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Montessori School Consultation

What keeps you up at night?

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.

Searching for A New Head of School?

Montessori schools thrive when they are led by educational leaders who are both knowledgeable and committed to Montessori education as well as the individual school. Our national and international network, and decades of experience in working with schools of every type and size, can help you to clarify what you most need if you’re ever in search of a new head. Then we can go out and help you find the perfect match. Even if you cannot find someone who is both Montessori certified and an experienced school leader, we can provide coaching and support to help your new head of school make a smooth transition through that first year.

Our Unique Three-Day School-Wide Institutional Assessment

Whether as a first step in preparing for accreditation, or gaining a fresh perspective from outside expertise of the school’s strengths and opportunities, our senior consultants can work with you both before the visit and during the visit to gain clear insight into the school’s strengths and opportunities in all ten areas of school operation: institutional identity and core values, educational program, the faculty and staff, the school’s finances, your facilities, the administrative team, the board or ownership in this relationship to the school as a whole, recruitment added missions, the strength of your school community and retention, and addressing any ongoing needs in the area institutional advancement and fundraising.

Inspiring, fundraising, and engaging your school community

Most Montessori schools have found that the best way to infuse new energy and confidence into their teachers, staff, and families is to bring in somebody from the outside. Our consulting team includes some of the best international keynote speakers and consultants you can find anywhere.

Money: The thing that makes everything else possible

Budgetary assistance in planning for your next school year helps ensure conservative sustainability with room to grow. Our in-house financial experts can help you sift through conflicting challenges to identify and make responsible financial decisions for the future.

Annual Reports

We can help you to prepare an effective Annual Report for your current situation that gives your families and staff a sense of transparency and confidence in your leadership during a time of unexpected challenges and expenses like no other. This makes the case for fundraising help where it is most needed.


Beyond your website, there is the entire marketing and messaging program that draws families to you who will truly appreciate and become engaged with your school. It’s knowing what to say, how to say it, and how to make the most of all of your resources to recruit and retain your ideal enrollment.


Finding the right staff for the next school year, is something we do really well. If you have a position to fill, our personal contacts and classified ads attract qualified Montessorians from all over the world. We can even ‘vet’ them for you and offer recommendations.

Professional Development

Professional Development: Professional Development is expensive, and it’s not easy to send your faculty, administrators, or boards off to conferences or retreat centers for renewal and inspiration. The Montessori Foundation staff members are also experts in bringing these services to your school, as workshops, weekend retreats, teleconferences, or live two-way video conferences at a fraction of the cost. All of our programs and services are specifically designed for the needs of the staff at your school! With modern internet communications, more and more schools are finding the least expensive way to get focused advice, or even to have someone from our team meet with your teachers, staff, parents, or board, is by two-way video using the free Skype video conference service. We even record the session, from start to finish and post it in a secure area of our website, where you can replay it or download it to your computer.

Board Retreats

After the challenges of the last few years, your board members may be discouraged and burned out. Give us a weekend or a series of weekly calls to show your appreciation for all they have done to get through this tumultuous year and ask for their continued help to move the school forward. Acknowledge and toast to your school’s plans for the future.

School Consultation Team

Tim Seldin

M.Ed. AMS, Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise: School Leadership, strategic planning, organizational development, professional development, marketing, school culture change, facilities design, board development and training, financial analysis, Montessori teacher education and curriculum, curriculum development, recruiting families, building strong and stable school communities, institutional advancement, partnership education, starting new Montessori schools, adolescent programs, organizing new Montessori middle and high schools, leadership coaching, managing change.

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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 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, Montessori For Every Family with Lorna McGrath, 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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Michael Dorer, PhD

Areas of Expertise: Elementary Education, curriculum, Spiritual Preparation of the Teachers; Cosmic Education, Storytelling

Michael is a Montessori teacher educator, consultant, speaker, author, and storyteller. Michael has nearly fifty years of Montessori experience with Primary (Children’s House),

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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.  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.

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Daniel Robinson Howe, III, EdD

Areas of Expertise: School Leadership, organizational development, elementary and secondary Montessori programs, professional development, facilities design, board development and training, financial analysis, strategic planning, teacher education and curriculum, curriculum, recruiting families,

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building strong and stable school communities, parenting education, the deelopment of elementary and adolescent/secondary Montessori programs, and the recruitment and coaching of Heads of School.

Dr. Daniel Robinson (Robin) Howe began his Montessori career at the age of two at the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, 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 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 Co-Head of School and as a Senior Montessori Foundation School Consultant.

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Renee duChainey Farkes 

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, financial health analysis in relation to budgeting and tuition structuring, and Board development and assessment.

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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.)

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Sheila Linville

Areas of Expertise: 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.

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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.

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Kathy Leitch

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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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 led a Montessori School in Florida for more than 20 years. She has over 20 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 Montessori Foundation as a senior consultant, IMC board member, and school accreditation specialist. These experiences have given her perspective, insight, understanding, and appreciation of the unique needs of Montessori schools around the world. Kathy’s passion, experience, and skill have inspired and supported the development opf strong and stable Montessori schools.

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Christine Lowry, MEd

Areas of Expertise: Special Education; 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, Supporting Families., Montessori Advocacy.​

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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,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.

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Lorna McGrath

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.

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Jana Morgan Herman

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, Supporting Families.​
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Jana’s been involved in Montessori education since 1992, first as a parent sub then as a teacher, school director, teacher trainer, and director of training for VMAT, a MACTE teacher education program. She travels internationally, presenting, training teachers, and working with parents. Jana has a Master’s in Montessori and is a co-founder of The Kentucky Montessori Alliance. Jana moderates numerous Facebook groups and pages, including a 7500 memberMontessori 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.

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Tanya Ryskind, JD

Areas of Expertise: Leadership development, classroom leadership, elementary Montessori curriculum and programs, cultivating Cooperative Classrooms; School Leadership; Compliance and Licensing; Staffing, Admissions (enrollment); community building, and institutional sustainability. 

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Tanya L. Ryskind, J.D. has been a Montessori educator for over 20 years. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire, receiving her Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Social Work and Spanish, and later earning her law degree. She attended the CMTE(NY) as a member of the first standalone elementary II cohort and returned to CGMS to obtain her full elementary I-II Montessori credential. Tanya joined CGMS as an 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 of School. Tanya has a twenty (20) year history serving IMC as an accreditation commissioner.


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Jonathan Wolff

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.

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parenting education, the development of adolescent/secondary Montessori programs, and the recruitment and coaching of Heads of School.

Jonathan Wolff is a senior Montessori school consultant and leadership educator with the Montessori Foundation. He is also the Founder & Director of Learning for Life and Montessori Leadership. Jonathan is a teacher trainer, speaker & author who infuses his work in leadership development with 30 years of experience as an educator & administrator. Through the Montessori Foundation and Learning for Life, he provides retreats, workshops, consultations & coaching for parents, educators, leaders, Boards of Directors, community organizations & learning communities around the globe. The best-practice leadership retreats & workshops he leads facilitate community building, strategic planning & improved organizational effectiveness.

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Consultation Fees

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

$200 US per hour | $150 per hour for IMC member schools

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.

Daily Onsite Consultation for School Administrators and Board Members

$2,000 (US) per day (plus expenses) | $1,500 per day (plus expenses) for IMC member schools

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.

1 Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

$300 (US) | $275 for IMC member schools

We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience. These ninety-minute interactive workshops allow for participation and discussion.

1 1/2-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

$450 (US) | $425 for IMC member schools

We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience. These ninety-minute interactive workshops allow for participation and discussion.

2-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

$600 (US) | $525 for IMC member schools

This 120-minute interactive workshop is available for up to 65 participants  (includes assessment and practice exercises). 

3-Hour Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshop

$900 (US) | $825

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.

We also offer full-day Custom-designed Live Online Professional Development Workshops

$1,500 (US) | $1.375

These six-hour 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.