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Monday Friday, 9 AM 5 PM (ET)

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Whether you have questions about membership, Montessori teacher education, accredited schools, or any other topic pertaining to AMS and/or Montessori education, please reach out to us! Our staff love engaging with educators, parents, and others in the community. You’ll find everyone’s email address below.

You can learn more about Rich Ungerer here >>

  • Leadership Team

    Richard A. Ungerer


    As interim executive director, Rich has oversight of the overall administration of AMS including strategic initiatives, programs, financial performance and viability, and board governance. He is also leading us through an important transition period as we explore how we can best serve our membership in ways that align with changing needs and priorities. Rich is an early bird! He likes getting up before sunrise, and is usually the first person in the office On the weekends, Rich enjoys gardening, sailing, and antiquing with his wife.

    Marcy K. Krever

    Chief Communications Officer

    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

    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.

  • Administration & IT

    Maria Pagani

    Executive Assistant to the Interim Executive Director

    Maria works closely with our interim executive director 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!

    Andrew Hofland

    Director of Information Technology

    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

    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.

    Emily Gee

    Director of Human Resources

    Emily works to provide a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment within AMS, keeping our staff as happy and healthy as possible. Among her many areas of oversight: the hiring of new staff, ensuring compliance with government and industry regulations, and employee relations. She also manages the AMS office space. Emily enjoys staying active, and she cherishes her time by the Pacific Ocean.

  • Community Relations

    Kristine Cooper


    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!

    Iris Lee 李(li)佳?

    China Operations Coordinator

    Iris helps build AMS’s presence in China through membership, teacher education, school improvement and accreditation, and professional development events. She represents AMS as a Montessori advocate at conferences in Asia. Iris loves hiking in the mountains and meeting her whale friends at the beach.

  • Finance

    Xiaoping Mei

    Accounting Manager

    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 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!

  • Marketing & PR

    Jeff Covello

    Director of Marketing

    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.

    John Mohr

    Website & Digital Marketing Strategist

    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!

    Ashleigh Bones

    Marketing Manager

    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.”

    Liz Buechele

    Communications Manager

    Liz puts pen to paper…or finger to keyboard…as she voices many of AMS’s communications such as the AMS Prism, The Montessori Event program guide, and the Community News dispatches in Montessori Life magazine. Liz is passionate about youth empowerment and kindness and enjoys writing, running, traveling, and watching the pups in NYC’s Union Square dog park.

    Kathy Carey

    Montessori Life Co-Editor

    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

    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.

    Michele Eldon

    Director of Advertising

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

    Cathy O'Brien

    Public Relations Consultant

    Cathy draws from her many years of public relations experience to secure press placements on behalf of AMS. She broadens public awareness about our organization, and she spreads the good word about Montessori in general. If you come across an article with a quote or interview featuring an AMS representative, chances are Cathy coordinated it. She loves watching old black-and-white movies, and her favorite place in the world is the North Fork of Long Island.

    Brenda Modliszewski

    Editorial Consultant & Copyeditor

    Brenda is the most meticulous copyeditor you ever did meet! Her laser eyes review every issue of Montessori Life, as well as several other AMS publications, to eliminate errors and inconsistencies before they are set in stone (print). She always looks forward to her family’s Christmas Eve dinner contest, where they compete to win the Pierogi Cup—awarded each year to the individual who makes the best original pierogis.

  • Membership

    Carla Hofland

    Director of Membership

    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 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 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.

  • PD & Events

    Cara Paige

    Director of Events

    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!

    Joshua Shanklin

    Director of Learning & Professional Development

    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.

    Joseph Randolph

    Meetings Manager

    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

    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.

    John Barbieri

    Online Learning Support Specialist

    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.

    Jill Segerman, PhD

    Lead Online Learning Instructional Designer

    Jill designs AMS online courses to create high-quality products that support Montessori teachers’ professional growth. She also uses her extensive background in creating educational experiences to guide teachers in designing and delivering their own online courses. In her free time, you can find Jill playing the ukulele, or taking ballroom dance lessons with her husband.

    Xiaojing Zhou

    Assistant Manager of Events & Professional Development

    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 “n  h o” to Xiaojing; she welcomes inquiries and conversation in both Mandarin, which is her native language, and in English. And, she loves watching movies.

  • Research

    Angela Murray, PhD

    Senior Researcher

    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!

    Susan Zoll, PhD

    Research Consultant

    Susan conducts and interprets research pertaining to the Montessori pedagogy, making dense content more accessible, and highlighting the many ways we can use research in our community and work. If she could meet one person from history, it would be Dr. Clara Craig, who took part in the first international Montessori training in Rome, Italy, in 1913. She collects alphabet books from different parts of the world; so far, her collection includes texts from Ireland, Italy, Barbados, and a beautiful book created by teachers in Singapore.

  • 湖南快乐十分首页School Quality & Accreditation

    Melanie Thiesse

    Director of School Quality & Accreditation

    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

    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 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.

  • Teacher Education

    Melina Papadimitriou

    Director of Teacher Education

    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.

    Emilie Maurer

    Assistant Manager of Education & Learning

    Emilie’s flexible and adaptable nature enables her to successfully wear many hats. On any given day, she provides administrative support to the chief education & learning officer, while also managing details related to AMS events, community relations, professional development, school quality & accreditation, and teacher education! When she isn’t at work, you can find her writing, baking, and practicing music.

    Sophia Zamudio

    Manager of Teacher Education Program Affiliation

    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.

    Garrett Schmidt

    Assistant Registrar of Credentials & Professional Development

    Garrett reviews incoming recommendations from AMS-affiliated teacher education programs and issues credentials to new Montessori teachers who have completed their training. After work, he uses his quick wit to perform improv comedy for fun around town!

  • Board of Directors

    Munir Shivji

    President of the Board

    Director of School Success, Higher Ground Education, Lake Forest, CA

    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


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

    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

    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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