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Vy Ergonis

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Vy Ergonis, co-owner of Lodi Montessori, sat down with HERLIFE Magazine recently to share her dedication to family and community.

HLM: How long have you lived here? What do you love most?
VE: I was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, in a cemetery and next to a grave. True story! I came to the States when I was five years old and have lived in California for almost 40 years. I moved to Lodi in 2009 after getting married. My husband grew up here and attended Lodi High. Then in 2019, we moved to Woodbridge. There is so much to love about this place, but the first thing that always comes to mind is the wonderful people. They are kind, community-supporting folks. Good people, beautiful wineries and Lodi Lake right in our backyard; I think we’re pretty spoiled, don’t you?

HLM: How is your heart inspired to serve the community?
VE: Teaching our young children. There is so much potential and goodness in each and every one of them. Providing them with a safe place to learn and grow up in, while at the same time giving parents peace of mind is truly rewarding. I recognize how valuable that is to them.

HLM: What impact does your career have on the community?
VE: Overall, I think what I do helps increase school readiness in young children, while supporting local families and fostering community relationships. Quite a few of our families become lifelong friends. The kids around here call me Ms. Vy, pronounced “Vee.”

HLM: What sparks joy for you?
VE: Coffee served with a slice of chocolate cake, Mother Nature and organization.

HLM: Top three bucket list goals?
VE: Travel as far and much as I can, as I truly believe experience is one of the best educations there is; learn to play Spanish Romance on the acoustic guitar. That’s going to be a challenging one; learn how to converse in a third language, particularly Spanish.

HLM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
VE: I would have to say building Lodi Montessori from the ground up with my two hard-working sisters, Jenni Nino and Jolie Zins. We had a vision to create a safe and nurturing space for high-quality education, not just for our personal children, but also others in this community. To date, we have served roughly 400 families and over 500 students. It is hard to believe that this August will be our 11th year in operation. Our oldest group of students is now in high school. Not only have I learned so much about working with young children, but also a lot about myself through this journey.

HLM: Can you describe a key event that had an impact on your life?
VE: Marrying Rob. He is my biggest supporter and has always given me courage when I need it most. Sounds cheesy, but that is a fact.

HLM: How is your time best spent outside work?
VE: Trying to be a decent mom to my two daughters, Elle and Quinn. Bringing them into this world, I have an obligation to ensure they receive a great start while acquiring the necessary characteristics to be good humans.

HLM: Do you have a favorite quote?
VE: Maria Montessori said, “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” Take a moment to let that one sink in. Our children may someday help change this world for the better, so let us collectively, as a community, take care of them.

HLM: What are you currently reading?
VE: The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen. So far, interesting and informative. I studied early childhood education and development, so the teenage age group is a little foreign to me. I now have one living under my roof. Cue the crying emoji.

HLM: Favorite food or dessert?
VE: I enjoy all foods and like trying all types of foods out there. Just feed me, and I’ll be happy.