2017 Refresher Course Speakers

Announcing the Speakers for the 2017 Refresher Course & Workshops! 

We are pleased to announce the speakers for The Calculating Mind: Cultivating Discovery, Persistence, Problem Solving, which will take place in Austin, Texas from February 17-20, 2017. To book a hotel room, please visit our hotel information page. Stay tuned for more information about additional speakers and workshop content.


Ross Greene

Ross-Greene #1 Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the originator of the innovative, empirically-supported approach now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), as described in his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, and Lost & Found, and in his forthcoming book Raising Human Beings. Dr. Greene served on the teaching faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is currently adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech. He is also the Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance, which provides vast, free, web-based resources on the CPS model; provides support and advocacy for behaviorally challenging kids and their caregivers; takes a strong stand against the use of corporal punishment at home and school, the use of restraint and seclusion in schools and restrictive therapeutic facilities, and the use of detention, suspension, and expulsion in schools, preschools, and daycare settings; and advocates for interventions that are non-punitive and non-adversarial for all kids.  Dr. Greene lectures and provides consultation to families, schools, and restrictive therapeutic facilities throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.


Sara Brady

sara-brady Sara Brady holds AMI diplomas at both Assistants to Infancy and Children’s House levels. She has a Masters in Education from Loyola College in Maryland. Since 1999 Sara has worked extensively in a variety of Montessori settings: long-day care, pre-school and Montessori in the home. She has enjoyed working in Nido and Infant Communities as well as parent-infant classes. Sara lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three children. Sara is qualified as an AMI Assistants to Infancy trainer.


Uma Ramani

uma ramani Uma Ramani is AMI trained at the Primary (India) and Elementary (Hartford) levels.  She is a Director of Training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT) in Dallas, Texas. In addition, she enjoys consulting with schools, coaching and mentoring guides in their classroom practice. She has several years experience working in private, public and charter schools in the US. She enjoys bringing Montessori principles to parents and to adults working with children in Montessori and non-Montessori settings.


Phyllis Pottish-Lewis

Phyllis Pottish Lewis Ms. Phyllis Pottish-Lewis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from UCLA and a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College in Maryland.  Also, she holds both primary and elementary diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale.  She received her AMI primary diploma with Francesca Claremont from the Montessori Institute of Los Angeles in 1971 and her AMI elementary diploma with Margaret Stephenson from the Washington Montessori Institute in 1977.  She has over 37 years of teaching experience with children and 36 years of lecturing on AMI elementary courses.  To complement her years in the classroom, she also has two years of experience administering an AMI school. Ms. Pottish-Lewis has been the Director of Training for the founding AMI Elementary Training Courses held at the Montessori Institute of San Diego and the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota.  Currently she is an active lecturer on national and international AMI Training Courses.   As the incorporating Chairperson of the newly-formed AMI-Elementary Alumni Association, a position she held for eight years, a frequent presenter or participant at National and International Conferences and Refresher Courses, and a long-standing member of AMI-USA’s Consultation Committee, Ms. Pottish-Lewis has been actively involved in the larger AMI Montessori community consistently throughout the years.  Presently she is active consulting AMI schools and teachers world wide, giving international seminars and refresher courses, and is a long-standing faculty member at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.


Ann Velasco

Ann Velasco Ann Velasco is an AMI Primary Trainer and the Director of Training at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies, located in Phoenix Arizona. Ann conducts both Academic Year and Summer format courses.  In addition to teacher training responsibilities, she coordinates community outreach, conducts parent education sessions and offers professional development for Montessori teachers.   Ms. Velasco is a co-trainer for the AMI training center in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Ms. Velasco holds both Primary and Elementary Diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). She holds a M. Ed degree from Loyola University in Baltimore.

Ms. Velasco brings a strong background of classroom experience having taught for 12 years in both primary and elementary classrooms.  She was a Montessori student herself as a young child.