2016 Refresher Course Presenters

The 2016 Refresher Course and Workshops are approaching quickly!  Beyond the Pink Tower encourages us to think about our practice holistically, and not just through the materials we present.

Assistants to Infancy

Karey M. Lontz, M.A., Trainer for Assistants to Infancy, holds AMI diplomas for the 0-3 and 3-6 levels. She has a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Georgia and a Masters in Education from Loyola College. Karey has been working in the Montessori community since 1998. Her Montessori teaching and administration experience includes private schools, early head start, and AMI teacher training. She also works nationally and internationally with teachers, assistants, parents and administration offering trainings, workshops and evaluations.

Karey will present to A to I diploma holders on the topic of  The Prepared Environment: Thinking Outside of the Cube.
Sandra Girlato, Director of Training at the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, and Gretchen Hall, Director of Training at the Montessori Training Center of New England, will present together on Exploring the Pathways of Culture.

Sandra Girlato is currently the Primary Director of Training of the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, English and fine art history from the University of Toronto, a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College, as well as an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma at the Primary level. Sandra has been active in the Montessori community, working with children, parents, educators and administrators for over 30 years. Sandra is a past member of the AMI Scientific Pedagogical, Materials and Translation Committees, an AMI examiner, as well as a consultant, lecturer and parent educator. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Sandra is currently the President of AMI Canada. Sandra was trained by Renilde Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s youngest granddaughter.

Gretchen Hall serves as the director of training at the Montessori Training Center of New England (MTCNE) located in Hartford, Connecticut. Within that role she is responsible for the organization and pedagogical delivery of the AMI primary training course. In conjunction with her position at MTCNE, Gretchen is the director of Montessori Magnet School, an urban public Montessori school, where she has continually worked to improve the quality of the AMI Montessori program for the past ten years.
 Gretchen holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Michigan State University. She received her AMI primary diploma from Washington Montessori Institute and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland.
The Elementary Refresher Course, Songs in the Key of ABC: Writing in Cosmic Education, will be led by Elise Huneke-Stone. Elise is Director of Elementary Training at Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon and also leads a satellite course in Spokane, Washington. Her husband and daughters are Montessorians; it’s the family business. She received her elementary training in 1987 at Washington Montessori Institute with Miss Stephenson, and her primary training in 2010 at Montessori Northwest. Elise spent 21 joyful years in Montessori communities (14 years with elementary children, and 7 years with adolescents). Her summer work with adults at the AMI-NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies first sowed the seeds of being an elementary trainer. Elise then got her M.Ed. from Loyola University and did her Training of Trainers work at MCM (Minnesota) and HMI (Ohio). She remembers writing her first poem at age six and her first short story at age ten, though both manuscripts are now lost; she still writes poetry and fiction today. For her undergraduate thesis at Reed College, Elise conducted a small study to demonstrate the existence of “the personal fable,” David Elkind’s theoretical construct about adolescent identity. Years later, one of Elise’s writing mentors would look at that thesis and remark, “Even then, you were all about the stories.”