Letter From The Head of School


When you try to narrow it down to its very essence, what is truly so special about Mandala? It’s what we call the “Spirit of Mandala.”

It’s the spirit of relationship and connection and the feeling of community. That’s what draws people in. It’s what makes our staff stay with us. Even when parents can’t define it, they feel something different here.

Young children learn best in relationship, and that’s what we do so well at Mandala. It is all about the connection that makes real learning possible.

Over 40 years ago, we sat down…three young women in newly formed friendship…with some youthful ideals. We had a vision for a different kind of preschool that would educate young children in a holistic way.  We also wanted to support parents and nourish the staff. Our model of leadership was rooted in collaboration and consensus.

When we took our giant step into the unknown, we did not know then that we were far ahead of our time.

Now, years later, our vision is the new way. Social emotional education (nurturing children’s awareness of their feelings, teaching empathy, modeling respect and care for our wider world) is seen as indispensable in the work force where teamwork is essential. “Teaching to the Whole Child” and “Following a Developmental Model” are now commonplace in early childhood curriculums. Inclusiveness is expected today—not something extraordinary, as it was when Mandala first started. Peace-building skills are a necessity in our modern world as we realize we are creating global citizens for the future. These principles have been the cornerstone of Mandala’s model since its early beginnings.

Our great wealth at Mandala is not financial. It is the deep satisfaction of doing meaningful work that touches children’s lives and changes them. The true wealth is that we are changed in the process.

So this is the “Spirit of Mandala”– the spirit of relationship, respect, and care.

Whether you and your child journey with us for a short time or long, we know you too will be touched by this spirit. We look forward to having you join our Mandala Family.

Anne Kangas, L.C.S.W., Head of School/Family Services Director

Co-Administrators: Julie Saccento, Assistant Head of School and Atty Rosas, OTR/L, Family Resource Specialist