Superintendents Day

Championing Montessori in the Public Sector

This event offers a unique opportunity for public school superintendents from across the nation to come together virtually to expand their knowledge and understanding of Montessori in the public sector, and to explore ways they can support Montessori in their districts. 

Superintendents Day is an admission-free event and participation is by invitation only. If you are a public-school superintendent and have not received an invitation, but would like one, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact AMS executive director, Munir Shivji.  

When: Thursday, March 4, 2021

For: Public school superintendents, by invitation only 

Format: Live

Cost: Complimentary   

Bonus: Complimentary registration for The Montessori Event, March 5 – 6 (AMS annual conference)   

Schedule at a Glance

All times below are in the Eastern Time zone.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Public Montessori: Where, What & Why? 

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM 

Breakout Groups 

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM 

It Takes a Village: Teachers & Families 

1:15 PM – 1:45 PM 

Keynote Address: A Conversation with Chelsea Clinton

2:00 PM – 2:20 PM 

Live Q&A with Chelsea Clinton

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

The Montessori Approach: Designed with Students at the Center  

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM 

Panel Discussion with District-Level Montessori Coordinators 

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM 

Breakout Groups 

Public Montessori: Where, What & Why? 

Presenters: Sara Suchman, Maria Carvajal, Angela Murray 

Join us for an overview of the state of public Montessori in the U.S. today. We will provide information on how many Montessori district and charter schools there are, and where; discuss what public schools need to do to get the most out of Montessori; and look at the research on outcomes.  

Breakout Groups

Facilitated conversations will take place in separate virtual rooms. Choose the one you'd like to join:

Room 1:          Starting a Montessori Program  

Room 2:          Montessori Research  

Room 3:          Montessori Curriculum   

It Takes a Village: Teachers & Families 

Presenters: Gina Lofquist, Wendy Shenk-Evans, Jasmine Williams

Learn the ins and outs of Montessori teacher training and licensure, and explore how to create a pipeline of enthusiastic and flourishing teachers and families to sustain your school.   

Keynote Address: A Conversation with Chelsea Clinton

Join us as Chelsea Clinton shares thoughts on helping students to find and exercise their activist voices, and other topics related to her work as an advocate for children, youth, women, families, and communities. Joining her in the conversation is AMS senior director of diversity, equity & inclusion, Bryan Jackson.

Live Q&A with Chelsea Clinton

Following Chelsea Clinton's keynote presentation, bring your questions for her to this live, facilitated Q&A session.

The Montessori Approach: Designed with Students at the Center  

Presenters: Angela Murray, Maria Carvajal, Maati Wafford 

This session looks at Montessori classrooms and outcomes in terms of race, equity, and inclusion; English-language learners; and students in need of special education. The lens we will use is a scientific one, as understanding the science behind the Montessori approach will support you in advocating for Montessori as a powerful approach for all children.   

Panel Discussion with District-Level Montessori Coordinators 

Moderator: Sara Suchman

You’re committed to Montessori—but how do you support it in your district? A panel of central office directors and coordinators will share their successes and challenges in building successful Montessori public schools. Hear directly from these experts about what Montessori programs in the public sector need, and how you can help.   

Breakout Groups 

Format: Live 

Facilitated conversations will take place in separate virtual rooms. Choose the one you'd like to join:

Room 1:           Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Montessori Education 

Room 2:           Public Policy: Braided Funding for 3- and 4-Year-Olds and Teacher Licensure 

Room 3:           Family Engagement in Montessori Education 



María Carvajal, MEd, MA, is program coordinator and coach at the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS). She has 20 years of experience in teaching, educational research, consulting, mentorship, and program management in El Salvador, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S. María’s professional passions include trauma-informed care, English learner education, and early intervention. AMI-credentialed (Elementary). 

Gina Lofquist is AMS senior director of education and strategic initiatives. Guided by the philosophy and vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, she has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. Gina oversees AMS teacher education and services, professional development events, online learning, marketing initiatives, and new program developments. Gina also leads AMS’s global outreach. 

Katy Mattis, MEd, is the director of assets and tools for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS). Katy has worked in private, charter, and district Montessori schools, most recently having spent 12 years in Denver Public Schools’ Montessori programs as a teacher, coach, and principal. Katy is passionate about leaders and teachers having the very best tools to support their work with children. AMI-credentialed (Assistants to Infancy and Elementary). 

Angela Murray, PhD, is director of the University of Kansas Center for Montessori Research and a research consultant for AMS. She is founding editor of the Journal of Montessori Research and founding chair of the Montessori Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.

Wendy Shenk-Evans is executive director of the Montessori Public Policy Institute (MPPI), a collaboration of the American Montessori Society and the Association Montessori International/USA that serves as the unified voice in advocacy and a platform for coordination of public policy efforts. While serving as a head of school in Washington, DC, Wendy successfully advocated for policy changes to help Montessori programs in the District flourish. She became involved in national advocacy efforts in the early stages of MPPI’s work and, as ED, supports state-level advocates, collaborates with leaders across the Montessori community, advocates and builds coalitions with other national education organizations, and offers trainings and workshops both domestically and internationally to prepare Montessori educators to be effective advocates.

Sara Suchman, EdD, MAT, MBA, is a founding member of the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS), where she currently serves as executive director. A Montessori alum, Sara has been a teacher, administrator, and teacher educator in both public and private settings at home and abroad. Sara knows the magic of a strong Montessori classroom and is committed to building sustainable and equitable access and opportunity for all families.

Maati Wafford, MSW, is AMS director of anti-bias, antiracist education. Prior to her work at AMS, Maati was the race and equity consultant to the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) and Upper Elementary program chair and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the AMS-accredited Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Administrator).

Jasmine Williams, MEd,  is the race and equity specialist and a Montessori teacher residency instructor and coach for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS). She has spent 12 years in bilingual Montessori programs, with 8 of those years being in a public school. She has also taught in Chile and China and has held the positions of classroom teacher, reading interventionist, Montessori coach, and academic director. An advocate for teachers, parents, and joyful public Montessori programs, Jasmine is currently a doctoral student in Education for Social Justice at the University of San Diego, with the goal of building this body of knowledge in Montessori teacher training. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).