Where are they now? With Katie DeMarse ’05, Philip Isom ’08, and Noemi Moritz ’08

In which we pick a photo from our archives and track down these erstwhile MMS students to see what they’re up to in their lives now. Thank you to Katie DeMarse ’05, Philip Isom ’08, and Noemi Moritz ’08 for answering the call!

Noemi Moritz ’08 lives on the Lower East Side, save for a four-year stint getting a degree in sociology and studio art at the University of Colorado Boulder, she has called New York her home for her entire life, and that’s just how she likes it. “I graduated from Boulder in 2018 and then pretty much came right back. I’ll probably live in New York forever,” she said. Most recently, she worked at a content production agency. She is still in touch with Victoria Gross. She recognizes a few people from her grade in the photo, including Michael Sugarman, Philip Isom, Emma Prenn, and Chris Henderson. “They’re all standing next to me and I remember them very well. My mom is still very good friends with their moms, so I always get updates on them,” she said.  She keeps in touch with a few MMS people via Instagram, and her family stayed close to the Maheshwaris (Sanjana, Nikhil ‘08, and Neil ‘06).

Philip Isom ’08 lives in New York City and works at JPMorgan Chase, where he focuses on strategy, asset, and wealth management after graduating from the Wharton School with a B.S. in Accounting and Behavioral Economics. Living through the pandemic forced him to change up old routines and hobbies, including trying cycling at the cajoling of a colleague. “He more or less bothered me enough to get me involved,” said Isom. “I had to buy a bike, I had to get all the equipment.” With the team his friend put together, Isom participated in “Cycle for the Cause,” 275-mile bike ride benefiting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center in Lower Manhattan; He personally raised $2,000. Stepping out of his comfort zone reminded him of MMS—namely participating in the school musical. “My breakout performance was as the father of the ugly duckling, Honk,” remembers Isom. “I remember the first practice and having to sing these songs and being so uncomfortable but over time having to get comfortable and do it,” he says. This pandemic year has reminded him to embrace that unknown and “keep that level of curiosity” not just in school and work, but in life as well.

Katie DeMarse ’05 is now in her second year in a master’s program at Columbia School of Social Work. In early 2020, she was trying to organize an opportunity to observe at Metropolitan Montessori School in a social work capacity, busily setting up appointments, when COVID-19 took hold in the U.S. MMS closed on March 10 and did not reopen until the following September. Even without the ability to continue that project at the moment, Katie connects her early scholastic career at MMS with her career pursuits in social work. “The part of social work I like is very analytical in how it’s structured,” said DeMarse, “and you could say that all started at [Metropolitan] Montessori: Where else did I learn how to question systems and have the freedom to analyze things and move things around and feel empowered? That early childhood development period there.”

-Dan Kricke