The Presenters

mansheadMartha Monahan is the founder and Director of Rising Stars. Martha is also the Executive Director of Northeast Montessori Institute and has been involved in teacher training on the North Shore of Massachusetts since the inception of NMI in 1984. Martha was honored to have brought the first AMS affiliated Early Childhood courses to mainland China and to Vietnam. She continues to pioneer new training opportunities both in the U.S. and internationally. Martha holds an AMI Early Childhood credential from the Toronto Montessori Institute along with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Holistic Education. Martha is a past chair of the AMS National Conference and has served on the Board of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).

Misse Carolan obtained her AMI primary certification at the Montessori Institute of Atlanta in 1978. Throughout her teaching career she has introduced the Montessori philosophy into a variety of educational settings. In addition to working in preschool environments, Misse has worked as a behavior analytical technician with children with autism, and as a clinical specialist with children with behavior and emotion disorders. Misse holds a BA in psychology and a MS in Educational Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Southern Maine. Misse has presented at many AMS National Conferences, is a consultant with New England Early Childhood Associates (NEECA) and has proudly been an instructor and Field Supervisor with Northeast Montessori Institute since 1992. She resides in southern Maine.

Shannon Dow attended Montessori schools as a child and having growing up around her mother’s Montessori school some might say that Montessori is in Shannon’s blood. Shannon earned her BS in ECE at Endicott College and completed her 3-6 Montessori training with NMI over twenty years ago. She has taught as a head teacher of the 3 – 6 year old classroom at the Children’s Montessori Center for more than twenty years. She also serves as the school’s Curriculum and Education Coordinator, assisting with the administration and providing both staff and parent support. Shannon was fortunate to travel the world as a child. Her life’s experience is evident in her passion for sharing the world with her students in the classroom. Shannon’s personal love for the arts is apparent in the creative environment she has created within her school. Shannon lives on the North Shore with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling, and supporting her family and community through a variety of volunteer activities.

Linda Seeley has two great interests and commitments in her life that are second only to her family. These are her commitment to the Montessori professional field, and her dedication to and support of Peace and Earth Education. Linda is extremely active in these areas and has presented workshops to Montessori schools in both the private and public sectors. Linda has also served as Co-chair for an AMS National Conference. She is a founding instructor for Northeast Montessori Institute and teachers Practical Life, Language, Art, and Peace Education. She is also a Field Supervisor and delights in mentoring new Montessori interns. Linda has also been a founding teacher of two schools, serving children from Toddler through middle school. After over thirty years as a lead teacher in a Children’s House classroom, Linda now is a consultant for several schools where she does classroom observations, staff development, parent education and school consultations. Recently, she has done some work for Head Start. In addition, Linda is a partner in an education business called Master Class Materials. She has written and had published two books, titled: Spring Tea, a Celebration of Grace and Courtesy; and Maria Montessori, a Biography by and for Children.

Gretchen Courage is the Assistant Head of School for Education at Amherst Montessori School. She has been a Montessori educator since she was 22 years old. The many opportunities afforded her have included founding and directing a school in Brooklyn (NY), teaching 3 to 6 year olds in both public and independent Montessori schools, training teachers and administrators, and consulting in schools. She holds an AMS Primary Certification from Ithaca and her Administrators certification from St. Catherine’s, along with a BA from Boston University and MA from Goddard College where Rosa Packard was her mentor. In her work with teachers, Gretchen emphasizes the importance of paying attention to our own continued growth throughout our lifetime. She finds that anopenness to learning and growing translates profoundly into the work teachers do. Just about everything that interests her can be brought into the Montessori setting, e.g. art history, math, writing, poetry, peace education, social justice, drumming, yoga, and nature.