Rohini Rustogi, owner, president and CEO of the Brandon, Riverview and SouthShore Montessori Schools.

By Gwen Rollings

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.” Rohini Rustogi, owner, president and CEO of the Brandon (BMS), Riverview (RMS) and SouthShore (SMC) Montessori Schools, knows a great deal.

She has a master’s degree in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in English and geography. She has additionally completed coursework at the University of Tampa and graduate-level coursework at the University of South Florida. Rustogi has been teaching at Montessori Schools in the Tampa Bay area for 20 years.

According to Roosevelt, all her education would not matter until and unless people know that Rustogi cares. There can be little doubt that she cares.

She said recently regarding the impact of COVID-19, “I wanted to support the immediate needs of our teachers. As a goodwill gesture and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to these institutions, I have decided to make a personal and immediate gift of $50,000 for dissemination among the teachers.”

Since Montessori is a hands-on program, Rustogi admits these are challenging times, and all the Montessori teachers and staff have extended themselves beyond the call of duty.

She said, “Our teachers and parents have come together to still make this a time of learning. We confer daily on Zoom and collaborate to create fun programs for toddlers, pre-primary, kindergarten and elementary children as well as our Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten students.”

The Montessori Method of Education was developed in the early 1900s by an Italian physician, Maria Montessori, who was nominated three times for a Nobel Prize. Her method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.

Montessori believed in the worthiness, value and importance of children. This method of education is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.

“Importantly,” Rustogi emphasized, “the safety of our Montessori educational family comes above everything else. We will use these challenging times to reinvent, learn new ways of working with ever-evolving technologies. Moreover, our teachers are taking this opportunity to further their continued education and I am more than willing to invest in this training.”

Yes, she cares!

Rustogi owns the Brandon Montessori School at River Hills, the Riverview Montessori School at Rivercrest and the SouthShore Montessori School at Waterset. For more info, visit www.wearemontessori.com.