Jyothi McMinn (Pronounced: JOH-thee MIK-min), arrived in the U.S. as a young girl of 23 years driven by a passion for early childhood education. Jyothi’s love of education came from her parents who were also early childhood educators. Jyothi studied early childhood education at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and later was a Fulbright Scholar, attaining her Master’s Degree in Little Rock at UALR. (The Fulbright program is an American scholarship program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946.)

Jyothi’s passion to provide the best learning experience possible to children culminated in her dream of opening a Montessori school. Montessori education is based upon a method developed by its namesake, Maria Montessori (1870-1952), which builds upon the way children naturally learn. Jyothi became a Montessori school director in 1965 and poured her passion for learning into countless Arkansas preschoolers for the last 5 decades.

Jyothi is as passionate about preparing fresh meals as she is about education. In India, it is customary for a bride to receive a spice box as part of her wedding trousseau. Jyothi is pictured above with her own spice box containing a variety of cooking spices. Having all the spices you need in one place makes seasoning your food a simpler task. It is also important to know that the spices are very often handed down from the bride’s own mother and has great sentimental value. The spice box has a small teaspoon inside to measure out each spice as you cook. The typical Indian spice box contains whole spices such as black peppercorns, coriander, cardamom, mustard, cumin, and turmeric. Can you imagine how wonderful they smell?

She has been a resident at Good Shepherd for more than a year now and she likes it here and says there are many interesting people. While she knows many of her neighbors, she still longs to know more of Good Shepherd’s residents and hopes there are others in our community who would like to exchange ideas, participate in cooking, and even talk about the challenges we all face in our everyday life.