Inside Montessori logo
Inside Montessori logo

The Team


INSIDE MONTESSORI would not have been possible without the help of our amazing crew, knowledgeable advisors and generous donors.

The Filmmakers

Jan Selby headshot
JAN SELBY

Director/Producer

Jan Selby is an award-winning Director/Producer and founder of Quiet Island Films whose work has been screened in film festivals, art museums, university classrooms, and on PBS stations nationwide.

INSIDE MONTESSORI (2019, co-directed with Vina Kay), brings viewers inside five Montessori schools to show how Montessori is giving children from birth through high school the chance to achieve their full potential. It is being used throughout the United States to showcase the social justice potential of Montessori education. Her three children attended Montessori schools including Lake Country School and Great River School, where she served on both boards.

BEYOND THE DIVIDE (2014), follows the courageous acts of a Vietnam veteran and a peace advocate who discover a path to healing old wounds while reimagining peace. It premiered at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, was included in the Best of Fest at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, and was awarded Best Feature Documentary at the Peace on Earth Film Festival. After traveling to festivals worldwide, it was distributed to PBS stations by American Public Television.

Jan’s first film, A CIRCLE AND THREE LINES (2010), won a regional Emmy, was screened in festivals worldwide including the Woodstock Film Festival, and was featured in the Walker Art Center exhibit, The Reel Thing.


Vina Kay headshot
VINA KAY

Director/Producer

Vina Kay has committed her career and life to realizing a vision for racial justice, focusing on the systemic and structural change needed as well as how we practice liberation and model the world we seek. She is the Director of the Piper Fund, an initiative of the Proteus Fund, which connects and provides resources to grassroots organiztions committed to advancing an inclusive and representative democracy.

Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, she served as Vice President of Movement Capacity Building at Race Forward, which works at the national level to build awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice. She led a team focused on supporting, strengthening, and expanding grassroots movements for racial justice and increasing the capacity of organizations to engage in transformative racial equity work. Vina was Executive Director at Voices for Racial Justice, an organization based in Minnesota that works to create a healthy ecosystem of racial justice organizing through training and leadership development, culturally rooted policy tools and research practices, convenings and network building. While at Voices, she was also Director of Research and Policy, leading the work on the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, racial equity agendas, community narratives, and other tools that support grassroots organizing.

In addition to co-producing and co-directing INSIDE MONTESSORI, Vina is a writer of creative nonfiction and poetry, and has received the Loft Mentor Series award in creative nonfiction and a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Residency at Tofte Lake Venter for poetry. Her two sons attended Lake Country School and she served on the boards of Lake Country and Bright Water Schools in Minneapolis. 

Creative Team

Collage of behind the scenes filming shots on the set of Inside Montessori

Directed and Produced by

Editor

Original Music

Consulting Editor

Color Grading

Motion Graphics

Music Supervisor

Post Audio Mix

Associate Producer

Production Assistants

Jan Selby and Vina Kay

Amira Cohen

Ken Chastain and Rob Meany

Jim Stanger

Oscar Oboza

Greg Shultz, Gasket Studios Ltd.

Tammy Oellien, Gasket Studios Ltd.

Ken Chastain

Zac Bates

Sofia Asenjo

Kelle Green

Sarah Hellier

Allie Kopp

Stephanie To

Directed and Produced by:
Jan Selby and Vina Kay

Editor:
Amira Cohen

Original Music:
Ken Chastain and Rob Meany

Consulting Editor:
Jim Stanger

Color Grading:
Oscar Oboza

Motion Graphics:
Greg Shultz, Gasket Studios Ltd.
Tammy Oellien, Gasket Studios Ltd.

Music Supervisor:
Ken Chastain

Post Audio Mix:
Zac Bates

Associate Producer:
Sofia Asenjo

Production Assistants:
Kelle Green
Sarah Hellier
Allie Kopp
Stephanie To

Lumin Education Crew
Dallas, Texas

Director of Photography:
Adrian Danciu
Dave Schnack

Field Audio Recording:
Patrick Wylie

Grip:
Jake Hicks
Zach Morgan

Montessori Partners Serving All Children Crew

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Director of Photography:
Jeff Saunders
Dave Schnack
Jon Springer
Zach Pirolli

Field Audio Recording:
John Sims
Tom Colvin

Grip:
Amira Cohen

City Garden Montessori School Crew
Saint Louis, Missouri

Director of Photography:
Jeff Saunders

Field Audio Recording:
Tim Donsbach
Carlos Zuñiga

Grip:
Brett Dean
Drew Wilson

Lake Country School Crew
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Director of Photography:
Jeff Saunders
Dave Schnack
Jon Springer

Second Camera:
Amira Cohen
Tom Colvin
Amal Kay Flower

Field Audio Recording:
Tom Colvin
John Sims

Grip:
Amira Cohen
Cliff Dahlberg

MacDowell Montessori School Crew
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Director of Photography:
Jeff Saunders

Field Audio Recording:
Joe McCartan

Grip:
Tyler Jones

Directed and Produced by

Editor

Original Music

Consulting Editor

Color Grading

Motion Graphics

Music Supervisor

Post Audio Mix

Associate Producer

Production Assistants

Jan Selby and Vina Kay

Amira Cohen

Ken Chastain and Rob Meany

Jim Stanger

Oscar Oboza

Greg Shultz, Gasket Studios Ltd.

Tammy Oellien, Gasket Studios Ltd.

Ken Chastain

Zac Bates

Sofia Asenjo

Kelle Green

Sarah Hellier

Allie Kopp

Stephanie To

Lumin Education Crew

Dallas, Texas

Director of Photography

Field Audio Recording

Grip

Adrian Danciu

Dave Schnack

Patrick Wylie

Jake Hicks

Zach Morgan

Montessori Partners Serving All Children Crew

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Director of Photography

Field Audio Recording

Grip

Jeff Saunders

Dave Schnack

Jon Springer

Zach Pirolli

John Sims

Tom Colvin

Amira Cohen

City Garden Montessori Crew

St. Louis, Missouri

Director of Photography

Field Audio Recording

Grip

Jeff Saunders

Tim Donsbach

Carlos Zuñiga

Brett Dean

Drew Wilson

Lake Country School Crew

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Director of Photography

Second Camera

Field Audio Recording

Grip

Jeff Saunders

Dave Schnack

Jon Springer

Amira Cohen

Tom Colvin

Amal Kay Flower

Tom Colvin

John Sims

Amira Cohen

Cliff Dahlberg

MacDowell Montessori School Crew

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Director of Photography

Field Audio Recording

Grip

Jeff Saunders

Joe McCartan

Tyler Jones

Advisors

We are so grateful for the support our advisors provided. We are in the process of updating their bios. We will update this section soon!

KATHLEEN COSKRAN

Former Head of Lake Country School

Author Kathleen Coskran was head of Lake Country School in Minneapolis from 1995 until 2004. Under her direction, the school developed the Lake Country Land School at a recently acquired 180 acre farm to create a residential program for adolescents into the standard curriculum of the school. She is also a writer whose collection of short stories, The High Price of Everything, won a Minnesota Book Award as did Tanzania on Tuesday: Writing by American Women Abroad which she co-edited. She is the recipient of numerous artists’ fellowships and residencies including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Bush Artist’s Fellowship, and two grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

*GRETCHEN HALL

President, Association Montessori Internationale / USA Board
www.amiusa.org

Gretchen Hall serves as the director of training at the Montessori Training Center of Northeast (MTCNE). She received her AMI primary diploma from Washington Montessori Institute and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. She is the director of the Montessori Magnet School, an urban public Montessori school in Hartford, Connecticut. Gretchen brings over 20 years of Montessori experience to her role with the AMI/USA board of directors, currently serving as its president.

STEVE HUGHES, PHD, LP, ABPDN

Pediatric Neuropsychologist
www.pragueenglishpsych.cz

Steve Hughes is a board certified pediatric neuropsychologist and past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology. He has served the global Montessori community as the founding chair of the Association Montessori Internationale global research committee and a member of the American Montessori Society research committee. He is an advocate for activity-based, developmental approaches to education, and a frequent speaker and consultant to Montessori education organizations around the world. Dr. Hughes is based in Prague, Czech Republic, where he has a private practice serving children and adults through assessment and psychotherapy.
 
MARYELLEN KORDAS

AMS credential: Administrator
www.amshq.org

Mary Ellen Kordas’ career in Montessori education spans 40 years.  She served on the board of the American Montessori Society’s recently as president and is currently a member of the MPPI Council (Montessori Public Policy Initiative) where she partnered with AMI-USA.  In addition to that she provides consulting services to schools, boards, and staff (MEK Montessori Consultants), and was the founding president of the board of a Montessori Charter School in Vista, California.  She is on the management faculty at West Side Montessori Teacher Education in New York. Mary Ellen developed and led the first AMS-accredited school in California, which is one of the largest single-campus schools in the country, with a staff of 70 teachers and administrators serving 500 children from Toddler level through 8th grade. The school’s state-of-the-art facility includes a gym named in her honor, 24 classrooms, and a cultural center on 7 acres. In 2010, Mary Ellen was named Bay Area Woman of the Year for innovation in the financing of a not-for-profit organization. Through Mary Ellen’s expertise in financing capital projects the school raised over 2 million dollars in donations and funded the 50,000-sq. ft. campus using tax-free bonds. She is the recipient of the Douglas M. Gravel Award which acknowledges those whose generosity has contributed to the sustainability and growth of Montessori.
 
JACQUIE MAUGHAN

President, North American Montessori Teachers Association Board
www.montessori-namta.org

Jacquie Maughan received her AMI Primary Diploma in Palo Alto, CA. In 1980 she founded Woodland Montessori School, and in 1985 Pacific Crest Montessori School. After her retirement from Pacific Crest in 2013, Jacquie began Access Montessori. Jacquie brings her long history and commitment to the fundamental principles of Montessori education to her work. She is president of the Board of North American Montessori Teachers Association and is a participant in the Educateurs sans Frontieres initiative of the Association Montessori Internationale.

STEPHANIE MILLER

Former Executive Director, Trust for Learning

Stephanie Miller is the former Executive Director of Trust for Learning whose mission is to make ideal learning real for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status. She has worked in the field of strategic philanthropy for over twenty years, focusing on collaborative grantmaking in education and community development. Stephanie founded a national network of community literacy education organizations that served marginalized communities across the country. Prior to her work with Trust for Learning, Stephanie maintained a philanthropic advising practice, advising a wide range of private grantmakers

MOLLY O’SHAUGHNESSY

Executive Director and Director of Primary Training Montessori Center of Minnesota
www.montessoricentermn.org

Molly O’Shaughnessy is an accomplished AMI trainer as well as a consultant and lecturer. She has led the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota (MCM) for over 20 years of expansion, growing a teacher training center into a movement to bring high-quality Montessori education to hundreds of underserved children. In 2008 O’Shaughnessy opened MCM’s campus in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood in East St. Paul. The campus includes an early childhood center, a teacher training center, and a one-of-a-kind Montessori museum. Additionally, MCM partners with Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School, a separate charter serving children kindergarten through sixth grade. Through a pilot program called Montessori Partners Serving All Children (MPSAC), O’Shaughnessy helped launch ten other Montessori schools in under-resourced neighborhoods. Montessori Partners forms partnerships with local communities to increase access to high-fidelity Montessori early childhood (0-6 years), and to strengthen the bonds between home, school, and community in a culturally responsive way. A noted authority in the field of Montessori training, she has served on the board of the Association of Montessori Internationale in Amsterdam, was a long-time member of the AMI Trainers Group, Chairs the board of the MM75 fund which provides assistance for future AMI teacher trainers, and was a member of the Montessori Leaders Collaborative. She is in demand as a speaker nationally and internationally and has presented keynotes and workshops across the United States as well as Canada, Australia, Mexico, China, and Europe. She has consulted on several Montessori projects nationally and internationally. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Loyola University in Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Scholastica.  She serves as Community Faculty for Metropolitan State University.

JOYCE S. PICKERING, HUMD, MA, SLP/CCC, CALT, QI, AMS/EC

Executive Director, Emerita Shelton School and Evaluation Center
www.shelton.org

Joyce Pickering is an over fifty-year Montessorian, speech and hearing pathologist, and learning disabilities specialist. Currently, she is Executive Director Emerita of Shelton School & Evaluation Center in Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest private school for children with learning differences. Under her tenure as executive director (1990–2010), Shelton saw significant growth and development, including an expansion of the application of the Montessori philosophy and practice and, in 2009, the launching of Shelton Montessori Teacher Education Center. She is the 2013 Living Legacy Recipient for American Montessori Society, an active member of several AMS committees and was President of AMS Board of Directors (2013 – 2014).

*DR. TIMOTHY PURNELL, EDD

Executive Director, American Montessori Society
www.amshq.org

Dr. Timothy Purnell joined AMS as executive director in August 2017. Previously he served as superintendent for Somerville public school district in New Jersey. There, he and his team designed and launched a non-traditional high school with a focus on reaching academically at-risk students and students disenfranchised with the traditional high school educational experience. He was one of just 100 educators selected to attend President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative at the White House, was selected as the 2016 NASS National Superintendent of the Year, and honored as the 2015 Highest Rated Professor in the nation. He is enthusiastic about Montessori education, and is looking forward to pursuing Montessori training.

TIM SELDIN

President, Montessori Foundation Chair, International Montessori Council
www.montessori.org

Tim Seldin is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. His than forty years of experience in Montessori education includes twenty-two years as Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, his own alma mater. He has also served as the Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies and as Executive Director and Head of the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida. He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. He is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including Montessori For Every Family with Lorna McGrath, How to Raise An Amazing Child, and The Montessori Way with Dr. Paul Epstein.

…………………..

WE ARE DEEPLY GRATEFUL FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THESE ADVISORS. AS WE REMEMBER THEM, WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TOWARDS ALL CHILDREN HAVING ACCESS TO QUALITY MONTESSORI EDUCATION.
 
JACQUELINE COSSENTINO (1964 – 2019)

Co-founder and Former Executive Director of the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector
www.public-montessori.org

An ethnographer by training, since 2001 Jackie Cossentino had drawn from her direct experience as head of an independent Montessori school and principal of a large, urban public Montessori school to produce an internationally recognized body of scholarship on Montessori education. Her 26 years in education included roles as a middle and high school English teacher, an elementary school principal, a professional developer for schools, districts, and museums, and a professor of educational leadership at the University of Maryland. She was a Lecturer in Loyola Maryland’s Montessori Studies program and served on the boards of Montessori Northwest and the Montessori Charter Management Organization.

LUCY SWIFT (1961 – 2019)

Film Development & Distribution Consultant

Lucy was a “citizen of the world” having grown up in Japan, France and England. After college, she lived and worked across the United States before settling in Minnesota. Lucy enjoyed spending time as a community connector, leadership mentor and strategic planning partner.  She was Vice President of Minnesota productions and partnerships for Twin Cities PBS. In that capacity, she oversaw all broadcast and multi-media initiatives associated with local partnership and grant-based productions – telling high-impact stories across a wide range of social issues. She also participated in multiple statewide collective impact endeavors including Graduation Minnesota, focused on eliminating the graduation rate disparities gap and joined the board of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging.

Supporters

Thank you to our worldwide community of supporters who are changing the future by shining a light on Montessori Education.


CREATED WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM
Serena Simmons Connelly
 
 
The I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation is a family foundation with a mission to share the legacy of Ignatius Aloysius O’Shaughnessy for the common good, making grants that enrich communities and improve people’s lives. 

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
 

Leland Doan

Simmons Sisters Fund of the Dallas Foundation

Oswald Family Foundation


Bill Drake
Frank H. Levinson
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Montessori Center of Minnesota
 
 
Rauch Foundation
 
 
 
Trust for Learning logo
 

We are grateful for all our supporters around the world.

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