Bowie parent goes extra mile for teachers, students


Natalia Romero, left, Wendy Woods and Kelly Adon sit near Adon’s 11-month-old daughter, Mattie, as they discuss adding Spanish lessons to their children’s class at Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School in Landover. (Erich Wagner/THE GAZETTE)
February 27, 2013

Stay-at-home mom Kelly Adon has taken a leading role at the Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School in Landover since her son Kane Adon enrolled in the school in the fall, most recently working with other parents to incorporate Spanish into the art and core curriculum.

“We can start with learning [the Spanish words] for the colors, since I’ll be making colored play dough during art Wednesday,” said Adon, 30, of Bowie. “We have to make sure it’s incorporated into everything [they’re learning].”

Adon has added weekly lessons, such as Spanish and art, in 3-year-old Kane’s primary classroom — which includes ages 3 to 5 — at the K-6 school.

School officials praised her nearly daily volunteering in the classroom and coordinating parental involvement and fundraising throughout the school.

“I see her more often than I see some of my teachers,” Principal Tracey Spivey-White joked. “She does meetings and conference calls with parents, getting them motivated with fundraising activities. She just takes charge with a whole lot of activities.”

Adon said she decided to become a stay-at-home mother for her two children, including 11-month-old Mattie Adon, two years ago, after being laid off from her job as a district manager for a specialty retailer in the District. She said she also is using the time to take classes in early-childhood education at Prince George’s Community College in Largo.

Time management played a factor in Adon’s involvement in the school, she said.

“I figured that since it takes 45 minutes to get here, and Kane is only here for two-and-a-half hours, I won’t go home,” Adon said. “I might as well find something to do.”

Adon estimated that she volunteers at the school up to four days a week.

Sarah Clark, a Hoyer parent and co-chairman of the Parent Teacher Association’s fundraising committee, said Adon has contributed to every fundraiser this year and has organized several on her own.

“She just steps up,” Clark said. “She’s got a lot of energy and ideas, and since every school has fundraisers, you’ve got to be creative.”

Adon, who is married, said she attributes a lot of her volunteering, particularly with fundraisers, to the fact that as a non-working mother, she can’t contribute as much financially.

“I don’t have a lot of money,” she said. “So, instead, I give my time and do stuff to make the school better.”

Kane’s teacher, Celine Kramer, said Adon has been “a saint” by helping maintain a strong community through the school’s transition during a relocation from Cheverly in August.

“I’ve never had a parent this involved,” Kramer said. “[At the beginning of the school year], we were so consumed with emptying boxes and setting up the classrooms, but she kept the focus on the children and keeping them happy.”

Adon said she realized she had become a fixture at the school not only for the faculty and other parents, but to the students as well.

“On Wednesday, Mattie was sick, so I stayed home with her,” she said. “The kids were asking about art class and where I was. So I guess now if I don’t come, they get disappointed.”

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