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Since its founding in 1998, the International Montessori Council (IMC) has grown and matured as an international community of Montessori schools, educators, and friends of Montessori. Dues have been consciously kept modest because the IMC is managed by the marvelous staff of the Montessori Foundation, and by conscious efforts to grow slowly and carefully. Today, we offer highly-responsive support to schools and their leaders, weekly professional development, warm and inviting Montessori conferences, cutting-edge Montessori teacher education, and very supportive and practical Montessori school accreditation. Many of us gathered together in 1998 to envision and establish the IMC, but I have widely been seen as its public face. In recognition of our expanding role and our commitment to our council’s future, the IMC Board and I are pleased to announce the appointment of Kathy Leitch as our new Executive Director. I will continue as Chair, and the Montessori Foundation and IMC will continue our work together, but Kathy’s appointment is an important milestone. We have done so much together already, but the best is yet to come.

Tim Seldin, Chair of the IMC Board

Dear IMC Members,

I am honored to begin a new journey as Executive Director of the International Montessori Council (IMC). I believe my entire career in Montessori has led me to this exciting opportunity, my cosmic task. I have had the good fortune of serving the IMC for the past twenty years as a school member, board member, and accreditation commissioner. My experience as a toddler and primary guide, founding head of school, teacher trainer, school consultant, international presenter, and accreditation verifier has prepared me to accept this position with enthusiasm and provided me perspective, insight, understanding, and appreciation of this organization and our members. It is my firm belief that the calling of our work is rooted in the development of our individual and collective human potential.

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 worldwide.

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.

My passion, experience, and diverse skills will support the board in setting the course for the future of the International Montessori Council. I intend to lead by listening to our members, engaging the Montessori community, and providing opportunities for meaningful service. These intentions will be realized by establishing monthly “virtual” community meetings, visiting schools and teacher training programs, and broadening our member-to-member support network.

During the next few weeks, I will be reaching out in multiple ways to garner your feedback as to how best to serve you and your organization. I look forward to hearing from you and working together for a bright and promising future for current and potential members, serving children, schools, and families.

Thank you for your support and trust.


M. Kathleen Leitch, Executive Director, IMC (800) 632-4121

Montessori Leadership / January 2018 / P 19