Interview with Vincenza Marzano-Kooner

Describe your School.

We are an accredited & authentic Montessori & ministry licensed school since 2002, for toddlers to grade 6. We operate by the Authentic Montessori Method of education.

What made you decide to open the School?

It happened after I saw the property. I knew I wanted to get into Montessori education, and I saw this setting as ideal for this purpose. This was a residential property which I transformed into this school.

What was it like when you first started?

Very busy, rewarding, but with many challenges… certainly there were more highs than lows! From the beginning, every time we have a graduation or celebration in the school, it’s as special as the first.

What has surprised you most?

How much it continues to teach me, even after 15 years in this business.

What would people say they love most about the school?

They love the location & scenery, and the fact that it’s a home-like, family setting for a school. They also appreciate the safety, and that I am always here & present to meet any needs of the children & staff.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had?

When we first moved in, and we had our opening ceremony. It was challenging in the beginning because in the first few months, we were not zoned for commercial use, so when we finally moved in, it was an amazing feeling to celebrate with our first clients/students. Hearing from our past students, and what they are now pursuing & accomplishing as young adults now, is always special & memorable to me.

I have a music background, and together with some of my past students, we have created a new school song. I wrote the lyrics, and my past students, Albert Liu and Cassie Fuoco, were instrumental in production of our new school song.

Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want people to know about?

We are looking at expanding our program to create more classrooms for the existing age groups that we have, and we are going to be continuing to give back to the V school in Tanzania, Africa, which I built in 2013. I would also like customers to have a look at our new school video on our website, which is a great representation of our school & what real Montessori education is about.

What is something most people don’t know about the school?

The true meaning of the word Montessori… many people don’t understand the difference between our school and a general school that has a “Montessori title”. Anyone can open a Montessori school, but not everyone truly follows the Montessori Method. This is something we pride ourselves in. Being an accredited school, ensures that we follow the method fully, & with the highest standards…. That’s what sets us apart from other schools.

Who are some of your idols and role models? And why?

It would be my father, Domenic Marzano. He is a hero to me. He continues to work at his age, and has made a great reputation for himself throughout his life. He taught me the value of hard work, and giving back. The V school is my way of respecting his legacy & giving back to him.

What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?

Meeting people… all kinds of people. Learning, and being a life long learner… growing throughout my experiences.

Do you have any advice that you want to share with other entrepreneurs?

Don’t quit!!! Just keep going, and surround yourself with the “doers” …. Do the do!

What do you love most about this neighbourhood?

It is very historical, picturesque & quaint. I definitely feel safe here. I appreciate & embrace the multicultural & diverse population that has been settling in Kleinburg over the past 5 years or so.

What are your favourite places to go in the neighbourhood?

I love the shops in Kleinburg, and supporting the small businesses here… the clothing shops & restaurants. We as a school support the McMichael Art Gallery. We also have a beautiful relationship with Villa Colombo (retirement home), where we visit the elderly to spend time & do activities together… and they in tern will visit our school for events & activities.

What are your favourite things to do in the neighbourhood?

We love to use the Bindertwine park grounds for physical activities, walking the trails, and using the park for our summer camp programs.

Why do you think it’s important for people to shop local?

Well, I believe supporting the community as a whole, and learning about the people in your community is vital… One hand helps the other… It’s that simple!