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Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program

Emerging Leaders Fellowship

The American Montessori Society’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program is a professional development initiative designed to nurture the next generation of individuals highly qualified to assume leadership positions in our Montessori community.

Affectionately known as “ELF,” the program gives a year of structured learning and networking opportunities to a diverse cohort group of 10 – 12 “fellows.” Fellows are Montessori-credentialed teachers who have not yet begun assuming leadership positions—but would like to.

Fellows are selected through a competitive application process; details can be found further down on this page.

Key Features of the ELF Program

  • Each fellow is paired with a mentor and provided with learning experiences tailored to meet his/her unique needs, interests, and qualifications.
  • The program launches with an intensive 2-day line-up of professional development immediately before the AMS Annual Conference in the conference city.
  • It concludes a year later with another 2-day learning experience in the next conference city. (Fellows are expected to remain in the conference cities to attend the conferences.)
  • Monthly virtual meetings (video-conference calls) offer opportunities for collaboration and problem-solving.
  • An online forum provides further opportunities for facilitated discussions.
  • Fellows are guided in creating a yearlong project that addresses a need at their current organization—and a potential solution.

Fellows may be encouraged/invited to:

  • Serve on AMS committees
  • Serve as volunteers on a school accreditation visiting team or an AMS TEP affiliation/MACTE accreditation visiting team
  • Volunteer for a leadership role within their state/local Montessori association

At the conclusion of the program, fellows receive:

  • An AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program certificate attesting to their participation in a rigorous yearlong course of study that includes 60 hours of continuing professional development. (Note, an AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program certificate is neither a substitute nor a replacement for an AMS Administrator or Teacher credential.)
  • Name recognition in AMS Publications and at the AMS Annual Conference
  • Ongoing opportunities for mentorship and networking with their cohort group

Applying for the ELF Program

Any teacher who strives to become a leader in the Montessori community and holds an active AMS-recognized Montessori credential may apply for the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program. AMS recognizes credentials from AMS, AMI, NCME, and any other programs accredited by MACTE.

The application process for the 2017 – 2018 ELF Program is now closed. Inquiries about future ELF Programs can be directed to Sara Wilson.

Timeline for the 2017 – 2018 ELF Program

October 28, 2016: Application submission deadline
December 12, 2016: AMS notifies candidates of acceptance
March 8 & 9, 2017: Program launches (Town & Country Resort, San Diego, CA)
March 21 & 22, 2018: Program concludes (Sheraton Denver Downtown, Denver, CO)


If selected, the fellow is responsible for the following expenses. If the fellow’s employer will be covering the expenses, that arrangement must be made directly between the fellow and his/her employer.

  • Program fee: $1,500
  • Travel, meals, and lodging for attendance at 2 AMS Annual Conferences (AMS provides complimentary Full Conference registration)
  • Any expenses incurred for the fellow’s yearlong project, such as books and/or supplies

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