Student Testimonial: Katie Nulty

photoDear Alice,

You are a good teacher and friend.  I am going to miss you a whole bunch!  I love you.

Katie Nulty – 5 yrs.
August 1991

Student Testimonial: Cassidy Davis

1425612_10152004775122356_425013694_n[1]For the world’s greatest Teacher,

Thank you Alice Tropper for such a great start in my life! I love you!

Cassidy Davis – 5yrs.

Happy 25th Anniversary MSS!

May 1, 2013 marks My Special School’s 25th Anniversary! Sending much Love and Gratitude to all the Beautiful Families and Teachers who have been and still are a part of our ever-growing MSS Family ♥



“Dear Alice,

Many Congratulations on your many years as My Special School~and a very special school it is. We love you!”

The Babichs especially Eli!


“Many Hugs and Congratulations Alice!!!”
Vince, Susan, Emma and Ashe


“Congratulations!!!! MSS ROCKS!!!”
Susie, Ruben, and Anna Lopez


“Hi Alice,

Congratulations on your 25th anniversary!  MSS was the absolutely perfect place for Danny and we really appreciate everything you did for him!”

Anne & Alex Cole


“So grateful we were a part of your 25 years!”

Katrina, Jimmy, and Dalton Shupe


“Fantastic Alice! Congratulations!”

Kristin, Arie, and Ezra


“Happy Anniversary, Alice!

Thank you for the very special opportunity that you gave our children.”

with much gratitude,

Rebecca, Matthew, and Morgan


“Alice, it must be terribly humbling to look back at all the little minds you have molded along the way. What a responsibility! But what beautiful results. Not to mention the parents you mentored, changed, influenced and listened to. What a burden you have carried, although happily, all these years. They should name a saint after you!”

Sharon, Chuck, and Seana Currie


“Congrats Alice. You are so special and beautiful!!!”  xoxo

Nancy, Tom, and Colby Noakes


“Happy 25th Anniversary to you and Our Special School we love you!”

Kyra and Illiana


“Dear Alice,

Congratulations!  You do such a wonderful job with those children.  I wish you or at least someone like you would have been around when my girls were young.

My best to you Sweetheart. Love-and then some! ”

Fran aka “Granny Franny” (from Garden Court)


Student Testimonial: Fia Torrey

Fia TorreyI liked My Special School because we got to go on a lot of field trips and I liked mystery Fridays.

My favorite part was the morning because you got to draw and play with Legos while you were waiting for everyone else.

Miss Alice is a nice, nice teacher and I liked when she read us books.

I learned about peace, love and how to tie my shoes.


Parent Testimonial: Susan Torrey

7/2011-Fia Torrey-about to become an Alumni:)PARENTING: A tearful goodbye to the Preschool years


by Susan Torrey

Montecito Messenger

July 27, 2011


There’s a date on my calendar that’s marked with a big red circle. It’s looming with both dread and excitement. It’s the last day of pre-school for my daughter. The end of the sweet little world she’s been a part of and the beginning of something bigger and new. She started the spring of 2008, barely two years old. She’s now five which means she’s spent more of her life there than not. Unlike a lot of parents we didn’t tour schools. We followed the lead of some close friends and found ourselves at a spot which was perfect for us, My Special School. It’s a small Montessori school, owned and run by the amazing Alice Tropper, who has made her life calling teaching preschool aged children.

She is kind and patient beyond what I think is humanly possible, but day in and day out, she manages the 6 children who follow her every word. They sit patiently and take turns. They respect each other and play nicely. It’s their home away from home which is filled with love, respect and kindness. It’s an idyllic bubble where everyone gets along where there are, no exceptions, and where inclusion is the rule. There are no unkind words spoken because with Miss Alice it’s all about the love. Because of what’s happening at school, Fia has been exposed to more than what we could have imagined. Every month Miss Alice arranges a variety of classes, Creative Movement, Yoga, Qi Gong, Aikido, Music, Drama, and weekly visits to “the grandparents” at Garden Court, a senior residence, for stories and lunch. “Mystery Fridays” consist of a special outing determined by what is happening in town or what the kids want to do. This week, bike riding. Next week? Who knows, but maybe the beach? The butterflies? A park? Every week is full of learning and adventure.

We’ve shared some of Fia’s most important milestones with Miss Alice, because she was the one who has guided us through. Potty training, reading, tying laces on her shoes, riding a two wheel bike and playing her first game of checkers. She’s celebrated her 3rd birthday, her 4th and her 5th at school and with Miss Alice. Almost seems like a lifetime, and in some ways it is. It’s been my daughter’s lifetime.

As she transitions from this sweet little world, where she’s one of 6, to where, she’ll be one of too many, I am sad and excited for her. I know it has to happen, but I want to keep her safe and in a world where there are no mean words exchanged and where love and respect is the norm. In 6 short weeks we walk her across the street to her new kindergarten class. We’ll drop her off and set her free to explore her new world. I know it’s a world that will look and feel a lot different. She’ll learn tough life lessons where not everyone wants to be friends. Where not everyone is as well behaved and where mean words might be exchanged. But it will also be a world where the work which Miss Alice prepared her for will shine. She’ll be kind and make friends. She’ll find her voice in the crowd and hopefully be the example.

Just as I was told, the years have gone too quickly. I remember dropping Fia off the first day at My Special School. I left, got in the car and had tears streaming down my face. And now, as that day on my calendar, which is circled in red approaches, I get tears just thinking of picking her up for the very last time.

*Susan Torrey’s column appears regularly in the Montecito Messenger.

Parent Testimonial: Sofie & Charles Langhorne

Dearest Alice,

I remember vividly the day Danny and I interviewed with you.  It seems like only yesterday.  I remember crying all the way home, feeling so anxious about having a stranger take care of my little boy, was the decision about going back to work the right one?  Three years later you feel like part of our family…our everyday life.  Now I feel anxious and sad that it’s time for Danny to move on.

How can we ever thank you? You took in our son, taught him the values of friends, animals, and our planet.  You taught him more than numbers, ABC’s and “moon-a-gones”. You taught him how to be a good person.  You made our job of parenting that much easier, and we are so proud of the product…little Danny. Thank you!

Sofie & Charles Langhorne

September 1995

Parent Testimonial: Robin Sonner & Randy Tico

Dear Alice,

I am not sure where to start to describe the contribution that you have been in our lives…You have been teacher and friend and confidant and an important partner in the learning and growing process that accompanies raising a child in this day and age.  I have turned to you for guidance and advice and support and laughter.  I have watched your children grow in mind and body and spirit.  I have watched Jenna learn to read and write and work with numbers at a very young age and love every minute of it.

Jenna is now seven years old. I think she was barely three when we first came to My Special School.  There has never been one single day that we were not happy to be going to school.  As you know, I have felt that your influence has been so valuable that I have pulled Jenna out of Kindergarten and First Grade just to spend a day with you…and I look forward to doing the same this year! Being connected to you and your group is important to both Jenna and me.

Alice, always know that you are special and what a gift to this world you are.

We love you, Alice.

Robin Sonner & Randy Tico
September 1997

Elan Boehme, MSS Alumnus

GetAttachment[3]Élan is 6 yrs. old, a competent bird watcher and can identify a wide array of edible and native plants. He loves to find animal tracks in the mud, helping acorn woodpeckers put acorns in the tree bark, digging out gopher tunnels that journey for yards and yards, and climbing trees to sit quietly. He is currently attending kindergarten at Wild Roots Forest school where he investigates our natural world daily and is very happy. Élan loves to take care of his chickens (4 hens). He likes to play piano and can play by hear, humming songs he has heard. He helps cook and bake with his family almost every night and gets much pleasure out of vacuuming the living room- mom also loves this!

Élan enjoyed My Special School and the great value of caring for himself and others, including plants and animals, which has given him confidence and enthusiasm in life. Also he has a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh!

Erin & Ethan Boehme

January 2013

Ella Boehme, MSS Alumna

photo (1)Ella, now 10 yrs. old,  is at Waldorf school in the 4th grade. She is a prolific reader and writer of fiction and poetry. Her favorite place to be is in the public library or in the woods. She is very knowledgable on birds, plants, trees and weather. She has found an absolute passion for the snow and tracks conditions and temperatures all around the globe watching for snowfall. She might wish or will Santa Barbara into a white winter some day of we don’t watch out!

Ella is also playing the piano and the flute by ear and has just started the violin.

Ella is focused on becoming a farmer some day and has taken a particular interest in fruit trees, chickens and milk goats. She works with a mentor farmer milking goats and is starting to learn the art of cheesmaking.

Ella is a beginning naturalist, it is joy to be in nature with her-I always learn something new.

Erin & Ethan Boehme
January 2013

Student Testimonials: Elan Boehme

GetAttachment[3]At My Special School we went to see Michael Katz tell stories. Also she took us to the theater.

Sometimes at lunch, we said that trees were on “time out” for putting leaves in our lunch boxes. Now I don’t like that, because I love trees a lot.

Alice read us stories and took us different places, we could go across the street, we could do anything!

Elan Boehme, 6 yrs.

January 2013