Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program

Develop skills to take your Montessori commitment to new heights.

Do you see yourself as a future leader in the Montessori community? We can help support your goals. AMS’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program is a professional development initiative that provides a year of structured learning, mentoring, and networking opportunities to Montessori-credentialed teachers who have not yet assumed leadership positions in the Montessori community—but would like to.

Fellows develop the skills and confidence to raise their commitment to Montessori education to the next level. They also earn 60 hours of continuing professional development, which can be applied to the AMS Professional Development requirement.

The selection process for each year’s cohort of fellows is a competitive one.

What You Will Experience

  • You will be paired with a mentor who offers learning experiences tailored to meet your unique needs, interests, and qualifications.
  • The program launches with an intensive 2 days of professional development immediately before The Montessori Event in that year’s conference city.
  • The program concludes a year later with another 2-day learning experience in the next conference city. (Fellows are expected to attend the conferences; registration is complimentary.)
  • You will participate in monthly video conference calls that offer opportunities for collaboration and problem solving.
  • You will have access to an online forum that provides further opportunities for facilitated discussions.
  • You will be guided in creating a capstone project that addresses a need at your current organization—and a potential solution.

In-Person PD

Intensive learning experiences at the start and end of the year.

Monthly Check-Ins

Regularly scheduled calls with mentors who provide guidance and resources.

Capstone Project

Address a need or challenge in the fellow’s current Montessori community.

Ongoing Opportunities

Networking and mentorship continue after the program year.

Upon Graduation

Fellows who successfully complete the program receive:

    • An AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program certificate attesting to their participation in a rigorous, 60-hour course of study*
    • Name recognition in AMS publications and at The Montessori Event
    • Ongoing opportunities for mentorship and networking with their cohort group

* Note, the certificate is neither a substitute nor a replacement for an AMS Administrator or Teacher credential.

In addition, fellows may be encouraged or invited to:

  • Serve on AMS committees.
  • Participate as volunteers on a school accreditation visiting team or a visiting team for AMS teacher education program affiliation/MACTE accreditation.
  • Volunteer for a leadership role within their state/local Montessori association.

Heather Brown Barger

Studio Support Coordinator, Community Montessori Charter Public School. Emerging Leaders Fellow, 2016 – 2017.

Being a part of the Fellowship Program felt like a vote of confidence from AMS since day one, and I am truly grateful for their effort to support the next generation of Montessori leaders. Since participating, I have used the knowledge and skills I gained to develop a partnership with the Elementary education department at my local university, so that aspiring teachers have the opportunity to learn about and choose Montessori at the start of their teaching careers. I’ve been mentored by “the best of the best” and will continue to pay it forward.

Email AMS about the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program

Application Process

Are you interested in taking next steps toward participating in the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program?


Apply for Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program by completing a formal application by October 28, 2019.

Ask your supervisor to complete a formal Supervisor Affirmation by October 28, 2019.

Ask 3 references to complete formal recommendations by October 28, 2019.

Who may apply?

We accept applications from any individual who aspires to be a leader in the Montessori community and meets these criteria:

  • Is a current member of AMS
  • Holds an active AMS-recognized Montessori teaching credential. AMS recognizes credentials from AMS, the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and any other program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).
  • Is not currently in a leadership position, either as a head of school or director of a teacher education program.

AMS is committed to diversity within the Montessori community, including the backgrounds of its leaders. To that end, we encourage applications from global AMS members, people of color, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized communities.

Timeline for the 2021 – 2022 Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program 

August 16, 2020: Application period opens.

September 25, 2020: Application submission deadline.

October 23, 2020: AMS notifies candidates of acceptance.

March 2 – 4, 2021: Program launches at the Montessori Event 2021 (Sheraton Boston Hotel Boston, MA).

March: Program concludes at the Montessori Event 2022.

Selection of Fellows

The AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program Advisory Committee will evaluate and rank each applicant’s written responses and letters of recommendation. Total scores are then considered alongside various demographic criteria to ensure a diverse, well-rounded group.

Want to know more about our Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program?

Fee & Expenses

Fellows are responsible for the following expenses. If the fellow’s employer will be covering the expenses, that arrangement must be made directly between the fellow and their employer. 

  • Program fee: $2,000.
  • Travel, meals, and lodging for attendance at The Montessori Event 2020 and 2021. (AMS provides complimentary Full registration.)
  • Any expenses incurred for the fellow’s yearlong project, such as books and/or supplies.