AMS Announcements, Awards & News
Find out what’s happening at the American Montessori Society and in our community.
American Montessori Society Hires New Executive Director
JUNE 8, 2020—It is with great excitement and pleasure that the Board of Directors of the American Montessori Society announces the hire of Munir Shivji as our new executive director, effective Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
JUNE 19, 2020—We recognize the Juneteenth holiday by acknowledging how far we have come and how far we have left to go. We understand that all lives cannot matter until Black lives matter and we invite you to join us as we stand against systemic racism and bigotry.
Black Lives Matter: A Message from the AMS Board President
JUNE 1, 2020—The protests across the globe this week following the murder of George Floyd are an urgent reminder that we must constantly examine how racism shapes our institutions and identify ways to dismantle and disrupt racism. This includes our Montessori schools and teacher education programs.
Farewell and Thank You to Richard A. Ungerer, Interim Executive Director
MAY 29, 2020—Rich Ungerer, who came out of retirement earlier this year to serve AMS as interim executive director, has now completed his work with us. We extend deep thanks to him for stepping up to help our organization through a critical transition period.
Election Results: AMS Board of Directors
MAY 22, 2020—See the results of the AMS Board of Directors elections. These leaders will be welcomed to the board in July 2020.
American Montessori Society Seeks New Executive Director
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: APRIL 9, 2020. UPDATED: JUNE 9, 2020. This position has been filled and the application process is now closed.
Announcing the AMS 2021 Living Legacy: Biff Maier
APRIL 6, 2020—We are proud to announce the AMS 2021 Living Legacy, William “Biff” Maier, who has proudly championed Montessori for 47 years. Learn about his journey and legacy.
A Letter from the AMS Board of Directors
MARCH 29, 2020—Every day we see clear evidence of how the AMS community has risen to the challenges set before us. We know the profound impact you are having on the lives of Montessori children and adult learners, serving as personal examples of leadership and integrity in a time of crisis, and continuing your role as compassionate educators dedicated to the work of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Announcing the AMS Executive Director Search Committee
MARCH 26, 2020—The American Montessori Society is embarking on a search for a new executive director. This is a position that Richard A. Ungerer has held in an interim capacity since February 1, 2020.
American Montessori Society 2020 Recognition Awards
MARCH 18, 2020—AMS recognition awards honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to our organization and the Montessori Movement. We offer our congratulations to the 2020 recipients, and profound thanks for all that they have so selflessly accomplished in pursuit of our shared mission to build a better world through Montessori.
Cancellation of The Montessori Event 2020
MARCH 12, 2020—Dear AMS community we are cancelling our conference, effective immediately. We are doing this in an abundance of caution, given the current situation with COVID-19.
Staying Healthy at The Montessori Event (and Beyond)
UPDATES MARCH 6,11, 2020—Read the latest updates about coronavirus and The Montessori Event, taking place March 12 – 15 in Dallas. You’ll also find a list of FAQs and links to helpful resources.
Change in Leadership at the American Montessori Society
JANUARY 21, 2020—Effective February 1, 2020, Richard A. Ungerer will assume the position of AMS Interim Executive Director. The change comes in the wake of the resignation of AMS CEO, Dr. Timothy Purnell. Many in the community know Rich from his previous service as AMS ED (2005 – 2017).
Meet the Candidates: AMS 2020 Board Elections & TES Elections
FEBRUARY 10, 2020—Learn about the Montessori educators and advocates who will be running for office in upcoming elections for the AMS Board of Directors and AMS Teacher Educators Section.
Announcing the Recipients of AMS 2020 Research Awards
FEBRUARY 5, 2020—Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s research awards: Teresa Ripple (dissertation) and Melissa Zheng (thesis).
AMS Awards $6,491 in Fall 2020 Research Mini-Grants
FEBRUARY 1, 2020—AMS Mini-Grants support research that brings fresh insight to Montessori education. Congratulations to the Fall 2020 recipients: Corey Borgman, David J. Fleming, and Anthony Setari.
In Memoriam: Jacqueline Mary Cossentino (1964 – 2019)
DECEMBER 18, 2019—Jackie championed Montessori in the public sector through her role as a parent, researcher, administrator, university professor, and co-founder of NCMPS.
AMS Salutes the Recipients of MACTE’s 2019 Recognition Awards
DECEMBER 10, 2019—Congratulations to the distinguished Montessori educators who were honored with awards at the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education 2019 Symposium.
In Memoriam: Carole Wolfe Korngold (1935 – 2019)
NOVEMBER 8, 2019—Honored as the AMS 2000 Living Legacy, Carole is acclaimed for bringing authentic Montessori education to thousands of children through independent, public, and charter schools, as well to childcare centers and Montessori teacher training programs.
AMS to Award Registration & Travel Stipends for The Montessori Event 2020
OCTOBER 24, 2019—AMS will award a limited number of registration and travel stipends for The Montessori Event 2020. The application period will be open November 1 – 30.
Applications Sought for AMS Board of Directors
OCTOBER 7, 2019—If you are an energetic and engaged member of the AMS community and would like to deepen your commitment and involvement, we invite you to apply for our Board of Directors. We are accepting applications now through 4:00 PM, EDT, November 5, 2019.
Nominations Now Being Accepted for AMS 2021 Living Legacy
OCTOBER 1, 2019—Now through November 15, 2019, we invite nominations for the AMS 2021 Living Legacy.
Donating Warmth & Imagination: AMS Staff Collect Children’s Pajamas & Books for Local Hospital
SEPTEMBER 30, 2019—AMS staff coordinated an office-wide pajama and book donation drive for the Pajama Program, a nationwide organization dedicated to providing all children with warm, cozy pajamas and enchanting books.
Apply Now for our AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program
SEPTEMBER 16, 2019—Now through October 28, 2019, we are accepting applications for our 2020 -2021 Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program.
“Montessori Voices” Audio Contest
AUGUST 27, 2019—If you like “playing with sound,” this contest is for you! Now through October 15, we invite AMS members and their students to submit original short melodies, or other original sequences of sound, for consideration as the winning audio logo.
Will You Be Applying for an AMS 2020 Peace Seed Grant?
AUGUST 16, 2019—Applications for AMS Peace Seed Grants will be accepted starting September 15. Start your planning now!
American Montessori Society Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity NYC on Home Build for Family in Need
AUGUST 2, 2019—AMS staff took part in a Day of Service yesterday on a home-build project with Habitat for Humanity NYC. Helping to build a home for a family in need concretely exemplified our new organization mission, “Empowering humanity to build a better world through Montessori.”
AMS Awards $28,000 in Teacher Education Scholarships
JULY 8, 2019—Every year, the American Montessori Society awards teacher education scholarships to aspiring Montessori teachers in support of their professional growth. For the 2019 – 2020 academic year, we awarded 20 scholarships totaling $28,000.
Montessori St Nicholas and AMS Explore New Ways to Collaborate
JUNE 18, 2019—The executive teams of the London-based MSN and AMS recently met for an exploratory meeting about possible ways to work together.
AMS Awards $3,450 Research Mini-Grant in Spring 2019
JUNE 13, 2019—The AMS Mini-Grants program supports research that can bring fresh insight to Montessori education. Meet the grant recipient, who is studying teacher satisfaction and retention.
Multi-Age Groupings in Montessori Classrooms
June 6, 2019—Updated June 6, 2019 to include information about the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement. Originally published November 4, 2014.
Upcoming Requirements for Accredited Schools & Schools on the AMS Pathway
MAY 13, 2019—New qualifications for teachers and heads of schools will go into effect July 1, 2020.
AMS Announces Newly Elected Board Members
MAY 3, 2019—Congratulations to the esteemed individuals who will take office this July.
AMS Peace & Social Justice Committee Awards 2019 Peace Seed Grants
APRIL 26, 2019—Congratulations to the 6 community members who have been awarded grants to fund peace education projects in their schools.
The American Montessori Society Named a World Citizen Peace Site
APRIL 22, 2019—The American Montessori Society was recently designated a World Citizen International Peace Site by World Citizen, a nondenominational and nonpartisan organization dedicated to invigorating and empowering communities to educate for a just and peaceful world.
Announcing the AMS 2020 Living Legacy: Ana María García Blanco
APRIL 2, 2019—We are honored to announce Ana María García Blanco as AMS’s 2020 Living Legacy—an award given to those whose commitment and leadership has made an extraordinary impact on the AMS community. A lifelong educator, Ana is changing the face of Montessori in Puerto Rico.
American Montessori Society 2019 Recognition Awards
APRIL 2, 2019—Every year, through a variety of awards, the American Montessori Society honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the Montessori Movement. The following recipients were announced during Community Night at The Montessori Event 2019, held in March in Washington, DC.
Hats Off to the 2019 — 2020 Emerging Leaders Fellows
FEBRUARY 28, 2019—Congratulations to the new cohort of Montessori-credentialed teachers that will be taking part in our Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program, March 2019 – March 2020.
Maryland State Senator William C. Smith Jr. Honored by AMS with Dr. Maria Montessori Ambassador Award
MARCH 26, 2019—Smith, a graduate of the AMS-accredited Barrie School, is working to advance Montessori education in his home state.
Candidates for AMS 2019 Board Elections Announced
FEBRUARY 26, 2019—Watch videos and read personal statements to learn about the Montessori advocates running for office.
Announcing the Recipients of AMS 2019 Research Awards
FEBRUARY 13, 2019—Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s dissertation and thesis awards: Anne Sutton, Kirsten Nordhaus, and Marcela Corona-Villarreal.
Living Legacy Celebration with Marta Donahoe
Come celebrate the magic of AMS Living Legacy honoree Marta Donahoe at Mercy Montessori School this March. Hosted by our friends at Xavier University Montessori Institute; we hope you’ll join!
AMS Sees You—ALL of You
JANUARY 21, 2019—AMS board and staff leadership enter this new year with a strengthened commitment to being a model for and ensuring the advancement of principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Applications Sought for AMS Board of Directors
NOVEMBER 9, 2018—If you are an energetic and engaged member of the AMS community and would like to deepen your commitment and involvement, we invite you to apply for our Board of Directors.
In Memoriam: John J. McDermott (1932 – 2018)
NOVEMBER 8, 2018—Professor John J. McDermott, 86, died Sunday, September 30, 2018. McDermott was a distinguished philosopher and educator who has been credited as the creator of the American Montessori Movement.
Open Positions at AMS
OCTOBER 26, 2018—AMS has several new positions open at our NYC office, and we are seeking new thought partners to fill them.
AMS Statement on Jeff Bezos's Initiative to Create Montessori-Inspired Schools
SEPTEMBER 14, 2018—We are thrilled to see the news of Jeff Bezos’s $2 billion charitable initiatives—the Day One Families Fund and Day One Academies—to fund existing non-profits that help homeless families and to launch high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in historically under-resourced communities.
Meet Your AMS Board President and Vice President
AUGUST 17, 2018—Representing various constituencies of the Montessori community, board members determine AMS policy and guide the organization on matters related to mission, vision, values, and strategic goals. They play an integral role in the American Montessori Society, and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce 2 of them to you: our President and Vice President, with whom I consult frequently.
AMS Awards $3,000 in Research Mini-Grants
JULY 11, 2019—AMS Mini-Grants are intended to encourage research that brings fresh insight to Montessori education. We congratulate the Spring 2018 recipients: Sarah Hassebroek, Sarah Hassebroek, and Hanako Shimamura.
AMS Awards $71,200 in Teacher Education Scholarships
JUNE 30, 2018—Every year, the American Montessori Society awards teacher education scholarships to aspiring Montessori teachers in support of their professional growth. For the 2018 – 2019 academic year, we awarded 24 scholarships totaling $71, 200.
No More Forgotten Citizens
JUNE 19, 2018—The practice of separating children from their families at the U.S. border, and the treatment these children are forced to endure, is inconsistent with our Montessori values. To America’s leaders we say this: There is a better way!
Announcing New AMS Director of School Accreditation
MAY 25, 2018—On July 9, 2018, Melanie Thiesse will join the American Montessori Society as our new Director of School Accreditation.
Your Signature Needed on Letter to NAEYC
APRIL 17, 2018—Colleagues, there is strength in numbers. Along with the MPPI, AMS has serious concerns about NAEYC’s designation of Montessori teachers, which limits their ability to function as lead teachers in most childcare licensing frameworks or publicly funded Early Childhood programs. Thus we kindly ask that you allow the MPPI to include you as a signatory to the letter expressing these concerns, and asking that they and the P2P Task Force adequately classify Montessori teacher preparation.
Announcing Our 2019 Living Legacy
MARCH 23, 2018—Marta Donahoe, the AMS 2019 Living Legacy, has been an integral part of the Montessori community since 1979. Among her many accomplishments is the founding of the nation’s first public Montessori high school—now a thriving community of 700 students.
Study Shows SC Public Montessori Students Outperform Peers
MARCH 8, 2018—Despite the growth and popularity of Montessori education, there has been a dearth of research on the topic. To help address this issue, the Riley Institute at Furman University developed and implemented a 5-year study of 44 Montessori and non-Montessori public schools in South Carolina— the most comprehensive evaluation of public Montessori to date.
CAPE Successful in Advocating for Changes to Tax Law Affecting Private Schools
JANUARY 19, 2018—Prior to the passage of the new tax law in December, the Council for Private School Education invited voters to contact Congress about several related issues, all of which were, according to CAPE, favorably addressed in the final legislation.
Montessori Communities in Puerto Rico Need Your Help
OCTOBER 17, 2017—Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria, the situation in Puerto Rico remains dire. To help area Montessori schools and the families they serve, Instituto Nueva Escuela, a local AMS-affiliated teacher education program that has trained over 500 Montessori teachers on the island, has started a GoFundMe campaign. Please donate if you can.
On Peace Education and Charlottesville
AUGUST 18, 2017—The tragic events in Charlottesville have once again brought matters of race, of religion, of thought, and of character to the forefront of the American discussion.