AMI/USA is pleased to announce that Mary Levy has become Chair of its Board with immediate effect. Previous Chair, Gretchen Hall, has accepted the position of Vice Chair.
Further changes at the recent Board meeting included a resolution to extend the number of Board seats from eight to ten persons. The expansion will enable the Board to reflect the diversity of the Montessori community more adequately and bring in new views and skills to engage with AMI/USA’s developing agenda on equity, diversity and inclusion. “Our community has told us very clearly that we need to respond more effectively to issues of social justice and underserved communities. We will be intentional in bringing new members onto the Board who can help us make progress,” said Mary Levy.
As part of its commitment, AMI/USA has recently introduced a Human Rights and Social Justice Committee supported by an advisory group offering perspectives and insights from all parts of the community. It is also a lead supporter of the recently launched Black Montessori Education Fund. Further plans include a series of webinars focusing on issues of race, bias and injustice.
The first session of the meeting brought the Board and staff members of AMI/USA together in a facilitated session on Leading in the 21st Century: A Social Justice and Racial Equity Mindset. Mary Levy commented, “Our Board meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the extraordinary challenges that are facing our schools, our community and the society in which we live. We paused for a moment of silence to remember George Floyd and the many others who have been victims of brutality, injustice and systemic racism. It was a somber reminder that we have a great deal of work to do if we are to play our part in Maria Montessori’s vision of laying ‘the foundation for peace ourselves, by working for the social world of the child’.”
Paying tribute to her predecessor, Mary Levy, commented, “Gretchen has served AMI/USA with grace, skill and humility as Chair and I am delighted that she has agreed to provide support and continuity over the coming year. We have ambitious plans to develop our capacity and capability to respond to the needs of the Montessori community and her experience will be invaluable.”