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WAR HITS HOME – Thevenet Montessori School

When Kindergarten student Charlotte arrived at Thevenet on Monday morning, her greeting to her teacher, Mrs. Rudiak, was “Thank you for taking care of my people.” Charlotte is Ukrainian; Mrs. Rudiak comes from Poland.

Charlotte’s father was born in Ukraine, and her grandfather, grandmother and extended family still live there. Charlotte’s dad struggles now with the reality that Putin’s invasion has resulted in him losing all contact with his loved ones back home. In all her simplicity, six-year-old Charlotte explains her family’s unsuccessful attempt to escape Ukraine with the comment, “They just couldn’t make it to New York.”

Classmate Zayne shares Charlotte’s concerns. His mother is also from Ukraine, with family still residing there, and while their home is approximately one hour from the fighting in Kyiv, the situation is volatile since Russian troops occupy Zayne’s mother’s town.

Mrs. Violetta Rudiak is a longtime Montessori teacher at Thevenet. She emigrated from Poland after completing her university studies. Violetta’s hometown of Rzeszów is so close to the Ukrainian border that she recalls as a child being able to see the farmers in Ukraine harvesting their grain. Now the town where her family resides is inundated with US troops from Fort Bragg, NC, and the first wave of Ukrainian refugees. Violetta communicates with her sister each day for updates but the news continues to be upsetting.

The entire Thevenet Montessori School Family remains united in prayer that God and the international community will bring a swift end to the war in Ukraine. We join with Charlotte, Zayne and so many others in and beyond our school community, in expressing our gratitude to Poland and the other nations of the world who have opened their borders, homes and hearts to the refugees and people of Ukraine in this crisis.

– Sr. Joan Faraone, RJM, Administrator

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