Past Board Members

Dr. Ayize Sabater

Founding board - 2020

Co-Human Relations Officer

Ayize is a dynamic social entrepreneur, researcher, author, and twenty-five-year veteran educator.  He has co-founded several non-profits, including an independent school, a White House award-winning non-profit organization, and a Montessori public charter school in Washington, DC. Dr. Ayize is an alumnus of Morehouse College, the Wesley Theological Seminary, and Morgan State University. He has also completed his Montessori primary assistant training at WMI. Dr. Ayize is the Head of School at Willow Oak Montessori, a Board member of WMI, and several other educational organizations.  One of his research article’s is up at MontessoriPublic.org: No More Hidden Figures: Black Montessori History.

Fabrya Hemphill

founding board - 2020

Partnerships Officer

Tiffany is a 6-9 Montessori teacher committed to social justice and peace education. She trained through the Center for Montessori Education CMTE|NY and has taught at the Montessori School of Northampton for twelve years.

She is dedicated to empowering her students, parents, and educators to trust themselves and to respect their diverse capabilities. Tiffany created a curriculum aligned with the Montessori philosophy that addresses social inequity through the lenses of race, class, abilities, immigration, and gender. She conducts an annual Activists/ Peacemakers Workshop in the Lower Elementary program where students are able to discover their inner peace, learn to resolve conflicts, and are introduced to people who have worked for peace across the world. Her recently created workshop, Reconnecting Our Classroom Community, provides a safe and nurturing environment for elementary age students and their teachers to further their cosmic education through exploring identity and self within their communities.  Tiffany has shared these workshops with Montessori teachers, parents, administrators, and teacher educators at various conferences over the past few years (including the MEPI Conference, the Montessori Foundation’s Conference, the AMS Teacher Educators Section Annual Meeting,  the MSJ Conference, and local traditional and Montessori conferences in Massachusetts).

Tiffany is excited to continue working with the Montessori for Social Justice community.  (She has finally found her people among this group!) She hopes to successfully advocate for Montessorians of Color (Educators, Students, and Parents), establish and build relationships with Montessori communities across the country and around the world, and support classroom and school communities in implementing and following ABAR (Anti-Biased/Anti-Racist) practices.

Katie Kitchens

founding board - 2020

Co-Human Relations Officer

Katie has worked in public and private Montessori classrooms for the past 9 years. She is dedicated to uprooting white supremacy within herself and working in coalition toward what Dr. Montessori called Universal Liberation.  

headshot of Amelia Sherwood

Amelia Sherwood

founding board - 2019

I have worked in Montessori spaces in New Haven for the last six years as an assistant, classroom teacher and currently the Family Partnership Coordinator at Elm City Montessori school. I am part of a grant-funded Anti-Bias Anti-racist school planning committee at ECMS and I am on the MSJ conference wellness committee.

Attending the 2016 Montessori for Social Justice Conference was my first encounter with other people of color in Montessori and has made me fired up about creating anti-bias/anti-racist culture in schools. I am still ignited from that experience and hope to be a part of Montessori for Social Justice in a larger capacity. I am committed to see this group grow and spread the word that this world so desperately needs.

head-shot Tiffany Jewell

Tiffany M. Jewell

Founding board - 2019

Tiffany is a 6-9 Montessori teacher committed to social justice and peace education. She trained through the Center for Montessori Education CMTE|NY and has taught at the Montessori School of Northampton for twelve years.

She is dedicated to empowering her students, parents, and educators to trust themselves and to respect their diverse capabilities. Tiffany created a curriculum aligned with the Montessori philosophy that addresses social inequity through the lenses of race, class, abilities, immigration, and gender. She conducts an annual Activists/ Peacemakers Workshop in the Lower Elementary program where students are able to discover their inner peace, learn to resolve conflicts, and are introduced to people who have worked for peace across the world. Her recently created workshop, Reconnecting Our Classroom Community, provides a safe and nurturing environment for elementary age students and their teachers to further their cosmic education through exploring identity and self within their communities.  Tiffany has shared these workshops with Montessori teachers, parents, administrators, and teacher educators at various conferences over the past few years (including the MEPI Conference, the Montessori Foundation’s Conference, the AMS Teacher Educators Section Annual Meeting,  the MSJ Conference, and local traditional and Montessori conferences in Massachusetts).

Tiffany is excited to continue working with the Montessori for Social Justice community.  (She has finally found her people among this group!) She hopes to successfully advocate for Montessorians of Color (Educators, Students, and Parents), establish and build relationships with Montessori communities across the country and around the world, and support classroom and school communities in implementing and following ABAR (Anti-Biased/Anti-Racist) practices.

headshot of Daisy Han

Christine Daisy Han

founding board - 2019

Growing up the child of immigrants in low income and underrepresented communities, Daisy has experienced the harmful effects of segregation and ignorance firsthand; she has also experienced the power of education in nurturing resistance and dismantling systems of oppression.

For over 10 years teaching in public and private Montessori classrooms and serving as a socio-emotional learning facilitator, Daisy believes in the power of uniting people from diverse backgrounds (as young as possible) and providing experiential opportunities for meaningful community building. Daisy is a partner at The Wildflower Foundation and is a co-founder and Director of Curriculum at DEEP (Disruptive Equity Education Project). She has her AMS training in lower and upper elementary and secondary I and secondary II Montessori education.

“We must move beyond superficial discourse on diversity and bravely engage in peace education to dismantle power, whiteness, and racism. I hope to contribute my deep passion and commitment to this messy and important work so that we can continue to build a beautiful and intentionally diverse Montessori community.”

Daisy has experience and training in strategic leadership, community organizing, and partnering with schools and districts to embed equitable practices from a system-level standpoint. Daisy emphasizes teaching as a form of social activism and is eager to contribute her passion, enthusiasm, and experience to Montessori for Social Justice.

headshot of Dr. Amira Mogaji

Dr. Amira Mogaji

founding board - 2019

I am a proud urban educator who has served as both a teacher and an administrator in Montessori and non-Montessori public and charter schools. I hold an AMS Montessori Administrator credential and I am working towards completing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management through Capella University.  Northglade Montessori, a Title 1 school in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where I serve as principal, has a focus of providing equity and access to a high quality Montessori education to all students.

In addition to serving in the district as a school administrator I also serve on the Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism (ABAR) committee at both the school level and the district level. During the 2017 AMS conference held in San Diego, CA I had the privilege of co-facilitating the Montessori for Social Justice Networking Session. I am also a newly elected American Montessori Society Board of Directors member and I plan to serve on the Peace and Social Justice Committee.

I am an African-American female Muslim. I am also a biological, adoptive and foster parent of African-American sons and daughters. It would be an honor to serve on the MSJ Board of Directors and work along with a group of people who are also passionate about providing equitable educational opportunities for all children through Montessori education.

Luz Casquejo Johnston

FOUNDING BOARD - 2019

My name is Luz Casquejo Johnston and I am grateful for the creation of MSJ.  I have been involved in Montessori education for over 40 years. I say this proudly and loudly because I understand at my core what Montessori can be and can do for a child. 41 years ago, I was a Montessori primary child.  This was the first place where I felt seen, heard, honored and celebrated. From that experience, I have been a Montessori parent, lower elementary teacher, charter school board member, principal and am currently an Assistant Professor in a Montessori Teacher Education Program at St. Mary’s College of California.  These experiences have shaped my belief that Montessorians must use peace education to realize social justice.

As a Pilipinx woman, I am an ally for people of color.  I have also worked among LGBTQIA youth communities to support them in their journeys and provide a safe space. As the mother of mixed children, I am working on my understandings of what it means to be an ally to this community. Montessori for Social Justice is the organization where I find complete alignment with my life’s mission. I would be honored to bring my passion to this position.

Trisha Moquino

founding board - 2019

Trisha Moquino sees serving on the MSJ board to help bring about a more just education for all children. Trisha is certified as an Elementary I (MECR)/Primary guide (UMA). She works toward helping redefine Indigenous education.

Inspired by her daughters’ Keres fluency, in 2006, Trisha co-founded KCLC and worked with the KCLC board of directors for 6 years to attain the Cochiti Tribal Council’s blessing to open KCLC, which opened in 2012 with a Primary Keres Immersion classroom and in 2015, opened a Dual Language Education Elementary I classroom.

Including the Indigenous voice is necessary to help create a just/peaceful USA. Trisha works to bring more light to the work of MSJ so that Montessori strengthens it’s pathways towards truly being  “accessed by all”. Nationally,more light needs to be shed on the inequality/inequity in education that persists. Bryan Stevenson reminded all Montessorian’s about the need for Truth and Reconciliation in America starting with American Indigenous Peoples.

Trisha advocates for inclusivity, positivity and the use of a strengths based approach. Trisha participated in MSJ gatherings at AMS 2016/2017, she co-wrote the MSJ statement on the election and helped lead the Montessorians of Color Networking session at the 2017 AMS conference.

 

SHERI BISHOP

FOUNDING BOARD - 2019

Hello, I have been in an interracial marriage for 26 years and am the mother of two bi-racial children. My husband and I discovered Montessori when our oldest was 21/2 years old.  We sacrificed so each child could have a Montessori career. I love Montessori! In 2010, after 30 years as a Registered Dietitian, I left healthcare and enrolled in an AMI training program. In 2013 I began a career as a lead Montessori elementary teacher. I am disappointed that Montessori is not a typical mainstream option for every family. I want to do something about it.

Before Montessori, I managed a million dollar budget, designed and implemented new programs, and coordinated efforts between professionals with ease, but nothing inspired me to action more than the 2016 MSJ conference.

Since then I have been working on the MSJ Strategic Planning, MSJ 2017 Conference, and the MSJ Anti-bias-Anti-racist Rubric committees. I have found people with like goals and aspirations related to the education of children of color and those of varying socio-economic levels. This work is challenging. I want to be an integral part of the movement that can make a difference in how we prepare children for the future. My future career goal is to become an education entrepreneur.  I want to  establish a preschool and elementary program in my city that uses the Montessori approach.

Althea René Miller

founding board - 2018

Althea René Miller is a Los Angeles native and Master’s student in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Wisconsin – Madison, studying Multicultural Education under the guidance of Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings. In 2012, she earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison where she focused on developmental and clinical psychology with an added emphasis on stereotypes, prejudice, and stigma.

She is also a multi-genre artist who dabbles in poetry, spoken word, visual art and graphic design, dance, singing and songwriting. Althea prides herself in the powerful meaning of her first name, which, derived from Greek language means, “healing.” In an effort to live up to her name, she employs art a pedagogical tool and change agent, endeavoring to encourage psychological and emotional healing, as well as the advancement of various social justice agendas. Althea first encountered Montessori education through her work as an Inclusion Specialist, Professional Development Specialist, and Assistant Teacher at Woodland Montessori School (Madison, WI). She currently works and resides in Madison, Wisconsin.