by Danielle Figueira
Beginning a New Journey
After months of trying to best educate their daughter, Julia ’23, in their home district in Illinois, the Bottarelli family learned about Landmark School from their pediatrician, a friend of longtime Landmark Trustee, Martin Slark P’01. The journey to Landmark involved extensive testing, tears, and emotional family decisions. Throughout that process, Bryan and Katherine Bottarelli realized that their younger daughter, Paige ’26, would also benefit from Landmark’s approach. Thus began the maiden voyage to Manchester-by-the Sea, Mass., where the family eventually docked.
Taking this leap of faith can be stressful, and assimilating to a new area presents challenges, both large and small: uprooting your family, buying a house, selecting new doctors, signing kids up for summer camp, navigating roadways filled with aggressive Massachusetts drivers, and even adjusting to Red Sox and Patriots fever!
Helping Others Navigate
Many months ago, I met with Bryan and Katherine at a local coffee shop where we brainstormed ways that parents who have made this enormous transition could connect socially—and discuss shared experiences. The idea of an informal cocktail party to bring these folks together was born. The title took a few variations. After some time, “Movers and Shakers” felt right.
Bryan and Katherine agreed to host the gathering at their home in February 2019, and a common refrain echoed throughout the party: “Why didn’t we think of this sooner?!” Twenty-five parents representing both campuses attended. The group was comprised of people who moved across the country or across the state, those who live part time on the North Shore, and locals who simply wanted to meet and welcome other parents.
Drawing on the characteristics of a Landmark education, which follows a diagnostic–prescriptive, and personalized approach, Katherine said, “We studied what was originally an overwhelming challenge, broke it apart, and found an opportunity. A simple coffee shop chat led to the first-ever “Movers and Shakers” gathering—and many new meaningful Landmark friendships.”
A special thank you to our gracious hosts, the Bottarelli family!
Going forward, we will continue to offer similar “Movers and Shakers” events. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have interest in attending, you’d like to host an event, or have an idea for a future event! Contact Danielle at Dfigueira@landmarkschool.org.
Article originally published in The Lantern, Spring/Summer 2019.