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Professional Development Customized for Your Staff

Online professional development

Staff professional development can be expensive. Especially during a pandemic, schools don’t have the option to send their teachers, administrators, or boards off to conferences or retreat centers for renewal and inspiration.

The Montessori Foundation offers the convenience of online professional development. With modern internet communications, more and more schools are finding that live, two-way video conferencing provides the least expensive way to have someone from our teamwork with your teachers, staff, parents, and/or board.

Your staff can participate together in one room or from up to 500 different locations. We will be able to see and hear each other.

We record all sessions, from start to finish, and post them securely online where you and your team can replay them.

The Montessori Foundation’s nationally renowned Montessori consultants and coaches are experts in bringing these services to your school as workshops, weekend retreats, or live two-way video conferences at a fraction of the cost.

Our senior Montessori consultants and coaches include: Michael Dorer • Paul Epstein • Robin Howe • Andrew Kutt • Christine Lowry • Kathy Leitch • Lorna McGrath • Tanya Ryskind • Tim Seldin • Jonathan Wolff.

Our programs and services are customized for your goals. We specifically design them for your school’s needs!

Give your teachers a ‘PREP or PEP’ talk at any point in the year.

The Montessori Foundation can provide your staff with certificates of professional development.


Planning Your School’s Future when Nothing is Certain: Adapting to Different Scenarios

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Parents

Rebuilding Community among Your Children, Parents, and Staff

Building Positive Relations With Parents Early and Often

The Power and Process of School Community Meetings

How to Identify and Respond to Challenging Behaviors as Children Return to In-Class Learning

Practical Life as the Path Back to Normalization in the Age of Covid

Putting the Life Back into Practical Life

10 Characteristics of Effective Montessori Teaching Teams

Classroom Leadership in the Era of Covid-19: Addressing Children’s Trauma, Stress, and Loss

Helping Your Teachers to Be Emotionally Ready for the Uncertainties of this School Year: Fostering Resilience

Getting Your Classroom “Normalized” Earlier in the School Year

Classroom Management That Fosters Self-Directed Learning, Confidence, Higher Order Thinking, and a Collaborative Classroom Community

20 Keys to Helping Students Stay Engaged During and After Lessons.

Moving Toward More Self-Directed Work Planning

SMART Observation Practices: How to Learn More in Less Time

The Three Spheres of the Prepared Environment – Beyond the Materials, Addressing How Teacher Mindfulness and Manners Affect Students

Surviving the Conversations with Parents You Hate to Have

Staying Happy, Healthy, Organized for the Whole School Year

Improving Concentration, Precision, Accuracy, and Work Completion

Is There a Place for Humor and Playfulness in the Montessori Classroom, Especially During a Pandemic?

Storytelling! Excite Imagination and Engagement in a Time of Online, Blended, and Modified Learning

Make the Great Lessons Come Alive!

The Cosmic Curriculum

Bringing Grammar to Life

Elementary Physical Geography

Developing Strong Montessori Adolescent Programs

The New Imperative in Parent Relations: Keeping the Engaged and Onboard

Why Today’s Families Need Parenting Education & Coaching More than Ever and How Schools Can Provide It

Financial Planning and Emergency Fundraising

Parent Education Topics For Parent Education

The True Outcomes of a Montessori Education

How to Raise an Amazing Child: The Montessori Way at Home

The Parenting Puzzle

Yes, You Can Teach It All in Montessori Elementary

And so much more…

Tangible Results

During difficult times, for start-up help, or for faculty/administrator rejuvenation, schools turn to The Montessori Foundation for help because we provide tangible results.

From our experiences working with hundreds of Montessori schools, we can offer solutions to your challenges and identify new opportunities.

As a result of working together, schools enjoy a renewed sense of security, confidence, and support from their families and staff. The schools with which we work discover new ways to increase income and contributions and decrease expenses without compromising the integrity of their Montessori programs.

We are backed by an extensive team of experts in every field of Montessori school leadership from the Montessori Foundation staff and beyond.

Customized for Your School:


We will work together to better understand the specific needs of your teachers.

We will record the live workshop for you to share with your teachers.


Workshop Fees:

1-hour workshop: $300

1-½ hour workshop: $450 More interactive (includes practice exercises)

2-hour workshop: $600 More interactive (includes assessment and practice exercises)

3-hour workshop: $900 Most interactive (includes assessment, practice, and personal action planning exercises)

We offer longer, multi-session, short courses, or ongoing coaching too!

School Consultation Team

Cheryl Allen

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

Contact Info:

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

Contact Info: 651-353-2109 / 800-655-5843

Jana Morgan Herman

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 member
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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.

Contact Info: 941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Kathy Leitch

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.

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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.” 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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Sheila Linville

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.)

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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.  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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

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.

Contact Christine

Lorna McGrath

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 

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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. 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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Tanya Ryskind, JD

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

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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. Tanya’s consulting focuses on leadership development, classroom leadership, community building, and institutional sustainability. 

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Claire Salkowski

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.  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.


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Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Tim Seldin

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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Jonathan Wolff

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.

Contact Info:

941-729-9565 / 800-655-5843

Consultation Fees

Why pay for a Montessori school 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
(plus expenses)

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.

$300 (US) 

We will meet with you beforehand to customize your workshop experience. 

$450 (US) 

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). 

$900 (US)

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.

$1,500 (US)

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.