Parent Testimonial: Jessica Plackis

Alice has a wonderful knowledge of children and their needs. She always has planned activities and field trips the children love.  Alice taught my children good boundaries and respect for others, and she communicates well with parents.

Thanks for all you do Alice! You gave my twin boys, now 16yrs old, a wonderful foundation for their Academic life. You have done so much for the boys and myself.

Thank you,



Giulia graduates MSS!


You have all our gratitude for the many years of love and support for our family. It has been a wonderful 5 years and we look forward to being neighbors and Alumni!

Much love to you,

The Gislimbertis

July 2014



Aria graduates MSS!

Dear Alice,

Words can not really express our deepest love and appreciation for your presence in both Aria and our lives.  I feel like you have become a dear friend and a true mentor to all of us.  We certainly plan on staying in touch so expect updates, phone calls, and emails as Aria starts her Kindergarten.


Erin, Matt, & Aria Bonski-Evans

August 2013

Parent Testimonial: Erin Bonski & Matt Evans

When we came to My Special School, we were searching for a small and safe place for our daughter to play, grow and learn.  We were passionate about Montessori, and while we had looked around at other options, we just didn’t feel like anything was the right fit.  I still remember the day we walked into My Special School.  It was so warm and inviting.  Soft music was playing, the room was well-organized, and there was Alice, with a big smile on her face.  We took our shoes off, and after playing with Montessori games and talking with Alice, neither my daughter nor I wanted to leave.

In the two years our daughter was there, she learned so much about peace, community and cooperation, and she came home amazed at the world around her.  Alice has a special knack for cultivating compassion and respect, and she is attune to the needs and learning style of each child.  The specialists she brings in are unsurpassable in their keen ability to work with the preschoolers. From Drama and Music to Yoga and Qigong, from learning to coordinate large and fine motor skills to caring for animals and the earth, there really is no better name for such a wonderful little world of learning.

My Special School has it all, and we feel blessed to have had Alice in our lives.



Evan Fontana, MSS Alumnus

GetAttachment[4]Evan, now 26 yrs. old, lives in a group home in San Ramon, California.  His health is pretty good.  We struggle with keeping his weight down.  His expressive communication is minimal.  He understands quite a lot.  He speaks 2-3 word sentences such as “I like…” or “I want…”.  He does still have challenging behaviors at times if he gets upset with people annoying him, or too much noise/chaos.

Evan goes to a day program in Dublin.  At the day program they do morning exercise, karaoke, computer time, outings to the park, movies, bowling and play basketball too.  He enjoys his buddies at the day program.

GetAttachment[2]We spend every Sunday together, and I take him to play baseball.  He plays Challenger Baseball every year from March-June.  Evan loves music and dancing, movies, video games, his iPad, and watching Power Rangers videos.  He likes his small dog “Booger” to sit in his lap, and pet him.  Evan loves to dress up!  He would love it if every day was Halloween!

Thank you so much Alice for what you did for Evan.

It was wonderful for Evan to be in a loving environment

where he was not a “special needs” child but special

just like all the other kids.


Katie Nulty, MSS Alumna

1559737_10100593869672225_1063332702_n[1]Katie went on to graduate from Georgetown University in 2008, majoring in finance and government.  Today she is working in advertising and new media at Tongal, an exciting tech startup in Santa Monica.  She tries not to stray more than eight blocks away from the beach at any given time, whether she’s in Santa Monica or visiting her hometown of Summerland.

Outside of work, she is an avid reader and occasional freelance writer.  She credits MSS with her love of reading, writing, and (of course) animals.  MSS holds a very special place in hers and her family’s hearts.

Thanks for everything you do, Alice!

Keep in touch.


KATIE NULTY, 27 yrs.

Student Testimonial: Emma Semonsen


*Emma attends Santa Barbara Middle School and chose to work at My Special School during “Career Studies Week”. This is a letter I received from Emma after spending a full week with the kids and I.

Dear Alice,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! Thank you so so much for letting me be a part of your Preschool and these kids’ lives! I loved them from the beginning and I am so looking forward to babysitting them in the future.

Your Preschool is amazing! I love the fact that you have animals for the kids to interact with and you teach them skills that they can use in their everyday lives no matter what age they are. You engage their brains and really make them think and solve problems on their own. When you were explaining the “behind the scenes/brains” it really got me thinking too. The way that you step back and let them figure things out on their own is amazing to watch.

Your inside knowledge on how their brains work and what ways each child will excel most is astonishing. When they each told me what they were working on it blew me away. It was amazing that with a little of your help they could realize what to improve on and how to do it. It changed my perspective on how their minds work and what they are thinking. I was amazed when Giulia told me my name and my age! Not only do they learn lifelong lessons but they learn at an early age that they don’t have to always rely on other people to get what they want.

You are truly amazing! I love you, your house (especially the smell), your animal companions, and being with all of you. No parent could ask for a better place to send their little loves to begin their learning experience. Your Preschool is a home away from home to them now and it will be for the rest of their lives (it definitely is for me).

I feel that I really learned how to run a Preschool, but I learned so much more! I love you, Sydney,Yenta, Leilani, Ty, the Dolphins and especially the kids! Again thank you so much for this wonderful experience!

Love always,

Emma Frances Semonsen~ 14 yrs.
November 2011

Jack Baker, MSS Alumnus

Jack_Baker[1]Jack is now 18 yrs. old, graduating in June 2014. Mostly all A’s, a couple B’s here and there.

  • He is Senior Captain of the SB High Dons boys basketball team.
  • He is the Team’s  leading scorer and will be First Team All League again this year, he was last year as a Junior also, rare.
  • He has been accepted at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
  • He is waiting to hear back from University of Oregon and Washington State University.
  • He is strongly leaning towards University of Arizona, they have a strong Sports Management program which he thinks he would like to pursue.
  • He is 6′ 5″ tall, ready and anxious to go off to college.

All his teachers and administrators at Santa Barbara High love him and tell us what a great kid he is…it all started at MSS.


Graham T. Fox, MSS Alumnus

969411_10101721631174155_1375519960_n[1]Graham Graduated from the University of Southern California in 2007, where he studied Public Policy and Real Estate with a minor in Architecture.

Based in Sydney, Australia, Graham is a Senior Consultant at Marketo, the #1 Marketing Automation Provider.  Outside of work you can find him with shrimp on the barbie and the sand between his toes.

GRAHAM T. FOX, 29yrs.
January 2014

Teacher Testimonial: Indra Strong

“My Special School”, led by the skilled expert in the field — Miss Alice, has given the children, their parents and their teachers alike an opportunity to grow, learn and … BE: be kind, be caring, be polite, be resourceful, be patient, be loving, be responsible and be … yourself, and just be.

As a yoga teacher I found it comforting and encouraging to teach my classes in the environment of acceptance and kindness, yet filled with focus and responsibility.  On numerous occasions I noticed that the children at this pre-school were more focused and able to follow the instructions better that the ones in many other preschools, and even elementary schools  where I taught —  I do attribute this phenomenon to the skills and experience of Miss Alice, and the Montessori inspired environment for the kids.

I’ve had the honor to teach yoga to “My Special School” children for more than 6 years. And without sounding too stereotyped I want to admit that they (my little yogis and yoginis together with Miss Alice) have taught me a lot about myself and about yoga, too! I am thankful.

Keep spreading the love and peace! Namaste.

With gratitude,

Indra Strong, RYT
January 2014