Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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Carole Wolfe Korngold and K.T. Korngold


Carole Wolfe Korngold, M.A.,
AMS Infant and Toddler Credential,
AMS Early Childhood Credential



Carole Wolfe Korngold was the Founder and long-time Executive Director of the Center for Montessori Education/NY, now known as CME|NY, and the Montessori Children’s Center, located at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, a model year-round Montessori childcare program.  She is acclaimed for bringing authentic Montessori education to independent, public, and charter schools, as well to childcare centers and Montessori teacher training.  Past President of the American Montessori Society, she participated in the White House Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning and Co-Chaired the Montessori International Congress in Rome, Italy.  Carole has been honored with the AMS Living Legacy Award for the year 2000 and the 2004 Arents Award from Syracuse University, the highest award alumni may receive. A valued, esteemed, and beloved leader of the Montessori community since 1965, Carole has touched hearts and minds for decades and continues to inspire new generations of Montessori teachers and parents.  Carole has an M.A. (Manhattanville College), an AMS Early Childhood credential (Albany), and an AMS Infant and Toddler Credential (CMTE/NY).



K.T. Korngold, M.A.,

 AMS Infant and Toddler Credential,

 AMS Administrator Credential


K.T. Korngold has long been part of the family business behind CMTE/NY and CME|NY. In 2011, she became CEO.  K.T. has overall strategic and operational responsibility for CME|NY. She has a ground-up, deep knowledge of the programs, procedures, and business operations of CME|NY and is dedicated to ensuring the stability and strategic growth of the organization.  With proven leadership skills, coaching talents, and relationship management capability, a strong background and demonstrable experience in marketing and communications, and an unwavering commitment to authentic, quality Montessori education, she engages the faculty, adult learners, alumni, partnering organizations, and Montessori community in the on-going development of meaningful, successful Montessori educational programs for both children and adults. She shares her knowledge of leadership skills with the Adult Learners in each of the CME|NY courses and presents workshops for Infant and Toddler Montessori Guides. As a child, K.T. was part of the model classroom of the first Montessori education program for Head Start teachers in the United States, a training that Carole initiated in Albany, NY in 1967.  Both of K.T.’s daughters have attended Montessori schools. She has a Master's degree from Columbia University, a B.A. from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and 12 Graduate Credits in Early Childhood Education from the College of New Rochelle. She has received an award from the Academy of American Poets. K.T. has an AMS Infant and Toddler Credential (CME|NY) and an AMS Administrator credential (CME|NY). She was the founder of the annual Pathways to a Peaceful School Conference, which attracts 125 Montessori teachers each year.

In November 2017 K.T. will be traveling to Vietnam to a present a 5-day workshop for 100 Montessori Toddler teachers at Sakura Montessori in Hanoi. She will also be presenting at the 2018 AMS Conference:   Second Generation Montessori School Leadership “School Directorship 2.0."


K.T. Korngold, Richard A. Ungerer, AMS Executive Director, and Carole Wolfe Korngold at the AMS National Conference, Dallas, TX, 2014.


Lynn Benkowski

1201152Lynn Benkowski has been involved in Montessori education since 2006. She has been a head toddler teacher at Wyoming Valley Montessori School in Kingston, PA for eight years. Prior to her employment at WVMS, Lynn worked in public schools as Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) with Children's Service Center of Wyoming Valley. Lynn earned a BFA from Arcadia University in 2002, studying Art Education. She holds an AMS Infant/Toddler credential, having completed her training at CMTE/NY in 2007. She is a presenter and Field Consultant for the CME||NY Infant and Toddler Course.



Gilda Brower

Gilda Brower is founder and Director of Montessori Children’s House of Auburn, NY. Gilda has presented Intro to Montessori for CMTE/NY and has been involved in education since 1978. She is a presenter at AMS seminars. She has a B.F.A. in education (Montclair State Teachers College) and an AMS Early Childhood credential (Michigan).


Sheila Coad-Bernard

bernardSheila Coad-Bernard has more than twenty years experience working in Montessori middle schools.  Her expertise was instrumental in creating the renowned middle school program at the Washington Montessori School in New Preston, CT. She has consulted with other Montessori public and independent schools in the northeast to plan and implement middle school programs.  Sheila currently serves as the Middle school Director at the Washington Montessori School and as Program Director for WMSTEP, a MACTE accredited and AMS affiliated teacher training program for teachers interested in working with adolescents.  She is a presenter for CME|NY’s Administrator Course.


Pat Coffey

PatCoffeyInterim Director and Early Childhood Coordinator

Pat Coffey has been in Montessori Education since 1985.  She has taught in the Early Childhood program, served as Program Director, Curriculum Coordinator and Upper Elementary Language Arts teacher at the Montessori School of Anderson in South Carolina.  She has been a faculty member of  CME|NY since 2002  working as a field consultant and in student services.  Pat holds a B.S. in Human Resources and Services (Anderson University), M.Ed., Curriculum Instruction and Assessment (Walden University), an Early Childhood credential (CMTE/NY) and is completing her Elementary II credential (CME|NY).


Marifrances Cooney

cooneyMarifrances Cooney has been involved in Montessori education since 1994 and has been a faculty member since 2002.  Currently she is an early childhood teacher and assistant primary coordinator at Hudson Country Montessori School in Danbury, CT. She was a founding member of Great Beginnings Montessori School in Fairfield, CT, where she was a primary teacher through 2009. Marifrances holds a B.A. in psychology and child studies (Charter Oak State College), a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori concentration (College of New Rochelle), and an AMS Early Childhood credential (CMTE/NY). She is the Early Childhood Practical Life presenter, as well as a field consultant for CME|NY.


Annie D'elia Daly

Annie D'elia Daly is Field Visitor for the CME|NY Early Childhood Course.  A pioneer in Montessori family day care, she has been actively involved in Montessori education since she received her Montessori Early Childhood training from AERCO in 1988.  She served as National Public Speaker and Trainer for Save the Children at their annual conferences from 1991-1993.  She serves in Community Outreach for Achilles International and has created MONTESSORI WORLDWIDE to bring Montessorians together this June 26, 2016 to walk and run to raise funds for Achilles Children in the Achilles International Signature Race the Hope and Possibility 4 mile race. Achilles Kids provide training, race opportunities, and an in-school program for children with disabilities at no cost to the student or to the school. The mission of Montessori Worldwide is to raise money for Achilles Kids and to nurture the need for collaboration between the Montessori community and the educational public system.   Presently there are approximately 10,000 children participating in Achilles Kids in the United States and 8,000 children in the five boroughs in New York City.


Deirdre Fennessy


Administrator Coordinator

Deirdre Fennessy started her Montessori journey when her daughter attended a Montessori 3-6 program in Hawaii. She continued to learn more and more about Montessori as a parent, as a trained 6-12 teacher at the Whitby School where she also served as Director of Admissions and Parent Relations.  She then worked as the Head of School at the Burke Children’s Center and Associate Director of CMTE/NY training program. Her current position is as the founding Head of Golden Oak Montessori Charter School which she has led for 6 years.  After years of being in Montessori private schools in one capacity or another, she is energized and gratified by the reality of Montessori education in the public realm available to all children. Montessori has come full circle from where Maria Montessori started. Deirdre has had experience in both private and public Montessori schools, in teaching and administration, and brings her joy in creating harmonious school communities to CME|NY.

Deirdre has an M.Ed from Heritage College, a BA in 20th Century Art and Literature from New College, an AMS Administrator’s Credential from CMTE/NY and an AMS Elementary I-II (6-12) credential from CMTE/NY.


Dr. Matilda Giampietro


Dr. Matilda Giampietro has been teaching music at the Washington Montessori School for 32 years.  She also teaches World Music in the music education department of Western Connecticut State University.  For 22 years she has given the teacher training program in music for the Center for Montessori Teacher Education (CMTENY). Matilda has presented many workshops on music and movement for Montessori schools throughout the country, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, for Montessori teacher training programs, Early Childhood conferences and Orff Schulwerk conferences including the National AOSA conference in 2007.  In 1996 she was the American music presenter at the International Montessori Conference in Rome, Italy.

She is a soprano performing medieval and renaissance music with The Wykeham Consort.  She directed and performed with The Everyman Guild for 10 years.  Matilda served on the board of the Connecticut Orff Schulwerk Chapter for 15 years and served on the board of the Connecticut Elementary General Music Conference for 2 years.

In 2009 Matilda earned her doctorate in Sacred Music from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana.  Her thesis is the presentation of three ceremonies, Winter Solstice Celebration, Earth Day and the Moving Up Ceremony developed at Washington Montessori School over the last 20 years.  These ceremonies include communal singing and dancing, storytelling, banners, bells, drumming and rituals which help build meaning, explore values and ground the whole community through the passage of time. Her thesis also includes her work as director of the Everyman Guild and 10 years of concert programs she researched, developed and presented which illustrate community created by adults making music together.

In 2012 Matilda was invited to join an international team of 5 musician-educators traveling to Village Health Works in Kigutu, Burundi.  They went to learn about and document Burundian music, to introduce Western music education methods of the United States and Europe and to assist VHW in building a center of musical instruction and performance.  Matilda was invited to Burundi to share her knowledge of Montessori music and movement education.  This trip took place in February 2013, and again in June 2013.   In June of 2013, Matilda joined Nina Stern, recorder soloist and founder of S’Cool Sounds in her work teaching music to students in the FAFU School and The Shining Hope for Girls in Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.  In July of 2013, Dr. Giampietro was the Montessori Music and Movement presenter in Guangzhou, China.

She is a sought after clinician and greatly enjoys spending the day teaching songs, singing games, dances and the traditional Montessori Music Materials.  Her work involves helping children and adults find, develop and enjoy their musical abilities through singing and dancing together, which builds and sustains the human community.


Maria Gravel

mariaMaria Gravel, Founder/Director of Seton Day Care Center in New York City from 1972-2008, is well known for her workshops in infant care. She was an on-site team member of the Montessori Council for Accreditation (now MACTE) from 1983-1994 and was a member of the AMS Review Committee from 1995-2001. Maria was a faculty member of CMTE/NY’s Infant and Toddler Program for over 10 years and continues being a Field Consultant for CME|NY.

Martha Haakmat

martha_13117_4230Martha Haakmat has taught and led in New York City independent schools for the past 30 years. Currently the Head of School at the Brooklyn Heights Montessori

School, Martha is a former lower, middle and upper school educator, Diversity Director and Middle School Head. Martha has served as an independent school trustee and has been a member of various committees for the National Association of Independent Schools

(NAIS) and the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). She was also the founder and director of Educators for Growth and Empowerment (EDGE), a diversity consulting team that presented in schools and at conferences nationwide. Martha currently

serves on the Board of Trustees for NYSAIS, the NYC Guild, and Early Steps. She is also a faculty member for the NAIS Institute for New Heads. Martha has three daughters, now in college and high school, who were educated in the NYC independent school system.

She is a presenter for CME|NY’s Administrator Course.


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