All of the following testimonials were provided by satisfied McDowell School parents. We are also more than happy to put you in touch with a current McDowell School family to give you first-hand answers to your questions.

My Kindergartener transferred to McDowell mid-year and we couldn’t be happier. The staff and the parent community are amazing – friendly, helpful and accessible.  Ms. Jeffrey, Miss Cheryl and Mrs. Holmes are so caring and supportive – Serena’s transition was seamless.  Serena is happy, loves going to school and is thriving both academically and socially.  At least once a week my daughter asks me if she can go to McDowell all the way to 6th grade – she is looking forward to being a 6th grade buddy to a Kindergartener.  McDowell is a great fit for our whole family. 


McDowell is truly a special place, because not only is it an example of academic excellence, but it is also one of great love and acceptance. You feel the warmth as soon as you enter the front doors.  Everybody there cares about the well-being and success of your child.


I have a chance to visit and help out with my grandchildren at McDowell over the past few months while their father has been deployed as a member of the Marine Corps. My husband and I have been in outdoor education our life time, we have worked with many educators throughout the years, you are tops in your field in our opinion.

I wanted to share with you our great appreciation for all you do for the children at McDowell, the children that attend there are lucky to have such a special dedicated teacher such as yourself.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have made such a positive difference in our grandchildren’s lives.

I will be visiting again in September for a week, look forward to seeing you again.

Ann Scott

Thank you very much for everything you’ve done for Misha this year.  I was so happy with his recent grades and improvement.  He would not have done it without you.

I also wanted to ask you to pass my "thank you" to all the teachers Misha had a pleasure of working this year.  This was one of the best years in his school and he just adores McDowell school and all the wonderful staff and children.

Reading list is a great help!  I was just talking to Misha about his reading plans for the summer.

I wish you a great summer.  I will keep you posted on our plans as soon as we’ll know my husband work location for next year.  So far Misha and Danny are returning to US on September 6, 2014.  Danny will be entering 3rd grade and we are also considering bringing him to McDowell given you will have a slot  for him.

Sincerely yours, Maria

I would like to take this opportunity to share my enthusiasm about becoming a part of this wonderful community of students and parents at McDowell School.  My educational credentials and field of experience demonstrate a depth and distinction in the field of education for the last 27 years.

We believe that our teachers do an admirable job.  They are instrumental in your children’s desire to learn, their ability to deal with their world and society and their outlook on becoming a responsible member of the community.  These are the things we have come to expect from our children’s teachers and more than ever, this is a highly challenging, yet fulfilling job!

I am confident that you will be consistently impressed with the magic and creativity in the classrooms.  We as a team are a community who cares, and who celebrates diversity, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and collaboration.  Each child is unique, beautiful, and willing to learn.  I am so grateful to spend my days surrounded by McDowell students.


I just wanted to say that this summer camp year has been a blast for Christopher.  He has enjoyed all the different camps and loves bringing home a fish from the ocean’s class (lasts year was the gold fish).  Of course this year it happened right before our trip to Texas and Cory had ANOTHER pet to take care of on top of our mouse, 2 dogs, and cat.

We also just watched the DVD that Ms. Moore put together.  So cute!  I hope that incident in the DVD is the ONLY time that Christopher gets sent to the principals office.  LOL!

The teachers have made each camp so much fun with all the goodies!!  Kudos to all of them!!

Cory and I truly appreciate how wonderful you, Ms. Cheryl, and the rest of the staff is to Christopher.

Regards, Michelle

How are you and are you counting down for the holidays?  I just wanted to let you know that Finn is about to finish his Year 5 and will begin Year 6 in January.  You will be happy to hear that Finn has been in all the Gate (Gifted) English, Math and Art classes through out the year here in NZ.  Unlike the States, they access the children every quarter instead of on an annual bases.

I wanted to thank you and all the fine teachers at McDowell who have played such a vital role in Finn’s education.  The passion that the teachers at McDowell, like Mrs. McKibben, Mrs. Schoenhoefer, Mrs. Abassi and all the others  are a rare breed and hard to come by.  We really miss the staff and the atmosphere of McDowell and think about all of you quite a bit.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and if we don’t talk before Christmas, have a Merry Christmas.

Jane, Bill and Finn

To whom it may concern,

In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, I’d like to acknowledge and thank Mrs. Lisa Abassi. She has been such a wonderful influence on my second grade son. Thanks to Mrs. Abassi, my son has gotten a strong foundation in art education. He loves Mrs. Abassi and has a real passion for art.

I so appreciate how Mrs. Abassi has encouraged my son and challenged him weekly to produce new and different art projects. She has reached out to me a number of times to recognize the good things Todd is doing in Art class. I am so grateful for the positive and encouraging feedback.

Mrs. Abassi does an amazing job with the Art Program at McDowell. I am forever grateful to her for her involvement with Artsonia, the online art museum. All of my son’s art projects will be forever available for reproduction thanks to Mrs. Abassi.

Thanks for all you do, Mrs. Abassi! You are the best!

Warmly, Cassie Ocken

Todd Checkwood’s Mom (2nd grade student)

McDowell’s teaching staff strives to bring out the very best in every individual student, making each child feel empowered to take the next academic challenge.


When it was time for our older son to move on, it was very obvious to us that the schools we visited also respected McDowell’s academics, methods and values.


I was looking for a parent/child friendly preschool for my daughter. Many of the schools I looked at did not encourage parents to drop in unannounced! McDowell is terrific at letting parents watch anytime and the teachers and administrative staff is always available to answer any concerns.


McDowell is truly a gem!  It is a warm, positive environment that stresses character, compassion and social responsibility.  McDowell has succeeded in providing a challenging academic environment while still making learning fun and exciting.  We highly recommend it!