New “National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector” to Take a Lead Role in the Effort to Make Quality Education Available for All Children

New “National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector” to Take a Lead Role in the Effort to Make Quality Education Available for All Children

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

The American Montessori Society (AMS) has launched a National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS), to assist with the growth and sustainability of Montessori programs in public, charter, and magnet schools across the country.

Keith Whitescarver, EdD, an educational historian who sits on the AMS Research Committee and the AMS Archives Committee, has been appointed NCMPS director. Jackie Cossentino, EdD, a researcher and museum program director, and former principal of a large, urban Montessori public school, is NCMPS senior associate. Both Whitescarver and Cossentino have taught at the university level (The College of William and Mary and Ohio University; and The University of Maryland, respectively) and are widely published in their fields.

NCMPS efforts will be clustered into 4 basic areas: advocacy, technical assistance, dissemination of information, and research.

Explains Whitescarver: "Our intent is to be responsive to the needs and interests of educators, parent organizers, state legislators, scholars, and others interested in providing true Montessori programs that meet state and federal standards. The Center for Montessori in the Public Sector will serve and advocate for all public Montessori schools, regardless of geographic location, affiliation, or school type."

A major grant from the New York Community Trust (NYCT), made at the request of Bill and Judy Scheide, provided seed money for NCMPS.

The Scheides are Princeton-area philanthropists and advisors for the Scheide Fund, which is managed by NYCT. They are also longtime supporters of Montessori education.

And, Ms. Scheide has had first-hand experience in Montessori education: with Marie M. Dugan, former AMS executive director and current member of the AMS Development Committee, she worked as a Montessori teacher in Wilmington, Delaware. Both Scheide and Dugan have been lifelong supporters of bringing Montessori to the public sector.

Richard Ungerer, AMS executive director, says: “We are thrilled that more than 50 years after the founding of our organization, we are finally poised to take a leadership role in the critical effort to make quality Montessori education available for all children nationwide.”

Montessori is a form of alternative education developed more than 100 years ago by educational pioneer Dr. Maria Montessori. Currently, most Montessori programs in the United States are in private schools, and available only to families with sufficient resources.

The American Montessori Society, headquartered in New York City, is the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education in the United States. Founded in 1960 by educator Nancy McCormick Rambusch, PhD, with the backing of key parents from Whitby School (Greenwich, CT), AMS works to ensure that the Montessori approach is a positive and growing force in education throughout the world.

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