JEDI Spring Series

SESSION 2: Exploring Gender Expansiveness in the Montessori Environment

March 20, 2023 at 7 pm EST

Transgender Visibility Day is on March 31, 2023. As a prelude to this day of recognition, our goal at AMI/USA is to explore gender expansiveness in Montessori settings. Please join us as Sara Bloomberg moderates an open discussion with Olli Lehman, M.A. and Ashley McLean, both Montessori colleagues who are personally and professionally close to this important topic. This conversation will take place via Zoom on March 20th at 7pm EST.

About our Speakers:

Sara Bloomberg, MA (they/them/theirs) lives on the unceded land of the Timucuan in what’s now known as St Augustine. Sara is a co-founder of Blossoming Beyond the Binary, a consulting group that helps educational communities embrace and develop gender diverse practices and curricula that uplift and center lgbtqia+ children, families, and educators. Sara co-wrote Queering Your Culture: The Importance of Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom for Montessori Life. They co-wrote Intentionally Inclusive: THE LGBTQIA+, Gender Diverse Montessori School for the Montessori Collaborative World Review: The Montessori Roots of Social Justice (AMS/AMI). Sara has led workshops for AIMS Illinois, Crescent Ridge Academy Montessori Education Instruction, Endeavor Schools, AMS TME, for the Montessori Alliance of Tennessee, BAMA, and MEPPI. Sara also presents on this topic for various AMS affiliated TEP Programs in the US and across the globe. Sara was the head of the Early Childhood division at the St. Augustine Public Montessori School in Saint Augustine, Florida; founding director of Battery Park Montessori in New York City.

Olli Lehmann is a lead guide at City Garden Montessori School. She has been living authentically as a Non-binary Trans woman for 15 years. She received her Masters of Arts in Education and her Bachelor’s in English from Truman State University. She has been working in St Louis schools for 7 years. She has worked in a variety of roles, as an art teacher, classroom assistant, and for 2 years as a lead guide. She is currently working towards her 9-12 Montessori certification. While working at City Garden, she has organized a social justice club, as well as the school’s first Gay Straight Alliance. She is an advocate for all underrepresented students, and a supporter of all queer and trans children.

Ashley McLean is a trained primary Montessori educator. She taught for 12 years at Wellan Montessori School in Newton, MA. After leaving her position in Newton and moving to Maine, she decided to homeschool her two elementary-aged children. Ashley has presented on several topics at the annual Montessori Schools of Massachusetts Conference and has written various posts for the Wellan Montessori School blog. She currently works as a Library Assistant at the Southwest Harbor Public Library in Southwest Harbor.  Ashley loves hiking, biking, reading, and writing, as well as spending most of her time exploring the outdoors with her family.

To register for this session or all 3 sessions,
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SESSION 3: Neurodiversity in the Montessori Environment: A Forum

April 24, 2023 at 7 pm EST

April is Neurodiversity Awareness Month. Join this forum where we will share the process and content of the AMI/USA Statement of Inclusion devised by the AMI/USA Human Rights and Social Justice Ad-Hoc Group on Neurodiversity and Inclusion.


Previous session in this series:

SESSION 1: Montessori for All: A Dream Being Realized or One Still Deferred

January 30, 2023 at 7 pm EST

In honor of Dr. King and educational philosophy and work to bring equity into all schools, please join a diverse panel of Montessorians as they discuss how power and privilege in the Montessori community can be used to realize the dream of right of entry and justice in all Montessori spaces.

Panel Participants

Sheri Bishop, AMI/USA Human Rights and Social Justice Advisor, Moderator

Maia Blankenship, Co-CEO, Black Wildflower Funds

Jimmy and Kyle Galbraith, Past Montessori Parents, Montessori Advocates, and Philanthropists

Sinuda Kapalczynski, Head of School/Guide, Fulton Montessori School

BethAnn Slater, Head of School, Middleburg Montessori School and AMI/USA Primary Trainer


Video recordings available on-demand after the session if you are unable to join live. More details soon!