On December 3rd, Kitty Bravo and Maha Turner will accept the Dennis Shapiro Award for Innovation in Montessori Teacher Education. The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) grants this award annually to a Montessori teacher educator who has been truly inspiring and innovative and brought about significant change. The International Montessori Council (IMC) is thrilled to congratulate Kitty and Maha on this award for their lifetime contributions to the advancement of Montessori teacher education!
Kitty Bravo is the Director of Education with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS). She will be accepting the 2020 award for her work envisioning, creating, and leading this groundbreaking online, low residency Montessori teacher education program, graduating over a thousand educators over its fifteen-year history. CGMS is a MACTE accredited and IMC-affiliated teacher education program.
Kitty has been a Montessori educator for over forty years, founding NewGate School in 1984, teaching 3 to 6-year-old students, and, for the past fifteen years, making teacher education her primary professional commitment. She is passionate about preserving the legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori. She is committed to supporting Montessori educators, especially those in the Center for Guided Montessori Studies program, on their important journey to becoming extraordinary educators. Kathy Leitch, Executive Director of the International Montessori Council, said,
“On behalf of the IMC, we are profoundly grateful for your work and continued contribution to Montessori and the dedication to teacher education.”
Maha Turner, a Montessori early childhood guide with twenty-five years experience at Somersfield Academy in Bermuda and an Instructional Guide with CGMS, is being recognized for founding an international, innovative opportunity for teacher education. Maha’s organization, Mission Montessori, establishes schools for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt. Her students were her inspiration. As they passionately discussed the Syrian refugee crisis with Mrs. Turner, they encouraged her to “…help them by starting a Montessori classroom and making sure you put in a Peace Table just like ours!”
Almost immediately, the refugee children, all of whom have endured war-related trauma, exhibit significant changes. They find peace, develop concentration, and discover the joy of learning. Over forty-one women who have received their IMC Early Childhood Montessori Teacher and Assistant Credentials are empowered in their community and on the road to independence! Over seven hundred children have benefited from a Montessori education through Maha’s work in the past five years.
Dennis Schapiro was an innovator, a teacher, a leader and a friend, who was not afraid to bring about change. The Dennis Schapiro Award for Innovation in Montessori Teacher Education is given to an individual who has brought about significant change in the Montessori community. The recipients of this award have and continue to:
- Developed an innovative approach to Montessori teacher education;
- Are aware and addressed a specific need in Montessori teacher education;
- Have taken advantage of new opportunities;
- Have removed barriers and broadened the reach of international education;
- Have shared innovative evidence regarding how they assess their adult learners;
- Have cooperated and collaborated with Montessori teacher education programs and institutions in the US and in other countries.
The International Montessori Council and Montessorians everywhere echo Kathy Leitch when she says, “Congratulations Kitty & Maha, you are an inspiration to us all! You have truly made high-quality Montessori teacher education more accessible!”
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