In Memoriam: Carolina Gomez del Valle (1940 – 2017)

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
Sister Carolina Gomez del Valle

May 8, 2017. Sister Carolina Gomez del Valle, 77, passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning, May 3, 2017. Diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this year, Carolina underwent treatment while living with the support of her Sisters in her Ursuline community in Mexico.

Honored as the American Montessori Society’s first Living Legacy in 1993, Carolina’s influence as a Montessori educator has been felt around the world.

Originally from Puebla, Mexico, Carolina established and supported the growth of Montessori programs for children and for teacher education in Peru, Nicaragua, Chile, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Russia, Brazil, Taiwan, Cameroon, and Canada.

While her work took her to the far ends of the globe, Seton Montessori Institute had long been Carolina’s home in the United States. Together with Celma Perry, she founded Seton’s Infant-Toddler teacher education course, and for many years was a presenter in Seton’s Early Childhood courses and keynote speaker for professional development seminars.

Projects that were especially close to “Caro’s” heart were the Montessori school she helped establish in the village of Tzinacapan in Mexico, and the Montessori teacher education course for migrant workers in California.

Last December, Carolina was honored as a Montessori Elder by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) in their “Wisdom of the Elders” ceremony. She had a particular gift for helping Montessori educators look more deeply at their philosophical roots and daily classroom practices.

Carolina’s years of experience working with Montessori, specializing in birth through age 6, were complemented by her background in family and pastoral counseling. Her first and constant vocation was that of an Ursuline nun, having joined the convent early in her life. Over the years she held various leadership roles within her convent’s national and regional order, and served for 12 years in Rome as one of the few representatives selected to General Council of the Ursuline Order.

An instant and easy companion to all she met—both within and beyond the Montessori world—one was never the same after a personal encounter with Carolina. Her playful and patient knack for inviting each to seek her highest path is her lasting gift and her extraordinary influence will continue to ripple and grow through the children, educators, and schools she has touched with her life.

Thank you to Anna Perry of Seton Montessori Institute, whose thoughts about Carolina, and details about Carolina’s life, served as the basis for this announcement.

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