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Message from Dr. Timothy J. Purnell, Chief Executive Officer

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It is an honor and absolute privilege to serve as the CEO of the American Montessori Society. Since joining AMS in 2018, I have been enjoying learning about our members and hearing of their successes, challenges, and visions for the future. These stories have enabled me—along with the AMS Board and staff—to dig deeper into our organization and make significant changes so that we can more robustly support the Montessori community. If you are not already a member of AMS, I hope you will join us to inspire new ideas, build global connections, dream without limitations, and empower humanity to build a better world through Montessori!

You can learn more about Tim Purnell here >>

  • Leadership Team

    Henri Alexaline

    Chief Financial Officer
    henri@amshq.org

    Henri provides high-level oversight of all systems related to AMS finances, including tax and treasury functions. He also oversees our IT and fundraising departments. Originally from Vichy, France, his favorite place in the world is Biarritz, France.

    Marcy K. Krever

    Chief Communications Officer
    marcykrever@amshq.org

    Marcy is a wordsmithing queen, and our go-to person for all major stakeholder communications and publications, including: AMS web spaces, newsletters, Montessori Life magazine, informational brochures and videos, and organization announcements. She is also our media relations point person, so give her a shout if you are seeking information for a news piece. When she’s not at work, Marcy can be found taking photos of dollhouse miniatures in often surprising and unusual settings.

    Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

    Chief Education & Learning Officer
    gina@amshq.org

    Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. One of her favorite pastimes is walking to the Hudson River and reading by the water.

    Dr. Timothy J. Purnell

    Chief Executive Officer
    CEO@amshq.org

    Keeper of the vision, Tim considers it an honor to lead AMS into the future as it continues to grow and evolve. He works closely with our board of directors to provide strategic leadership to our staff and community in instituting AMS’s key priorities and goals. Committed to AMS’s mission of empowering humanity to build a better world through Montessori, he encourages his team to dream without limitations and provoke the realm of possibilities. When he’s not at work, Tim loves spending time with his wife and 3 children watching movies, riding dirt bikes, and coaching their baseball and football teams. His favorite place in the world is Rome, Italy, and he plays a mean game of horseshoes!

  • Administration

    Maria Pagani

    Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer
    maria@amshq.org

    Maria works closely with our CEO to support AMS’s key strategic priorities and membership outreach. She offers daily administrative support and is a liaison between AMS staff, the Board of Directors, and AMS members. She loves adventuring outdoors; she once camped throughout Iceland and only slept in tents!

  • AMS Events

    Cara Paige

    Director of Events
    cara@amshq.org

    Cara oversees our conferences and symposia, with her central focus being The Montessori Event. She manages everything from creating the program and scheduling to collaborating with presenters and coordinating volunteers—and everything in between. If you attend the Event (which you should!), you will probably have an opportunity to experience Cara’s bubbly personality firsthand. On the weekends, Cara loves going antiquing and yard sale hopping. You may also find her knitting, painting, and designing sets and interiors!

    Joseph Randolph

    Meetings Manager
    joseph@amshq.org

    Joseph oversees onsite logistics for our conferences and symposia, with his central focus being The Montessori Event. He manages details related to tours and transportation, as well as catering and entertainment. When he was younger, he wanted to be a crime scene investigator.

    George Markham

    Conference Exhibits Manager
    exhibits@amshq.org

    George handles all aspects of the AMS Exhibit Hall at The Montessori Event, including applications, shipping, booth preparation, vendor support, and everything in between. His bottom line: ensuring the Exhibit Hall is a smashing success for attendees and exhibitors alike. One of George’s hobbies is working on his car collection.

    Xiaojing Zhou

    Assistant Manager of Events & Professional Development
    xiaojing@amshq.org

    Xiaojing oversees registrations for The Montessori Event, as well as Event-related requests such as CEU orders, certificates of continuing professional development, and visa letters for international attendees. Say “nǐ hǎo” to Xiaojing; she welcomes inquiries and conversation in both Mandarin, which is her native language, and in English. And, she loves watching movies.

  • Communications & Public Relations

    Marcy K. Krever

    Chief Communications Officer
    marcykrever@amshq.org

    Marcy is a wordsmithing queen, and our go-to person for all major stakeholder communications and publications, including: AMS web spaces, newsletters, Montessori Life magazine, informational brochures and videos, and organization announcements. She is also our media relations point person, so give her a shout if you are seeking information for a news piece. When she’s not at work, Marcy can be found taking photos of dollhouse miniatures in often surprising and unusual settings.

    John Mohr

    Website & Digital Marketing Strategist
    johnmohr@amshq.org

    John focuses on making AMS’s user experience for our online platforms as superb as possible. He updates our website and implements best practices on a regular basis, constantly innovating and problem-solving. John loves camping in an RV, especially in Zion National Park. He is the fourth John Thomas Mohr in his family, and as a kid, he thought it was a very regal thing to be. We think so too, John!

    Alix Samuel

    Copywriter
    alix@amshq.org

    Alix lends her voice to most of AMS’s communications. She is the lead writer for the AMS Prism and Community News dispatches in Montessori Life magazine. She loves photographing her travel adventures; she once traveled through India solo and attended a traditional 4-day wedding. She did not know the bride or groom, nor the 600 other guests!

    Kathy Carey

    Montessori Life Co-Editor
    EdMontessoriLife@aol.com

    As co-editor of Montessori Life, Kathy commissions stories, reviews submissions, and polishes and edits articles for publication. She works with authors, AMS staff, and a team of graphic designers and printers to get the magazine to subscribers on time. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and writing.

    Carey Jones

    Montessori Life Co-Editor
    EdMontessoriLife@aol.com

    As co-editor of Montessori Life, Carey commissions stories, reviews submissions, and polishes and edits articles for publication. She creates and manages the production schedule, working with authors, AMS staff, and a team of graphic designers and printers to get the magazine to subscribers on time. On weekends, she goes to farmers’ markets, cooks, and reads.

  • Development

    Kristine Cooper

    DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
    kristine@amshq.org

    Kristine develops and maintains relationships with members, donors, board, volunteers, and other AMS partners. She is responsible for advancing AMS’s interests to strengthen ties in the Montessori community and education landscape through procurement of event sponsorships. Did you know: Kristine was voted “cutest baby” in her hometown and was featured in her local newspaper!

  • Finance

    Henri Alexaline

    Chief Financial Officer
    henri@amshq.org

    Henri provides high-level oversight of all systems related to AMS finances, including tax and treasury functions. He also oversees our IT and fundraising departments. Originally from Vichy, France, his favorite place in the world is Biarritz, France.

    Xiaoping Mei

    Accounting Manager
    xiaoping@amshq.org

    Specializing in finance and accounting, Xiaoping is responsible for receivables and payables. She is our favorite person on “pay day!” In her spare time, she likes to shop online and daydream about her favorite place: Maldives.

    Yan Mei

    Assistant Accounting Manager
    yan@amshq.org

    Yan supports the accounts payable and receivables in our finance department. She is detail-oriented and a master with numbers. As a nature lover, her goal is to explore as many national parks as she can with her friends and family. So far, she has visited 6!

  • Information Technology

    Andrew Hofland

    Director of Information Technology
    andrew@amshq.org

    Andrew manages our IT infrastructure and services, including AMS’s databases, web spaces, and computer systems. Maximizing the member experience and staff efficiency is his bread and butter. If he could meet one person from history, it would be Leonardo da Vinci because, “He was a polymath if ever there was one.”

    Matthew Tatum

    Manager of Digital Infrastructure
    matt@amshq.org

    Matthew is a master problem solver when it comes to online member utilities, including AMS’s web spaces, jobs board, and community messaging platforms. He has always dreamt of becoming an astronaut, and hopes to someday travel to outer space.

  • Marketing & Advertising

    Jeff Covello

    Director of Marketing
    jeff@amshq.org

    As a marketing specialist, Jeff oversees the promotion of all our programs, events, and public awareness campaigns. He is responsible for AMS’s emails, social media, event marketing, and SEO efforts. He works closely with all areas of the company to support AMS initiatives. He sees nearly every show that comes to Broadway, and has seen over 3,000 theatrical performances.

    Ashleigh Bones

    Marketing Manager
    ashleigh@amshq.org

    Ash creates many of AMS’s email campaigns, event marketing collateral, and social media posts. Adroit in all things Adobe, she also designs many of AMS’s ads and newsletters, such as This Week at AMS and TEP Talk. If she could meet one person from history it would be the Obamas. “Just one of them? Fine… then just Barack.”

    Michele Eldon

    Director of Advertising
    michele@amshq.org

    Michele is responsible for all vendor advertising on the AMS website, as well as in digital communications and organization publications, including Montessori Life magazine.

  • Membership

    Carla Hofland

    Director of Membership
    carla@amshq.org

    Carla draws from her years of experience in Montessori school administration to ensure our membership program is invaluable to every member of AMS. She provides customized expertise to current members, and actively recruits new ones. She also coordinates school tours at The Montessori Event. She enjoys whistling, singing, and spending time in nature.

    Brittany Kramer

    Membership Manager
    brittany@amshq.org

    Brittany knows AMS membership through and through. She processes school membership applications and renewals, responds to membership-related inquiries, and connects with prospective schools to expand our membership community. She is also a pet parent to a tarantula named Harry, 2 chameleons named Newman and Lambo, and 3 geckos named Mocha, Stripe, and Dunkin!

    Caitlin Gminder

    Assistant Membership Manager
    caitlin@amshq.org

    Caitlin processes school membership applications and payments. As our database expert, she unravels issues that may arise when schools are applying for membership or trying to access their benefits. On the weekends, Caitlin enjoys walking through Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, and venturing outside of NYC to go hiking.

    Joan Marrero

    ASSISTANT MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    joan@amshq.org

    Joan processes individual memberships and answers questions related to the online application—including those related to our 2 membership tiers, Basic and PLUS. She also responds to questions about school applications. Joan is originally from Jamaica, and if she could meet one person from history it would be Bantu Stephen Biko.

  • Professional Development

    Joshua Shanklin

    Director of Learning & Professional Development
    joshua@amshq.org

    Through the use of online learning platforms, social media, and in-person experiences, Joshua fosters environments that equip adult learners with the tools they need to pursue their curiosities. He applies Montessori philosophies to adult learning environments that we typically apply with children. Joshua loves spending time with his wife and daughters, going on outdoor adventures, and vacationing on Sanibel Island.

    John Barbieri

    Online Learning Support Specialist
    johnbarbieri@amshq.org

    John supports AMS’s professional development team on video production to develop interactive online learning products. He assists with everything ranging from directing to lighting to editing. He also provides virtual training to members on a variety of educational technologies. After work you can find John skateboarding, playing with his mini Labrador, Izzy, and making a mean batch of cold brew coffee.

  • Research

    Angela Murray, PhD

    Senior Researcher
    research@amshq.org

    Angela oversees AMS white papers and the Research Library on our website. She is editor of the Journal of Montessori Research and teaches research and statistics at the University of Kansas. She also teaches tap dance to children!

    Christine Emeran, PhD

    Research Manager & Content Strategist
    christine@amshq.org

    Christine oversees the research tracks and poster sessions at The Montessori Event. She also manages the AMS research mini-grants and content for the Research Library. Her academic background enables to her apply analytical expertise to her work. And, she has learned/is learning 5 languages: French, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Italian.

  • School Quality & Accreditation

    Melanie Thiesse

    Director of School Quality & Accreditation
    melanie@amshq.org

    Melanie oversees school accreditation, the Pathway of Continuous School Improvement, and research initiatives. She partners with external organizations to increase and maintain quality Montessori schools worldwide, and she is the AMS liaison to the School Accreditation Commission. You may find her out and about in the community, as she often represents AMS at far-flung education conferences. This is quite fitting as she describes herself as the definition of “wanderlust”—she’s been to 26 countries and 38 of the United States (so far).

    Jennifer Harris

    Pathway of Continuous School Improvement Manager
    jenharris@amshq.org

    Jen brings her many years of Montessori experience to her role as the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement Manager. She is eager to guide you through the process of self-reflection and articulation of quality to help you reach your goal of high-fidelity implementation of Montessori. When she’s away from her desk, Jen savors time with her family, enjoys reading books, and loves to swim in Lake Michigan.

    Shannon Rogers

    School Accreditation Manager
    shannon@amshq.org

    Shannon guides schools through the AMS accreditation process and coordinates school accreditation team visits. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing classes and writes young adult novels. She also writes reviews of young adult literature for Montessori Life magazine.

    Peter Piché

    Pathway of Continuous School Improvement Consultant
    peter@amshq.org

    Peter is our consultant working on the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement—a program that can help member schools reach and maintain high levels of quality Montessori. He lives in Minneapolis and enjoys walking, running, biking around, and skating on Lake Nokomis. And, in the morning, he sometimes turns his shower to full-blast cold to see how long he can stand it. “Really, it’s good for you!” We’ll take your word for it, Peter.

  • Teacher Education

    Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

    Chief Education & Learning Officer
    gina@amshq.org

    Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. One of her favorite pastimes is walking to the Hudson River and reading by the water.

    Melina Papadimitriou

    Director of Teacher Education
    melina@amshq.org

    Melina oversees all teacher education services, including affiliation applications and self-studies, adult learner registration, credentials, and scholarships. She also collaborates with the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education on the affiliation of teacher education programs. Originally from Greece, her favorite place in the world is the Aegean Sea.

    Angelique Keller

    Registrar of Credentials & Professional Development
    angelique@amshq.org

    Angelique is an AMS credentials expert. She not only processes credentials, she also provides replacement credentials, credential upgrades, and credential verification letters for employers or state licensing agencies. In addition, she processes teacher education program transcripts. After work, she enjoys playing Pokémon Go, and watching “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” with her boyfriend, sometimes followed by “Star Trek” reruns.

    Emilie Maurer

    Assistant Manager of Teacher Education Services
    emilie@amshq.org

    Emilie supports the teacher education affiliation office review process and the credentialing process. She also offers administrative and research support to our Chief Education & Learning Officer. When she isn’t at work, you can find her writing, baking, and practicing music.

    Brandi Stuart

    Assistant Manager of Teacher Education Program Affiliation & Registration
    brandi@amshq.org

    Brandi’s bright, smiling energy can be felt miles away. She supports adult learner registration and requests for Certificates of Professional Development. She also processes TEP affiliation and credential orders and payments. After work, you can find her playing with her dog, Huey, or mixing new recipes for her Bellini business.

    Sophia Zamudio

    Manager of Teacher Education Program Affiliation
    sophia@amshq.org

    Sophia works with directors of teacher education programs on affiliation reviews, coordinates AMS teacher education scholarships, and helps to plan our annual Montessori Teacher Educators Day. When inspiration strikes, she enjoys writing poetry and song lyrics.

  • Board

    Munir Shivji

    President of the Board
    amspresident@amshq.org

    Director, Toddler and Primary Programs, Cambridge Montessori School, Cambridge, MA

    Amira D. Mogaji

    Vice President of the Board

    Chief Academic Officer, City Garden Montessori School, St. Louis, MO

    Susan Kambrich

    Treasurer of the Board

    Head of School, Woodland Hill Montessori School, Rensselaer, NY

    E. McCrae Harrison

    Secretary of the Board, School Accreditation Commission

    Assistant to the Principal for Montessori, Montessori Academy at Christina, Wilmington, DE

    Sandra Marie Stevenson

    Member-at-Large

    Assistant Editor, Photography Department, the New York Times, New York, NY

    Dr. Timothy J. Purnell

    EX OFFICIO

    Chief Executive Officer, American Montessori Society

    Janet H. Bagby

    Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology, Baylor University, Waco, TX

    Geoffrey E. Bishop

    Executive Director/Founder, Nature’s Classroom Institute and Montessori School, Mukwonago, WI

    Gary Bowman

    Former Executive Director/Superintendent of California Montessori Project, Carmichael, CA (2004 – 2019)

    Sharon Damore

    Montessori Consultant and Adjunct Faculty, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

    Hilary Green

    Chair of the Teacher Educators Section

    Director, Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, Silver Spring, MD

    Michelle Suzanne Hammons

    Principal, Eagle Peak Montessori School, Walnut Creek, CA

    Anita Hanks

    Head of School, Starwood Montessori School, Frisco, TX

    Luz Casquejo Johnson

    Assistant Professor/Director of the Montessori Teacher Education Program, Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga, CA

    Nancy Lindeman

    Director/Assistant Professor, Institute for Montessori Innovation, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT

    Pauline Novak

    Montessori Learning Specialist, Montessori School of Northern Virginia, Annandale, VA

    Candace Proctor

    Chair of the Teachers Section

    Lower Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, The Montessori Academy of Arlington, Arlington, TX

    Debbie Senoff-Langford

    Chair of the Heads of Schools Section

    Head of School, Jarrow Montessori School, Boulder, CO

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