Montessori Professional Development Fund
A program that provides Montessori
training and professional development.
The Montessori Professional Development Fund was established by Penn-Mont Academy in an effort to provide opportunity for current and future Penn-Mont teachers to further their Montessori Training and Professional Development.
Montessori Professional Development Fund
To support the training and development of Penn-Mont Academy’s educators in their important roles as Montessori teachers and school leaders.
As a school accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS), Penn-Mont adheres to high standards for professional staff. All lead classroom teachers must receive AMS Credentials for the specific level they teach. Ongoing Montessori Professional Development is also required for teachers to maintain their active credentials as well as grow in their ability to deliver an authentic Montessori education for children. Administrators of accredited schools are also required to have a Montessori Administrator Credential.
Montessori Teacher Education Programs are scattered throughout the United States and world-wide but generally in larger urban areas. With Penn-Mont’s location in Central PA, accessing Montessori training and professional development opportunities requires a commitment of significant financial resources.
The Montessori Professional Development Fund (MPDF)
Montessori Teacher Training
Costs for training have increased significantly! Tuitions range from $7000 to over $18,000 depending on the training program and level of certification. Because there are no programs locally, a teacher must reside at the training site for one or two summers and absorb the costs of room, board and travel which can add upwards of $4000 to the total cost. Currently, Penn-Mont pays half of a teacher’s tuition. With the establishment of the MPDF, teachers seeking Montessori training could apply for scholarship support to be applied to their half of the tuition which would greatly ease the financial burden on teachers.
Montessori Leadership Training
School leaders must be able to incorporate Montessori principles in managing the school that enable the entire organization to flourish while remaining true to the mission and beliefs. These training programs that cost in excess of $10,000 in tuition alone allow teachers aspiring to leadership positions and administrators to learn the skills, tools, and practices to become successful Montessori school leaders.
Continuing Montessori Professional Development
Every year Montessorians from around the world attend the American Montessori Society’s annual conference. Workshops address curriculum, child development, leadership, public policy, research, and much more. Participation earns the contact hours required to keep Teacher Certifications active. The cost of registration, hotel and travel expenses are currently shared by the teacher attending and the school’s operating budget which limits these opportunities.
American Montessori Society Webinars
A new offering by AMS is on-demand videos on topics specific to Montessori education by leading presenters in the field. Penn-Mont is now accessing these webinars during teacher in-service days as well as making available to individual teachers who express interest in certain topics.
Part of the school’s process of continuous assessment and growth involves inviting consultants in to view our programs and offer recommendations. These consultants can help an individual teacher or an entire program. Consultations are a required part of our self-study and re-accreditation process.
Teacher Incentive Grants
Grants allow teachers to apply for funding to support particular projects, areas of curriculum development, etc., based on their needs and interests.
Honoring the Champions
The Montessori Professional Development Fund was established by Penn-Mont Academy in an effort to have the monetary resources necessary to provide current and future Penn-Mont teachers the opportunity to further their Montessori Training and Professional Development.
In an effort to secure and perpetuate resources for this fund, Penn-Mont initiated the Gerald P. and Aline D. Wolf “Heart of Penn-Mont” Honoree. This distinction is named in honor of our founders Gerald and Aline Wolf. Each year, Penn-Mont honors an individual considered a true champion of our school by virtue of their leadership, dedication or philanthropic efforts.
Gerald P. and Aline D. Wolf
“Heart of Penn-Mont” Honorees
2017: Judy Grove
Judy Grove is highly regarded by colleagues, parents and former students as a caring, compassionate, and inspirational Montessori teacher. With a career spanning over 35 years, Miss Judy served as a Preschool Lead Teacher at Penn-Mont Academy. Montessori trained at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education (CMTE) in New York, Judy joined the faculty of CMTE in addition to her classroom duties. Judy has a passion for working with special needs children, as well as a great love for geography. She can also be found exploring her artistic talent – paper making and paper sculpting dolls and puppets – honoring historical figures. Aline Wolf, one of Penn-Mont’s founders, included Judy as part of a study group that assisted her in drafting the manuscripts for the writing of her seminal book “Nurturing the Spirit;” quite a tribute to Judy’s authenticity as a Montessori teacher. Judy’s earliest training was under the guidance of Aline. Miss Judy continues to be committed to Penn-Mont and quietly shares her love of Montessori with others. Returning to the classroom periodically to substitute, she is a reminder to all of the authentic qualities of a Montessori teacher.
2016: Michelle Hartye
Long-time Head of School, true Montessori educator, and engaged community leader, Michelle Hartye, made a decision early in her career to become a Montessori teacher and administrator. It had always been Michelle’s vision that professional development opportunities be afforded to other dedicated Penn-Mont Academy teachers and professionals. This vision ignited the inspiration behind establishing the Montessori Professional Development Fund.