About Marsha Familaro Enright
PResident, Founder, CHairman of the BOARD
Marsha became riveted with the problems of education when, as a child, she found herself in love with learning and school while surrounded by other children who were miserable. This was a mystery to her; she did not want such misery to befall her future children. It led her on a life-long quest for effective and enjoyable education.
She went on to earn a BA in biology at Northwestern University and an MA in psychology from The New School for Social Research.
During college, she discovered the ideas and methods of Maria Montessori which presented ingenious and psychologically effective means of creating a happy hotbed of learning for young students. In 1990, Marsha founded Council Oak Montessori Elementary School as a place for her own children to learn.
With this project, Marsha took the idea for a new elementary school in March of 1990, to the opening of the school with a first class of 17 students and a full staff in September 1990. The school reached an enrollment of 75 a few years later, and successfully continues to this day with about 100 students ages three to fourteen years old. In the October, 2006 and 2011 issues of Chicago Magazine , Council Oak was named one of the top 25 private elementary schools in Chicago.
As Marsha’s expertise in education grew, so did her concern and discontent with higher education. She saw more and more students graduating from college unequipped to think for themselves and lacking important knowledge and life skills, as well as the most basic understanding of what is necessary for a fully free society. Most frighteningly, these included many students from the ‘best’ universities in the U.S. such as Harvard, the University of Chicago, and Stanford. Marsha was alarmed at the problems and unhappiness caused by these developments, as well as the threat they pose for civil society.
At this point, equipped with considerable breadth and depth of knowledge about the most effective means of education and fearful of the grip that collectivism in all its forms had on higher education, Marsha became convinced that the country needed a higher education program, dedicated to reason, individualism and a fully free society. She initiated the development of the project and the search for other team members.
Marsha writes on topics from current events to neuropsychology; see www.fountainheadinstitute.com.
Marsha resides in Chicago, Illinois.