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Names in the News: Diane Roberto

The Shaker resident and director of Horizon Montessori School in Cleveland Heights talks about what inspired her to become an educator and why she loves the Heights.

Name & Occupation: Diane Roberto, director,

Do you also live in Cleveland Heights? What do you like most about this community? I live in Shaker Heights. I love the "Cleveland Heights culture" — the creative, historical, energetic nature of the region, and the deep commitment of its residents to maintaining and developing the area's best qualities.

What community and civic organizations are you involved in? I'm on the board of Vocational Guidance Services, and I am a fan and supporter of the Cleveland Orchestra, Museum of Art and the Botanical Garden.

What drew you become an educator? How long have you worked in the montessori method and what do you find most interesting about the work you do? In my junior year of college (Manhattanville, in Purchase, NY), I attended a lecture by John McDermott, visiting professor of philosophy, on the Montessori method, and became an instant convert. I've been involved with Montessori since 1964, and find the most interesting aspect is the unique character of each child. I can't wait to get to work every morning to have my eyes opened in some new, remarkable way.

What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Horizon is my greatest personal and professional accomplishment — the children and their incredible families are part of my life in a way I never dreamed possible.

Who — professionally or personally — do you most admire? Easy question — my parents are (were) the people I most admire for their deep love and devotion to family and their strong work ethic. I've never seen anything like it.

How can other people make a difference locally? I think it's the little things. Neighborly chats reveal what bonds you might have with others. Shopping locally not only supports the area businesses but gives you another opportunity to meet Heights residents and find common ground. I'm big on striking up conversations with strangers. A little sense of humor and an open mind can lead to some very nice moments!

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