Madison Montessori School

Deborah Exum Gift of Encouragement

This gift in memory of Deborah Lynn Exum, (1952-2005), is given by her husband, Tom Styrkowicz, to an individual, who has made an extraordinary contribution to Genuine Art. It is a monetary gift to encourage the recipient to “break out and try things,” as Deborah, who always saw the good in people, would have wanted.

Deborah Exum and Madison Montessori were intractably linked in many ways – as a parent of two students, as a creative visionary, talented photographer, selfless volunteer and incredibly generous and kind human being. She left us way too soon. But, if we listen closely with our hearts, we can still hear her loving, customary greeting, Hi Honey!”, and know that she will always be close to us.


April 2013

Sandy DeCristofaroDear Terry (and everyone, really…)

To say that I was flabbergasted by the Deborah Exum gift would be an understatement! I’ve always felt respected and welcome and to be honored in this way truly does humble me.

I believe in the philosophy of your school: the idea of self-direction and self awareness, enthusiasm for all experiences and a general “wonder” about our big world. With my participation in Genuine Art, I know I enjoy a similar revelation each year.

But really, the examples of kindness that exist in your hallways and your larger parent community are truly impressive. To consider myself as even a little slice of this partnership keeps me coming back for more. I am truly honored by your generosity of this gift. I regard it as good fortune that all those years ago, I was introduced to the Madison Montessori School.