Letter From The Head of School


We have a miracle at Mandala. It is what we call the “Spirit of Mandala.” This spirit has defined us, led us forward, and keeps us growing and thriving.

When you try to narrow it down to its very essence, what is truly so special about Mandala?

It’s the spirit of relationship and connection. The feeling of community. That’s what draws people in. That’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 Mandala does so well.

Over 40 years ago, we sat down…three young women in newly formed friendship…with some youthful ideals and a desire to create something life-giving for ourselves and our community. We crafted a vision for a different kind of preschool–a school that would educate young children in a holistic way, support their parents, and nourish its 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 times.

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 — all this is being hailed as indispensable for success 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, for we realize we are creating global citizens for the future. In addition to our core belief in the Montessori philosophy of education, these principles have been the cornerstone of Mandala’s model since its 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. It is all about the connection that makes real learning possible. And the true wealth is that we are changed in the process.

So this is the “Spirit of Mandala.” It is 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