discretion of the committee.

Enclosed please find the Alumni Scholarship application for your convenience. The completed award application packet (application, high school transcript, activity list, and essay) should be received by CVMS no later than MAY 31, 2023.

The application period will begin on May 10, 2023. Please "CLICK HERE"

Applicants were asked to write a brief essay answering the following question:

How did your education at Chemung Valley Montessori School impact your success after leaving the school?

Riley Burns 

Selected as the co-winner of the CVMS Alumni Scholarship Award for 2018. Here is her reflection:


The wisest woman I have had the privilege to know always told me to “keep making pearls.” That woman was my music teacher during my time at Montessori, Mrs. Piazza. As a graduation gift, she presented each member of my graduating class a small pearl in a jar. It has become a permanent object on my nightstand where it serves as a constant reminder of perseverance. That simple metaphor between the pearl that started as a grain of sand, meaning life and its experiences that always start imperfect, gives me the drive and determination to carry on with my head held high regardless of what hardships I will encounter. So I suppose when I am asked what Montessori has taught me, the simple answer is perseverance. Because of Montessori, I can take whatever grain of sand falls into my care and through hard work, tenacity, and conviction, I can turn that sand into a pearl, something polished and presentable. Life is exactly what you make of it, and I refuse to let mine be anything but beautiful, all thanks to the simple lesson of steadfastness that Mrs. Piazza, as well as the greater message of the Montessori method, instilled in me.

Matthew Rebis

Selected as the co-winner of the CVMS Alumni Scholarship Award for 2018. Here is her reflection:


In all my time at Montessori, I learned many things that have helped me in high school and I’m sure will be invaluable the rest of my life. However, after giving it some consideration, I feel that the most significant thing I learned from my Montessori experience was how to think. At Montessori, when given work to do, I was given a number of resources and a destination, but no set path as to how to get there. The freedom that students have to develop their own ideas, that is such a key part of the Montessori education system, was an integral part to my ability to think for myself, as well as understand multiple viewpoints. Literature circle in Upper El, the Expert Project in sixth grade and the science fair projects in middle school all helped develop my ability to think. In this way, my Montessori education helped me to be successful as I attended high school, and I know it will help me far into the future.

Maura Glovins

Selected as the winner of the CVMS Alumni Scholarship Award for 2017. Here is her reflection:


I distinctly remember Mr. Knapp having us sit in circle around a cloaked box he had just retrieved from his car. He finally cured our anticipation as he unveiled the cloth, exposing the four painted turtles that were housed inside. “There are hundreds in our pond and I thought I’d bring in some for today’s class,” he said nonchalantly. Although it appeared to be a trivial gesture to him, I was amazed. Not only was I intrigued by the painted pond-dwellers, but I thought it was so cool that he was able to bring in turtles just because it corresponded with our lesson.

This is the first memory I trace back to when I get the ever so common question, “Wow, Marine Science… how’d you get into that?” But I see this CVMS memory as something more than a spark for my interest to work with animals; I view it as the origin for my fascination with unconventional classroom teaching. What I mean by this is many modern classrooms are becoming dull and do not utilize their full potential.

Last summer, I lead a STEM program at a YMCA summer camp where campers explored science outside of the traditional classroom environment. Whether we were shooting off Alka-Seltzer rockets; creating ice cream from scratch; or blasting potatoes out of a cannon; everyone, including myself, had a blast! It is this type of education, the type where a teacher can surpass the classroom norm, that helped me become successful after leaving CVMS.  


CVMS Alum and current Horseheads High School junior, Daniel Vaughn, has been selected as a member of the JAM Fund Development Cyclocross Team. The cycling team is managed by four time national champion Jeremy Powers. JAM Team alumni include include Ellen Noble, the reigning U23 Cyclocross US National Champion and World Cup Champion; Stephen Hyde, the reigning Men’s Cyclocross US National Champion; and several other professional cyclists. In July, Daniel will be riding 68 miles and climbing nearly 6,000 feet in the JAM Grand Fundo to raise money for the team. If you wish to sponsor Daniel and his team, you can do so through his fundraising page at

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