Catching Up with Alumni Tommy Borders

Tommy Borders (2006) enjoyed a 9-year experience at The New School Montessori and graduated in 2006 to attend Walnut Hills High School. From there, he received a biology degree from DePaul University. Tommy now works in Chicago for the Department of Medicine at Northwestern University in the nephrology division. He studies liver development, liver failure, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in animal models where he looks at protein expression, 3-D imaging and RNA expression. Tommy volunteers in patient care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is studying to take the MCAT exam to become a medical doctor.

Since Tommy’s early days at The New School, he has been playing drums in garage, rock and jazz bands, and now he plays a few evenings a week with a Chicago band called the Cashiers. Tommy stays in touch with his New School friends and has remained close to many of them. He remembers constructing huts with branches from The New School Woods, saying, “I loved having the woods there and being able to go out and have a breath of fresh air among the trees and play with worms. I wish I could do that today, to be honest.” Tommy credits his New School civil rights classes with teacher Johnnyé White for opening his eyes to problems in the world and empowering him to find ways to help. During his college years, he spent a month in Ecuador doing field work, monitoring the health of streams and collecting fish for studies.

Tommy remembers how his New School teachers modeled conflict resolution with love and empathy for others. As a class, they would talk about what hurtful words meant and how they affected others’ feelings. Tommy said, “I remember how we’d always sit in a circle with our legs crossed, and how great it was, having that feeling like everyone was in our family.”

Having an expanded view of family allows us to let others into our lives, to see them as we see ourselves, to care about what happens to them. Over its 50 years, The New School Montessori has been supporting children on their paths of being global citizens.

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