The past twelve months for MAA have been focused on sustainability, outreach, and expansion of our membership. The all-volunteer MAA Board of Directors continues to be driven by our mission: To support administrators to lead high-quality Montessori Schools.
Events and Activities
Our 2015 summer retreat in Hawaii was co-sponsored by the Montessori Australia Foundation. This unique experience allowed for networking and collaboration across two continents. Yong Zhao, internationally known for his work on the implications of globalization and technology on education, spoke about the future of education needs to help children discover how they can be valuable to themselves, society, and others, and how Montessori fits into that picture quite well. Trinidad Hunt led the group in a workshop about maximizing our performance potential as leaders through the building of relationships within our schools. Participants also had plenty of time to relax and have fun in the most stunning of backdrops – Waikiki Beach. To say that participants left refreshed and renewed is an understatement. The highlight was enjoying the conversation between administrators who face the same challenges in the US, in Australia, and abroad.
Working in collaboration with AMI/USA, MAA co-sponsored the featured speaker, Jamie Notter, at the Administrative Workshop at the Refresher Course in Long Beach. Jamie led administrative groups through exercises in Managing Conflict and Understanding Generations.
MAA had a booth at the American Montessori Society’s (AMS) National Conference in Chicago in March, to expand membership to support a larger number of Montessori administrators.
MAA continues to provide, a strong online presence with the Google group discussion forum, mariamontessori.com, the MAA website, and our Maria Montessori Facebook page.
MAA members served on a variety of groups to further the work of AMI and its goals in the areas of Capacity and Outreach.
- Bold Goal – MAA Members Maura Joyce, James Moudry, Kathy Minardi, and Sue Pritzker, all served on the Bold Goal initiative to increase the impact of AMI’s presence in the United States
- Montessori Leadership Collaborative (MLC) – Sue Pritzker continued to work with MLC as MAA’s representative. Their meeting in December 2015 resulted in agreement to focus collective energies on Montessori teacher and leader development.
- Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) – MAA Board Member Katy Myers participated in the MPPI meeting in Washington, DC in October 2015. This retreat generated ideas and action items to add Montessori’s influence to public education policy in the US.
- MAA Members Peter Davidson, Kathy Minardi, Katy Myers, and Sue Pritzker were faculty for NAMTA’s Whole School Management Workshop, which orients Montessori school leaders in administration of Montessori schools.
MAA membership peaked at 340 members in 2015. Our growth has been both domestic and international, thus widening the diversity of our membership and the richness of our online Google group discussion.
New Membership Coordinator Position
In order to sustain our operations as an Affiliate, MAA hired its first contractor to serve the organization. After interviewing several candidates, Nick Stocco was selected as the new Membership Coordinator for MAA. Nick resigned his position on the Board to bid for the contract. His experience as a Head of School and as a MAA Board member made him the obvious choice.
The new Membership Coordinator is responsible for coordinating member benefits, renewals, and maintaining membership contact information, as well as facilitating communication between the membership and the MAA Board
Board Work and Strategic Planning
The MAA Board met via conference call 6 times this year and in person twice -- once at the MAA retreat in Honolulu, HI in July 2015 and once at the AMI/USA Refresher Course in Long Beach in February 2016.
- In July, the MAA Board identified strategic work for the upcoming year in the following areas: Member Services, Board Development, Communications, and Global Outreach. MAA had only one outgoing Board Officer: Mary Lou Cobb, Treasurer, and voted in a new incoming MAA Board Treasurer: George Markham. We also honored outgoing Board members Sue Pritzker and Mary Lou Cobb.
- In Long Beach, the MAA Board discussed Board composition and Governance structure as well as the upcoming work of the Committee on Trustees to bring on new Board members. The Board also finalized details of the MAA Retreat in Colorado this summer and had our first report from the Membership Coordinator about the first steps in getting the position off the ground.
- This Spring MAA will recruit four new Board members as two members, Nick Stocco and Kathy Minardi resigned within the year and two more members, Maura Joyce and Paulette Zoe roll off in July.
MAA continues to forward its mission and is hopeful about the future of strong leadership of Montessori schools around the world.
Maura Joyce, MAA Board Chair, Montessori in Redlands, Redlands, CA
On behalf of the MAA Board:
Michele Shane, Vice-Chair, The Children’s House, Traverse City, MI
George Markham, Treasurer, Pasadena, CA
Nicholas Stocco, Secretary, Montessori Northwest, Portland, OR resigned
Kathy Minardi, Aidan Montessori School, Washington D.C. resigned
James Moudry, The Post Oak School, Houston, TX
Jan Deason, Arbor Montessori, Atlanta, GA
Paulette Zoe, Lake Country School, Minneapolis, MN
Ann Kasunich, Mountain Shadows Montessori, Boulder, CO
Katy Myers, Denver Montessori Public Jr./Sr. High, Denver, CO
Matt Hillis, Bergamo Montessori, Sacramento, CA
Paul Raymond, Greensboro Montessori School, Greensboro, NC
MAA Board members represent a range of geographic areas in the US and also come with specific skills and administrative background.