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She has lectured widely both nationally and internationally for more than 30 years on multiple topics relating to children and education. She founded a Montessori teacher education institution in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2007, where she taught every summer for a number of years.
Mary Ellen also has an extensive background as a school consultant and as the co-creator of a successful business in early reading products, the Early Reading Company. She was lead author of the book, Learning to Read is Child’s Play, published in 2000.
In addition to her personal projects and work at Authentic Institute of Montessori, Mary Ellen has been active in the Montessori community over the course of her career, serving as Commissioner for Accreditation and Member of the Board of Directors for MACTE from 1992-2000 and holding the position of Vice-President of the International Association of Montessori Educators (IAME) from 2001-2004. Her contributions were recognized in 2013 when she was honored as the recipient of the esteemed MACTE Wisdom of the Elders award.
Mother of three grown children, Mary Ellen’s great passion is exploring the deeper spiritual message of Maria Montessori. She loves to read, swim, and hike with friends and family.
Upon graduation, Nancy founded her first school in the Twin Cities and later taught in and directed a large Infant/Toddler Community. Being in the classroom with these young children inspired Nancy to complete her Montessori Infant/Toddler certification with the American Montessori society in Boulder, Colorado in 1994. She has taught in and been the administrator of two other successful Montessori schools in Montana over the past 39 years.
In her spare time Nancy enjoys gardening, taking walks and playing with her nine grandchildren.
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what our aim alumni have to say
"It ticked all the boxes that I needed ticked. It was affordable. It was online, which was really nice and it was accessible in a way that some of the other companies weren't. I was looking for something that mattered, something that meant something and something that I could really believe in. And when I found aim that really spoke to me because I felt like that could be something that could change my life."
"What I love about aim is that you're getting a super comprehensive understanding of the philosophy and teachings of Maria Montessori, and then you're going into the classroom and you are figuring out how to do it yourself, and you are getting the tools both through faculty observation and mentoring, how to really make it your own. I loved the in-depth understanding that I received in the academic program."
"The online course was so thorough and thoughtfully done that I knew during the course that I was going to be very well prepared and good at what I was doing. As somebody who is very invested in what it means to be a teacher, not just to deliver content, but to affect a child's life, the online course created space for me to explore and refine those parts of myself in preparation to be a better guide for the children in my care."