Over several years, my wife, Pam, and I investigated many daycare, preschool, and elementary options in Lynchburg and we returned to Montessori over and over again. The traditional methods of child watch, discipline, and “teaching to” children simply do not represent how we as adults interact with each other. Since our goal is to prepare our kids for the future as independent and resilient adults, we want to model that behavior to them from day one. The Montessori philosophy has the tenets of self-direction, self-respect, and self-motivation woven into the lessons, the vernacular, and the daily schedule. It is not just about the wooden materials, or just about allowing kids freedom to choose their work, or just about outdoor play…it is ALL of those things and more which make up the Montessori philosophy, and perhaps the complexity of interaction among these elements is an acknowledgment of the complexity of the human child, and the respect they are entitled from day one. The idea that close interaction with the natural world is another key value that our family shares with the Montessori teachings. We have made personal investments based on this conviction with the decision to purchase our home with sufficient grass lands, woods, pond and stream for us all to explore, enjoy and connect. This also provides the opportunity to raise livestock for a rich growth experience.
In addition to the ever important child development Montessori provides a strong support role to the parent as well. I see opportunity for greater community outreach in this area to support parental development as well. If we wish to fully develop strong critically thinking children then we must also develop the parental team. The Montessori methods should extend well into the home to produce the best results and reduce the potential for sending confusing and conflicting messages to the child. Ideally this approach leads to stronger families and stronger community.
I appreciate these qualities as I value continuous self-reflection and improvement. The traditional school system and to a large degree my parents’ reliance on the traditional school system failed me. I dropped out of high school my junior year with the encouragement and support of my school counselor. I completed my GED that summer and enrolled in college. I have gone on to receive meritorious promotions in the Marine Corps and complete degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration. But what prepared me most for success in life is the development of critical thinking skills for problem solving and understanding inter-personnel communications to work effectively as a community or team. I see these two values as key tenants of the Montessori Method and I am committed to this mission and expanding it to the larger community.
My name is Jeff Reed and I have had the opportunity and honor to serve successfully in leadership positions continuously over the last 30 years. These positions offer a diverse set of experiences that serve as a solid foundation on which to build strong and highly effective teams that are capable of overcoming challenges and achieving great success.
These overlapping positions are as follows:
Professional experience overview,
- United States Marine Corps (4yrs)
o Aviation Maintenance and Aircraft Operations
o Military Police
- Electrical Power Generation Industry (23yrs)
o Business Development, Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Start-up
o Project Value ranging from $500M - $15B
- Small Business Owner, (7yrs)
o Custom Home Construction and Real Estate Development
o Project Value ranging from $500K - $2M
Personal experience overview,
- President of the Kansas City Vizsla Club (3yrs)
- Leader Men’s Church Group (3yrs)
The lessons learned from this experience have taught me the importance of collaborating with teams with a broad and diverse background, facilitating their strengths and leveraging their talents to accomplish common goals. The importance of a strong vision and clear mission cannot be over emphasized.
I currently work at Framatome (formerly AREVA) as a Business Development Manager and the Program Manager for Advanced Nuclear Fuel Development. I have direct responsibility and accountability for an annual budget of over $25M. I interface on a regular basis with the DOE, DOD, NNSA, NRC and professional industry groups as well as to advocate for the industry with the US Congress. As part of my responsibilities I also develop marketing and communications strategies. For the last 10yrs I managed a multi-discipline team ranging across 10 different internal organizations and located in the United States, France and Germany.