Registration & Schedule

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Saturday, March 21, 2020, 8 AM – 4 PM

The Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 West River Center Blvd., Covington, KY 41011

Registration Rates & Dates

  • Early Bird Rate, $85, January 27th through Midnight on Monday, February 10, 2020
  • Regular Rate, $95, February 11th through Midnight on Friday, March 13, 2020

Professional Development Information

  • All sessions are approved for .5 CEU’s through Xavier University.
  • American Montessori Society, Ohio*, and Kentucky hours are pending approval.
  • We will update the status when official approval is received.

*You must enter your OPIN number when you register AND bring it with you the day of the conference. If you don’t have an account with the Ohio Professional Registry, click here to create one. Please check with your administrator if this is required for you/your school. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT CMS TO SEE IF YOU NEED ONE.

Conference Schedule

8-9 am – Conference Registration & Exhibitors Open

9-10:30 am – Featured Speaker

10:45-12:30 – Session B Workshops

12:30 – 1:45 – Lunch & Shopping

1:45-3:30 – Session C Workshops


Workshop Descriptions

Courage, Brains, and Heart: Unlocking the Power of Montessori Education by Crystal Dahlmeier, M.Ed.

Dr. Montessori wrote extensively about the preparation of the Montessori teacher and, in The Discovery of the Child, stated, “She must acquire a moral alertness which has not hitherto been demanded by any other system, and this is revealed in her tranquility, patience, charity, and humility.  Not words, but virtues, are her main qualifications.”  (Clio Press, 151)

Montessori teachers begin this process when we are in training, first learning the basics of Montessori philosophy and then reflecting upon and applying this new knowledge. Professional development opportunities, workshops, mentoring, observation and self-reflection assist teachers in continuing their growth throughout their careers.

However, transformative growth often requires more than casual reflection and observation. Transformation demands a willingness to question, to reexamine and to push towards deeper connection with the self, with others and with Montessori philosophy. Through in-depth and on-going examination, we can identify patterns of behavior that may be inconsistent with either our beliefs or Montessori philosophy.  Such practices impact children and our abilities to meet their needs.

Through illustration and story, Crystal will share the stages of professional development, examine strategies that promote transformative growth, and identify professional challenges we face as we become ‘The New Teacher’ that Montessori describes in her 1946 Lectures.

Crystal Dahlmeier received a BS in Biology from Marietta College and a M.Ed. in Montessori Education at Xavier University. She was lead teacher/principal at Xavier University Montessori Lab School for 13 years, where she also taught both graduate and undergraduate classes in Montessori and Early Childhood Education. Crystal received National Board Certification and is a PITC Certified Infant/Toddler Trainer. She has served as the Teacher Section Chair for the American Montessori Society and has taught in Montessori Programs in Perth, Western Australia, England, Seoul, S. Korea and China. She is Program Director Emerita at the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education Teacher Education Program in Northern Kentucky.  She continues to teach in that program and acts as a field consultant.  Ms. Dahlmeier presents workshops nationally and internationally and has been a keynote speaker at Montessori conferences in New Zealand, Australia and England.  Her articles have been published in Montessori journals and Young Children. Click here to listen to her podcast on The Prepared Environment.

Session B Workshops – 10:45 am-12:30 pm

1. Loose Recycled Parts to Creative Construction with Rosemary Quaranta & Donna Hutchinson-Smyth: I/T, 3-6

In the Montessori classroom we usually have each individual work set up on a tray, with the needed materials available to do the work the child chooses.  Come and see the beauty and creativity that is involved in having a shelf with Loose Parts.  This Workshop will inform how we can reinforce executive functioning skills through allowing children to plan, organize, collaborative, make decisions and construct a model of a concept they have been working on the classroom.  We will involve you in constructing an individual creation as well as a group collaboration of a project.  When you leave, you will be able to set up an interactive shelf that allows students to choose their own materials to create their own models.

Rosemary Quaranta, MEd is currently, Teaching Professor for XU Montessori Teacher Education Program and Head of School of Lab School.   She is a graduate of Edgecliff College, The Washington Montessori Institute, and Cleveland State University where she received her MEd with a specialization in Montessori. Rosemary holds AMI credentials (EC, EI-II) and has over forty years of experience in Montessori Education.  

Donna Hutchinson-Smyth holds a MEd in Conflict Resolution and Peaceable Schools and MEd in Montessori Education in addition to her AMS Early Childhood Credential. Donna spent 15 years serving children, young people, and families in a variety of non-profit community venues. From serving homeless families in rural southeastern Ohio to children and teens in North Philadelphia to developing young leaders here in Cincinnati, each chapter opened her eyes to the need to build a society that demonstrates its care and concern for people by building a just and loving education system for every child.  Donna has been at the Xavier University Montessori Lab School since 2009, currently as an Early Childhood Head Teacher in addition to a Teaching Professor of Xavier University Montessori Institute.


2. Montessori Classrooms Build Executive Functions with Jamie Sellhorn: I/T, 3-6, 6-9

Executive functions are mental skills that help us to accomplish our goals and be successful in life. In a recent Duke University study, the ability to utilize executive functions was more predictive of adult outcomes than either IQ scores or socioeconomic status (Lehrer, 2011). For over a century, Montessori classrooms have been helping children develop these important executive function skills. This workshop will investigate the three areas of executive functions and look at how each is supported in the Montessori classroom. We will also look at how executive function deficits impact children and how we can support children who struggle with executive functions.

Jamie Sellhorn has been a Montessori parent, a classroom guide (infant-upper elementary), a school founder, and a Montessori teacher educator over the last 20 years. She holds A.M.S. Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood credentials and a M.Ed. from St. Catherine University. She learns something new from the children, her best teachers, every day. 


3. Make Teaching a Breeze: A Love and Logic Approach to Building the Important Stuff with Chris Peterson: I/T, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12

Who should be tired at the end of the day? The kids! Is that usually the case? A large percentage of our time is not spent in instruction. Using a discipline model that allows the student to be accountable is critical. Love and Logic is a philosophy of teaching children which allows adults to be happier, empowered, and more skilled in the interactions with children. Love allows children to grow through their mistakes. Logic allows children to live with the consequences of their choices. Love and Logic is a way of working with children that allows teachers to guide, teaches children to be responsible, and prepares young people to live in the real world, with its many choices and consequences.

Chris Peterson is a husband, a father, and an educator. Chris has had the fortune of graduating twice from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse; receiving a BS in Health and Physical Education and an MS in PE with an Adventure Education emphasis.  Chris moved to the West Coast in 1999 and spent two years teaching and coaching young people.  It was in the Portland, Oregon area where he received his experience working with a very diverse population of students.  It was here he learned about what attracts kids into the “gang” lifestyle and where he realized the lifetime impact that can be had with students.  This impact is a two-way street.  He’s been blessed with a number of opportunities to work with parents, students and educators all around the state, leading workshops on refusal skills, classroom management and discipline, and anti-bullying programs.  He had the fortune to work with Jim and Charles Fay while completing his independent facilitator training for Becoming a Love and Logic Parent. 


4. Culturally Responsive Montessori: Cultivating Safe and Inclusive Spaces for All Children and Families with Razan Abdin-Adnani: 3-6

During this interactive workshop, we will imagine what truly inclusive, culturally responsive Montessori environments look like. As a group, we will brainstorm what it takes to design a robust cultural curriculum that moves beyond merely costumes and celebrations. We will consider the ways in which Eurocentrism might seep into our curricula (by way of grace and courtesy lessons, the way we teach history, geography, etc.) and discuss ways we can assure that our curricula is culturally sensitive, accurate, and representative of our increasingly diverse school populations. We will explore how to address differences in a respectful and celebratory manner, provide actionable tools for working respectfully alongside children and families from diverse backgrounds, and discuss ways to run our classrooms so that both students and families are accepted and supported. It is our duty as Montessorians to ensure that all children and families – especially those from groups with the least institutional power – feel safe, heard, and honored in our schools.

Razan Abdin-Adnani is an early childhood educator and consultant based in New York City. She holds a BA in International Studies, a MEd, an AMI diploma at the 3-6 level, and has extensive training in anti-bias, culturally responsive practices. In addition to having a decade of experience working with children, Razan has presented at national conferences and worked directly with educators and families from around the world. 


5. Making Transformative Connections through Literature with Dr. Gay Ward & Dr. Margaret Phinnney: 3-6, 6-9, 9-12

Participants in this workshop will explore key literacy strategies in the context of rich literature related to the universal theme of interconnectedness. Hands-on activities will model differentiating instruction while supporting readers in engagement, comprehension and language-to-print. The activities are designed to support Montessori students in making connections as they draw on all subject areas to gain an in-depth understanding of interconnectedness and interdependence while simultaneously focusing on how language works. Participants will leave with an understanding of using a developmental continuum to plan differentiated language instruction as well as strategy ideas for supporting language development in the Montessori classroom.

Gay Ward, PhD, is a Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she works as a Montessori consultant and academic faculty in Teacher Education and Montessori Studies.  Gay is a recipient of the Dennis Shapiro Award for innovation in Montessori Teacher Education.  She earned her AMS Credential (E1) at Xavier University. Gay has facilitated workshops on literacy in Australia, the United States, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. She has published articles on reading, narrative development, choice in learning and joyfulness.  

Margaret Phinney, Ed.D, is a Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she was formerly Director of the Reading Program.   She currently works as a literacy consultant.   She has made many presentations at conferences around the world including Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, and the Philippines. She is author of Reading with the Troubled Reader, several children’s books, and numerous articles and book chapters for researchers, teachers, and parents. 

Dr. Phinney and Dr. Ward have recently co-authored Reading Development: A Handbook of Assessment and Instruction, Vol. 1 and 2 and Traditional Tales: 30 Activities for Differentiated Instruction.


6. Art and the Cosmic Curriculum with Danielle Manzo: MS, HS

Teachers and Guides at the primary and elementary levels are very familiar with the cosmic curriculum and 5 great lessons, however that is not always so true at the secondary level. While guides at that level are aware of its place in previous levels, it sometimes seems cumbersome to integrate throughout each of the subjects. Over the years, I have worked to integrate a cosmic curriculum across a variety of subjects including Ceramics, Geometry, and Health by connecting historical events with visual art. This presentation will provide examples of these endeavors as well as help guides feel more comfortable with talking about art in their own classroom environments.

Danielle walked into the doors of Community Montessori in New Albany, Indiana in 2008, and has not looked back since.   Danielle has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts and Secondary Education Certification from Hanover College. Later, she attended Ball State University for her Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Educational Technologies. This fall she completed her Secondary I&II credential through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. During her summers she gallivants through Europe with CM teens for a little adventure. When she is not at CM you can find her on her own travels, making art, or reading with her pup, Laney.


7. Transformative Observation, Andy Lulka & Regina Lulka: All

This workshop uses experiential and reflective activities, including practice in observing ourselves and our responses even as we observe something outside of ourselves. Elements of Montessori theory touched upon include the role of the adult, the preparation of the teacher, discipline, observation, the evolution of Dr. Montessori’s thinking on the subject of observation and on the purpose of education.

Regina and Andy both began their official Montessori lives in 1977. Regina as an adult undergoing training, and Andy as a child entering the Casa. Since then, both have undergone multiple trainings, completed MEd programs, seen their children graduate from Montessori schools, and have worked and advocated for Montessori from inside the classroom as well as in the broader community. Their joint experience covers all three planes of development, as well as administration, parent partnership building, and professional development. Both have sat on the CAMT board. Currently, Regina is Head of School at the Montessori Jewish Day School and sits on the CCMA board, while Andy creates professional development opportunities for Montessori teachers online as co-founder of Integrating Montessori and in many other ways. 


8. Inspiring Lives of Courage: Montessori Meets Shakespeare, Jeff Groh: 6-9. 9-12, MS, Administrators

Dr. Maria Montessori and William Shakespeare have almost nothing in common.  They were born in different countries with three centuries between them and led dramatically different lives. Yet, through my life’s work as a Montessori teacher, leader, Shakespearean actor, and founder of the country’s first Shakespearean touring troupe made up entirely of child actor’s, I have discovered both of these consequential figures in history provide deep wells of wisdom that can inspire lives of courage in our students and ourselves. This workshop weaves stories, activities, videos, and live performances to demonstrate the impact these two historic figures have on students and adults and how when put together they are both greater than the sum of their parts. It will cover how-to elements of creating a Shakespeare program specifically with (9-12) students, how teacher facilitation and a prepared environment play key roles, and how our students and ourselves can look to Montessori and Shakespeare as inspiration to lead Inspiring Lives of Courage.

Jeff Groh is the Head of School at the New School Montessori and has been a Montessori educator for 20 years.  He taught 4-6th graders for 10 of those years in both public and private sectors. During that time, he also worked as the Educational Director at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and was the co-founder of a nonprofit theatre dedicated to building community through live storytelling. Jeff has toured the country visiting schools and running teacher/student workshops on how to write, appreciate, and perform poetry. He has worked as an adjunct professor through the Montessori Department at Xavier University and was selected to travel to Seoul, Korea to teach Korean educators about Montessori methods and philosophy.  He has received his Master’s in Montessori Education and Administrative licensure through Xavier University.  For over 10 years Jeff has been running a Shakespeare Club for 9 to 12-year olds and was recognized through the Cincinnati Enquirer as having the only traveling, child ensemble, Shakespeare troupe in the country.   


Lunch & Shopping – 12:30 – 1:45 pm

A box lunch will be served on the Conference Level with plenty of comfortable seating areas to relax, enjoy your meal, and network with Montessori colleagues! A vegetarian option is available, but we are not able to accommodate other dietary needs and allergies. You are welcome to bring your own food into the conference center.


Join a lunchtime discussion on Ijeoma’s Oluo’s book, “So You Want to Talk About Race”. How does one have a discussion about race? This book answers that question. Ijeoma Oluo begins the book with an anecdotal story that sets the stage, and then continues to dig deeper teaching how to adjust one’s own frame of mind in approaching any race related conversation. “So You Want to Talk About Race” is essential reading and we look forward to guiding this fruitful discussion.

Tiffani Wills is a Montessori teacher and school administrator that discusses and studies inherent bias and race and its impact in schools and communities.  Tiffani taught first, second and third grade students (ages 6-9) at a Title I neighborhood Montessori school in the Cincinnati Public School District. Tiffani currently holds a valid Ohio K-12 Professional Administrators license, a Professional K-3 teaching license with a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement and an American Montessori Society Elementary I (ages 6–9) credential.  Tiffani holds a B.A. from Wright State University, an M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Xavier University as well as an MBA from The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. 

Heather Gerker currently serves as Manager for Early Learning Success at StrivePartnership, a collective impact organization working to disrupt systems to ensure racial and economic equity. Heather was previously Director of Professional Development and Events at The American Montessori Society where she designed professional development for the global Montessori community. She has worked in the early childhood field for over ten years in many capacities: as a Montessori early childhood teacher, teacher educator, and a teacher education program director.


Exhibitors are open during this time and are looking forward to sharing their beautiful resources with you – have fun shopping!

Thanks to our Major Conference Sponsors:


Session C Workshops – 1:45-3:30 pm

1. Supporting Parents Through the Crucial First Three Years with Christine Trimmer & Aubrey Wallen: I/T

This workshop will provide Montessori teachers, parents, and caregivers information about the most important three years of life: birth to age three. Strategies and tools will be provided to use in supporting parents of these very young children in their homes. We will discuss the defining characteristics of the first plane of development and their role in the human lifespan, context and understanding of the classroom teacher’s role in the family system; respecting and loving all families, the essential qualities of the infant and toddler environment at home and how to advise parents on what to include in the child’s environment, and strategies for supporting parents with common topics of the first three years. 

Christine Trimmer has earned her MEd in Montessori from Xavier University and is in her 7th year of teaching. She is currently a 6-9 teacher at Mercy Montessori. She has training in Positive Discipline techniques and purposefully implements those techniques into all CASA Design parent education. She has completed Mindfulness training and seeks to bring the idea of simplicity and self-awareness into all of CASA Design’s projects. Her passion for this company came upon hearing of many frustrations for both parents and children on inconsistencies in expectations specifically in regard to routines and chores. She hopes CASA Design brings positivity and order into each family’s lives that are touched.

Aubrey Wallen is an International Montessori Council trained Assistant to Infancy in birth to three. She teaches Montessori toddler classes and offers Montessori parent-child classes in the Cincinnati area, while also providing consulting services for families wanting Montessori inspiration in their homes. She also holds an American Montessori Society credential in Lower Elementary. Prior to her work in Montessori Education, Aubrey earned a Master of Education from the University of Cincinnati in School Counseling. Aubrey’s two-year-old twins are her greatest joy and source of inspiration. She truly lives the information she gives to families and is fulfilled by connecting to parents and caregivers with the genuine hope to support them in their parenting journey.   


2. Montessori Music & Cosmic Education with Mike Flohr: 3-6, 6-9 

Dr. Montessori defined Cosmic Education as a unifying global and universal view of the past, present, and future. Music has a unique place in the history of humanity. Since the first rhythm sounded, music has facilitated communication, connected people, and strengthened cultural and national identities. Montessori developed a highly structured curriculum to engage the child in the wonders of music. This workshop engages participants in an experiential overview of Montessori activities in rhythm, pitch, and song. The Montessori practitioner can harness these skills to enhance their offerings of Cosmic Education to children.

Michael Flohr is currently the Montessori Level Coordinator for Elementary I-II in the Xavier University Teacher Education Program and Montessori Institute. He has served as a Music Curriculum Specialist, a Montessori Elementary Lead Teacher, and most recently as Montessori Curriculum Coordinator for Jefferson County Public Schools. His classroom teaching experiences include those of Lead Teacher, Music Education Specialist, Curriculum Lead, and Interventionist. He holds a M.Ed. in Elementary Education, an AMI 6-12 Credential and an AMS Administrator Credential.


3. Process Art in the Montessori Classroom with Emily Webb & Chapi Johnson: 3-6, 6-9

In this workshop teachers will become familiar with the concept of process art.  We will explore why focusing on the process of art benefits the developing brain, and reflect on how open-ended artwork can foster patience, collaboration, and cooperation among children.  We will look at examples of traditional Montessori art shelves and how those might differ from open-ended art activities. We will discuss the challenges involved with group art activities: how to teach children to clean up after a project; how might this disrupt normalization in the classroom?  Participants can learn strategies for classroom management when it is time to bring the energy level back down after a messy group project.  Teachers will leave this workshop with ideas for their art shelves and will experience hands-on art activities – be ready to get your hands messy!

Chapi Johnson and Emily Webb are co-directors at Lexington Friends Preschool in Lexington, KY. Emily Webb is a Primary Montessori certified teacher.  She has taught preschool age children since 2007 and enjoys learning about the Reggio Emilia and Waldorf approaches to teaching.  Emily enjoys ceramics, needle felting, and collage. Chapi Johnson is a Primary Montessori certified teacher with over a decade of classroom experience. Chapi enjoys giving children an opportunity to explore color, texture, and messy art. In her free time, Chapi plays with vintage cameras and enjoys weaving by the fire.


4. The Montessori Method and the Science of Learning to Read with Amy Murdoch & Laura Saylor: 3-6, 6-9

A great deal of scientific research has articulated how reading should be taught in our schools, however, there continues to be disconnect between the science and school based practices (Spear-Spereling, 2007; Washburn, Joshi, & Cantrell, 2011). Reading is complex!  Successfully teaching it requires that teachers have deep knowledge and skills in understanding the reading process and development, reading instruction and differentiation, reading disability, and assessment to ensure that instruction is effective (IDA, 2010; Moats, 1999).  Today’s teachers must be able to implement scientifically based instruction and hold a deep understanding of this implementation that enables them to defend their practice and inspire others to change. Given that Dr. Montessori based her Method on scientific research, Montessorians would be wise to base their reading and literacy instruction on research-based strategies in this important area. Come discover the high leverage practices the research supports and how they align with Dr. Montessori’s multi-sensory approach.

Dr. Laura Saylor is the Dean of Education and an assistant professor in the School of Education at Mount St. Joseph University. She earned her PhD in Educational Studies from The University of Cincinnati. Previously, she earned her MEd from Xavier University with a concentration in Montessori Education. Her 25 years of practical experience include teaching in and serving as the Head of School for an independent Montessori school. Her research foci include reflective practices for educators as well as the effective preparation of early childhood teachers.  Dr. Saylor’s interests also extend to best practices in mathematics and science education.  Her teaching expertise includes educational assessment, math and science teaching methods, and collaborative work in education. ​

Dr. Murdoch is the Reading Science Program Director, Graduate Education Chair in the School of Education, and an Associate Professor in the Reading Science Graduate Program at Mount St. Joseph University. Under Dr. Murdoch’s leadership the Reading Science program became one of the first programs in the nation to receive accreditation from the International Dyslexia Association.  Dr. Murdoch holds a PhD in School Psychology with a focus on Early Literacy. Prior to joining the Mount St. Joseph faculty twelve years ago, she has worked as a School Psychologist in a large urban school district, as the director of a number of large reading grants, including the Reading First grant, and was a reading consultant at the Special Education Regional Resource Center providing training and consultation to families and school districts around reading instruction, assessment, and supporting children with disabilities. Her research and service work has focused on helping schools and families implement research-based practices in reading instruction, intervention, family involvement, and assessment.


5. Bringing It All Together: Integrating the Cultural Subjects Across the Elementary Curriculum with Laura Opfer & Adam Diamond: 6-9, 9-12

Montessori’s concept of Cosmic Education is central to the elementary level curriculum, and the cultural subjects form its foundation. Montessori believed that children should be shown the interconnectedness of all life and that interconnectedness should also be reflected in our curriculum.
With increasing external pressures to focus more on the math and language curriculum, it can sometimes seem a daunting task to teach the cultural curriculum in its entirety and continue to inflame the imagination in the way that Montessori encouraged us to do. This workshop will discuss the vital importance of Cosmic Education and sowing the seeds of inspiration in children. We will focus on concrete ideas, materials, and organizational tools for weaving the cultural subjects into the math, language and writing curriculum, as well as integrating art, movement, and music. We will show examples of children’s work and project inspiration from across the curriculum and provide ideas for how to encourage their spontaneous activity, while providing structure and guidance.

Adam Diamond is a lifelong Montessorian. Educated in the Montessori classroom from ages 3-12, Adam returned to the classroom as an Upper Elementary Teacher in 2007 and has been teaching 9-12-year-olds ever since. He currently serves as Elementary Director at Northern Kentucky Montessori Academy. Laura Opfer has been teaching elementary children in the Montessori environment for 18 years. As both a cooperating teacher for interns and Clinical Faculty/Teaching Professor for the Xavier University Montessori Institute, Laura has played an integral role in the training and development of many Montessori teachers.


6. Tools to Amplify Learning: Research Based Strategies for the Montessori Guide with Tammy Oesting: 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, MS, HS

Scientific observation is at the heart of Montessori practice and a vital tool that teachers utilize daily to engage their students. Current research reveals the inner workings of the brain and supports what Dr. Montessori identified through her keen observations of the child.  Montessori educators who leverage their understanding of the science behind their practices, equipped with research-based teaching strategies, enhance student learning and amplify outcomes. Tapping into each teacher’s mission to become a scientist in the field, Tammy inspires the spirit and optimizes the practice with hands-on, research-based practical strategies loyal to Montessori pedagogy.

Tammy Oesting spent the last 27 years delivering professional development workshops, consulting schools, and educating new Montessori teachers and has 17 years in Montessori classrooms. Her passions include issues of social justice, educating support staff, life sciences, neuroscience, and exploring the magnificence of the world.  She serves Montessori globally through her company ClassrooMechanics. (AMS 3-12) 


7. The Montessori Melting Pot: Easing the Transition of Adolescence from Traditional to Montessori Schools with Becky Konecki & Brian McWhorter: MS, HS

Although Montessorians know that preschool is the ideal time to begin Montessori education, the reality is that many of our students are transitioning to our classrooms from non-Montessori schools for a variety of reasons. This session will provide participants with strategies for assisting adolescent students and their families in transitioning from traditional to Montessori education at the secondary level. Through a large group presentation, small group discussions and problem-solving activities, topics covered will include filling in educational gaps, teaching executive functioning skills to adolescents, acclimating students to a Montessori community, and providing social and emotional support for students who have struggled with bullying or other negative peer interactions in their former schools.

After two years of teaching math at a traditional public high school, Becky Konecki fell in love with Montessori when it was time to choose a school for her son. She decided to pursue her AMS secondary credential through CMStep, and then completed her Masters in Montessori Education through Xavier University. She is now in her fourth year as a co-head teacher of the high school community at Nightingale Montessori, in Springfield, Ohio.

Brian McWhorter began his teaching career in school age childcare. He then taught history at several traditional public middle schools and high schools for a total of thirteen years before becoming a teacher at Nightingale Montessori, where his two children are currently enrolled. He has taught both history and E.L.A. at Nightingale to students at the upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Throughout his career, he has been a mentor to several Wright State University student teachers. He has a MEd from the University of Dayton and is working on completing his principal licensure this semester at Wittenberg University. 


8. Preserving History: Classroom Archives as a Cosmic Task with Julie Kugler-Ackley & Anne Ryckbost: All

Montessori’s beliefs in the power of cosmic education calls us to consider and provide opportunities to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all living things and to encourage the power of reflection. Within that construct, so too is the idea that all things, past and present are connected.  An archive is defined as a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people. This can also be a verb: to archive something is to create such a collection, preserving such items, stories, or experiences.  Children within the second plane are passionate about the construct of cosmic education and seek ways to clarify their place in the present, but also preserve the importance of the past. This interactive presentation will establish how creating a classroom or school archive will illuminate the constructs and power of cosmic education in dynamic and significant ways. Participants will gain an understanding of what an archive is, what an archivist does, and explore classroom or school activities that result in the creation of an archive.  

Julie Kugler-Ackley, M.Ed. is AMS (American Montessori Society) credentialed for both EI and EII and holds an Ohio license for K-grade 8. She is a Senior Teaching Professor at the Xavier University Montessori Teacher Education Program. She has presented at regional, national, and international Montessori conferences, and has teaching experience at all levels of Montessori elementary levels. She has developed online coursework and currently teaches courses and is the Field Placement coordinator for the Xavier Montessori Teacher Education program and the online Montessori Master of Education.

Anne Ryckbost is the University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. She also serves as the liaison to the philosophy and history departments. She received a master’s in library science from the University of Kentucky, a master’s in public history with a concentration in archives from Wright State University and is a certified archivist. Prior to Xavier, she served as Special Collections Manuscript Processor at Northern Kentucky University and as Education Coordinator at the Holocaust and Humanity Center in Cincinnati.