AMI/USA Announcement

September 11, 2013

Dear Friends:

We are both glad and sad to announce that after 30 years of service to AMI/USA, including the last quarter century (yes, quarter century) as Executive Director, Ms. Virginia McHugh Goodwin will be retiring at the end of the coming academic/fiscal year, 2014. We are glad because Virginia has earned the peace and fulfillment of retirement. Our sadness is, of course, due to our losing her remarkable skills, energy and services in a position that she has continued to grow even after these many years. As impossible as it will be, at the appropriate time in the coming year we will try to give Virginia her due. Suffice to say at the moment that the richness of her career is the product of her innate talent and her commitment to the goals of Montessori education above all rather than short-term personal goals. She has always understood that if she were true to the cause of Montessori, her career would take care of itself. And so it has, to our everlasting benefit.

After an extensive search that culminated with in-person interviews, the AMI/USA Board has selected Bonnie Beste to replace Virginia, who participated intimately in the selection process. Bonnie holds an AMI primary diploma from the Teacher Training Center of Northern California, and a B.A in English Literature from the University of California, Davis. Bonnie worked extensively as an Associate Director for a large research organization in marketing and member relations before beginning her career in Montessori education. She subsequently served as a primary guide and parent education liaison at a private AMI school in Northern Virginia until 2010. Since that time, she helped to establish an integral position with the District of Columbia Public Schools as the Early Childhood Montessori Specialist for their public Montessori program. Bonnie oversaw the AMI recognition of all 15 primary classes, as well as forging professional partnerships and gaining experience collaborating with government agencies and other education associations.

Bonnie will spend the year working with Virginia to acquaint her as much as possible with the Executive Director’s responsibilities, the AMI community, and AMI/USA’s affairs. She will begin this work now, in September 2013.

Sometime in the summer of 2014, we will be moving the AMI/USA office from its long-time home in Rochester, New York, to the Washington, D.C. area. We believe that transfer will be to AMI/USA’s ultimate benefit, as our role in advocacy continues to expand.

We know you will like and grow to admire Bonnie, as you have done with Virginia. Please join us in welcoming Bonnie to her new position.

Yours truly,


Adam Lewis, president

AMI/USA Board of Directors