Magazine article Montessori Life

AMS: Promise and Possibility

Magazine article Montessori Life

AMS: Promise and Possibility

Article excerpt

This is an auspicious time for AMS-a time of great promise and possibility. In 2007 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Montessori education. Plans to commemorate this landmark achievement are in the making, including the annual conference in New York City (March 1-4, 2007), which will feature renowned speakers and abundant opportunities to share this momentous occasion with Montessorians from around the world. Though we eagerly await this event and others, the path to the Centennial is as noteworthy as its celebration.

Important initiatives, articulated in your Board's most recent strategic plan, include Montessori access for a broader range of children, excellent member services, fiscal responsibility, rigorous exploration of new funding possibilities, a comprehensive Montessori research initiative, and advocacy for the rights and needs of all children through collaboration with other educational groups.

Moving forward with this plan requires leadership that is both sound and visionary. Your Board's single most important responsibility is to secure such leadership. On behalf of the AMS Board, I am most pleased to welcome Richard A. Ungerer as our Society's new Executive Director.

The Board sought an individual who could support our membership through provision of excellent services, soundly manage our finances while aggressively pursuing our fund development goals, and lead AMS to new prominence in the educational world. Our unanimous selection of Mr. Ungerer speaks to our conviction that we have found the person with the skills and personal philosophy to provide such leadership.

Ungerer's extensive experience in management of nonprofit organizations such as the "I Have a Dream" Foundation, the Organization Development Network, WAVE (Work, Achievement, Values and Education), and the National Institute for Work and Learning, combined with his lifelong passion for experiential education, form the right mix of leadership, skilled management, and vision. As you have the opportunity to meet him personally, you will also experience his warmth, genuineness, and strong personal communication skills.

Marie M. Dugan, our interim executive director, has superbly led the talented and energetic AMS staff since March of 2004. Her management skills, tireless work ethic, ability to maintain the broader vision while attending to myriad details, warm personal style, and direct yet gracious approach to communication have combined to make her an incredibly successful interim executive director. She has streamlined office procedures, strengthened communication with our members, publicly represented us with distinction on many occasions, and continued to implement our strategic plan. We cannot thank Marie enough for her efforts, and are so pleased that she will continue as co-chair of the Centennial Fund and as a guiding force on our Journey to the Centennial.

Your Board in Action

We are please to welcome Fred Catlin, head of the Montessori Community School in Charlottesville, VA, to a 1-year appointed term. Mr. Catlin's extensive background in all aspects of fund development, as well as his recent appointment as an advocacy representative to CAPE, will undoubtedly be an asset in development and advocacy initiatives.

Judith Bauerlein, President-Elect, Amy Henderson, Past President, Joyce Pariser, Treasurer, and I serve as the Board's Executive Committee. We confer more frequently than the full board to provide strategic leadership and maintain close communication with the executive director. …

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