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February 22, 2011 > Obituary: Cynthia Tideman Leahy

Obituary: Cynthia Tideman Leahy

July 22, 1946 - January 25, 2011

Some dream of doing and others live the dream. Cynthia Leahy was a dreamer who succeeded in realizing the full potential of her life while helping countless others benefit from the teachings of Italian physician and educator, Dr. Maria Montessori. Labeled a "pragmatic, realistic visionary" by a Montessori associate and "The center of the universe" by her husband Michael, Cynthia planted the philosophical seeds of Montessori education in many locations throughout the world including the Fremont Mission San Jose facility in she founded. One of only two in the State of California that spans pre-kindergarten through high school education, Montessori School of Fremont is one of five internationally accredited Montessori schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The term "Montessori" is loosely and erroneously connected with many schools. Montessori principles, however, are actually followed by a much smaller, "accredited" group of educational facilities evaluated on a regular basis and found to follow Montessori's guidelines for teacher training, classroom design and equipment. Leahy studied and learned about the Montessori educational system at the Santa Monica Montessori School and Teacher training Institute established by Dr. Claude and Francesca Claremont, associates of Dr. Maria Montessori.

During extensive world travel throughout Asia and Europe and 37 years as a proponent of the Montessori system of education, Cynthia was instrumental in spreading Dr. Montessori's philosophy and practical application in the Bay Area and beyond. The dreams and aspirations of Cynthia Tideman Leahy, a young, idealistic proponent of Montessori's singular educational system have grown to become a pivotal local institution for many children and young adults.

Cynthia will be missed by many especially her immediate family: husband Michael; sons, Eric Alexander of Fremont, CA; Andrew Leahy of Mission Viejo, CA; Matthew Leahy of Fremont, CA; daughters, Sophia Leahy Stone of Lafayette, IN and Anna Leahy Eckstrom of San Ramon, CA. Although a great personal loss for family, friends and associates, her legacy endures.

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