Chicago Orientation Staff

David Kahn has been executive director of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association for more than forty years. Kahn was founding program director of the Hershey Montessori School’s Adolescent Community in Huntsburg, Ohio and is founding executive director emeritus of the Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio. He is now working on the leadership committee for an adolescent study initiative under the auspices of Great Work Incorporated (CO), AMI, and NAMTA.


Jenny Hoglund is an AMI elementary (6-12) trainer. Jenny cofounded the Montessoriskolan Lara for livet in Sweden in 1995 and has taught elementary and adolescent students for over 23 years as well as serving as head of school since 2006. She holds AMI primary and elementary diplomas. She has also lectured at the Bergamo Centre in Italy since 2006.


Guadalupe Borbolla (Mexico/Spain) has all three AMI diplomas: 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 and is an AMI trainer at the 3-6 level. In addition, she has graduated in the Adolescent Orientation Studies offered by NAMTA/AMI. She operates two schools in Mexico including a Farm-School project and a high school. She directs courses in Mexico and Spain. With an MEd from Loyola University and degrees in Political Science and Special Education, Guadalupe is well equipped to take a broad view of all the developments in which AMI is presently engaging.


Paula Lillard Preschlack is the head of school at Forest Bluff School in Lake Bluff, IL. She has AMI diplomas at the assistants to infancy, primary, and elementary levels and an M.Ed from Loyola Maryland. She taught at the primary level for 4 years and lower elementary for 8 years. She has given the Montessori From the Start lectures to parents of children under age three continuously for 15 years and has been giving roughly 20 original talks a year to parents of children ages zero to fourteen on the Montessori approach.


Eder Cuevas is currently administrative director at Montessori de Chihuahua, Mexico and is teaching math in the adolescent program. He holds AMI training from Bergamo and the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Ohio. He has master’s degrees in education and in the science of sport psychology. Eder has 15 years of experience working in Montessori and has worked at two NAMTA/AMI Orientations in Mexico and Ohio.


Ana Maria Martinez is currently the academic director at Montessori de Chihuahua School in Mexico with almost 40 years of experience in Montessori teaching for the elementary and adolescent levels. She received her AMI elementary diploma in Bergamo, Italy and attended the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in both Ohio and Sweden. She holds a BA in communication from the University of El Paso and holds a certificate in positive psychology.


Colin Palombi is the founding director of the adolescent program at Chicago Montessori. He holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and completed his Assistants to Infancy training at the Montessori Institute (CO) in 2007. In 2008 Colin received his M.Ed in Montessori education from Loyola University (MD) and attended the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Ohio the following year. He has been teaching at the adolescent level for 14 years. 


Robb Wirts is the adolescent program director and Chesapeake Montessori School (MD) and was previously the junior high program director and teacher at Marin Montessori School. Robb received his M.Ed and certification in Montessori training at the elementary level from Loyola University (MD) and his BA in history and philosophy from Salisbury University (MD). Robb received his certification from the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies, and from 2005 to 2007 he served as a residential host and teacher for this annual event.


John McNamara is Head of School and director of the middle school at Ruffing Montessori School West, Rocky River, Ohio. He received his B.A. from the University of Windsor, Ontario, his master’s in educational administration from the University of Toronto, Ontario, and the AMI Elementary diploma from Bergamo, Italy. Mr. McNamara founded the Montessori adolescent program at Ruffing.


Elisabeth Miles

Before coming to Forest Bluff School, I worked with children in a number of different settings including a year of teaching English language and culture at a high school in France.  What I love about teaching in a quality traditional Montessori school such as Forest Bluff is that learning in these classrooms is an exciting experience for children.  All children love to learn new things, and here, their opportunities to do so in every field of knowledge are boundless.  I particularly enjoy teaching Montessori adolescents in the Secondary Level because their minds are so similar to college students.  They are confident and unafraid to delve into difficult topics.  It is stimulating to collaborate with them, to learn from their different perspectives, and to follow the routes that I would not have thought to take.  These young adolescents are so eager and open; you cannot help being enthusiastic along with them.


Michael Waski is a math teacher at the Montessori High School at University Circle(Cleveland). He holds the AMI elementary diploma from Bergamo, a BS from Kent State University (OH), and an MA in educational administration from California State University,

San Bernardino. Michael has been teaching for 21 years, 17 of which have been at the adolescent level. In addition, Mike is a member of the visiting faculty on the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies program as well as a frequent NAMTA presenter. Mike is also the author of Montessori Algebra for the Adolescent, the holy grail of advanced Montessori math for the adolescent.


Baiba Krumins Grazzini

AMI trainer, lecturer and examiner, Baiba Krumins Grazzini is director of elementary training at the Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani (Bergamo, Italy), an AMI Training Centre which was founded by Mario Montessori in 1961. She has been involved with Bergamo’s AMI Elementary training course since 1975, became an AMI elementary trainer in 1986, and a director of training in 1992. Baiba Krumins Grazzini trained in London with Hilla Patell and Muriel Dwyer, in Bergamo with Eleonora Honegger Caprotti and Camillo Grazzini and, as part of her Training of Trainers Programme, in Washington with Margaret Stephenson and Fahmida Malik. In addition to her work in Bergamo, she has lectured in Spain, Ireland, India and in Japan, where she gave the first elementary training course. She is  a seminar leader of the Elementary Training of Trainers Programme, and  served on the AMI Pedagogical Committee (now the Scientific Pedagogy Group) from 2004 until 2013.