Everyday Heroes: Whole Child Montessori founder Nancy Pribnow retires to applause, praise

Nancy Pribnow at her retirement party at Whole Child Montessori school. (KATU)

Today's Everyday Hero started a small Montessori preschool 34 years ago in her Southeast Portland home.

She wanted to make sure her daughter had a chance to learn the Montessori way.

The school grew and went on to become the heart and soul of the community.

Last week, dozens of former students, parents of students and children of former students gathered to celebrate the teaching life and retirement of Nancy Rribnow as Head of School for the Whole Child Montessori school.

“I thought it would just be this one-year thing I would do in my home,” Pribnow said. “I didn't realize all the things I would have to learn. I had so much support along the way. We've always just had amazing parents involved and the kids are always an inspiration.

Shortly after she and her family moved to Portland from Boulder, Colorado, Pribnow started the school for her oldest daughter.

“I actually lived upstairs so I had the unique experience of getting to wake up in the morning and get up and come downstairs to go to school,” Emma Pribnow said.

The school eventually expanded, moved across the street, and then broke ground on its present location, a leafy, welcoming space for 3 to 6 year olds.

Parents Heather and Scott Anderson said Pribnow's attitude helped their son Zephyr.

“Nancy always sort of saw Zephyr for who he was,” she said, as she fought back tears. "When our son was going through a rough period ... she always advocated for him.”

While Pribnow is retiring from her day-to-day job running the school, she will remain on the board of trustees and intends to volunteer her time to help out.

Who's your everyday hero? We'd like to feature them here on KATU.

Head to the Everyday Hero page to make your nomination.

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