U40: Montessori for the Future Summit

June 22 - 24, 2023

Join a diverse cohort of Montessori educators under 40 who are members of AMS and/or connected to Montessori through AMI/USA. These critical thinkers and creatives are committed to exploring and researching, value collaboration and diverse perspectives, and exchange knowledge to craft innovative approaches for the future of Montessori education.


Orlando, FL

Event Organizer


The American Montessori Society (AMS) and Association Montessori International of the United States (AMI/USA) are thrilled to announce the U40: Montessori for the Future Summit.

Join a diverse cohort of Montessori educators under 40 who are members of AMS and/or connected to Montessori through AMI/USA. These critical thinkers and creatives are committed to exploring and researching, value collaboration and diverse perspectives, and exchange knowledge to craft innovative approaches for the future of Montessori education. Participants will experience an immersive program to impact the Montessori Movement and work to improve how we think about how teachers are recruited, what teachers need to know to be successful with the ever-changing demands, and how to bolster teacher retention. Other ideas for exploration may arise from the initial work and will be incorporated as well.

The application window for the U40: Montessori for the Future Summit has now closed.

AMS and AMI/USA invite all Montessori changemakers to apply for this program that celebrates the extraordinary young educators (under 40) who have demonstrated tremendous impact and success in their respective positions.

Why Attend

By bringing both AMS and AMI educators together for this critical work, the global Montessori Movement will be strengthened. The initiatives that come from this work have the potential to improve teacher education and schools worldwide, thereby improving the support given to teachers. In addition, the structured program and guiding of diverse Montessori practitioners through this process will establish a movement that will continue to rethink structures and practices for our associations.


  • Forward-thinking Montessori educators from established Montessori schools and teacher training programs along with AMS and AMI/USA staff, will discuss, research, and brainstorm sustainable pathways for Montessori to expand its reach and ways in which the pedagogy, teacher education, and school leadership can evolve to better meet the needs of children and adolescents of today. The group will propose ideas for both AMS and AMI/USA to begin working on innovative solutions.
  • After this event, we hope to have developed a foundation for several long-lasting initiatives whose work will continue beyond this year.

Event Details


Participation is directly funded by AMS and AMI/USA. This includes airfare, lodging, and 5 planned meals:

Thursday: dinner
Friday: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Saturday: breakfast


Registration Opens: March 30, 2023
Submission Deadline: April 24, 2023
Notification of Acceptance: May 12, 2023

We look forward to reading your applications for this exciting gathering of minds.

Please note: If accepted into U40: Montessori for the Future Summit, you must purchase airline tickets by May 22, 2023, and submit the receipt for reimbursement by May 25, 2023.

Eligibility and Selection Process

Participants are selected based on aptitude, experience, a desire to collaborate, a desire to innovate, and the drive to become more impactful leaders in the Montessori community who are committed to accelerating change within themselves and their organizations.

Admissions will ensure a diversity of perspectives and experiences both in Montessori schools and teacher education programs. An AMS, AMI, or AMS-approved Montessori credential is required (any level). Those applying through AMS must have an active AMS membership. All participants must be under 40 years of age at the time of applying. 

Application Process

The U40: Montessori for the Future Summit application should be completed online. It includes:

Basic contact information, credential levels, school/TEP information, and written responses to questions related to Montessori growth and change, leadership, identity, skillset, and relationships.

Agenda at a Glance

Thursday, June 22, 2023: Community
5:00 – 9:00 PM: Kick off the summit by amplifying our unique voices in community

Friday, June 23, 2023: Collaboration
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Keynote Presentations/Group Discussions/Lunch
Let’s explore how to recommit to Montessori philosophy and truly expand our horizons.

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Group Discussions/Equity of Voice Protocols/Group Work

Saturday, June 24, 2023: Considerations
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Group Presentations/Montessori Fair/Next Steps
What does the future of Montessori look like? Conclusions and creative action.

Event Presenters & Facilitators

Gina Lofquist
Senior Director of Education & Strategic Initiatives

Gina Lofquist (she/her) MEd, is the senior director of education and strategic initiatives at AMS. She oversees the professional development and teacher education areas while also developing and implementing multiple strategic initiatives. She guides efforts that offer Montessori programming for the community and works to strengthen AMS’s Montessori. She works with several AMS committees and builds relationships globally. 

Maati Wafford
AMS Director of Equity & Engagement

Maati Wafford (she/her) is the director of equity and engagement at AMS. She designs and delivers professional development for educators and administrators specific to justice and anti-bias, antiracist (ABAR) education. She also supports the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the organization. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Administrator). 

Munir Shivji
AMS Executive Director

Munir Shivji (he/him) is the executive director at AMS. For over 20 years, he has been a noteworthy leader in Montessori education—as a former teacher, instructor, school administrator, and teacher education program administrator. He is an inspirational multi-AMS-Montessori credentialed leader who observes, connects, and tells stories that inspire action while also being grounded in business and financial acumen that levers the American Montessori Society for future success. Munir takes the collective voice and vision and makes it a reality through creative strategy development. 

Dr. Ayize Sabater
AMI/USA Executive Director

Ayize Sabater is a dynamic entrepreneur, educational researcher, author, and thirty year educational visionary. He earned his doctorate at Morgan State University in 2018. Dr. Ayize has co-founded several organizations, including a Montessori Puplic Charter school in D.C.. He received a 2021 Montessori Core Principle and a 2012 Orientation (formerly known as Assistant) certificate and is an honors graduate of Morehouse and Wesley. Ayize recently co-founded the Black Montessori Educational Fund and was appointed the 1st Black Excutive Director of AMI/USA in November 2020.


Consent for Use of Image

Registration and attendance at, or participation in, AMS conferences and events constitutes an agreement for AMS, or anyone authorized by AMS, to record and use, as AMS may desire in its sole and absolute discretion, all recording and reproductions or depictions of such exhibitor’s, or attendee’s name, likeness, voice, persona, words, actions, and/or biography, which AMS may make, including without limitation, the right for AMS, or anyone authorized by AMS, to use such recordings, reproductions, or depictions in or in connection with any legitimate purposes, including for advertising, publicity, trade, and editorial purposes, at any time in the future in all media now known or hereafter developed, throughout the world.