Our team of Montessori consultants has the experience, expertise, and passion to provide practical help and deliver meaningful results for your school!
Whether you need to increase enrollment, plan for next year, give your staff some great professional development, strengthen your existing program, fundraise, or hear the calm, outside voice of experience to help your school community build a bridge over troubled waters … we achieve results!
None of the world’s great Montessori schools try to go it alone, and neither should you.
We make consulting affordable and targeted to meet your school’s specific needs. We can even help if you dream of starting a new school.
Our expertise covers every aspect of Montessori school leadership, admissions to alumni, facilities to finances, and from building a strong Montessori board to strategic planning, curriculum development and program evaluation, designing logos, websites, writing copy for brochures, and just about anything else your school might need.
Before we go any further, the big question all Montessori schools should be asking is: What can we do RIGHT NOW? The answer is: A LOT!
We have been helping Montessori schools like yours since 1992. They depend on outside mentors to help them stay on course. When facing challenging times, or when attempting to plan and implement something new, experience, expertise, and a fresh outside perspective is absolutely invaluable.
Until now, assistance from a team of expert Montessori school consultants has been outside the reach of most schools. As a nonprofit international organization, we will work with you to structure a plan that works for your school’s budget.
Inspiring, fundraising, and engaging your school community
Money: The thing that makes everything else possible
School Consultation Team
Expertise: Professional Development for Faculty and Staff; Classroom Leadership – Cultivating Cooperative Classrooms; School Leadership – Compliance and Licensing, Staffing, Admissions (enrollment), Building Strong School Communities (retention); Program Development – Studios (after school activities), All-Day Montessori, Starting an Infant Program, Supporting Families.
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Kathy Leitch has been a leader in Montessori education for over 30 years. She graduated from Barry University and earned her Montessori credentials from the American Montessori Society for 0 – 3 & 3-6. Kathy founded and continues to serve as head of Renaissance Montessori School in Fort Myers, Florida. She
has over 15 years experience as a Montessori Teacher Trainer, School Consultant and Accreditation Commissioner. Additionally,
Kathy is a certified Parenting Instructor and Mindfulness Facilitator.
Kathy has a twenty (20) year history of serving the IMC as a school member, board member, and accreditation commissioner. These experiences have given her perspective, insight, understanding, and appreciation of the organization. Kathy’s passion, experience, and diverse skills will support the board in setting the course for the future of the International Montessori Council. “With the Montessori community and its many diverse organizations coming together, collaborating, and finding common ground as never before, we are at a crossroads. This provides a call to action with unique opportunities to impact the quantity and quality of Montessori programs world-wide. Those who know me well have called me a bridge builder and steadfast advocate for the respectful appreciation of diverse views and practices, a viewpoint I carry with me into this new position. As I look forward, I am ready to advance IMC’s contributions which include our Peace Academy, affordable and accessible leadership development, school accreditation, teacher training programs, a generous resource library, and our international chapters. I will be working closely with our board and membership to further the vision and mission: to nurture, connect, and inspire the global Montessori community.”
Tim is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. He is a noted expert in Montessori education, specializing in school leadership. He is a senior school consultant, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and accreditation specialist. His more than forty years of experience in Montessori education includes twenty-two years as Headmaster of the
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Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was his own alma mater from age two through high school graduation.
Tim was the co-founder and Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and currently also serves as the Head of the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida. He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. Tim is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including his latest, How to Raise An Amazing Child, The Montessori Way with Dr. Paul Epstein, Building a World-class Montessori School, Master Teachers – Model Programs with Jonathan Wolff, Finding the Perfect Match – Recruit and Retain Your Ideal Enrollment, Starting a New Montessori School, Celebrations of Life, and The World in the Palm of Her Hand.
Areas of Expertise: Sheila has a broad skill set with experience in classroom curriculum evaluation and alignment; classroom and environmental design; Head of School coaching; creating parent relations with Head of School and the faculty; Conscious Discipline teacher training; 7 Habits of Highly Effective Children, People & Families; creating an effective and economical School Guidance Program which positively impacts school enrollment and retention; and School Financial Health analysis in relation to budgeting and tuition structuring resulting in effective tuition collection.
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Sheila Linville is a Senior Consultant and also serves as the International Montessori Council (IMC) Director of School Accreditation and Affiliation. She founded Lake Mary Montessori Academy (LMMA) in 1995 where she was a beloved teacher and Executive Director for almost three decades until her retirement in 2021.
She is an educator, mentor, coach, and inspiration to the teachers, parents, and children in her local sphere of influence and beyond earning her Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) from Rollins College and her Montessori Credentials in both Early Childhood and Elementary I from the American Montessori Society.
In addition to being a valuable resource to families, faculty, and leadership, Sheila is also a distinguished presenter and keynote speaker serving the National and International Montessori community.
Daniel Robinson Howe, III, EdD
Dr. Daniel Robinson (Robin) Howe began his Montessori career at the age of two at the
Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, which he attended through the eighth grade. Graduating from Dickinson College with two majors (Spanish and Religion), he went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from University of South Florida.After successfully pursuing a career in the restaurant industry, Robin decided to return to certification from Palm Harbor Montessori
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School (AMS) then attended St. Catherine’s University to earn his Lower and Upper Elementary Certification (AMS). He also attended NAMTA’s Orientation to Adolescent Studies (AMI). Robin holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University and worked with The Montessori Foundation’s management team at NewGate (the Foundation’s lab school), serving as Associate Head of School and as a Senior Montessori Foundation School Consultant.
In his spare time, Robin lives with two Elf cats and has set a personal goal to run marathons in all fifty states.
Areas of Expertise: Professional Development for Faculty and Staff; Classroom Leadership – Cultivating Cooperative Classrooms; School Leadership – Compliance and Licensing, Staffing, Admissions (enrollment), Building Strong School Communities (retention); Program Development – Studios (after school activities), All-Day Montessori, Starting an Infant Program, Supporting Families.
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Lorna Mcgrath is a Senior Consultant and Director of Family Resources at the Montessori Foundation. She also served as Associate Head of NewGate School.
Lorna has 41 years of experience in the field of education, teaching children from 18 months through 6 years old and from 12 through 18 years old in both public schools and independent Montessori schools. She received her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Family Counseling from the University of Georgia and her Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society.
Lorna is a Montessori teacher educator, conference presenter, and school consultant. Lorna has used her many years of experience, working with families in the educational setting, to develop programs for parents as well as teachers and children. She has spent many years as a certified instructor for the International Network for Children & Families, teaching classes in Redirecting Children’s Behavior, Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom, Common Ground for Parents and Teens, and Parenting Instructor Network Training.
Tanya Ryskind, JD
Areas of Expertise: Leadership development, classroom leadership, community building, and institutional sustainability.
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instructional guide, field consultant, practicum adviser, and Associate Elementary Director. Tanya has served on the MACTE Board since 2018. Tanya joined the NewGate School community and currently serves as head. Tanya has a twenty (20) year history serving IMC as an accreditation commissioner.
Cheryl Allen, M.A.
Cheryl Allen attended Montessori school in Northern Virginia from age two to age nine. She graduated from Georgetown University with a major in history and a minor in women’s studies. After a year traveling in Europe and the United States as a tutor for a family, she earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching, earning a high school (grades 9-12) credential with a specialty in history and social studies.
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Cheryl spent time teaching high school in two schools in Boston and then ran Sylvan Learning Centers in both Virginia and Massachusetts. When her first child started Montessori school, Cheryl began working in the school and went for her 3-6 training, at the New England Teacher Education Center (AMS), when a position opened up at the school. When a Lower Elementary (6-9) position opened up, Cheryl was asked to work at that level and earned her AMS certification from the Seacoast Center Montessori Teacher Education Program. Cheryl moved to Sarasota and the NewGate School in 2009. While there, she earned an elementary (6-12) certification from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and taught in an Elementary class (6-12), an Upper Elementary (9-12) class, and a Lower Elementary class (6-9). Her last year in the classroom she conducted a remote Montessori classroom utilizing daily choice activities, virtual meetings, and a platform for sharing work. Cheryl is a teacher educator, workshop presenter, and member of IMC accreditation teams. Cheryl’s two children attended Montessori school from age two through high school graduation.
Areas of Expertise: primary and elementary programs, creating year and three-year-cycle plans for elementary, online programs instruction, parent communication, Montessori Compass and observation, record keeping, writing progress reports, peace education and community building, school accreditation
Michael Dorer, PhD
Michael is a Montessori teacher educator, consultant, speaker, author, and storyteller. Michael has nearly fifty years of Montessori experience with Primary (Children’s House), elementary and adult Montessori education. Michael began his Montessori career in public Montessori aimed at children in poverty. He has gone on to work in a variety of settings, including both public and independent schools, as well as at the college and university level.
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Michael’s broad background includes Bachelors and Masters degrees in education as well as Specialist and Doctoral degrees in Instructional Leadership. He is public-school licensed in elementary education, nursery school, and Kindergarten. His Montessori credentials include a 3-6 and 6-9 Diploma from AMS and a 6-12 AMI elementary diploma earned in Bergamo, Italy. Michael has also spent more than 25 years working with Montessori adults, as a teacher trainer, consultant, and presenter. His focus has been on Montessori theory, elementary level arithmetic and geometry, curriculum, classroom management and leadership, Great Lessons, higher order thinking, functions of words, and more. He is especially renowned for his work in lesson planning, record keeping, and management, and also in storytelling. Storytelling is a particular specialty for Michael. He frequently presents, speaks, and consults on classroom storytelling, offers artist in residence opportunities to schools, and trains teachers in using storytelling in Montessori settings. He is the author of The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Classroom Storytelling, the definitive book on stories in Montessori. Today, Michael continues to work with schools and Montessori organizations around the world. His knowledge of Montessori, his special insight, and focus on school and professional improvement put Michael in demand by Montessorians everywhere. Areas of Expertise: Curriculum, Spiritual Preparation of the Teachers; Cosmic Education
Jonathan Wolff is a Montessori school consultant, leadership coach, teacher educator, and author, who brings to his work 40 years of experience in Montessori education as a classroom teacher and school administrator.
He is the author of numerous educational publications, including The Self-Awakened Child – Character Education Program.
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Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education from Temple University and a certification as a Primary Guide from the Association Montessori Internationale. He studied with Mother Isabelle Eugenie, an early student of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Areas of Expertise: Montessori program assessment: classroom observations and program development; School leadership consulting and coaching; Staff on-site in-services, webinars, and retreats; Parent education and, Board development, consulting, and retreats’ strategic planning.
Christine Lowry, MEd
With an MEd. in special education and a Montessori credential, and throughout her more than 30 years of experience, Christine has been committed to serving students with special needs in a variety of settings. She has founded, directed, and taught in two Inclusive Montessori schools serving students with needs of behavior and learning. She has successfully guided students in every category of special needs, including sensory processing disorder, autism, attention difficulties, developmental and intellectual delays, specific learning disabilities,
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twice-exceptional, and students experiencing trauma in Montessori classrooms, toddler- adolescent. She has supported families as they partner with the school and community professionals and resources.
Christine has developed The Montessori-based Multi-Tiered System of Support ©, a framework consistent with Montessori philosophy and pedagogy to support All students through Tier 1- universal best practices, Tier 2- Targeted Instruction and Support, and Tier 3, Systematic Individualized Plans of Intervention.
Christine shares her education and experience with schools, and districts as they implement the Montessori- Based MTSS and provides teachers the consultation and coaching they need to support all students in a Montessori environment. She works with families of students with special needs attending Montessori schools. She offers online courses to Montessori leaders and teachers through the Montessori Foundation and is a contributing writer to Montessori Leadership magazine.
Christine is currently a graduate student at the University of Colorado-Denver in Early Childhood Inclusive Special Education and the Coaching Academy.
International Montessori Consultant and Leadership Coach
Claire Salkowski has been a leader in the field of education for forty years. She was the founder and Head of Free State Montessori School and has taught at every level of development from toddlers through graduate school.
She is the previous Director of the Montessori Education Program at Delaware State University and has been a faculty member at numerous Montessori teacher training programs.
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She has been an adjunct and associate professor at Goucher College, Chestnut Hill College, Delaware State University, Loyola University, and a visiting lecturer at UMBC. Most recently she held the posts of Curriculum Director for the International Montessori School in Hong Kong and Principal for Gateway International Montessori School in Cairo, Egypt.
Claire is currently a professional ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) specialist and educational consultant. In her role as professional mediator and Circle facilitator, she was also Director of Mediation and Education Programs at the North Baltimore Center of Mosaic Community Services, an affiliate of Sheppard Pratt. She has mediated and served on the board of two U.S. community mediation centers and is currently on the Board and serves with the Circle Restorative Initiatives of MD.
Claire holds a Master of Science in Emotional Disturbances from Johns Hopkins University, was State certified in Special Education, and is Montessori (AMS) certified for 3-6-, 6-9- and 9–12-year-olds. Ms. Salkowski has also earned 30 beyond in School Psychology and earned over a hundred hours of training in mediation, Circle facilitation, and Conflict Coaching. She is currently the principal consultant of C.J. Consulting and Services which offers processes, practices, and retreats for personal and organizational growth, the resolution of conflict, and the creation of community in the home, school, workplace, and society.
Claire has written and developed a curriculum in Montessori education, mediation, conflict resolution, and peace education. She has published numerous articles on a variety of topics including peace education, Montessori practice, parenting, mediation, and conflict resolution. She has trained extensive faculties and students in Montessori philosophy and practice, peer mediation, and conflict resolution. Claire has presented at numerous Montessori conferences and other professional organizations nationally and internationally on a number of topics. She was Chair and Co-Chair of the School Accreditation Commission and still serves on the Board of the Montessori International Council,( IMC) the Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI), the Oneness-Family School, and Circle of Restorative Initiatives (CRI).
Jana Morgan Herman
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Montessori parent Facebook group, and is a co-moderator for Montistory, a page devoted to sourced quotes and historical pictures of Montessori classrooms. She is a co-author of the Montessori Parent Coronavirus Survival Guide and numerous articles for parents and teachers.
Renee duChainey Farkes
Renee has been a Montessori Head of School (HOS) and Education Leader for 30+ years. She served as founding HOS of Kingsley Montessori in Boston from 1998 until 2018 growing the school from a one room preschool to a 350 student community, Toddler through Upper Elementary in downtown Boston. She was HOS also at Woodward School for Girls from 2018-2021 working with both Middle School and High School girls.
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She is a dedicated advocate for, and driver of, excellence in the educational experience of students and parents. Renee is passionate about children and their learning, the development of teachers, and partnerships with parents and the family to achieve the best outcome and learning experience. She is highly committed to assisting all schools to establish a successful path forward.
Renee is recognized for her success in shepherding educational institutions through profound growth as well as financial and community crises. Renee is experienced as an adaptive leader who helps schools adapt and thrive in challenging situations. She is experienced in working with a diverse group of schools small to large, from start-up, crisis and turnaround situations, enrollment growth to board leadership and organization in schools. She has demonstrated capability in Enrollment Management, Marketing, Communications and Writing, School Operations, and Budget and Fundraising. Renee brings a profound belief in the value of customer focus/customer relations as it supports enrollment management: retention and new admissions. Renee specializes in the value of the parent and student experience in schools.
Renee has served on the American Montessori Society for two terms, with a focus on “Chair of the Head of School” Section and is most comfortable working with Heads of School and their roles. She is a 20+ year Board member of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts.
Renee has a personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through teaching, professional activity and/or service.
She is also author of several educational articles including “Parents as Partners” and “On the Road with Maria,” both published in Montessori Leadership. (Renee spent her sabbatical in 2018 visiting 65 Montessori Schools nationally and internationally. Her article describes the experience and findings.)
Areas of Expertise: Supporting and coaching Heads of School in all areas of school operations including strategic goal setting and enrollment management (retention and new admissions), parent relationships and communications, faculty professional development including evaluation, school accreditation, tuition strategy, building school communities, and Board development and assessment.
Why pay for a consultant?
From working with a small group of committed parents begin the daunting task of creating a new school, to organizing a new level of Montessori instruction (such as adding infant/toddler, middle school, or high school programs), to working with school communities to ‘save’ a school facing serious challenges, or guiding a school’s transition from long-time founder leadership to supporting the entire school community through the process — the Montessori Foundation’s consultants are here to help.
Our Montessori consultants and staff have incredible depth with the knowledge and skills to help give Montessori skills the edge to survive and thrive through good times and hard challenges. Sometimes the relief on a school leader’s face is palpable when they hear: “We’ve got this. Let’s get started.”
For most schools that are new to the consulting staff at the Montessori Foundation, we like to include a day of onsite consulting. Not because it’s expensive, but because even one day of speaking in person with leading members of the school’s community (administrators, teachers, students) provides invaluable information as we create a customized work plan for each school.
Meeting in person, walking the grounds, breathing in the environment and sense of commitment of the entire school community guides the choice of services and consultants best suited to meet your school’s specific needs. It is also an opportunity for school leaders to meet representatives of the Montessori Foundation in person and get to know us.
Zoom is great; spending a day (or more) together is even better. Obviously, Covid has imposed restrictions to safeguard health; however, we have consultants all over the world, which often reduces travel time and makes in-person visits safer and more practical. Seriously, Zoom has literally and figuratively a lifesaver during these most unusual of times.
Whatever your school needs, we have people with the skills to help you accomplish it.
1 Hour (phone or in person) Consultation for School and/or Administrators and Board Members
Daily Onsite Consultation for School Administrators and Board Members
1 Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop
1 1/2-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop
2-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop
3 Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop
We also offer full-day Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshops
$150 (US) per hour
Contact us today to schedule an online consultation with one of our senior consultants. Many schools schedule a series of online consulting sessions to help them through a time of challenge or critical planning and transition.
$1, 500 (US) per day
We come to your school. Schools cover transportation, food, and lodging. We follow up with an in-depth report at the end of the visit with an analysis of challenges and opportunities in order to move forward.
We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience.
We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience. These ninety-minute interactive workshops allow for participation and discussion.
$600 (US) per 2 hours
This 120-minute interactive workshop is available for up to 65 participants (includes assessment and practice exercises).
Usually organized as two ninety-minute sessions with a break for coffee or lunch, these three-hour workshops allow time to go into more depth and discussion, or to address two separate topics.
These full-day workshops can be scheduled in many ways, including spreading them out over two or more days. They allow the time that we all need to go into depth, participate in learning activities and discussion or address two or more topics.