2017 Workshop Presenters

Announcing the Workshop Presenters for the 2017 Refresher Course & Workshops! 

We are pleased to announce the workshops presenters 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 workshops and special events.

Life after Montessori – What Parents Can Expect Beyond the Classroom
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Alison Sherrill

alison-sherrill-small Alison Sherrill has served as an AMI guide and administrator for over twenty years. She is currently the Elementary Coordinator for AMI recognized Arbor Montessori School in Decatur, Georgia (18months – 14 years). Alison earned a BS in Early Childhood Education from The University of Georgia as well as a diploma from Association Montessori Internationale at the Elementary (6-12) level. She is also certified by the Children and Adults with ADHD Disorder (CHADD) organization to lead parenting classes. Alison is the past president and current Board member of the Montessori Institute of Atlanta, an AMI teacher training program. In addition to Alison’s work with families in a school setting, she serves as an officer with her national sorority, Sigma Kappa, in the mentoring of college age women at both the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of North Georgia . Alison is the proud parent of two Montessori daughters.


We are pleased to be offering two long-format special interest workshops on Friday, February 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Our expert presenters will cover important topics in depth in these interactive sessions, and professional development certificates will be offered for full attendance.

Workshop A
Supporting the Dyslexic Child in the Montessori Prepared Environment
Alison Awes

Alison Awes Alison Awes holds Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diplomas at the primary (ages 3–6) and elementary (ages 6–12) levels, a bachelor of arts in art history from Smith College, a master of arts in Latin American studies from Tulane University, and a master of education in Montessori education from Loyola University Maryland. Extensively knowledgeable, Awes has served as an elementary guide (teacher) in both lower elementary (ages 6–9) and upper elementary (ages 9–12) classrooms. Following many years of studying and working with children, Awes completed the rigorous AMI Training of Trainers Programme to become a teacher trainer. She is director of elementary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota as well as co-director of elementary training at the Maria Montessori Institute, London. She further uses her expertise in her role as external examiner on AMI courses at other institutes and as an AMI consultant. Awes works to advance the philosophy and spirit of Montessori as a board member for both private and charter Montessori schools, as well as other organizations including the AMI Elementary Alumni Association. An international lecturer, she has given numerous workshops on a wide variety of topics including dyslexia, the psychological and physical prepared environment, and inspiring meaningful work in the elementary child.   Awes attended Montessori school until the age of twelve.

Workshop B
Integrating Anti-Bias Education into our Thinking and Practice AND
Embracing the Possibility of Growth through Conflict: Finding the Third Space
Debbie LeeKeenan

Version 2 Debbie LeeKeenan is a Visiting Professor in Early Childhood Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma.  She was director and lecturer at the Eliot -Pearson Children’s School, laboratory school for the Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University from 1996-2013. Past professional experience includes over 40 years of teaching in diverse university, public schools, and early childhood settings. She is a published author in in numerous journals and books including Young Children and The Hundred Languages of Children, Edwards, C., Forman, G. & Gandini, L. 1993. Her most recent book written with Louise Derman-Sparks and John Nimmo, is Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change.  Her areas of expertise include anti-bias education, early childhood education, teacher preparation, inclusive special education, curriculum development, project based learning, teacher inquiry, family engagement, professional learning communities and public school partnerships. Debbie is an active international, national and local consultant and workshop presenter.  Debbie was awarded the Tufts University Arts and Sciences Multicultural Service Award in May 2003 and the Building Bridges Tufts Distinction Award in June 2009 for her work with diversity.  She was the recipient of the 2015 Abigail Eliot Award from the Boston Association for Education of Young Children. This award is given to honor outstanding commitment to young children and the early childhood profession not only through the work on behalf of BAEYC, but also through a record of distinguished professional achievement.  More information can be found on her website http://www.antibiasleadersece.com