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Dr. Joe Lubig is a teacher educator who serves as the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and the Department Head for the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University (NMU). He has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Curriculum Design. He is an expert in the areas of civic education and adolescent literacy with a focus on critical thinking in these two areas. His current position as a teacher educator at the graduate and undergraduate levels allows him to utilize his thirteen years of public school teaching to train teachers in the pedagogy of successful classroom practice. He consistently pairs his students’ coursework with authentic experiences through NMU’s Center for Native American Studies and the two native charter schools NMU supports. His most current work revolves around accreditation and quality assurance systems and collaborating with P-12 schools to assure those systems are an ongoing component of classroom teaching.
Dr. Katie Keller Wood is the director of CMStep, the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program. She holds an AMS Secondary I-II credential and a doctorate from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is an adjunct professor with Xavier University, a member of the Montessori Research Working Group through the University of Kansas Center for Montessori Research, a volunteer for and member of the American Montessori Society, and a frequent presenter for educational audiences.
Tanya L. Ryskind, J. D. joined NewGate School, the Lab School of the Montessori Foundation in 2019. Currently, she serves as the Head of School. Tanya has worked with private independent, public, and public charter Montessori schools. She is credentialed as a 6-12 elementary Montessori guide and has credentials from AMS and IMC. Since 2007, Tanya has been a commissioner on the IMC School Accreditation Committee. Tanya works for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) as an instructional guide, practicum adviser, and field consultant. She serves on the CGMS Teacher Education Committee. Tanya worked as a teacher trainer for the Polski Instytut Montessori in Warsaw, Poland. She has presented numerous workshops and has provided educational consulting services throughout the United States and internationally.
Virginia holds a Master’s in Education with focus on Montessori from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Marquette University, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is AMI-trained at all three levels, having earned the Assistants to Infancy Diploma from The Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado, the Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Elementary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Virginia has been an Elementary guide in AMI Montessori schools in South Carolina, Colorado, Virginia and Texas. Virginia currently works as Special Projects Coordinator (Remote) at the Montessori Institute of North Texas and lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Cathy Carpenter works with the primary level at Barrie School and is an instructor at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. She has early childhood and elementary I-II Montessori credentials. She has presented at many Montessori conferences, served as a verifier for both MACTE and AMS during accreditation on-site visits, and worked on AMS school accreditation teams. Cathy’s journey in Montessori education began in 1984 at Spring Valley Montessori School with Madeleine Justus and Gulsevin Kayihan. Her husband’s military career added an association with St. Nicholas (Paula Glasgow) while they were living in Germany, and the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland. Along the way, there were teacher and consulting opportunities in Montgomery, Alabama, Gainesville, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas!
Cathy enjoys traveling with her husband of 41 years, playing her 34-string folk harp, and spending time with her Bichon Poo, Dugald.
Ellie Elzerman has been a directress for Clemson Montessori School for the past 34 years and previously served as a classroom directress for early childhood, elementary I and elementary II. Ellie was the former director of training for Montessori Teacher Training Institute of South Carolina from 1995 – 2015. In her “retirement,” Ellie is an instructor and field consultant for Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, Montessori Educational Institute of North America, and adjunct faculty and field consultant for Lander University Montessori Teacher Education Program. She has her masters in elementary education and an AMS Montessori credential in early childhood, elementary I and elementary II. She is well published and has developed and written curriculum for the teaching of Montessori teachers in preschool and elementary. Ellie is the recipient of the South Carolina Governor’s Award for outstanding contribution to the field of Montessori Education.
In her spare time, Ellie is a Master Naturalist and an expert weaver.
Kathy Leitch has devoted her professional career to furthering the legacy of Dr. Montessori’s seminal work. She has served the Montessori community for over 40 years as a classroom guide, school founder, school leader, teacher educator, international school consultant, keynote speaker, and school accreditation commissioner.
Currently, Kathy serves as the Executive Director of the International Montessori Council (IMC) and Program Director for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) Infant-Toddler Program and Co- director of the Leadership Program.
Kathy graduated from Barry University and earned her Montessori Credentials from the American Montessori Society for 0-3 & 3-6. Additionally, Kathy is a certified Parenting Instructor and Stress Management Facilitator.
Kathy has shared her extensive experience and commitment to fully implement Montessori practices with schools and teacher education programs worldwide. She continues to serve many Montessori organizations as a collaborator and contributor.
Sungti Hsu is a founding member of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), an educator preparation program accreditor aims to strengthen P-20 education through the excellent, innovative preparation of educators. Sungti has worked in accreditation and program approval at the state and national levels for over a decade. Although Sungti was trained and licensed as a special education and Chinese language teacher, he has worked in several state education agencies as a licensure and higher education consultant and developed educator data systems, led state educator standard revision, and coordinated redevelopment and implementation of educator licensure assessments in addition to guiding and shaping the formation and operation of state educator preparation policies.
Prior to joining AAQEP, Sungti served as the Director for State Affiliates and Partnership Support at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). He has strengthened relationships with state education authorities, expanded state affiliates’ reaches, and initiated AACTE’s first international collaboration effort. A native of Taiwan, he holds degrees from Brigham Young University (BS and MS) and completed doctoral coursework from the University of Kansas.
Dr. Ashley Morris is the director of the Montessori Teacher Education Institute of Atlanta. Ashley holds degrees from the College of William and Mary in neuroscience (B.S.) and Kennesaw State University in early childhood education (Ed.D), as well as AMS and PAMS early childhood credentials. She is a recognized instructor for Bright from the Start in the state of Georgia and enjoys working with Georgia’s Montessori advocacy group, Montessori Administrators of Georgia. Before teacher training, she worked as a primary teacher and then moved into administration as curriculum director.
Ashley loves to travel, hike, and read books.
Alyssa Schwartz joined the Cornerstone Montessori Schools in St. Paul, MN, in 2018. Alyssa serves as Head of School for Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School, a K-6 public charter school, and Cornerstone Montessori School, a program of the Montessori Center of Minnesota serving children 16 months through age 5. She is a Montessori child (18 months through 6th grade). Alyssa received her BA from Stanford University and MA from the Stanford University School of Education. She completed her AMI Primary training at the Maria Montessori Institute in London, before spending 6 years as a Children’s House guide in California. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Alyssa was the Educational Programs Director and Interim Executive Director of AMI/USA in Washington, DC. She serves as Board Secretary of the Montessori Public Policy Initiative and is chair of AMI’s Global School Accreditation committee.
Gulsevin Kayihan is a Montessori educator of more than 40 years of experience. She is the Academic Director of Montessori Institute for Teacher Education and Montessori Academy at Spring Valley, the oldest Montessori School in the State of Washington, established in 1951 by Madeleine J. Justus. Gulsevin Kayihan is the co-author of more than 20 volumes of Montessori education textbooks for Montessori teachers. She is the recipient of several awards. In addition to her service for MACTE, she serves on the Pacific North West Montessori Association, Washington State Private Schools Advisory Committee, Spring Valley Montessori Boards, and Washington Federation of Independent Schools. She is involved with the education issues in Washington State. Gulsevin Kayihan studied general science at the American College for Girls and has a degree in administration from the University of Bosphorous, Istanbul. She did her graduate studies in Montessori education at the University of Puget Sound. She has taught Early childhood through 8th grade and is a Montessori instructor at the Early Childhood and Elementary I-II levels.
Gulsevin loves nature, math, and science, and is an avid reader. She does international consulting and seminars.
Gulsevin completed her second term on the MACTE Board in 2015 and continues to act as an advisor to the MACTE Board of Directors.