The Colorado Montessori Association is a membership organization that serves and unites the community of Montessori educators and supporters in our state. CMA prepares a respectful and collaborative environment for advocacy, networking, and professional development, which incubates our individual and collective potential to transform education in Colorado.
Call for Presenters - Montessori In The Mountains: Estes Park Retreat
Save September 25-27, 2015 for the second "Montessori in the Mountains" Conference Retreat at the YMCA Conference Center in Estes Park. This event is sponsored by Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and proposals from presenters are currently invited. (Deadline for proposals is 9/30/14). Please e-mail Dot Thompson to request a Proposal Form or if you have any questions. Retreat registration will start in January 2015.
Directors' Network Meetings
The Director's Network Meetings will resume in September.  More details to follow.
Come and join other Montessori Heads of School as we network, discuss relevant issues and support one another in leading our schools.  Don't miss it!
What:          Assembly of Educateurs Sans Frontieres
When:         July 6-20 2014
Where:       Inpawa Hotel Ban Phai, Khon Kaen, Thailand
For more information, see full flier here

What:          Michael Gurian speaking on the minds of boys and girls
When:         Saturday, September 6th, 2014, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where:       Naropa University * Nalanda Campus * 6287 Arapahoe Avenue

For more information, see full flier here
The Genius and the Beauty of Montessori
by Rachel Averch

Less than a month ago, at Family Star Montessori, I was deeply engaged listening to Dr. Steven Hughes speak to the science that is now known and the research that has been done about brain development. As his presentation beautifully married the science and the research with the work done by Maria Montessori so many years ago, I once again marveled at the genius of the Montessori method and gave a brief thank you to the universe for the gift of being a part of bringing the Montessori method to so many children, while simultaneously wondering quietly why everyone isn't doing this beautiful thing for all children everywhere.
Then, last week, I had the privilege of watching another group of our own graduates go through their commencement ceremonies. Once again, as I am every year, I was humbled by the rightness and the importance of the work that we do.

I listened with joy and pride as they masterfully played instruments for their proud parents, not because they had to perform, but because they had talked their music teacher into letting them perform at graduation, and had chosen the songs themselves (including a few that the teacher had been concerned that they wouldn't be able to pull off in time).

I witnessed our oldest children speak to the audience about their experience in Montessori with a poise beyond that embodied by most adults, knowing that their poise came directly from their inherent self-confidence, gained after years of both succeeding and failing safely with ongoing support from their entire community.  Hearing them  talk about how much they had learned from their teachers, but even more so from their friends, and hearing all of the little things that had stood out most in their memories over the years, I was reminded that every precious moment we have with our students matters.

Finally, as I watched them afterwards as they unabashedly gave one another, the parents of their friends, and the entire staff hugs and talked about all of the things that they loved about Montessori, my heart sung, and I found myself once again wondering quietly why everyone isn't doing this beautiful thing for all children.
So, congratulations to all of you that are involved in Montessori, whether teachers, administrators, support staff or parents. Congratulations on the important growth that you have both witnessed and personally experienced. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished, and on the meaningful work that has been made possible in our classrooms and in our schools. Congratulations, and hats off to you all for working hard each day to make the Montessori vision a reality for the children who grace our lives!

Submitted by Rachel Averch,
Montessori Children's House of Denver


The Beautiful Powers of Each Child

By Illyce Kaarto

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” - Dr. Montessori  
“A man is not what he is because of the teachers he has had...but because of what he has done.” - Dr. Montessori
“She happily researched Peru for a month and presented her beautiful work to us...what about the rest of the continents?"
“He is unstoppable in writing and illustrating stories about soccer all day...what about her math?”
“They have been flying about the room with focused yet joyful abandon in their study of Imaginary Island...will we do well on the test?”

We might wonder about some of these questions. And, as we ponder, it begs the deeper question, the quintessential Montessori question we might all ask ourselves:  Is there some sort of conundrum we feel between following the beauty of the child’s innate interests and following the expectations of the outer world? 

Especially in this day and age, do we, even given our deep and unwavering faith in Montessori, still have times when we question this?  Do we think our children ‘should’ be doing something other than their inherent interests?  And, are we aware of it?  Does it cause us consternation?  More importantly, what does it cause to happen for our children?

We might wonder, but when we read her writings, it is abundantly clear what Dr. Montessori believed in.  Follow the child.  They know what they need.  The child will work to fill his needs.  But still, we might wonder.

Once, an insightful and wise Montessori parent of mine thoughtfully wished to me, “We would love for you to help her to use her powers for good…”

When I think about it, I am awestruck by my years of being fortunate enough to see the powers of the children - the secret powers that Dr. Montessori believed they possessed.  Don’t you love reminiscing about them?  We joyfully remember the boy who held a deep fascination with nuclear power, and who lovingly and painstakingly designed his own power plants to save the world.  We think lovingly about the girl who passionately dedicated two entire years to writing and illustrating her own series of stupendous novels.  Etched in our memories forever is the girl who was so enamored of our classroom pets that she inspired us all to create and send illustrated letters to our president in hopes of saving the entire Universe.  Don’t we all marvel at their powers?

Will that boy end up developing new sources of clean energy for our health?  Will the girl end up being the next J.K. Rowling and bringing joy to multitudes of other children?  Will that classroom end up saving the entire Universe?

Will we ever know what might happen, how they might ‘use their powers for good,’ if we don’t follow them?  What might happen if we don’t take the time to observe and honor those powers, enable the children to meet their own needs, and have faith in them to freely choose the work they are passionate about?   Can you envision, right now, the special and beautiful powers of each child you so know so well?  

As Dr. Montessori believed, they truly are a hope and a promise...if we truly follow them. 

Article Submitted by: Illyce Kaarto
Colorado Education Update

The 2014 legislative session is over and it was a busy year for education! Reform of the CCCAP program was a big item up for discussion this session and the result was three new bills, signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper, that help to alleviate many of the challenges faced by schools and families when it comes to utilizing the CCCAP program. Highlights of these reforms include:
  • Addressing the “cliff effect” by ensuring that when a parent gets a raise at work, they don’t automatically get dropped from CCCAP but instead have the opportunity to gradually step away from the program as their income increases.
  • Ensuring that the child’s eligibility period is aligned with their authorization so that children are not pulled from school when they are still eligible for the program.
  • Increasing provider reimbursement rates to the 75th percentile for the average ECE tuition for their region or county.
  • Increasing state oversight of the program while still empowering counties with measures of local control.
Another product of the legislative session was an exploration of the current standardized testing climate in Colorado. While several bills were ran attempting to reform standardized testing, none of them passed. However, one bill was passed that establishes a 15 person committee to investigate standardized testing from multiple stakeholder viewpoints and report back to the legislature at the start of the 2015 session in January.
CMA has convened a work group to investigate how we can best support Colorado’s Montessori schools as we move through the ever-changing educational landscape. We held a meeting at MECR in early June and plan to continue meeting throughout the summer. If you are an administrator or teacher with an interest in participating in this work group, please let us know so that we can include you! Special thanks to Katie Torres from St. Vrain Community Montessori School for helping our Public Policy Chair, RB Fast, facilitate this committee.

Executive Directors
Family Star
Denver, CO
Start Date: June 2014
Position Description

The Executive Director’s key responsibility is to work collaboratively with the Board of Directors in leading the financial sustainability and continued development of Family Star Montessori from its current stage to a more mature organization capable of delivering on its long term vision. 
 Specifically, s/he ensures that Family Star’s fiscal, operational, fundraising, marketing and programmatic strategies are effectively implemented across all segments of the organization. 
 The Executive Director, in cooperation with the President of the Board, enables the Board and the Policy Council to fulfill their governance functions. S/he ensures that program delivery meets the highest standards, continues to align with Montessori principles, and reflects a premier early childhood education program, worthy of national recognition and widespread replication. The Executive Director ensures that Family Star continues to provide high quality services that balance the best principles and traditions of A.M.I. Montessori, Early Head Start, Head Start, and other accrediting agencies including Qualistar and NAEYC.

Position Requirements

  • Commitment to the Family Star mission with a demonstrated passion for educating children of varying socioeconomic backgrounds, strengthening families, and building communities using A.M.I. Montessori principles. Share our belief that education is a critical component to developing increased self-sufficiency and opportunities for families.
  • 5 or more years of demonstrated leadership success in administration, supervision and nonprofit management for similar sized organization (75 staff, $4M budget, and growing).
Qualified candidates interested in this opportunity are invited to submit their resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to our recruitment consultant Carolyn McCormick of Peak HR Consulting, LLC at All applications are to be submitted electronically. 
To learn more about the innovative approaches in place at Family Star and more about this position, please visit our website at .

Lead Teachers
Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO
Start Date: August 2014
Position Description

MCHD is currently accepting and reviewing applications for Montessori Certified Lead Teachers at the Toddler and Primary levels in preparation for the addition of 2 classrooms in the 2014-2015 School Year.  Apply now for an opportunity to work within the MCHD community!

Position Requirements
Montessori Certification through a MACTE accredited teacher training program
Bachelor's Degree, Director's Qualifications, Teacher's Licensure and/or 3 or more years' experience a plus

For more information, click here for the Toddler Lead Teacher Position, and here for the Primary Lead Teacher Position

Please email or fax completed application and resume to Catrina Amaya, HR Assistant: 
Email:  Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 132

DCS Montessori
Castle Pines, CO

Start Date:  August 11, 2014

Position Description
DCS Montessori is a public, charter school located in Castle Pines, Colorado, just 30 minutes south of Denver and 1½ hours away from year-round Rocky Mountain recreation.  Our mission is to provide our students with an opportunity to acquire an education based on an authentic and accredited curriculum founded on the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori.  Since our founding, we are proud to have fulfilled this mission as we have grown our pre-K through 8th grade school community to a student body of roughly 540 students.  We have created a strong foundation, both educational and financial, through our staff, our Board of Directors, our parents, and especially our children.  We are now looking for an experienced Montessori Certified Upper Elementary Teacher to join our staff. We offer health, life and dental insurance as part of our benefits package.

Position Requirements
The ideal candidate’s background will include: Montessori Certification (AMI, AMS or NAMTA); Experience teaching at the Upper Elementary, and must be Highly Qualified per the No Child Left Behind Act. This candidate must be able to demonstrate excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.

Please visit to learn more about our school. Visit to download our Employment Application form (which is required).   You may also stop by our school and pick up an Employment Application.

Start Date: Summer and August 2014
Position Description
Part or Full-Time, Group Leader-qualified Primary Teacher wanted for Primary Classroom of 14 to 20 students. We are looking for both our Summer School (8 weeks) and/or for our School Year that begins August 18, 2014. Montessori experience is strongly preferred. Child's tuition will be gratis for the right candidate. Our School is not a daycare and operates from 8:45 to 3:30 p.m.

Montessori School of Castle Rock is a private school and the pay is hourly and competitive, with no benefits available.

For more information and to submit a resume, please email Cyndy Oberdier  or call (303) 688-9553.

If you have a position that you would like to see posted in the CMA newsletter, please contact us with your position information at: 

Cost:  $35.00 per month for Member Schools, $75.00 per month for Non-Member Schools. 

Position posting deadline is the 3rd Friday of each month for the coming month's newsletter.

To become a CMA member school, click here.
Get Involved with CMA... 
Articles Needed - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Are you a published author? Would you like to be? Submit your original work to CMA by the 3rd Friday of each month with the possibility of having your article selected for one of the future newsletters. Submit articles for consideration to CMA at with a copy of your article and some details about yourself. (CMA reserves the right to edit all material prior to publication). 
Be a member!
  • If you aren't already, sign up to become a member of the Colorado Montessori Association, by clicking here.  
  • If you are already a member, don't forget to renew your membership now!
Colorado Montessorians unite! Support Montessori advocacy in Colorado while also enjoying the benefits of networking, community forums and discounts on events, including great speakers like David Kahn, Jackie Cossentino, Tim Seldin and Phil Gang!  
If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now. 

Eat a Whole Plant
from: Pinterest and
MPM Ideas
 Eat a whole plant activity.
Seven Layer Density Column
From Pinterest and Steve Spangler Science
CMA Board of Directors
Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President
Rachel Averch - Secretary

Katy Myers - Treasurer
Dot Thompson
Sheila Wolfe
Lyn Mead
Karen Farquharson
Jim Barrett
Martha Teien

Contact us by e*mail

Member Benefits:

  • Two program administrators are enrolled at no extra charge.
  • Lead teachers receive a $10 discount on membership.
  • Discounts on admission to CMA sponsored professional development events.
  • Featured on CMA website with a link to the school’s website.
  • $40 discount on job advertisements in the CMA newsletter.
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Would you like to have an article you have written published, or do you have any great teacher tips, photos or noteworthy events that you would like to share in the CMA Newsletter?  If so, please e*mail CMA! The deadline for newsletter submitting is the 3rd Friday of each month.
Edited by: Rose Henson