Professional Directors are Montessori-credentialed teachers and administrators who provide professional expertise in their given areas. Individuals apply for these positions and are selected to run for office via a rigorous vetting process by the AMS Directorship Committee.
There are 6 individuals running for the position of Professional Director and 3 open seats. Upon election, each director may serve a 3-year term or a 2-year term (as determined by the AMS Board) and is eligible to run for a second term.
Meet the Candidates
On Monday, April 6, individuals running for office gathered virtually for a public “Meet the Candidates” forum, moderated by AMS vice president, Amira Mogaji. You can watch it here.
Aimee Allen, MEd
Head of School, Harbor Montessori School, Gig Harbor, WA
AMS-credentialed (Elementary, Administrator)
“I love working collaboratively with others to generate ideas and take action. I am passionate about AMS’s commitment to social justice and equity, as well as the organization’s work to provide accessible, high-quality professional development. As someone who has worked in independent schools for most of my career, I understand the board’s role in creating strategic initiatives and executing them in ways that positively impact the organization’s sustainability. It is imperative that each of AMS’s 16,000 members feels connected and feels their voice is heard. There is so much good work happening in classrooms and schools across the globe, and it’s important to share resources and connect. An effective board works hard behind the scenes to lift up their staff and their membership. As a board member, I will share in the board’s commitment to self-improvement, accessibility, and the sustainability of Montessori education around the world.”
Kimberly Bednarek, MBA
Head of School, The Discovery School, Jacksonville Beach, FL
“My interest in AMS Board service is grounded in my desire to impact children and families as broadly and positively as possible. My commitment to Montessori aligns with the core mission of AMS, empowering humanity to build a better world. I am dedicated to leveraging my skills and competencies as a school leader to guide strategic and relevant opportunities for Montessori schools, teacher education programs, and school accreditation and improvement processes. Specifically, I am inspired by the goal of supporting impactful professional development for current and aspiring school leaders to drive sustainability in their communities. Our world requires stewards with perseverance, wisdom, and heart to empower students to become change agents with a belief in their own abilities. It would simply be my privilege to join in this work alongside the AMS community to forward the ideals and aspirations of a Montessori world movement.”
Sara Bloomberg, MA
Director and teacher, Orange Tree Montessori, St Augustine, FL
Teacher educator, Duhovkha Montessori Teacher Education Program, Amelia Island, FL
AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood)
“I will bring a unique perspective to the board of the American Montessori Society as a thoughtful non-binary Montessori educator. My 22 years of experience in private and public Montessori schools, along with my experience as a Montessori teacher educator and LGBTQIA+ presenter, author, and activist give me a strong foundation to draw from in assisting AMS in creating sustainable learning environments that support LGBTQIA+ children, faculty, and families. My passion is offering learning opportunities to educators about LGBTQIA+ diversity and I am thrilled by the prospect of being on a board that guides AMS as we evolve to become leaders, not only in education, but in inclusivity. As a strong community united in furthering the ideals of respect, celebration of cultural identity, and compassion for all people, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+, we can not only lead another generation in building a better world, but help save lives.”
Iana Phillips, MA, MAT
Upper Elementary Teacher, Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School, Washington, DC
AMS-credentialed (Elementary I – II, Administrator)
“As an educator of service, the AMS mission and vision adheres to my personal principle, that Montessori education for all children can revolutionize the world. My contributions to the board include but are not limited to: insights gained from teaching in public, private, and public charter Montessori environments, my commitment to Montessori adult education, and my role as proud and humble Montessori parent. When I look at the AMS board, I see an opportunity to be a contributing member to an organization striving to be more representative of global diversity, while actively serving humanity to build a better world through Montessori. As Montessori expands globally, it is important to address exactly how policies and practices affect Montessorians of the global majority. Being an AMS board member bridges my 13 years of Montessori experience and my passion to ensure Montessori has a unified and active voice in education and the world.”
Mary Beth Ricks
Head of School, Bowman School, Palo Alto, CA
“I believe in strength through unity. Montessori education should be promoted as the answer to the education crisis in the United States. Montessorians are often too humble and I feel that we need to begin to think out of the box to promote ourselves as thought leaders in education. We need to speak in one strong united voice. It is only together that we can create a network of organizations, each having their own flavor, but speaking as one. I would love to see more frequent joint statements from AMS, IMC, and AMI with a strong inclusive message. We need to have strong, diverse leadership on the board from both coasts, all levels of training, and leadership experiences. Putting my vast board experience to work, serving AMS, is one way I to give back to the community that has given me so much support over the years.”
Pat Dorton Werner, MS
Head of School Emeritus, Washington Montessori School, New Preston, CT
AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood)
“I wholeheartedly support the AMS mission: “Empowering humanity to build a better world through Montessori.” I want to see the global view that AMS espouses become better known to our members. All Montessorians need to feel that they can contribute to this overarching theme of our work. I would like to continue to improve services available to our constituents. A number of smaller schools in my state have closed over the last five years, and there are good Montessori schools struggling to be viable everywhere. Supporting and assisting struggling schools and emphasizing best practices for fledgling institutions should be a priority. The ultimate priority is, of course, the children. Creating the best student experience possible for our diverse population on a daily basis and supporting our faculty who are instrumental in carrying this out is my deeply held passion. These children will contribute to a better world, one person at a time.”
Individual members will receive an email on March 10, 2020, with a unique link to access the ballot. Member schools and AMS-affiliated teacher education programs will also receive an email with a link. It will go to their organization email address. The last day to vote is Friday, April 13, 2020, 4:00 PM ET.
Individual members: Every current individual member has 1 vote.
Schools: All member schools receives 1 vote per every 100 students enrolled, or portion thereof. Satellites of member schools do not vote directly. Votes allocated to Satellites are added to the main site vote and the main site school casts all votes.
Teacher education programs: Every AMS-affiliated TEP has 1 vote per AMS-affiliated level for the following levels: Infant & Toddler, Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, and Administrator. TEPs with multiple votes may cast all their votes for 1 candidate, or distribute their votes over multiple candidates.