What Is the American Montessori Society?

Our mission: “Empowering humanity to build a better world through Montessori”

The American Montessori Society leads, empowers, and serves the global community of Montessori educators as the foremost advocate for research and policy, ongoing teacher education, and standards of accreditation through opportunities for mentored individual growth, collaboration, and member engagement.

As a hub of all things Montessori, AMS strives to anticipate and respond to the needs of our varied constituents. Among our many areas of involvement:

  • Standards for Montessori schools and teacher education programs
  • School accreditation
  • Teacher education and professional development
  • Research
  • Public policy
  • Peace and social justice
  • Scholarships, awards, and grants
  • Montessori in the public sector

Our website has a wealth of information about all of our programs and services. For specific inquiries, please contact us.

Want to connect with us or join the AMS team?

Who, Where, When


AMS is a vibrant community of schools, teacher educators, teachers, families, and others in the education space determined to make Montessori a strong and positive force in education.

Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Timothy J. Purnell
President of the Board of Directors: Munir Shivji, Director of School Success, Higher Ground Education, Lake Forest, CA
Members: 16,000 worldwide
Founder: Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch
Namesake and founder of the Montessori Method: Dr. Maria Montessori

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the policy-making body of the American Montessori Society. It is empowered to formulate policies and to amend the bylaws as needed to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities and to ensure a vigorous future for the organization. Board directors represent various constituencies of the Montessori community and contribute a diversity of experience and expertise that enrich the body’s deliberations and decisions. Elections for the board are held annually. For a list of current board members, visit the Contact Us page of our website. 


As an organization birthed in dedication to social change and social justice, it is perhaps fitting that AMS is located next door to New York City’s Union Square Park, historically a gathering point for mass political and community rallies. This includes the country’s first Labor Day parade (1882) and a demonstration organized by activist Emma Goldman as a call to action for unemployed workers (1893).

Our address is American Montessori Society, 116 East 16th Street, Floor 6, New York, NY 10003.


AMS was founded in 1960. In 2020, we will celebrate our diamond jubilee, commemorating 60 years of making Montessori happen at home and abroad.

Mission, Vision & Values


Empowering humanity to build a better world through Montessori.


Montessori for all, embraced around the globe.


All of the work that we do is founded on values of respect, integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, responsibility, and enthusiasm.

AMS by the Numbers

  • 270,000 students educated in AMS member schools annually
  • 14,800 individual members
  • 1,461 school members
  • 210 accredited-school members
  • 95 affiliated teacher education programs
  • 2,000 teaching credentials issued every year
  • 70 countries with AMS members

*Based on data collected in 2019.

Strategic Priorities










Institutional Advancement

Strategic Priorities

  1. Inclusion/Equity: AMS will model and ensure the advancement of principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion by creating an environment in which all feel welcomed, respected, valued, and empowered.
  2. Quality: AMS will define, promote, advocate for, and help its members deliver quality Montessori education and services.
  3. Membership: AMS will provide a professional environment, rich in services, so that members grow and thrive as a strong and expanding global Montessori community.
  4. Communication: AMS will raise awareness and understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and actions to all stakeholders for the purpose of strengthening the Montessori collective voice.
  5. Institutional Advancement: AMS will ensure that it has significant resources, practices, programs, and facilities to deliver services and cultivate relationships in order to expand and strengthen its position as a voice for Montessori.

Our Annual Report summarizes our fiscal health, and more.