AMS Seeks Director of Professional Development & Conferences

For Immediate Release

Contact: Carol Starmack, Deputy Director
Phone: No calls please.

American Montessori Society
116 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003-2163

January 4, 2016, New York, NY

The American Montessori Society is soliciting applicants for the position of Director of Professional Development & Conferences.

The Director of Professional Development & Conferences is charged with delivering value for AMS’s diverse constituencies by producing high quality professional development programs, including AMS’s successful annual conference. Working collaboratively, s/he is expected to drive the integration of innovative approaches to the design and delivery of professional development (including online learning) and business planning, with the AMS community’s in-depth expertise in Montessori education and related fields. The Director of Professional Development & Conferences guides the planning and oversight of the annual conference through close partnerships with volunteer leaders, AMS staff and expert consultants.

The American Montessori Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional and membership association with a mission to provide the leadership and resources to make Montessori a significant and enduring voice in education.

Classification: Full-Time (1.0 FTE); exempt
Reports To: To be determined
Supervises: Conference Manager, Manager of Online Learning  
Works closely with: Senior Staff
Worksite: Will consider NYC-based or remote

Responsibilities with Expectations

Guide development of an overall strategy and plan for addressing the diverse professional development needs of the AMS membership that reflect AMS’ commitment to both the traditions of Montessori education and expanding opportunities in the 21st century educational and multi-cultural context.

  1. Create mechanisms for broadly based input in identifying professional development needs and priorities in the evolving Montessori and educational domains, including AMS’ growing presence in China and internationally.
  2. Collaborate with senior staff to develop a vision and multi-year plan that integrates annual conference programming, online offerings, cohort learning, and other professional development meetings, (i.e., retreats for school heads, summer symposium for educators, peace retreat, etc.) into a cohesive whole.

Establish business models and frameworks for online offerings (including, but not limited to, webinars); oversee curriculum development for distance learning and consultation that are informed by best practices in adult learning; set financial goals and manage budgets.

  1. Strengthen the value proposition of webinars and a growing online library to include developing an effective staff team to ensure high standards for curriculum, technology, presenter support and the participant experience; partnering with marketing staff to ensure robust publicity and enrollments; explore options for increasing access to non-English speakers.
  2. Partner with the Senior Director of Teacher Education/TEAC and marketing staff in developing and piloting a business model for online learning and oversee the development quality programming (by Manager of Online Learning).

Oversee annual conference planning and provide oversight and trouble-shooting to ensure that site selection, programming, logistical and financial goals are met. Specifically, this includes:

  1. Long range planning in partnership with AMS’ meeting planner/consultant and others to ensure that a coherent multi-year site plan, business plans and budgets is in place, monitored and updated on a timely basis.
  2. Develop high quality conference program in partnership with staff and volunteer experts in Montessori and related fields; lead initiatives to streamline conference program planning (i.e., call for proposals and workshop selection), integrate opportunities for in-depth professional development, and promote continuous improvement.
  3. Oversee logistical planning and coordination to ensure that overlapping conference planning cycles are managed in an effective and efficient manner; monitor registration and financial reporting; ensure that all aspects of conference planning and delivery are informed by feedback from participants about their conference experience.

Coordinate planning, promotion and delivery of high quality professional development for teacher educators and administrators, such as Emerging Leaders Fellowship, winter and summer events for school administrators, and the peace retreat.

  1. Partner with the staff and volunteers in School Accreditation and Improvement, Teacher Education and Membership to ensure effective processes and planning calendars are in place to support meeting planning from concept, speaker or workshop selection to site selection and logistics.
  2. Develop metrics to measure success with systems to track and report on them, (i.e., financial goals, enrollments, etc.)


  • Track record in planning and launching innovative professional development programming characterized by best practices in adult learning
  • Business savvy with experience in moving ideas from concept to delivery, creating clear business plans and partnering to ensure integrated marketing to achieve goals
  • Experience in conference planning and/or project management in educational, association management or other nonprofit setting
  • Exceptional relationship-building and team work skills with a successful track record in engaging with diverse stakeholders, forging a shared vision and leading change
  • Demonstrated cross cultural competency
  • Management style that utilizes direct feedback and fosters learning and leadership development
  • Excellent verbal and written skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experienced educator; Montessori and/or teacher education background
  • Experience and knowledge of educational systems in international contexts

To Apply

Applications and/or inquiries by e-mail only. No phone calls or faxes.

Send resume and cover letter to Carol Starmack, Deputy Director at Please use the email convention Subject Line: Lastname_DirPD&Conf. Please use the same convention for resume and cover letter Lastname_Resume, Lastname_CovLet

The American Montessori Society AMS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, family responsibility, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable

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