A Message from John and Colleen
When we think about our work with Mission Mountain School over the last 19 years, we are most proud of our students and their accomplishments as they move forward in their lives. Colleen and I are incredibly grateful to all the wonderful students, families, staff members, colleagues and professionals we met and came to love in the last 19 years. Your efforts made MMS a tremendous success. It has been an amazing experience that deeply touched our lives and hearts. Our students are the reason we believe and trust that there is an essential spirit that guides each person’s life. We feel privileged that we shared some part of their journey. Prior to the birth of our children, our students and MMS were the most important and significant component in our lives. MMS was our family and life work.
For most of the history of Mission Mountain School we placed the needs our students and the school before the needs of our family. The courage and commitment of our students inspired us to work 70+ hour weeks without tiring. Lately, we find ourselves at times exhausted or overwhelmed by the difficult demands of working at MMS and raising our young children. Recent deaths in our families, challenges us to take stock. We recognize that we have reached a turning point. The needs of our children, our increasing age, and the needs of family elders requires us to, in the language of MMS, "face the dragon;" we can not do it all.(continue)
Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends
Montana Educational Consulting and Programs Inc. (MECPI) founded Mission Mountain School almost 19 years ago with a dream of providing service to families in need.
We are proud Mission Mountain School is a nationally recognized pioneer and leader in helping establish a new industry and way of tending to the needs of young people.
Snow on the Swans
The sound of rain woke us this morning. Looking outside, wisps of monochromatic clouds float by in shades of gray and white. The misty rain shroud only allows short, quick glimpses of Cooney Creek, Holland Peak and Rumble Creek. I see snow down at least to Rumble Falls, real snow, serious snow, oh no!
Oh yes, the Missions have even more snow. Visions of an early winter at Mission Mountain School scares me, we are not any where near ready. The roof is leaking in the kitchen, we have no hay or firewood yet and I haven’t fixed the roof on the barn.
Now I am so very grateful for this summer, and how well we have been treated by Mother Nature. I pray for an extended Indian summer. But I feel fall in the air and see it in the golden colors of the sun-cured grasses in the fields. This time of year brings up feelings that swirl much like the mist and rain, visible, yet inchoate.
Winds of Change
The weather changed shortly after Graduation, with major downpours and high winds. Today another storm blew in with dark clouds and cool temperatures. It has been over a week since all the students left. We have been working non-stop to clean and try and make a place for us and our children.
At times I feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that needs to be cleaned up, fixed, organized, and put away or tossed. Yesterday, Duchess, Dancer and Jim (the horses) left for a new home in Billings with a nice lady that was looking for some horses for her kids. I was sorry to see Duchess and Dancer go, but it is for the best as I don’t think that they would make it through another winter here in the Swan.
The Last Graduation
We hosted the last graduation at Mission Mountain School on Saturday, August 16, 2008 with about seventy people attending on a beautiful sunny day with clear skis and the Swan Mountains shining to the East. It was an emotional time and tears flowed freely.
The students shared their accomplishments and received compliments from their parents and friends on their success. Once again we thanked the parents, students, staff and friends of MIssion Mountain School and all those who contributed to the success of these completing students. Several students sang sweet songs with Colleen. We all sang “Farewell My Friends” at the end. It was a good day.(continue)
How does one say goodbye and have closure to over 18 years of life work?
It’s the day before the final graduation at MMS and we’re incredibly busy with all kinds of details. Tonight we are hosting a barbeque dinner for the parents and students.
Over the last three weeks we sent out over 500 letters to professionals, staff, parents, students, alums, colleagues and friends of MMS. We apologize to anyone that we may have missed in that initial effort! Some letters have been returned due to a lack of current addresses. If you didn’t get a letter, send us your address and we will make sure you get one.
Sure, we are tying up loose ends, taking care of paperwork, organizing stuff, people, etc. But in the real tradition of MMS, we know that is not really how one says goodbye. For a time, the busy work is a convenience, an avoidance, and a semi-functional way of managing our feelings through overwhelm. But avoidance is not really the tradition of MMS.