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Facilitators

Samantha Giacobozzi is the executive director of Break Away, a national nonprofit organization that works to support quality service-learning experiences using a model that promotes strong education, reflection, and action. The goal of Break Away is active citizenship—where individuals look critically at the root causes of social issues, evaluate the role they have in society, and begin to align their values and life choices to benefit their communities.

Betsy Coe, PhD, is the principal of the Woods Montessori School Middle School and High School in Houston, TX, and executive director of the Houston Montessori Teacher Education Center. She has served as the AMS Board of Directors and was the recipient of the AMS 2008 Living Legacy award. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I – II, Secondary I – II, Administrator).

Kira Hinkle is an Elementary I teacher at The New School Montessori in Cincinnati, OH. She has served as treasurer of the AMS Peace Committee and has coordinated the AMS Peace Table at the organization's annual conferences. Her involvement in the Peace Committee is a direct result of her work with Break Away. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I).

Sonnie McFarland, was the recipient of the AMS 2011 Living Legacy award, and has been a Montessori educator for over 40 years. She is an international speaker, consultant, and workshop leader on educating for peace, personal transformation, community building, and Montessori parenting. She has written Honoring the Light of the Child and Shining Through: A Teacher's Handbook on Transformation. She and her husband, Jim McFarland, received the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award for their co-authored book, Montessori Parenting: Unveiling the Authentic Self. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Patricia Yonka is a member of the AMS Peace Committee and the Service-Learning group leader. She acts as the coordinator of the Day of Service event at the AMS Annual Conference each year. Patti has traveled extensively both in the U.S. and abroad, bringing her knowledge of peace education and service-learning through teaching and song. She is also the creator of the CD, Peace through Music. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I – II).

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