Valerie DeCrescenzo, Outdoor Classroom Specialist

  • From: New York City
  • Years of Teaching Experience: 32
  • Years at FMS: 12
  • Degrees: BS in child psychology
  • Montessori Certifications: Montessori Certified by AMS
  • Thing About the Outdoor Classroom: The joy of watching the children interacting with nature.
  • Thing about Montessori: The philosophy. Children belong to nature, especially when they are young. Without the influence of nature the child misses an important basic instinct that is naturally a part of them. Keeping this in mind, we need to give our students as much exposure to their outdoor environment as possible.
  • Hobbies: Gardening, walking and cooking.
  • Quote: Learning is endless.


  • What are you looking forward to this year? This year, I (along with the children) hope the garden bears fruit and vegetables as well as a lasting learning experience. As for next year, I would love to see the children return with the love of nature still with them.
  • What inspires you? Meeting new children each year and watching them flower is probably my greatest inspiration!
  • Who is your mentor? My parents, because they have always taught me to never judge a book by its cover. You must read a chapter or two to understand its contents.
  • I would like to add one more thing. FMS to me stands for “Families Making Strides in the education of their children.” I love being part of the FMS family.
Rave Reviews

“I like all of the plants and I like all of the trees and all of the works and all of the dinosaurs that she brings and the blocks and the Legos. She lets me do new works.” — Ben, P4

“The plants, the food for the birds … her binoculars, her pictures, colors.” — Charley, P4

“I like Ms. Val and her garden. I like to water the garden and watch the vegetables grow.” — Gabriel, P3

“I like to look for bugs with my friends. We get to catch them and touch them and use the book to find out what type of bug it is. And she lets me plant seeds.” — Lucy, P3

“I like going outside with Ms. Val and catching the slimy worms.” — Dominic, P3

“I like to do the projects outside with Ms. Val and water the plants to see them grow.” — Brighid, P3