This tribute was written by Razan Abdin-Adnani and read by a classmate at the 2018 AMI Refresher Course in Phoenix, AZ.
Jillian Jo Sprenger
November 21, 1989-January 24, 2017
Jillian was an incredibly rare and radiant person—kind, lively, magnetic, creative, and resilient beyond measure. She grew up in Charlotte, NC. She studied Baking and Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University. While teaching cooking classes at a local Montessori school in her hometown, Jillian fell in love with the method. Subsequently, she pursued her AMI training from WMI & Master of Education from Loyola University Maryland. Her fellow trainees describe her as incredibly helpful, positive, passionate, and stylish. There was seemingly nothing that Jillian did not do brilliantly. She served as a Lead Guide at the Montessori School at Flatiron in New York City, where a memorial library was recently dedicated in her honor. Jillian was a dynamic, committed, and loving educator who is deeply missed by her colleagues, families, and, especially, by her students. Indeed, there are dozens of children who undoubtedly benefitted from having a Guide like Jillian during their most formative years of life! She enjoyed singing, baking, biking, sewing, traveling, live music, and playing the ukulele. She lives on in our hearts and memories forever.
I was having a tough time in the first weeks of Montessori training, as my own mother was battling with cancer at that time. We sat in the same seats each day. When I arrived to my seat one morning, Jillian had put freshly baked cookies and a ridiculously sweet card at my seat. It felt so good to have a friend in this strange, new place--amid much pain and confusion. You are unforgettable, darling! Thank you for always being such a good friend.
Please feel free to share your favorite Jillian memory in the comments!