Thursday, June 20, 2019
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Dane L. Peters


Dane Peters is the Administrator for the New York State Association of Independent School’s (NYSAIS) Experienced Leaders Advising Schools (ELAS) program.


He recently retired as head of Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, a Toddler through 8th grade school in Brooklyn, New York.  Prior to heading BHMS for eleven years, he served as head of Mooreland Hill School in Connecticut for eleven years. 

Among his thirty-eight years teaching and coaching in independent school education, ten were served in boarding schools.  A Klingenstein Fellow and former lecturer and graduate student Field Coach at the Klingenstein Center, Dane served as Director of the New England New Teachers Seminar, on the faculty of the NAIS New Heads Institute, and as a mentor with the NAIS/E.E. Ford Fellowship for Aspiring Heads. He also served as the Director of NYSAIS Beginning Teachers Institute; served on the Experienced Teachers Institute; and chaired the Professional Development Committee and the Council for Professional Learning and Collaboration for NYSAIS. He has chaired many accreditation visiting committees for both NYSAIS and the CT Association of Independent Schools.

He has served on ten non-profit boards, three as president and two as head of school.  He recently served as a Secretary on the NYSAIS Board of Trustees and the Treasurer of the American Montessori Society (AMS) Board of Directors where he is currently serving as the Vice President.  Dane is a presenter for CME|NY’s Administrator Course.

His articles have appeared in Education Week; NAIS’s Independent Teacher (currently serves on the Editorial Board), Independent School (served as chair of the Editorial Board), and The Savvy Trustee Newsletter; Montessori Life (currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board), M: The Magazine for Montessori Families, Montessori Leadership, Parents’ League Review, Public School Montessorian (where he has a regular column), Teaching Children Mathematics, The Head’s Letter, and The Trustees Letter.  You can read many of his articles on his blog,


Marisa Rae

Marisa Rae is an AMS certified Infant and Toddler specialist (CMTE/NY) from Ithaca, NY. She served as the Head Teacher in the Montessori Children's Center Toddler community from 2004 to 2008, when she left to give birth to her son. She joined Ithaca Montessori in Ithaca, NY in 2009 and remained until 2011, with the birth of her daughter.  Marisa has a B.A. from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She has worked with children in varying capacities for over two decades. She mentored, tutored, and counseled with the Sisters of Mercy Outreach program and Project Upward Bound and finds considerable inspiration in her at home Infant/Toddler/ Primary Lab. Marisa does consulations with Infant and Toddler programs.


Kathy Roemer


Dr. Kathy Roemer, past president of the American Montessori Society (AMS), has over 29 years experience as a Montessori teacher, director and consultant.  She joined the AMS Board of Directors in 2006 and has served as the vice president of the Board of Directors since 2008 and president from 2011-13.   Dr. Roemer was a charter member of the AMS School Accreditation Commission, and chaired the Commission for four years.


She began her career as an educator in 1985 when she was researching a preschool for one of her sons. After learning about the Montessori method, she realized it was a perfect match for her family—and a perfect match for her career ambitions.

Dr. Roemer earned a Doctorate in education from the University of Memphis; a Masters degree in Montessori education from Christian Brothers University in Memphis; and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia. She is certified as an early childhood director and holds a certificate for advanced professional education from the AMS. She is also a licensed NYS teacher for birth to 2nd grade.

From 1995 to 2004, she held the position of Head of School at Lamplighter Montessori School in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Roemer joined Twin Parks Montessori Schools in August 2004, as the executive director and has grown Twin Parks into the largest accredited Montessori program in Manhattan and the only infant toddler program in New York State to be accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES).  She is a presenter for CME|NY’s Administrator Course.


Nancy Rose


Nancy Rose is the Executive Director of New England Early Childhood Associates (NEECA) an organization providing a variety of outreach services to individuals and organizations serving young children and their families in the New England area.  In addition to a BA in distributed studies, Nancy Rose holds a Masters degree in special education and teaching certificates from both the American Montessori Society and the Association Montessori Internationale. She has served as a faculty member and has been a guest lecturer at several colleges, universities and teacher training programs and has been involved in all facets of early childhood education for more than 40 years.

Nancy has conducted numerous  professional and parent workshops. She serves as a consultant to teachers, school systems and local community agencies and has served as a board member of the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, the American Montessori Society and the Rocky Mountain Montessori Teachers Association. She was a co-founder and academic director of the Montessori Teacher Training Program of the Rockies and a co-founder of the AMS Peace Committee. Nancy is a Field Consultant amd frequent presenter for CME|NY at the Administrator, Early Childhood and Infant and Toddler levels, including as a level session presenter at the Pathways Conference.


Munir Shivji


A second-generation Montessorian with a decade-long record of service to the national Montessori and local Texas community, Munir Shivji is a passionate advocate of Montessori education and community service. He serves as Executive Director for The Institute of Montessori Education and Head of The Innovative School both in Houston, TX. He is also a key consultant for Educational Training & Consulting (ETC Montessori) traveling nationally guiding Montessori schools, administrators and training teachers. He currently serves as a Professional Director on the board of the American Montessori Society and is the chairman of the AMS Development Committee. Munir has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Houston, an AMS Early Childhood Credential (HMC) and an AMS Montessori Administrator Credential (CME|NY). Munir's life passion is to use Montessori philosophy and practices as a vehicle to bring about positive change in the world. He is a presenter for CME|NY’s Administrator Course.


Rebecca L. Thompson-Stewart

Headshot_4_Botanical_GardenRebecca is an AMS certified Infant/Toddler Specialist (CME|NY) and Early Childhood Specialist (Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education). Her Montessori journey began as a volunteer and part-time assistant teacher at Children's Montessori School in Georgetown, Kentucky, after which she became an Early Childhood Lead Teacher. She later joined the Toddler community at the Montessori Children's Center in White Plains as a Lead Teacher. She was  a Co-Lead Teacher at Twin Parks Riverside in Manhattan. She has an M.S in Early Childhood Mobntessori Education through CME|NY's partnership with the College of New Rochelle. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown College (Kentucky). Rebecca has a passion for growing powerful and supportive educational communities for children, families, and educators.


Martha Torrence

torrenceMartha Torrence has been a Montessori educator since 1977, serving as a classroom teacher, Head of School, curriculum coordinator, teacher researcher, workshop presenter, and teacher educator. She is currently Head of School at Summit Montessori School in Framingham, MA. Martha served on the AMS Board of Directors for 11 years. She was AMS Teachers’ Section Chair for 9 years, served on the AMS Executive Committee for 3 years and was Board President for 1 year. Martha currently serves on the Board of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts as the organization’s Vice President.  Martha was Principal and Head Teacher in the Pre-primary classroom at the Xavier Univ. Lab School for 3 years. She co-founded Our Children’s Center in State College, PA, serving as its Head for over 20 years. Martha was recently Director of Toddler/Primary Programs at Cambridge Montessori School in Cambridge, MA.  A Teacher’s Research Network participant, Martha has written award-winning articles on her research topic, play. She holds a Liberal Arts B.A. and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Supervision (Penn State University); and an AMS Early Childhood credential (AERCO/Ithaca).  Martha is a presenter for CME|NY's Course for Montessori School Management and Leadership (CMSM).





Mary Zajac

mary_zajacMary Zajac has recently as retired the Head-of-School of Penn-Mont Academy, a 50+ year old Montessori school founded by Aline Wolf in Hollidaysburg, PA.  Mary has been with Penn-Mont since 1989, teaching at the Toddler and Preschool levels and serving as Education and Special Needs Coordinator for many years before taking the position of Head. She holds an AMS Early Childhood credential (CME/NY), a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education (Penn State University) and a Masters in Curriculum and Supervision (University of Pittsburgh).  Mary teaches the Early Childhood Science and Peace Education courses and serves as a field consultant for Early Childhood adult learners.  For the CME|NY Administrator Course she is a faculty presenter, mentor, and field consultant. She enjoys sharing her love of nature and Dr. Montessori’s views on nurturing the spirit with others.





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CME | NY Faculty

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