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Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM (ET)

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Message from Richard A. Ungerer, Interim Executive Director

Whether you have questions about membership, Montessori teacher education, accredited schools, or any other topic pertaining to AMS and/or Montessori education, please reach out to us! Our staff love engaging with educators, parents, and others in the community. You’ll find everyone’s email address below.

You can learn more about Rich Ungerer here >>

  • Administration & IT

    Maria Pagani

    Executive Assistant to the Interim Executive Director
    maria@amshq.org

    Maria works closely with our interim executive director to support AMS’s key strategic priorities and membership outreach. She offers daily administrative support and is a liaison between AMS staff, the Board of Directors, and AMS members. She loves adventuring outdoors; she once camped throughout Iceland and only slept in tents!

    Andrew Hofland

    Director of Information Technology
    andrew@amshq.org

    Andrew manages our IT infrastructure and services, including AMS’s databases, web spaces, and computer systems. Maximizing the member experience and staff efficiency is his bread and butter. If he could meet one person from history, it would be Leonardo da Vinci because, “He was a polymath if ever there was one.”

    Matthew Tatum

    Manager of Digital Infrastructure
    matt@amshq.org

    Matthew is a master problem solver when it comes to online member utilities, including AMS’s web spaces, jobs board, and community messaging platforms. He has always dreamt of becoming an astronaut, and hopes to someday travel to outer space.

    Emily Gee

    Director of Human Resources
    emily@amshq.org

    Emily works to provide a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment within AMS, keeping our staff as happy and healthy as possible. Among her many areas of oversight: the hiring of new staff, ensuring compliance with government and industry regulations, and employee relations. She also manages the AMS office space. Emily enjoys staying active, and she cherishes her time by the Pacific Ocean.

    Brittany Robinson

    Receptionist and Office Administrative Assistant

    If you call AMS headquarters, there’s a good chance your first point of contact will be Brittany Robinson, our amiable receptionist. She takes pride in providing quality customer service to everyone she speaks with—as well as to all those who order items from Shop AMS. Brittany is originally from Buffalo, NY. She enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, cooking, and exploring New York City and its many food offerings.

  • Community Relations

    Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

    Chief Education & Learning Officer
    gina@amshq.org

    Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. One of her favorite pastimes is walking to the Hudson River and reading by the water.

    Kristine Cooper

    DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
    kristine@amshq.org

    Kristine develops and maintains relationships with members, donors, board, volunteers, and other AMS partners. She is responsible for advancing AMS’s interests to strengthen ties in the Montessori community and education landscape through procurement of event sponsorships. Did you know: Kristine was voted “cutest baby” in her hometown and was featured in her local newspaper!

    Iris Lee 李佳樺

    China Operations Coordinator

    Iris helps build AMS’s presence in China through membership, teacher education, school improvement and accreditation, and professional development events. She represents AMS as a Montessori advocate at conferences in Asia. Iris loves hiking in the mountains and meeting her whale friends at the beach.

  • Finance

    Xiaoping Mei

    Accounting Manager
    xiaoping@amshq.org

    Specializing in finance and accounting, Xiaoping is responsible for receivables and payables. She is our favorite person on “pay day!” In her spare time, she likes to shop online and daydream about her favorite place: Maldives.

    Yan Mei

    Assistant Accounting Manager
    yan@amshq.org

    Yan supports the accounts payable and receivables in our finance department. She is detail-oriented and a master with numbers. As a nature lover, her goal is to explore as many national parks as she can with her friends and family. So far, she has visited 6!

  • Marketing & PR

    Marcy K. Krever

    Chief Communications Officer
    marcykrever@amshq.org

    Marcy is a wordsmithing queen, and our go-to person for all major stakeholder communications and publications, including: AMS web spaces, newsletters, Montessori Life magazine, informational brochures and videos, and organization announcements. She is also our media relations point person, so give her a shout if you are seeking information for a news piece. When she’s not at work, Marcy can be found taking photos of dollhouse miniatures in often surprising and unusual settings.

    Jeff Covello

    Director of Marketing
    jeff@amshq.org

    As a marketing specialist, Jeff oversees the promotion of all our programs, events, and public awareness campaigns. He is responsible for AMS’s emails, social media, event marketing, and SEO efforts. He works closely with all areas of the company to support AMS initiatives. He sees nearly every show that comes to Broadway, and has seen over 3,000 theatrical performances.

    John Mohr

    Website & Digital Marketing Strategist
    johnmohr@amshq.org

    John focuses on making AMS’s user experience for our online platforms as superb as possible. He updates our website and implements best practices on a regular basis, constantly innovating and problem-solving. John loves camping in an RV, especially in Zion National Park. He is the fourth John Thomas Mohr in his family, and as a kid, he thought it was a very regal thing to be. We think so too, John!

    Ashleigh Bones

    Marketing Manager
    ashleigh@amshq.org

    Ash creates many of AMS’s email campaigns, event marketing collateral, and social media posts. Adroit in all things Adobe, she also designs many of AMS’s ads and newsletters, such as This Week at AMS and TEP Talk. If she could meet one person from history it would be the Obamas. “Just one of them? Fine… then just Barack.”

    Liz Buechele

    Communications Manager
    liz@amshq.org

    Liz puts pen to paper…or finger to keyboard…as she voices many of AMS’s communications such as the AMS Prism, The Montessori Event program guide, and the Community News dispatches in Montessori Life magazine. Liz is passionate about youth empowerment and kindness and enjoys writing, running, traveling, and watching the pups in NYC’s Union Square dog park.

    Kathy Carey

    Montessori Life Co-Editor
    kathycarey@amshq.org

    As co-editor of Montessori Life, Kathy commissions stories, reviews submissions, and polishes and edits articles for publication. She works with authors, AMS staff, and a team of graphic designers and printers to get the magazine to subscribers on time. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and writing.

    Carey Jones

    Montessori Life Co-Editor
    careyjones@amshq.org

    As co-editor of Montessori Life, Carey commissions stories, reviews submissions, and polishes and edits articles for publication. She creates and manages the production schedule, working with authors, AMS staff, and a team of graphic designers and printers to get the magazine to subscribers on time. On weekends, she goes to farmers’ markets, cooks, and reads.

    Michele Eldon

    Director of Advertising
    michele@amshq.org

    Michele is responsible for all vendor advertising on the AMS website, as well as in digital communications and organization publications, including Montessori Life magazine.

    Cathy O'Brien

    Public Relations Consultant
    cathy@amshq.org

    Cathy draws from her many years of public relations experience to secure press placements on behalf of AMS. She broadens public awareness about our organization, and she spreads the good word about Montessori in general. If you come across an article with a quote or interview featuring an AMS representative, chances are Cathy coordinated it. She loves watching old black-and-white movies, and her favorite place in the world is the North Fork of Long Island.

    Brenda Modliszewski

    Editorial Consultant & Copyeditor

    Brenda is the most meticulous copyeditor you ever did meet! Her laser eyes review every issue of Montessori Life, as well as several other AMS publications, to eliminate errors and inconsistencies before they are set in stone (print). She always looks forward to her family’s Christmas Eve dinner contest, where they compete to win the Pierogi Cup—awarded each year to the individual who makes the best original pierogis.

  • Membership

    Carla Hofland

    Director of Membership
    carla@amshq.org

    Carla draws from her years of experience in Montessori school administration to ensure our membership program is invaluable to every member of AMS. She provides customized expertise to current members, and actively recruits new ones. She also coordinates school tours at The Montessori Event. She enjoys whistling, singing, and spending time in nature.

    Brittany Kramer

    Membership Manager
    brittany@amshq.org

    Brittany knows AMS membership through and through. She processes school membership applications and renewals, responds to membership-related inquiries, and connects with prospective schools to expand our membership community. She is also a pet parent to a tarantula named Harry, 2 chameleons named Newman and Lambo, and 3 geckos named Mocha, Stripe, and Dunkin!

    Caitlin Gminder

    Assistant Membership Manager
    caitlin@amshq.org

    Caitlin processes school membership applications and payments. As our database expert, she unravels issues that may arise when schools are applying for membership or trying to access their benefits. On the weekends, Caitlin enjoys walking through Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, and venturing outside of NYC to go hiking.

  • PD & Events

    Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

    Chief Education & Learning Officer
    gina@amshq.org

    Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. One of her favorite pastimes is walking to the Hudson River and reading by the water.

    Cara Paige

    Director of Events
    cara@amshq.org

    Cara oversees our conferences and symposia, with her central focus being The Montessori Event. She manages everything from creating the program and scheduling to collaborating with presenters and coordinating volunteers—and everything in between. If you attend the Event (which you should!), you will probably have an opportunity to experience Cara’s bubbly personality firsthand. On the weekends, Cara loves going antiquing and yard sale hopping. You may also find her knitting, painting, and designing sets and interiors!

    Joshua Shanklin

    Director of Learning & Professional Development
    joshua@amshq.org

    Through the use of online learning platforms, social media, and in-person experiences, Joshua fosters environments that equip adult learners with the tools they need to pursue their curiosities. He applies Montessori philosophies to adult learning environments that we typically apply with children. Joshua loves spending time with his wife and daughters, going on outdoor adventures, and vacationing on Sanibel Island.

    George Markham

    Conference Exhibits Manager
    exhibits@amshq.org

    George handles all aspects of the AMS Exhibit Hall at The Montessori Event, including applications, shipping, booth preparation, vendor support, and everything in between. His bottom line: ensuring the Exhibit Hall is a smashing success for attendees and exhibitors alike. One of George’s hobbies is working on his car collection.

    John Barbieri

    Online Learning Support Specialist
    johnbarbieri@amshq.org

    John supports AMS’s professional development team on video production to develop interactive online learning products. He assists with everything ranging from directing to lighting to editing. He also provides virtual training to members on a variety of educational technologies. After work you can find John skateboarding, playing with his mini Labrador, Izzy, and making a mean batch of cold brew coffee.

    Jill Segerman, PhD

    Lead Online Learning Instructional Designer
    jill@amshq.org

    Jill designs AMS online courses to create high-quality products that support Montessori teachers’ professional growth. She also uses her extensive background in creating educational experiences to guide teachers in designing and delivering their own online courses. In her free time, you can find Jill playing the ukulele, or taking ballroom dance lessons with her husband.

    Xiaojing Zhou

    Assistant Manager of Events & Professional Development
    xiaojing@amshq.org

    Xiaojing oversees registrations for The Montessori Event, as well as Event-related requests such as CEU orders, certificates of continuing professional development, and visa letters for international attendees. Say “nǐ hǎo” to Xiaojing; she welcomes inquiries and conversation in both Mandarin, which is her native language, and in English. And, she loves watching movies.

  • Research

    Angela Murray, PhD

    Senior Researcher
    research@amshq.org

    Angela oversees AMS white papers and the Research Library on our website. She is editor of the Journal of Montessori Research and teaches research and statistics at the University of Kansas. She also teaches tap dance to children!

    Susan Zoll, PhD

    Research Consultant
    susan@amshq.org

    Susan conducts and interprets research pertaining to the Montessori pedagogy, making dense content more accessible, and highlighting the many ways we can use research in our community and work. If she could meet one person from history, it would be Dr. Clara Craig, who took part in the first international Montessori training in Rome, Italy, in 1913. She collects alphabet books from different parts of the world; so far, her collection includes texts from Ireland, Italy, Barbados, and a beautiful book created by teachers in Singapore.

  • School Quality & Accreditation

    Melanie Thiesse

    Director of School Quality & Accreditation
    melanie@amshq.org

    Melanie oversees school accreditation, the Pathway of Continuous School Improvement, and research initiatives. She partners with external organizations to increase and maintain quality Montessori schools worldwide, and she is the AMS liaison to the School Accreditation Commission. You may find her out and about in the community, as she often represents AMS at far-flung education conferences. This is quite fitting as she describes herself as the definition of “wanderlust”—she’s been to 26 countries and 38 of the United States (so far).

    Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

    Chief Education & Learning Officer
    gina@amshq.org

    Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. One of her favorite pastimes is walking to the Hudson River and reading by the water.

    Jennifer Harris

    Pathway of Continuous School Improvement Manager
    jenharris@amshq.org

    Jen brings her many years of Montessori experience to her role as the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement Manager. She is eager to guide you through the process of self-reflection and articulation of quality to help you reach your goal of high-fidelity implementation of Montessori. When she’s away from her desk, Jen savors time with her family, enjoys reading books, and loves to swim in Lake Michigan.

    Shannon Rogers

    School Accreditation Manager
    shannon@amshq.org

    Shannon guides schools through the AMS accreditation process and coordinates school accreditation team visits. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing classes and writes young adult novels. She also writes reviews of young adult literature for Montessori Life magazine.

  • Teacher Education

    Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

    Chief Education & Learning Officer
    gina@amshq.org

    Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. One of her favorite pastimes is walking to the Hudson River and reading by the water.

    Melina Papadimitriou

    Director of Teacher Education
    melina@amshq.org

    Melina oversees all teacher education services, including affiliation applications and self-studies, adult learner registration, credentials, and scholarships. She also collaborates with the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education on the affiliation of teacher education programs. Originally from Greece, her favorite place in the world is the Aegean Sea.

    Emilie Maurer

    Assistant Manager of Education & Learning
    emilie@amshq.org

    Emilie’s flexible and adaptable nature enables her to successfully wear many hats. On any given day, she provides administrative support to the chief education & learning officer, while also managing details related to AMS events, community relations, professional development, school quality & accreditation, and teacher education! When she isn’t at work, you can find her writing, baking, and practicing music.

    Sophia Zamudio

    Manager of Teacher Education Program Affiliation
    sophia@amshq.org

    Sophia works with directors of teacher education programs on affiliation reviews, coordinates AMS teacher education scholarships, and helps to plan our annual Montessori Teacher Educators Day. When inspiration strikes, she enjoys writing poetry and song lyrics.

    Garrett Schmidt

    Assistant Registrar of Credentials & Professional Development
    garrett@amshq.org

    Garrett reviews incoming recommendations from AMS-affiliated teacher education programs and issues credentials to new Montessori teachers who have completed their training. After work, he uses his quick wit to perform improv comedy for fun around town!

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