CGMS is proud to feature the following experienced and highly-qualified instructors in the Montessori Library instructional videos

Nicole Allsop

Nicole Allsop is from Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. She has begun earning her Early Childhood certificate from The Center for Guided Studies and currently homeschools her two children while founding Hummingbird Montessori School in Trinidad.  Nicole is a Registered Dietitian, having earned her BS in Human Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of the West Indies as well as her BA in International Business Administration from the University of Lincoln, London. She has also been an exercise instructor and coach since 2002 and has combined the two into daily living. Nicole is passionate about learning and believes that it is the exercise for the mind. Nicole enjoys creating materials for her children and future school in nutrition, music, culture and languages.

Bill Alsdurf, Jr.

Bill Alsdurf Jr. is a 37 year, veteran educator, school administrator and curriculum developer.  He has taught children in grades K-6 and enjoys creating materials, activities, and learning opportunities that engage, challenge, and offer an underlying sense of wonder and fun.

Holli Andrews

Holli began her Montessori journey in 1999 when as a senior at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she was a nanny for two small children who attended a Montessori school.  She soon after started her Early Childhood training at Center for Guided Montessori Studies, then completed her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education as well as her Applied Behavioral Analysis training.

Holli currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, US with her two children.  She serves as a Learning Specialist in a Montessori school and is author of the Physical Education training portion of CGMS.

Kitty Bravo

Kitty Bravo has been a Montessori Educator for over 30 years, with experience as a teacher, administrator, board member, teacher educator, and consultant. She received her AMI Primary Montessori Certification in 1977 at the Montessori Institute of Atlanta and has a BA in Human Development from Eckerd College.

In 1984, Kitty founded New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida (originally called Countryside). During her tenure as Head of School, Kitty supported a faculty in the development of programs for toddlers through middle school program. She left her New Gate administration position in 1997 to pursue other professional challenges, but returned to New Gate in 1999 as an instructor in their teacher education program. Kitty also served as the Director of Teacher Education for The New Gate Center for Montessori Studies for 4 years.

Over the last ten years Kitty has worked as a Montessori consultant and instructor for several Montessori teacher education programs. She has also held administrative positions at three Montessori schools. She has served as a board member at New Gate School, is currently a Board Member at Renaissance School, and serves on the Advisory Board for Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf. Kitty has also presented at several AMS and IMC conferences and has traveled as far as India to work with Montessori Schools.

Kitty’s teacher education and consultation work has given her the opportunity to see the many faces of Montessori. She has worked with newly establishing schools, large and small private schools, as well as working extensively with public magnet Montessori programs and charter Montessori schools. Kitty is committed to providing support to teachers, schools and families as they strive to develop positive environments for children. She is passionate about preserving the legacy of Maria Montessori and believes strongly in Montessori’s mission of transforming society through our children. To this end, Kitty has made teacher education her primary professional focus and is truly committed to supporting CGMS students on their important journey of becoming extraordinary Montessori teachers.

Julie Cash

Julie Cash was in the first CGMS cohort, starting in 2008, at what was then a new public Montessori school in Kingston, New York. Recently retired, Julie graduated from the Bank Street School of Education, and has taught preschool through grade 3 in public and private schools for 30 years. She is trained in The Responsive Classroom approach, and did summer courses at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Julie’s particular interests have been building community in the classroom, Writer’s Workshop, literature, and singing with her guitar throughout the day. Children’s developing writing continues to be a passion and she currently leads a voluntary writing group, online, for 8 of her former students.

Mary Colarullo

Mary Colarullo is an AMI-certified Early Childhood teacher and spent over 25 years as a lead teacher in a Montessori Primary environment. Now retired from the classroom, Mary serves as a CGMS teacher trainer. Her expertise lies in the Language and Sensorial areas.

Andrea Cubelo-McKay

Andrea Cubelo-McKay was a Montessori Elementary guide from 2006-2017.   She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work from Penn State University and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. Her graduate work also includes an AMS Elementary Credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland.

In 2017, Andrea founded the Embark Center for Self-Directed Education, a resource center for young people wishing to direct their own learning and lives. This was a natural extension of her work as a Montessori guide, a therapist, and a mother in that it allowed her to help young people create and define for themselves their most meaningful lives. Andrea enjoys the energy of young people and has a profound respect for their emotional, social, and cognitive development. She resides in Leesburg, Va. with her husband, dog, cats and chickens and periodically gets to spend precious time with her three grown children.

Adam Darlage

Adam loves directing the annual Upper Elementary and Middle School Winter Celebration at DuPage Montessori School. Together he and his students have written and performed over a dozen original plays. In addition, he directs the annual Spring Play (usually a title through Music Theatre International) and collaborates with both Primary and Lower Elementary staff to present a full school production.

Adam has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has been teaching at both DuPage Montessori School in Naperville, IL and Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL since the autumn of 2009. He teaches World Religions and World Mythologies at Oakton and serves as the Lead Guide for both the Upper Elementary and Middle School programs at DMS. He received his Elementary I and II certification in 2016 after training with CGMS, and now serves as a Practicum Advisor, Field Consultant, and IG.

Kim Delaney

Kim Delaney serves as Head of School and Secondary Guide at Beach Park School in Tampa, Florida.

Skye Dodson, M.Ed

My name is Skye Dodson, I am AMS I/T credentialed (2007), RIE Foundations trained (2009), hold my M.Ed in education (2010), Positive Discipline certified trainer (2013), and DONA International birth doula certified (2020).  I have 16 years of experience working with infants and toddlers and have been training for the infant toddler level in the US, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Taiwan for the past 7 years.  I also teach a course, Culture and Theory of Learning, for UNC Greensboro for the past 3 years.  I work as a doula and assist mothers in pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care.  I am mother to 3 Montessori daughters, Huxley (19), Harper (14), and Helen (8).  I am passionate about supporting children, teachers and families. 

Hillary Drinkell

The Montessori Foundation program officer and consultant to Claire in assisting her develop the elementary program and to ensure all programs at the school meet authentic Montessori standards.

Hillary has a BA in Speech and Drama and Psychology from the University of Durban, Natal, South Africa. She has her Montessori diploma in Elementary education and her Early Childhood Montessori training through MEI (Montessori Educators International). Hillary received her M.Ed from Plymouth State University with an emphasis in Montessori Education. Hillary has worked in both the primary and elementary classrooms and has 23 years of classroom experience. She was Dean of the Elementary program at a large school in Florida where she received her administrator training. She joined The Montessori Foundation as a consultant and she writes articles for both Tomorrow’s Child and Montessori Leadership; she also assists with accreditation, testing and program development at the Foundation’s lab school in Sarasota, Florida.

When Hillary is not working she loves to travel, read and exercise.

Annamarie Edwards

Annamarie is a career Montessorian with over 25 years of experience and Montessori certifications at both the Infant/Toddler and Children’s House levels.  To say she is passionate about the transformative power of a Montessori education would be an understatement!  In her positions as a lead teacher and as the Director of Education at the Montessori School of Winston Salem, NC, she brings her wealth of knowledge and joy of discovery to her work with children.  An active gardener and lover of the natural world, Annamarie is often found working in her yard, tending to her roses, and spending with her 3 grandchildren.

Ann Epstein

Ann Epstein is an assistant professor in the department of Early Childhood Education at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. Ann teaches Assessment in Early Childhood Education; Pre-Primary and Primary Math, Science and Social Studies; Language Development; Early Childhood Special Education Methods; and History and Philosophy of Early Childhood.

Before coming to Roosevelt, Ann served as Director of Operations and Research for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States where she assisted independent schools in achieving and maintaining accreditation. Ann directed Kentucky’s Preschool Evaluation Program which monitored state-wide early education programs for children from low income families and for children with exceptionalities. She also taught early childhood courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University in Lexington, KY.

Ann taught 3, 4 and 5 year-olds in Montessori private and public school settings for 15 years. She currently works with Montessori teacher education programs in Beijing, China and consults with several Montessori schools seeking assistance in designing effective accommodations for young children with exceptionalities. Ann is a core faculty member of the International Montessori Council which sponsors annual conferences on the East and West coasts. Ann’s workshops this year will focus on strategies for assisting children who have Asperger’s syndrome and other disorders on the autism spectrum and the use of inquiry-based Math, Science and Social Studies projects in Montessori classrooms.

Ann’s research includes effective conflict resolution strategies for young children, collaboration between teachers and families of young children with exceptionalities, and empowering teachers to design accommodations for young children with exceptionalities in inclusive settings.

Paul Epstein, PhD

Paul has worked in Montessori education since 1976 as an administrator, teacher, researcher, consultant, speaker, and author. His administrative experiences include working as a head of schools, executive director of a school consulting agency, director of teacher education programs, and coordinator of a public school magnet program. As a teacher educator, Paul has worked as a director of Montessori teacher education programs for both the early childhood and secondary programs. He has been a Montessori classroom teacher in Montessori early childhood, middle and high school programs. He earned his doctorate in Cultural Anthropology and Montessori teacher certifications in early childhood and secondary levels one and two from the American Montessori Society. He was an associate professor of education at Transylvania University and an adjunct professor of education at Northwestern University.

Paul co-authored the book The Montessori Way – a definitive work on the Montessori experience. He is also the author of An Observer’s Notebook: Learning from Children with the Observation C.O.R.E.

Dr. Janice Fletcher Ed.D.

Dr. Janice Fletcher’s vast educational experience spans over 40 years. She’s attained 4 advanced degrees and served in roles from teacher to teacher of teachers, principal to National Distinguished Principal for Georgia, assistant to the superintendent to leadership training for superintendents. Public education was her home for twenty-four years, then non-profits, charter schools, and an international consulting practice.  She diversified her perspectives with the creation of two books, one used as a workbook for Teaching with Spirit. 

Dr. Fletcher has intertwined her spiritual quest with her educational knowledge and experience by transitioning us to conscious learning, awakening potential genius and creating optimal learning for all with Optimal Wisdom Learning (OWL) She integrates her educational experience with her spiritual passion, bringing a unique process which results in consistent AHA!/OWL moments. It is her passion to support our transformation to conscious awareness, intentional expectation and acceptance of our genius. Want to learn more?

Juliet Gillespie

Juliet earned her Ph.D. in Education and School Management in 2001 from Columbus University.  She currently serves as an Instructional Guide at Center for Guided Montessori Studies, as a Montessori consultant at St. Catherine University and as an Elementary Guide at Countryside Montessori in Tampa, Florida.  She is a member of American Montessori Society and holds a black belt in Tai Kwon Do.

Leanne Gray

Leanne Gray, M.Ed brings over a decade of Montessori experience and 17 years working with children in multiple settings.  She’s taught or led various programs for children, including daycare, in-home nanny care, camps, swim lessons, and after-school programs. She has over five years lead teaching experience in public, private, and Montessori schools and has completed a RIE Foundations course. Leanne has also designed and implemented Montessori homeschool curriculum, coached hundreds of parents, and mentored first year teachers in a public Montessori charter school.

Leanne is the founder of The Prepared Environment, which supports families in raising confident, independent children through a well-designed environment at home.  Her website, offers articles, free resources, and online courses for parents.

She received her BS in Early Childhood Education Pre-K to 3rd, and went on to get her Masters in Education and AMI Primary Montessori certification in Columbia, MD.  Leanne currently travels in a 1974 Airstream with her husband and two dogs around the United States, visiting Montessori schools and building parent support programs.  

Lisa Goldfarb

What Lisa loves about CGMS and how the program instills skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy, and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices, and a lifelong love of learning.

Lisa been involved in Montessori for 39 years in the classroom and 11 with CGMS.  Lisa taught at Undercroft Montessori School for 35 years.  She has a BFA in Art Education from Oklahoma University, received her 3-6 Training at CMTE in New Rochelle, NY, and 6-9 at Houston Montessori Center.  She joined the CGMS faculty with the roles of IG, Practicum Supervisor, Field Consultant, Summer Residencies, and school consultant.

Jackie Grundberg

Jackie Grundberg says, “every summer during college, I had exciting internships: at an oceanography research institute, surgery research lab or working with seals and seal lions at an aquarium. I was headed down the path of applying for veterinarian school, when I saw my very first IMAX film… THE SERENGETI! That very afternoon, I enrolled in a wildlife management program in Kenya. When I returned from that experience, I had a new outlook on life! (Can you find me in the center between the two trucks?)

For the next several years, I worked as a wildlife biologist all over the world. I worked in-the-field with different nature organizations. I had incredible mentors and colleagues. I loved it!

While living overseas, I decided to pursue a teaching career. I earned my state certification to teach high school biology on a U.S. military base. When I retuned to the States, I fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. I earned my American Montessori Society (AMS) credentials to teach 6-12 year olds. For 11 years, I taught in several schools across the U.S. During this time, I got married, had 2 children, and earned my Masters of Education in Instructional Technology.

In 2017, I left the classroom and started Montessori Consulting Services. As an educational consultant, I help parents incorporate Montessori and Love & Logic philosophy into their homes. At the same, time I also became an Instructional Guide, Field Consultant and Practicum Advisor for The Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS), a MACTE credentialing teacher education program.

Through my teaching experience at many different schools, observations with my own children’s education and now guiding adults earning their teaching credentials, I saw some gaps in science education. I hope that my passion for science education, the principals of inquiry-based, hands-on lessons, and my own experience as a classroom teacher ultimately helps teachers and children.

Backpack Sciences is where I’ve discovered I can contribute the most to my community of parents and educators. Join me on this wonderful journey!”

Tracey Hall

Tracey Hall has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Houston, Texas with a focus on Child Development. She received her American Montessori Society Birth to Three Certification through North Harris College in 1991.

In 2001 she founded St. Andrew’s Episcopal School of Houston, Texas where she was the Head of School and Lead Teacher in the Young Toddler Program for two years.

Tracey coordinates and leads Montessori Beginnings, an infant and parent program at Rock Prairie Montessori School in Janesville, WI, and is an Infant & Toddler faculty member at Houston Montessori Center in Houston, TX, and an instructor at Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Jorge Haro

Jorge Haro was born in Zaragoza, Spain and graduated with Bachelor’s of Arts in Economy and Sociology. He worked in market research for 10 years directing his own company and participating as a guest teacher in several colleges in Madrid, Spain. He has been a Montessori Educator since 2010; first as an assistant and later co-teaching in the lower elementary classroom always in charter public schools. He received his CGMS Montessori Elementary Certification (6-12) in 2014. He also works as an instructor for CGMS and has presented on the IMC and MEPI Conferences.

Greg Hicks

Greg Hicks is in his 11th year teaching and 10th as a guide in the upper elementary Montessori Classroom. Greg has had the opportunity to be a Montessori guide in both a charter Montessori school and in the private sector, each providing unique experiences and perspectives. He completed Montessori 6-12 training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and is currently the lead Upper Elementary guide at Beach Park School in Tampa. Greg is also an instructional guide for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and lead instructor for the CGMS residency program. In addition, he brings to his workshops many years of experience as a former business owner, yoga and Qigong instructor and leader of the Lakeland Zen Center (Hokori-ji), all of which have greatly influenced his work as a Montessori guide. Greg also enjoys being with his family, wife and 15 year old son.

Shelby Hiken

Shelby’s connection with Montessori began when she was just three-years-old and she’s been dedicated to the philosophy ever since. A BA from University of Arizona, an M.Ed from Loyola University in Maryland and an AMI Primary Certification from the Washington Montessori Institute launched her fifteen year career as a Montessori Guide in both the private and public sector. Shelby is a founding member of Nurturing Nest Montessori School in Columbia, Maryland, where she held the position of Director of Primary Pedagogy. Currently, Shelby continues her dedication to Montessori’s mission as a Senior Education Specialist at Port Discovery, Baltimore Children’s Museum.

Jan Katzen, AMI, CFP, CN

Jan Katzen, AMI, CFP, CN has studied nutrition and health under the guidance of professor Michael Crawford, expert in brain chemistry and human nutrition. She interned with Nim Barnes, founder of Foresight Preconceptual Care (Bognor Regis, England).

She is a former AMI (Association Montessori lnternationale) educator and publishes scientific articles and books on nutrition with a focus on preconception health, brain and child development. Jan has served on advisory boards of The McGarrison Society, The Mother and Child Foundation (UK), The Montessori Education for Autism Foundation (UK), and Epap nutritionals in South Africa.

Jan works for a developmental pediatrician and maintains a private practice in Phoenix, Arizona. She specializes in nutrition evaluation and resolution plans for couples planning pregnancy, adults, adolescents (anxiety, depression), and families of children with neurodevelopmental, learning, behavioral, and emotional challenges. Telephone or Skype consultations available.

Jan is the nutrition instructional guide for The Center for Guided Montessori Studies teacher training program and consults with schools to review food preparation and meal/snack adequacy programs. She is available for continuing education courses for educators and health professionals.

Jan loves hiking, playing and composing music on the piano, and searching out and promoting local farmer’s markets and restaurants serving pasture fed animals, wild fish, and organic fare from local purveyors. She also loves nutritional education and lecturing to groups because it gives her an opportunity to talk about her favorite subject – Food!  Learn more about Jan.

Rachel Kincaid

Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a North Carolina teaching degree from University of North Carolina, and her Early Childhood teaching credential from The Center for Guided Montessori Studies.  She co-founded a bilingual Montessori preschool and Southeast Montessori Collective, an advocacy and professional development non-profit corporation, and plays a development role in the CGMS Spanish program.


Liesbeth Koning, M.Ed.

Liesbeth Koning is an Adolescent Guide at Marin Montessori School in Corte Madera, California.  She holds her Master of Education focused on Educational Leadership and Administration from Fort Hays State University.  She is also an experienced health and fitness coach who helps people integrate healthy habits in order to live happier lives.

Beverly Kovach

Beverly Kovach is a Montessori teacher-trainer, consultant, and presenter at national and international conferences, and co-author of Being with Babies. She founded Little Learners Lodge and Montessori of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina in 1977 and established Waverly Place in 2003.  Beverly is a Registered Nurse and family therapist with a Masters in Psychiatric Nursing. She is also one of two PIKLER certified pedagogues in North America and a keynote speaker at various conferences- including RIE, PiklerUSA and Montessori.

Kathy Leitch

Kathy Leitch is the founder and head of Renaissance School in Fort Myers, Florida. She graduated from Barry University and earned her Montessori Credentials from the American Montessori Society for Infant – Toddler (birth -3) and Early Childhood (3-6).

Kathy has been active in Montessori education for over 30 years. In addition to many years experience in the classroom and as Head of School, Kathy has also serves as a Montessori Teacher Trainer, International Workshop Leader, School Consultant, Board Secretary for the IMC and School Accreditation Commissioner for the IMC.

Additionally, she is a certified Parenting Instructor and Stress Management Facilitator.

Nicolas Lepine

Nicolas Lepine is an athletic director, PE instructor, and coach (cross country, volleyball, basketball, and track and field) for Rogers Park Montessori School in Chicago. Before his role as athletic director, Nicolas had nine years experience in the 9-12 classroom, five years as a co-head teacher. Nicolas was also a Montessori student himself, and the son of a Montessori toddler teacher of 30+ years.

Nicolas Lepine is the creator of Montessori Physical Education, which are physical education lessons that integrate with the Montessori classroom curriculum. These lessons mirror concepts taught in the lower and upper elementary Montessori classroom, for example, the Great Lessons. With the ability to test and refine lessons with research and valuable input, Nicolas is continually creating new and exciting lessons everyday.

After earning his B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana. Nicolas began assistant teaching, and soon after started his Montessori credential training. Early on, it was apparent to Nicolas that Montessori education was exceptional, but a comprehensive physical education curriculum was desperately needed. He received his AMS Montessori lower and upper elementary credential, as well as his Masters’ in Montessori Education, from St. Catherine’s University. His research at St. Kate’s on integrating physical education with the classroom curriculum is still a popular action research topic that has been cited in various educational resources.

A member of the American Montessori Society, Nicolas has presented at various conferences on the benefits of integrating physical education and the classroom curriculum, as well as a “how to” presentation on the subject. He posts a weekly blog through, where he explores the nuances of teaching PE, whether as a classroom or PE teacher.

Frank Leto

Frank Leto is a multidimensional artist who has found a balance between professional musician and professional educator. His lifelong pursuit of musical knowledge has led him to appreciate the music of many cultures. Frank’s talent as a composer has allowed him to share this love for music with his peers, students and community.

Frank is a talented instrumentalist who plays Brazilian percussion, Afro-Cuban percussion and Trinidadian Steel Drums. Frank’s band PANdemonium, features Frank on vocals, steel drums and percussion. He writes all the music for the band which blends musical styles like reggae, ska, soca, calypso, samba, salsa and zouk into his own unique sound. PANdemonium has recorded two World Music CDs.

In 1975 Frank leto became Montessori certified. He has taught at Montessori schools in Michigan, St. Thomas, San Francisco Bay Area, Hawaii and New Mexico. Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy on education inspired Frank to develop a similar approach in music education.

While in the Virgin Islands, Frank saw his first steel band. As an ORFF music instructor, he knew instantly that it would be easy for children to successfully play these instruments. For over twenty years, Frank has arranged and directed steel bands for children. They have performed in Disneyland, Disney World, Epcot Center, Washington DC, Universal Studios and educational conferences across the country.

Frank Leto travels the nation extensively, presenting keynote speeches and workshops at such educational conferences as the Music Educators Association, the Association for the Education for Young Children, the Orff Schulwerk Association and the American Montessori Society to name a few.

Frank’s clinics promote his own approach to imparting the love of music on to children. His interactive workshops for teachers are designed for non-musicians. In the course of a single workshop, attendees are singing, dancing and playing instruments with a new sense of confidence. With newly learned skills they enthusiastically return to the classroom and enrich the children’s musical environment.

Vicki deLilla

Victoria deLilla; M.Ed., author and educator, has worked in the Montessori Education Community for over 30 years. She has been a Montessori teacher, certified birth -12, a teacher educator of Human Development for over 30 years in South Florida Director Program Director of Montessori Teacher Education. She was chosen by Dr K. Bowser, an Elizabeth Caspari legacy, to serve as her Assistant and then Director of Teacher Education for Montessori schools serving infants through age 12. She also served as part of the international MACTE organization for accreditation of teacher education programs.  She is author of Nurtured by Nature; The Children’s Garden and Maria; A Hope and a Promise.

Mari Lindsay

Mari Lindsay has 30 years of experience working with young children. She holds an AMS 3-6 Montessori primary credential from the North Carolina Center for Montessori Teacher Education. From 1986 to 1998, Mari worked as an assistant teacher and then as a lead teacher at Lakeside Presbyterian Pre-School and Kindergarten in Erlanger, Kentucky. Through Durham Technical Community College, Mari completed 21 hours of training in Sign Language I and received her North Carolina Early Childhood Credential I and II (EDU 111 & 112). She has extensive training and experience as a wildlife rehabilitator. Her favorite Montessori quote: “He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon…Indeed, it is just here that the importance of our school really lies. There are places in which the child can find the kind of work that permits him to do so.”

Jana Morgan Herman

Jana Herman’s been involved in Montessori education since 1992, first as a parent sub, then as a teacher, school director, teacher trainer, and Director of Training for VMAT, an IMC/MACTE teacher education program in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Jana has a BA in Literature, and a Master’s in Montessori Education. She teaches university literature and writing courses and is a co-founder of The Kentucky Montessori Alliance. Jana developed a course for parents who wish to use Montessori principles at home called Montessori Homeschool by Design on the Trillium Montessori website. She is a co-author of the Montessori Parent Coronavirus Survival Guide and numerous articles for parents and teachers. Jana holds additional certification in Montessori and Dementia Care and is a certified End of Life Doula.

Claudia Mann

About Claudia Mann:  Claudia Mann has been enchanted with Montessori education since 1976. Certified Elementary I, II, and Secondary I, Ms. Mann has guided children and adults in classrooms and schools to be passionate learners, sustaining Cosmic Education as the heart and soul of the Montessori vision. After more than 25 years in the classroom, Ms. Mann was part of the founding team at Chaffee County Montessori School in Salida, CO.  She currently coaches teachers and school leaders both onsite and online through and

Lorna McGrath

Lorna has 38 years of experience in the field of education, teaching children from 18 months through 6 years old and from 12 through 18 years old in both public schools and independent Montessori schools. She received her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Family Counseling from the University of Georgia, and her Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. Lorna has been an administrator at NewGate School in Sarasota, Florida, since 1994. During her tenure at NewGate, she has played several important roles: Admissions Director, Compliance Officer, Educational Coordinator, and Interim Head of School. Lorna was also the Director of the former New Gate Center for Montessori Teacher Education. Lorna is a Montessori teacher educator, conference presenter, and school consultant. She has also spent many years as a certified instructor for the International Network for Children & Families, teaching classes in Redirecting Children’s Behavior, Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom, Common Ground for Parents and Teens, and Parenting Instructor Network Training.

Anne Moberg

Anne Moberg has worked in lower elementary at the Rochester Montessori School in Rochester, MN for the past 10 years.  A lot of her work focuses on the social-emotional aspects of the Montessori curriculum, for which she developed an etiquette program at the school.  Anne is also one of the Tech Specialists at Rochester.

Dr. Kate Ness, PhD

Dr. Kate Ness, PhD is a Boston University Archaeology alumna with degrees in anthropology, art history and archaeology and over 15 years of experience in museums and higher education.  Her research involves using a combination of historical documents, material culture and art to gain a holistic view of the past.

Cathie Perolman

Cathie Perolman has been involved in education for the past 32 years. She spent time as a reading specialist as well as teaching students preschool through college. She began her Montessori journey as a classroom assistant, and worked as a classroom directress, 3-6 team leader, teacher trainer and college professor.

Cathie is the author of Practical Special Needs For the Montessori Method: A Handbook for 3-6 Teachers and Homeschoolers and the creator of the Hands-On Phonics materials ( and the Color Coded Sound Games ( She is a regular contributor to Montessori Life and Tomorrow’s Leadership magazines. Cathie currently conducts workshops for teacher and administrators, works as a teacher trainer for various training centers across the country and as a school consultant.

Rising Innovator

Rising Innovator is comprised of a team of experienced serial entrepreneurs and managers who value quality start-up training materials focused on providing individuals with the skills and perspective necessary to start a new, lean and agile business in today’s challenging environment.

Patti Rivera

Patricia (Patti) Rivera was practically born a Montessorian. She was raised in Upstate New York as the youngest of five girls. Patti remembers sewing, cooking, painting and antiquing with her entire family. After attending the State University of New York at Albany, she taught art classes and worked at the Albany Institute of Art. Patti and her husband Rick found their way to sunny Florida in 1994. The Salvador Dali Museum became her new home. It was about that time that Patti’s two nieces were attending a Montessori School in Missouri. Aunt Patti went for a visit and was hooked. She worked at New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida while taking her Early Childhood (3-6) training at Barrie in Silver Spring, Maryland. Patti continued her teaching at New Gate from 1996 – 2008 as an intern, a lead teacher and a teacher trainer. In 2003, Patti decided to enter the Sea Coast Training Center to receive her Lower (6-9) Elementary training. She currently works at Country Day Montessori School in Largo, Florida as a lead teacher and Curriculum Coordinator in a Lower Elementary (6-9) Cottage.

Martin Roth

Martin Roth received his Bachelos of Arts in International Studies from Towsan State University  in 1993 and his Masters of Arts in Teaching at Johns Hopkins Univsersity in 1996.   He earned his AMS Teaching Credential for ages 6-12 years from Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in 2004.  Martin serves as Instructional Coordinator at Latin American Montessori Bilihgual Public Charter School in Washington, DC as well as Instructor at Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies of Silver Spring, Maryland.

April Ruiz

April currently serves as an Upper Elementary guide at Beach Park School in Tampa, Florida.

Claire Salkowski

Claire J. Salkowski is an educator, professional mediator, and Circle facilitator with over 40 years of experience in the field of education. She has taught at every level of development from toddlers through graduate students. Most recently she was she was Primary Curriculum Director at the International Montessori School in Hong Kong. Ms. Salkowski was Director of Montessori Education and Associate Professor at Delaware State University. She was also a teacher trainer at several Montessori training centers and has taught at several other colleges and universities. She continues as an Adjunct Professor at Goucher College in the Department of Education. She is founder and previous Head of Free State Montessori School. She was also the Director of Mediation and Education Programs at the North Baltimore Center of Mosaic Community Services.

Ms. Salkowski has written and developed curriculum in peace education, conflict resolution and peer mediation and has extensive experience in presenting workshops, consulting and training faculties, students, and parents, internationally and nationwide.

Maren Schmidt

Maren Schmidt is a certified Montessori teacher with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and holds a Masters in Education from Loyola College in Maryland, as well as a BA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications. Maren founded a Montessori school and has over thirty years experience working with children.

Tim Seldin

Tim is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. His almost forty years of experience in Montessori education includes twenty-two years as Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, his own alma mater (age two through high school graduation). He has also served as the Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies and as Head of the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida.  He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. Tim Seldin is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including his latest, How to Raise An Amazing Child, The Montessori Way with Dr. Paul Epstein, Building a World-class Montessori School, Finding the Perfect Match – Recruit and Retain Your Ideal Enrollment, Master Teachers – Model Programs, Starting a New Montessori School, Celebrations of Life, and The World in the Palm of Her Hand.  

Tim is the father of three former Montessori students (Marc, Michelle and Caitlin), stepfather to two more former Montessori students (Robin and Chelsea), and the grandfather of a present Montessori student (Hollis). He lives on a small vineyard north of Sarasota, Florida with his wife, Joyce St. Giermaine, their three horses, twenty-five dogs, and two Sphinx cats.

Sarah Stephens

Sarah’s quest for education equity started long before she was born, having a family of multiple professors and educators. After completing a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Literature and a Masters in Elementary Education, she met her true passion of Montessori in 2008, and the rest was history! She received her Pan American Montessori Society (MACTE) Early Childhood credential in 2013 and PAMS Trainer certificate in 2017. After more than a decade of teaching and school administration, she continues to pursue her passion of Montessori education by means of the whole, global child with her company, Move Mountains with Montessori. Founded in 2021, 3M seeks to deliver Montessori to ALL rather than a small group of individuals who can afford it. Of course, however, her greatest treasures are her faith, husband and three beautiful children!

Ann Winkler

Ann received her Bachelors of Arts in Human Development from Eckerd College, then her Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix.  She earned her Lower Elementary Montessori teaching certificate from the Montessori Teacher Training Institute of Miami, and her Upper Elementary Montessori teaching certificate from Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies of Silver Spring, Maryland.  Ann currently serves as Educational Director of Beach Park School in Tampa, Florida as well as Director of Elementary Studies at Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Val Wise

Valaida Wise (Val) is currently the Head of School at National Child Research Center in Washington D.C. An educator for almost 20 years, Val received a Bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from Syracuse University, an M.A.T. from Trinity College, Washington D.C. and holds a doctorate in Education from George Washington University. A recent Brava award winner, Val has lectured nationally and internationally, most recently on the topic of early childhood education at Tanjian University and other provinces in China. She has presented at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) national conference as well as other conferences sponsored by NAIS. Val has written several articles on Montessori education and educational leadership in early childhood. Her current research interest surround the issues of parental stress and children with immune-compromising conditions. Val is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.

Jonathan Wolff

Jonathan is a consultant, trainer, speaker and author who infuses his work in leadership development with 30 years experience as an educator and administrator.

Founder and Director of Learning for Life and Montessori Leadership, Jonathan provides retreats, workshops, consultations and coaching for parents, educators, leaders, Boards of Directors, community organizations and learning communities around the globe.

The best-practice leadership retreats and workshops he leads facilitate community building, strategic planning and improved organizational effectiveness.

After earning his B.A. degree in Secondary Education from Temple University, Jonathan began teaching at-risk youth in Philadelphia. Early in his career, he read several books on the Montessori philosophy and quickly recognized the power her work in human development had to effect transformation not only within the young child, but within adults as well. He went on to study with Mother Isabelle Eugenie, one of Dr. Montessori’s first students, earned his Early Childhood Credential through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and began his career as a Montessori educator at one of the first Head Start Montessori Centers in the United States.

Jonathan’s incisive ability to apply Dr. Montessori’s educational constructs to training adults led him to positions as a teacher trainer, as the director of education and training for various education and business organizations, and as the administrator for several nationally recognized schools. Thirty years in the field have provided him with solid first-hand experience in leading and managing rapidly growing for-profit and not-for-profit schools, education institutions and business organizations.

Today, the primary focus of his consulting practice is on leadership development – designing best practices and writing books and articles that enhance individual and organizational performance. His creative, interactive programs, his humorous and inspiring teaching style, and his deep insight into the needs of people and organizations are in demand by organizations around the world.

Jonathan is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the International Montessori Council.

Terri Sherrill

Terri received training at Montessori Teachers Institute in 1997.  In 2012, she earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Cognitive Science and Leadership from University of Central Florida.  She currently serves as Project Coordinator for Center for Guided Montessori Studies and specialized in Infant and Toddler teacher training and support.

Jocelyn Bell Swanson

“The best part about being a Montessori secondary-level guide is the joy of helping students in their irresistible quest to discover their potential – a journey from discovery to exploration to the invention.” Her specialty is in language arts and history. As a Montessori parent, she watched her local school grow beyond its original primary level to add an elementary program. Eventually, she agreed to become Montessori secondary-certified and open a secondary program there, now thriving in the heart of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Her work in the Humanities has centered on the Socratic method of discussion, a key takeaway from her Montessori training, and a philosophy that she finds essential to feeding the curiosity and character of her learners. In addition to working with children and adolescents, now at a farm school she recently founded, she enjoys working with adult learners, serving as the Secondary-level Director for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

In her pre-teaching career, Jocelyn ran her own marketing business, starting out  as a writer/editor. Jocelyn has an undergraduate degree in business/communications and a Master’s degree in education. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia on a farm with her husband and children and a fun variety of animals. All of them fulfill a considerable role in Montessori Erdkinder experiences for children and adolescents in the community.

Liane Watson

Liane earned her AMS-Early Childhood credentials in 1999 from CMTE-NC and was a classroom teacher for 16 years. She earned her Masters in Parent Education from North Carolina State University in 2013. She served as Parent Educator and Assistant Director for 2 years at Heartwood Montessori in Cary, NC. In 2016, Liane became the Director of Renaissance Montessori School in Cary, North Carolina for 4 years. Liane has been a part of CGMS as a Field Consultant, Residency Instructor, Finance Assistant and other roles during the past 7 years. She has recently completed her Montessori Leadership Credentials through CGMS.

Martha Zimmerman

Martha Zimmerman started her Montessori journey as a parent where she began working in her daughters’ Montessori schools – first as a volunteer, then as an assistant, and finally as a guide. Martha is certified in Early Childhood and Elementary levels and worked as an Upper Elementary guide before she began work as a Trainer. She later spent several years teaching at the Middle School level, in addition to being an adjunct professor at a local community college where she taught Child Guidance and Montessori History and Philosophy courses. Martha has been involved with Montessori education for thirty-seven years and still finds it as exciting as ever.

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