Board of Directors
* Indicates second term
Gwendolyn Harris, Interim Chair (March 2013 - 2016*)
3022 S. Country Club Rd
Woodstock, IL 60098
Telephone: (847) 502-5787
Gwen Harris graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. After graduating, Gwen first became involved with Montessori teaching in a toddler environment. Gwen has since received her 3-6, 6-12, and 12-14 Montessori credentials from Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center. Gwen has taught each of the levels and currently works with middle school students at Crystal Lake Montessori School. Gwen is also a teacher trainer with Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center as the Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, Presenter of the Elementary II Natural Sciences and Cultural Subjects, and Field Consultant for Elementary Interns. Gwen received her Master's in Montessori Education from St. Catherine University in 2013. Gwen has been on the MACTE Board of Directors since 2010 and currently holds the position of Vice Chair.
Gary Davidson (November 2011 - 2014)
P.O. Box 323
Greenland, NH 03840
Telephone: (603) 590-6360
Fax: (603) 590-6360
Gary Davidson was a Montessori classroom teacher from ages 6-15 for more than thirty years. He has been a teacher educator since 1981. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Gary attended Antioch College, received the M.A. In Literature from Sangamon State University (1974) and the M.A in Writing from Hollins University (1976). He holds the AMS Elementary I-II granted in 1981. Gary is an author, lecturer, and co-founder of Seacoast Center for Education, an American Montessori Society affiliate and charter member of MACTE.
Dr. Frank Murray, Treasurer, (August 2014 - 2017)*
101 Willard Hall Education Building
Newark, DE 19716
Telephone: (302) 831-2557
Frank B. Murray is H. Rodney Sharp Professor in the School of Education and the Department of Psychology at the University of Delaware and served as dean of the College of Education between 1979 and 1995. He received his B.A. degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and his M.A.T. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University. He has served in various capacities on the editorial boards of several journals in developmental and educational psychology and is a fellow in the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society and the American Educational Research Association. He was the founding president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) in Washington, DC and currently serves as chair of its board of directors and for the new Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), also in Washington, DC. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Holmes Partnership and formerly he was chair of the National Board of its forerunner, the Holmes Group, a consortium of research universities engaged in educational reform. He was president and co-founder of the Project 30 Alliance, an organization of faculty in education and the liberal arts. Between 1994 and 1997, he co-edited the Review of Educational Research for the American Educational Research Association. In 1996 he edited The Teacher Educator’s Handbook for the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. For his contributions to the fields of child development and teacher education (in which he has published some 200 articles), he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1994, inducted into the Laureate chapter of Kappa Delta Pi in 2009, honored with afestschrift by TEAC and the Award of Merit by St. John’s College in 2012 and a Distinguished Alumni Award by the Johns Hopkins University in 2013.
Patricia R. Ashcraft, Secretary (March 2013 - 2016*)
3605 Wareham Drive
Thompson's Station, TN 37179
Telephone (H): (615) 550-5242
(C): (615) 636-6339
Pat Ashcraft is an educator with more than 40 years experience as a classroom teacher, a special education teacher, an assistant principal, an elementary principal and a district director. She is retired from Shelby County Schools in Memphis, Tennessee. As a consultant she has worked for the state departments of education in Tennessee and Mississippi, as well as, various school districts throughout Tennessee.
The majority of her service to the organizations of her profession was with AdvancED (formerly Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.) As a member of the ASCD Executive Council she was privileged to visit educational institutions in New Zealand. Her work at the local, state and international level in these organizations shaped her professional philosophy and work.
Gulsevin Kayihan (November 2012 - 2015*)
5533 Beverly Ave. NE
Tacoma, WA 98422
Mail To: Spring Valley Montessori School
36605 Pacific Highway So.
Federal Way, WA 98003
Telephone (O): (253) 927-2557
(H): (253) 927-4439
Fax: (253) 838-5193
Gulsevin Kayihan is a Montessori educator of more than 35 years of experience. She is the Academic Director of Montessori Teacher Education Program and Spring Valley Montessori, the oldest Montessori School in the State of Washington, established in 1951 by Madeleine J. Justus.
Gulsevin Kayihan is the co-author of more than 20 Volumes of Montessori Education Textbooks for Montessori teachers. She is the recipient of several awards. She currently serves on the MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education), PNMA (Pacific NorthWest Montessori Association), WFIS (Washington Federation of Independent Schools), and Spring Valley Montessori Boards. She also served on the IAME Board. She is very involved with the education issues in Washington State.
Gulsevin Kayihan studied General Science at the American College for Girls and has a degree in Administration from the University of Bosphorous in Istanbul. She did her graduate studies in Montessori Education at the University of Puget Sound in Washington State. She taught at all age levels, from Early Childhood through 8th Grades. She loves Nature, Math and Science and is an avid reader. She also does consulting and gives seminars. She was recently in Istanbul presenting Sensorial Exercises and Math.
Teresa Noble (March 2012 - 2015)
10,004 Highway 101, S.
Gray Court, SC 29645
Teresa Noble holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of South Carolina. Her Montessori Early Childhood credential was granted by Montessori Education Programs, International. She is retired from the public schools of South Carolina, with 28 years of service, serving as Teacher of the Year of Laurens District 55 for the 1992-1993 school year. Before retiring, she began to do Montessori teacher training for Lander University and The Institute for Guided Studies.
After retirement from the school district, she continued to participate in Montessori Teacher Education for Lander and IGS and other programs. Today she serves as Program Director, Instructor, and Supervisor for The Institute for Guided Studies, headquartered in Camden, SC. She also does consultation and work for Montessori schools and early childhood programs.
Frank Brainard (November 2012 - 2015)
450 Arlington Street
Greensboro, NC 27406
Frank Brainard is the head of school for The Greensboro Montessori School in Greensboro, NC. He has been a teacher and administrator for forty-seven years with forty of those in Montessori and other progressive schools. He has taught every age from 3-6 to graduate students. He holds degrees from Central State University (BA), Oklahoma City University (MAT), and Harvard University (EdM). He has done doctoral work at the University of Washington and other post-graduate work at Western Carolina University and the Centro Mexicano Internacional in Morelia, MX. He holds Montessori credentials from Oklahoma City University (AMS 3-6) and from Centro Internazionale di Studi Montessoriani in Bergamo, IT (AMI 6-12). His tenure at GMS has been for “16 fabulous years”.
Frank has worked in and consulted with schools in Oklahoma, Illinois, Washington Massachusetts, New York, North and South Carolina, and Mexico. He was the co-founder of the Hampton Learning Center a small Montessori school in rural Southern Appalachia that served children from 3 years through 14 years of age. In addition to his work with MACTE, he is a commissioner with the AMS School Accreditation Commission and a seasoned accreditor for AMS and MACTE.
Martha Monahan (November 2012 - 2015)
P.O. Box 301
Warren, ME 04864
Telephone (O): (207) 236-6316
Martha Monahan, the Executive Director of Northeast Montessori Institute (NMI) since 1990, has been with NMI since its inception in 1984. After receiving an A.M.I. diploma from the Toronto Montessori Institute in 1977, Martha taught in Montessori schools in Maine, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Martha has worked as a Lead Teacher, an Educational Director and a School Administrator. Her varied background provides her an insightful and multi-faceted understanding of the needs of children and of parents. Combined with her on-going work as director, teacher trainer, and field consultant for NMI, Martha is able to bring the right combination of support to her work with interns, supervising teachers, and heads of schools in connection to NMI’s certification courses.
Martha is a recognized speaker, effectively blending the essence of Montessori Philosophy with real classroom practice. She is able to provide an insightful and inspiring presentation, whether for fellow Montessorians at a national conference or weekend workshop, students in training, or before a small gathering of inquisitive parents.
Northeast Montessori Institute was the first MACTE accredited, AMS affiliated training course in mainland China, established in 1999. Martha continues to work with local educators and administrators in Beijing to bring quality Montessori education to Chinese children. Presently, Martha is a consultant with the Hanlinyuan Education Group of Beijing, which is currently working to build a completely “Green School” as a K-12 model school for the Chinese government; blending authentic Montessori education with Chinese Traditional Culture and a curriculum in stewardship and sustainability.
Martha is especially excited to have recently joined the MACTE Board of Directors and to working together with other Board Members in support of quality Montessori education world-wide. Martha is an effective network person, able to provide recommendations and resources for other professional consultants. She invites you to contact her at anytime if she may provide professional assistance to you or your school community.
Karen Simon (August 2014 - 2017)
609 Mulberry Avenue
Celebration, FL 34747
Telephone: (407) 433-0610
Karen Simon has been a Montessori classroom teacher for children aged 2 ½ to 12 for over 20 years. She was born and raised in Venezuela, South America and holds a B.A. in Modern Languages (Wheaton College, 1979) and AMS credentials for Early Childhood and Elementary I-II. She is the director of the Montessori School of Celebration, FL, where she also teaches. Karen is also a faculty member for the Orlando Montessori Teacher Education Institute and Seacoast Center for Education.
Jennifer Davidson (September 2013 - 2016)
622 SE Grand Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97214
Telephone: (503) 963-8992
Jennifer is a leader in the administration of Montessori teacher training centers in the United States. Her Montessori career began at Montessori Northwest in 2001, helping to develop MNW’s current organizational structure. She currently serves on the Montessori Leaders Collaborative and the AMI Summit Stewarding Council. She directed the 2013 International Montessori Congress steering committee and has presented at conferences around the world. In 2010 she was selected for the Oregon Montessori Association Outstanding Dedication Award. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College, an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Institute Northwest, and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. She believes that compassionate and respectful education contributes to peace, and that peace is possible.
Stacey Edwards Russo (November 2013 - 2016
Child's View Montessori School
4729 SW Taylor's Ferry Road
Portland, Oregon 97219
Stacey Edwards Russo is originally from a small farm town just west of Chicago. She moved to Portland in the Fall of 2011 with her husband Michael.
Her “Montessori” story began over 13 years ago after she graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Through the magic of serendipity, she discovered the brilliance of Maria Montessori, got trained as a primary directress and has been working in Montessori education for the last 12 years; the past 7 as a director of education for large schools in both Chicago and Manhattan.
Stacey has taught in classrooms in Michigan; Wisconsin; Illinois, New York and even in Warsaw, Poland. In 2011, she received her Master’s Degree in Child Development and Administration from the Erikson Institute of Chicago. Through her work with the Montessori Accreditation Council of Teacher Education (MACTE), she has also been fortunate enough to assist in accrediting Montessori Teacher Training centers all over the United States as well as in Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Now she proudly sits on the Board of Directors for both MACTE and the Oregon Montessori Association (OMA). She holds memberships with NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), AMS (American Montessori Society), OMA (Oregon Montessori Association), NAMTA (North American Montessori Teachers' Association), and AERO (Alternative Education Resource Organization).
Stacey loves to explore the world’s landscapes by hiking, biking, running, camping, picnicking and spending time with friends and family.