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Workshops [clear filter]
Thursday, March 22


Finding Your Leadership “True North”
The work of school leadership can be so satisfying but also exhausting; perpetually sprinting to put out fires, many leaders find themselves on the edge of being overwhelmed. This workshop will invite you to slow your sprint to a jog. Come reflect, build a vision, and make a plan to stay pointed toward your true north through a stimulating mix of individual reflection, small-group discussion, lecture, and Q & A. We will explore the challenges of leadership compassionately, while offering practical steps for moving toward a more visionary and less defensive approach to leading.

avatar for RB Fast

RB Fast

Bee Line Consulting
RB Fast, MS, is a school leadership coach for Bee Line Consulting, LLC, in Denver, CO. AMI-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Thursday March 22, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Windows Tower Building Second Level
Friday, March 23


Canceled - Community Building through Living Systems Principles - Canceled
This workshop has canceled. 

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am


Effective School Branding
Threading a consistent message through all your communications is the key to effective branding that cultivates connections with prospective parents and builds the confidence of existing parents by reminding them why they chose your environment. This workshop defines branding and shows you how to broadcast your school’s unique value and character to the wider community.


The Montessori Agency

Stan Kang is chief executive officer at The Montessori Agency, in Lebanon, NJ.

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Tower Court C Tower Building Second Level


Learning-Oriented Leadership for Transformational Learning
Learning-oriented leaders assist adult learners in managing the complexities of teaching and leadership. Come explore how adults process experiences in developmentally different ways and explore 4 pillar practices—teaming, collegial inquiry, mentoring, and providing leadership roles—that create vibrant, nurturing communities of lifelong learners and leaders.

avatar for Susanne Gregory

Susanne Gregory

Susanne Phelan Gregory, MPH, is principal consultant for Gregory Consulting, LLC, in Richmond, VA, specializing in school leadership, training, development, and long-range planning. AMS-credentialed (Administrator).
avatar for Katie Keller Wood

Katie Keller Wood

Director, Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education
Katie Keller Wood, MEd, is executive director of the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program (CMStep) and an adjunct instructor at Xavier University, both in Cincinnati, OH. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia. AMS-credentialed (Secondary I... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Govenor's Square 15 Plaza Concourse Level


Selling Your For-Profit Montessori School
School owners who are considering selling their businesses face many questions: What are the school and real estate actually worth? What will happen to my employees and students after the sale? How do I navigate all the challenges? If you’re wanting to plan for this stage in your life, this workshop will provide you with real-world financial and practical considerations to help you succeed in selling and avoid major pitfalls.


Wes Simmons

Bailey Routzong Capital Advisors
Wesley Simmons is director of client advisory services for Bailey Routzong Capital Advisors, in Houston, TX.

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Tower Court B Tower Building Second Level


The Collaborative Community: Organizing Principles for Non-Montessori Administrators
Montessori schools are collaborative and unique communities that can sometimes be challenging for non-Montessori administrators to navigate. If you’re new to Montessori, come explore a “team management” approach and learn to design an organizational structure that adopts Montessori classroom-style leadership, coaching, and mentoring that you can employ to guide faculty, staff, and trustees to work together most effectively.

avatar for Elaine Blasi

Elaine Blasi

Head of School, Silver Oak High School
Elaine Blasi, MEd, is head of Silver Oak High School, in Hayward, CA, a member of the AMS School Accreditation Commission, and a former member of the AMS Board of Directors. She is the founder of Montessori Hale O Keiki, in Kihei, HI AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Secondary I... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Director's Row H Plaza Lobby Level


The Emotional Intelligence of Teachers
The effective Montessori teacher nurtures the emotional intelligence (E.I.) of her students, but shouldn’t we also nurture our own? Come learn more about E.I. and one Montessori school’s collaboration with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to engage its faculty with the RULER approach—Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions—for transformative results. You’ll be inspired to nurture the E.I. of the adults in your community.

avatar for Yan Yan Imamura

Yan Yan Imamura

Assistant Director of ECE and Montessori Programs, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Yan Yan Imamura, MEd, MAT, is assistant director of Early Childhood and Montessori programs and Lab School Liaison at the Chaminade University of Honolulu, HI. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).
avatar for Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park

Assistant Professor & Director, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Elizabeth Park, PhD, is assistant professor of education at Chaminade University of Honolulu, HI, and a member of the Montessori Life Editorial Advisory Board. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Plaza CF Plaza Concourse Level


Hear Ye, Principals! What Teachers in Montessori Public Schools Are Saying
This workshop will present the top challenges to program authenticity identified in a 5-year research study of teachers in Montessori public schools. Come hear what teachers say about how they can be better supported and learn how small changes in leadership have helped administrators address these pressing issues.


Ginny Riga

CEO, Montessori Public School Consulting
Ginny Riga, EdD, is a Montessori consultant for the South Carolina Department of Education, in Columbia, SC, a member of the research team at Furman University, in Greenville, SC, and a former member of the AMS Board of Directors.

Friday March 23, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Governor's Square 12 Plaza Concourse Level


Professional Development for Teacher Assistants
This workshop will provide a structure for starting your own program of professional development for teacher assistants—an endeavor that can benefit everyone in your school community. Discover how to define roles, help assistants develop stronger relationships with lead teachers and students, and empower assistants to take on meaningful responsibilities that lead to greater satisfaction and career investment.


Angela Boley

Angela Boley, MA, is dean of students at California Montessori Project in Carmichael, CA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II). NCME-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Melanie Driskill

Melanie Driskill, MEd, is a teacher for the California Montessori Project in Sacramento, CA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).
avatar for California Montessori Project

California Montessori Project

California Montessori Project
Gary S. Bowman, MSEd, is executive director of the California Montessori Project, in Carmichael, CA, and a member of the AMS Board of Directors.

Mickey Slamkowski

California Montessori Project
Mickey Slamkowski is program director at the California Montessori Project in Carmichael, CA, and a member of the AMS School Accreditation Commission. NCME-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Friday March 23, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Plaza E Plaza Concourse Level


Speed Mentoring for School Leaders
Join us for an efficient exercise in drilling down to your particular interests and establishing relationships with peers who share similar questions or have the expertise you’re looking for. Choose your topic of interest from tables where mentor-experts will host a 20-minute introductory discussion, then rotate to 2 additional tables for a total of 3 conversations. You’ll leave with handouts and contacts for future connections.

avatar for Mary Ellen Kordas

Mary Ellen Kordas

Mary Ellen Kordas is president of the AMS Board of Directors, a member of the council of the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, and a consultant to Montessori schools and boards of trustees (MEK Consulting). She was a founding head of school of Livermore’s Valley Montessori, the... Read More →
avatar for Kathy Roemer, PhD

Kathy Roemer, PhD

Executive Director, Twin Parks Montessori School
Kathy Roemer, EdD, is executive director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools, in New York, NY, and president of the New York State Montessori Alliance. She is a former president of the AMS Board of Directors. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Friday March 23, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Tower Court D Tower Building Second Level


The Capital Project: A Path to Institutional Maturity, Stability & Sustainability
When a school can remedy the tension between facilities-driven operational challenges and its greater aspirations, it opens pathways to growth, stability, and sustainability. School leaders and trustees are invited to join in a group dialogue and focused activities that explore the capital-project process, from feasibility investigation and funding to permitting, design, and construction. Ample time will be allowed for Q & A.


Kevin Campbell

Principal, KSC Education Consulting
As a former Montessori guide, Adolescent Community founder/director, and Head of School, and now a Montessori-focused consultant, there is no end to my shared interests with the Montessori community-at-large. My primary interest, however, is to share my knowledge and experience in... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Director's Row I Plaza Lobby Level


Customer Service–Based Enrollment
Enrollment that starts and ends with a deposit and signed contract misses the opportunity to ensure that families feel valued during every step, from first visiting the school to placement after graduation—and beyond. This session will explore specific customer service tools that you can employ to increase parent satisfaction, student retention, and school sustainability.

avatar for Carrie Kries

Carrie Kries

Head of School, Gladwyne Montessori School
Carrie Kries, MEd, is head of school at Gladwyne Montessori, in Gladwyne, PA. Carrie values learning as an experience and seeks to provide children with a school environment where they can safely explore, create and wonder.
avatar for Audra Walsh

Audra Walsh

Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, Gladwyne Montessori
Audra Walsh is Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management at Gladwyne Montessori, in Gladwyne, PA. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Friday March 23, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Governor's Square 10 Plaza Concourse Level


Diversity & Equity in Montessori Schools
This workshop will give school leaders an understanding of issues, vocabulary, and systems to support diversity and equity in our schools. As you come prepared to face complex issues, you’ll be empowered with solutions for nurturing more inclusive relationships, classrooms, and school environments that fulfill Montessori’s commitment to social justice.


Erin R Trondson

Head of School & Adjunct Professor, Woodland Montessori School & UW River Falls
Erin R. Trondson, MS, is head of Woodland Montessori School, in Madison, WI, and an adjunct professor at University of Wisconsin–River Falls. She is a recipient of an AMS Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award (2017). AMS-credentialed (Infant & Toddler).

Friday March 23, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Director's Row H Plaza Lobby Level
Saturday, March 24


Courageous Conversations
In this transformative workshop, you will learn how to integrate open communication into your school community to the point where the expression of honest concerns is expected, required, and desired by everyone involved. We will discuss how to ensure all voices are heard, while building “relational capital” that will improve the community’s well-being, civility, and prosperity. You will leave feeling empowered and equipped to have those difficult and meaningful conversations you’ve been long avoiding!


Cassi Mackey

Cassi Mackey, MEd, is principal of Montessori Education Centre-Charter School in Mesa, Arizona.

Saturday March 24, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Governor's Square 12 Plaza Concourse Level



Developing Montessori Program Team Leaders
Learn about the efforts of one Montessori school to develop team leaders among their staff. Now in its third year, the program has been transformational in helping the school community genuinely embody the Montessori approach to working together as adults. You’ll leave with useful resources and an adaptable and affordable model for regular professional development, to nurture and sustain effective team leaders at all levels of your program.


Pamela Dunbar

The Montessori Academy of Arlington
Pamela Dunbar, MBA, is head of school of the Montessori Academy of Arlington, TX, and a member of the AMS School Accreditation Commission.
avatar for Michelle Morrison

Michelle Morrison

Head of School, Princeton Montessori School
Michelle Morrison, MAT, is head of Princeton Montessori School, in Princeton, NJ. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II, Secondary I, Administrator). She is in her fourth year as HOS and enjoys creating a collaborative adult learning and working community that reflects Montessori v... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Governor's Square 16 Plaza Concourse Level


Maximizing Public Money: Funding for Montessori Programs
Montessori grant-writers know the challenges of fitting our programs into conventional application boxes, but some public Montessori schools have cracked the code! Come hear about one Montessori charter school that has accessed over $2 million in public grants to support its mission. You’ll learn about approaches, including public policy and advocacy, that have been used to access, maintain, flexibly utilize, and expand public funding for classrooms, facilities, teacher development, and more.


Robert Nardo

Bob Nardo, MA, is the head and founder of Libertas School of Memphis, a Montessori charter school in Tennessee. He has more than 13 years of experience in urban school reform, including as chief operating officer of a KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) region and founding chief operating... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Governor's Square 12 Plaza Concourse Level


New AMS Member Benefit: The Pathway of Continuous School Improvement
Learn how participation in AMS’s Pathway of Continuous School Improvement can provide you with personalized coaching to help you take your school to new levels of excellence. Whether you’re looking to craft a mission statement, incorporate core components of quality Montessori into your program, or even work toward accreditation, we will provide the support and resources to help you meet your goals. The Pathway process is self-paced, standards-based, and an exciting new addition to your school’s member benefits.

avatar for Peter Piché

Peter Piché

AMS Pathways, AMS
PETER PICHE is a Montessori guide credentialed at the primary, elementary levels and has experience at the secondary level. He founded the Adolescent Community at Montessori Community School in Durham, NC. He is a certified professional leadership coach and Montessori consultant with... Read More →
avatar for Sara S. Wilson

Sara S. Wilson

Senior Director of School Accreditation & School Improvement, American Montessori Society
Sara S. Wilson, MEd, is AMS senior director of school accreditation & school improvement. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Tower Court C Tower Building Second Level


Securing Your Legacy as a Second-Generation School Leader
Mom ran the school. Now it’s your turn. Particulary if the school is family-owned—but even if it’s not—passing the torch to the next generation tests the skills, talents, and leadership abilities of any new school head. This workshop is designed to assist second-generation school leaders in a successful transition and outlines proven leadership tools and techniques to help move the school toward stability and growth.

avatar for K.T. Korngold

K.T. Korngold

CEO, Center for Montessori Education|NY Inc.
K. T. Korngold, MA, is the chief executive officer of the Center for Montessori Education|New York, in New Rochelle, NY. AMS-credentialed (Infant & Toddler, Administrator from the Center for Montessori Education|NY). She is the Executive Director of the Montessori Children's Center... Read More →
avatar for Mary Beth Ricks

Mary Beth Ricks

Head of School, Bowman
Mary Beth Ricks is head of Bowman School, in Palo Alto, CA, and president of the Bay Area Montessori Association. AMS-credentialed (Administrator).

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Tower Court B Tower Building Second Level


Strategies & Tools for Inclusion
In this presentation of several topics addressed in the AMS Montessori Inclusion Endorsement, use a composite case study and role-play to learn new strategies for supporting families of children with exceptionalities. Explore observation and assessment that align with Montessori pedagogy and keys to understanding and using evaluation results—and take home an observation tool to evaluate attention and concentration.


Ann Epstein

Ann Epstein, PhD, is associate professor of early childhood education at University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).
avatar for Pamela Shanks

Pamela Shanks

Pam Shanks, MS, is associate head of Bowman School, in Palo Alto, CA. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Columbine Tower Terrace Level


Trusting the Process in Public & Charter Montessori Middle Schools
Teachers in Montessori public schools work tirelessly to cover all the standards and prepare for state exams while maintaining the authenticity of a Montessori classroom. This presentation will offer pointers and encouragement to trust the Montessori process, with specific examples of lesson planning, student accountability, time management, coaching, and group work that have proved successful in established public and charter Montessori middle school programs.


Debra Loewenstein

Debra Coe Loewenstein, MEd, is a middle school teacher at Wilson Montessori School, in Houston, TX. AMS-credentialed (Secondary I–II).

Process pptx

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Tower Court D Tower Building Second Level


Data Dashboards That Improve School Operations
Come be introduced to dashboards—technology tools you can use to harness data to help you monitor and analyze all aspects of school operations, from admissions to finance, development, advertising, and even facilities. You’ll learn how to gather the right information and use common software tools to build dashboards that enable you to take a look at your school from the inside out.


Andrea O'Brian

Princeton Montessori School
Andrea N. O’Brian is director of operations and communications at Princeton Montessori School, in Princeton, NJ, and vice president of the New Jersey Montessori Association Corporation (NJMAC). AMS-credentialed (Administrator).

Saturday March 24, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Governor's Square 12 Plaza Concourse Level


Leadership Succession & School Sustainability
At some point, all school leaders have to think about succession and the long-term viability of the school they’ve worked so hard to develop. This presentation will cover all you need to consider in times of transition, including managing financial resources, guiding the board and and staff, and maintaining strategic vision and mission-fidelity through the process.

avatar for Brenda Bernstorf

Brenda Bernstorf

Deputy Executive Director, Montessori Academy
Brenda Bernstorf, EdD, is deputy executive director of Montessori Academy, Inc., in Brentwood, TN. My seminar topic is about succession planning and financial sustainability and incorporates information about board change, administration change, and change models. I have a particular... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Director's Row E Plaza Lobby Level
Sunday, March 25


Getting More Out of Professional Development
Do teachers in your school come away from Montessori conferences and in-services brimming with all kinds of new idea—yet, when you observe their classrooms a month later, you find hardly anything has changed? In this panel discussion led by experienced Montessori instructional leaders, learn about systems and strategies that stimulate and support continuous teacher development. You’ll learn how to go beyond providing inspiration and really get results from adult learning—by identifying essential collaborative elements, establishing learning goals and implementation plans, supporting and supervising teachers, documenting professional growth, and managing accountability.
Joining the facilitator: Jonathan Wolff, Kathleen Trewhella-Grant, Susan Dendinger


Paul Epstein

transformation agent, designs for lifelong learning
Paul Epstein, PhD, is a transformation agent at Designs for Lifelong Learning, in Winona, MN. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Secondary I–II).

Sunday March 25, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Governor's Square 14 Plaza Concourse Level

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