Session with City Garden Montessori School

October 23, 2021



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Saturday, October 23 we will be joined by Jori Martinez-Woods and Mike Flohr from City Garden Montessori who will highlight how guides and other frontline practitioners have found creative and sustainable ways to successfully embed JEDI and ABAR principles and practices in their daily curriculum and classroom, school, and/or community cultures.

Meet the speakers

Jori was called into education at the age of 10 and from that moment has dedicated her life to living into that calling. She discovered Montessori while attending Rosati-Kain. She interned at Hope Montessori as a Senior and fell in love with this method of education that is designed for the innate unfolding of the soul of the child. Jori went on to design her bachelor’s degree which focused on Cognitive psychology, early childhood development, and general education coursework. Upon graduating she was hired by the Japanese Ministry of Education of Shizuoka, Japan to fill the role as a Professional Development Specialist for their teachers of English. After 3 years, she was accepted into the Harvard Graduate School of Education and received a M.Ed. in Teaching, Curriculum and Learning Environments. She also worked for Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR) where she was introduced to workshop facilitation for Adult Learners in the areas of conflict resolution, mediation and multicultural education for educators. She subsequently co-founded Civitas Associates with activist Jamala Rogers and Carol & Arthur Lieber, the founders of Crossroad School in St. Louis. This organization started as a chapter of ESR in St. Louis. Jori was recruited by National Louis University and held an Assistant Professorship for 5 years. This master’s in arts of teaching program was unique as its focal point was teacher research and its design was a cohort model that met weekly for 23 months. Jori has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities to Adult Learners who are enrolled in a professional degree program while at the same time working full time in the classroom. After her first son was born, Montessori was her choice for him. She was hired by Chesterfield Montessori, formerly Montessori Children’s House, and sent to train at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee where she earned her 6-12 AMI Credential in 1998. Jori has led 6-12, 6-9 and 9-12 classrooms across her Montessori career. She came to City Garden Montessori School in 2015 and was the Lead Upper Elementary Guide, Team Lead and Instructional Leadership Team representative for Upper Elementary. Jori shifted out of the classroom in 2018 and stepped into the Erdkinder Specialist position to provide additional support to the Upper Elementary Team. She has acted as a field supervisor for City Garden Lead Guides pursuing their Montessori Credential while teaching at City Garden. Jori, with her wealth of experience, deep commitment to Montessori, and the manner in which she embodies City Garden’s Mission is the newly hired Director of the City Garden Montessori Institute. In addition, she is a National Leader of InterPlay, A Life Coach, an Artist and a Dancer!


Mike Flohr is the Elementary Level Curriculum & Instructional Coordinator at City Garden Montessori Institute. He is responsible for ensuring the content taught aligns with MACTE competencies, AMS standards, Montessori philosophy, and Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist Pedagogy. Additionally, he supports faculty, staff, and guides’ Professional Development opportunities offered at the Elementary Level by the Institute, and drives mentorship initiatives on behalf of our Adult Learners. Most recently, Mike launched a new AMS Elementary Credentialing program designed for state licensed teachers at Xavier University in his role as Elementary Level Coordinator. Mike is a  seasoned Montessori educational specialist with experience at the University Level, as well as Montessori Private, Public, and Public Charters. His goal is to nurture and guide developing Montessori Teachers and Administrators in their professional practice through targeted insight, expertise, and support. He holds an AMI 6-12 Credential and AMS Administrator Credential. He has an MEd in Montessori Elementary Education from Loyola University of Maryland. In an administrative role, he has served as Curriculum Coach, Intervention Coordinator, and Data Specialist. Mike has presented Professional Development on the following topics: Montessori Music Curriculum; Classroom Management That Fosters Self-Directed Learning; Key Elements of the Montessori Philosophy & Method; The Montessori Great Lessons; Grace and Courtesy in the Elementary; Assessment Practices in Montessori; and Demystifying Cosmic Education for Parents. He has presented on Montessori Music in Shanghai China. He is featured on Xavier University’s podcast, Montessori Conversations, discussing Montessori in the Public Sector and the Montessori Music Curriculum.

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