Building on the Legacy of Our Executive Director: A Message from the AMS Board President

Building on the Legacy of Our Executive Director: A Message from the AMS Board President

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marcy K. Krever, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: No calls please.

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

January 8, 2016.

Richard Ungerer, executive director of the American Montessori Society, has informed the Board of Directors that he will not be renewing his contract. After 10 vigorous and thoughtful years of service to AMS, Rich has confirmed that he will retire, effective July 1, 2017.

It is with gratitude for Rich’s leadership and regret for the loss to AMS that I accept his notice. Rich has been instrumental in many of AMS’s achievements. During his tenure, membership has grown, the financial strength of the organization has improved, services to members have flourished, and the Board of Directors’ policies and procedures  have been significantly refined. Among strategic initiatives undertaken under his watch are the collaboration with the Association Montessori International/USA on the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, the partnership with the Chinese Society of Education to develop standards for Montessori Early Childhood education in China, and the founding of the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector. It should also be noted that major gifts to AMS during Rich’s tenure have been the largest in the organization’s history. He has been a stabilizing force and an outstanding representative for AMS.

Looking to the future, the Board understands that the selection of a new executive director is our greatest priority. To assure smooth leadership transition, we have created a Search Committee and a Search Advisory Committee. Dane Peters, vice president of the AMS Board, is the chair of the Search Committee. Additional members include Marie Dugan, Sharon Damore, Julie Bragdon, Mary Schneider, Gary Bowman, and me. The Search Advisory Committee is providing additional input from a variety of key stakeholders.

We have also engaged an international consulting and search partnership, Triangle Associates/Heads Up, to guide us in this undertaking. The search partnership is led by Pat Bassett, known to many in our community as the former president of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and he, along with Judy Schechtman and Marc Frankel, bring extensive experience in organizational leadership, governance, and assessment. Pat, Judy, and Marc are confident that, given AMS’s strength in the education/nonprofit world, we will have an excellent pool of leaders from which to choose. To ensure a smooth transition, the new executive director will join AMS as Rich’s term comes to an end in June 2017. 

On behalf of the entire AMS Board, I express our appreciation for all that Rich has done to strengthen AMS and to further the Montessori Movement. I know the next 14 months of our work together will be marked by the same thoughtful leadership and dedication that have been hallmarks of Rich’s AMS career—and that it will be a busy time, as there are several projects he has yet to unveil before passing the baton to his successor.

—Joyce Pickering, MA, SLP/CCC, HumD

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