NORMI G. SON
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, INSTRUCTOR, FIELD SUPERVISOR
Normi Son directs the Montessori teacher training programs. Mrs. Son received her MIA Early Childhood Certificate in 2002 after which she took the MIA 0-3 and 6-9 course and became certified in 2004 and 2005 respectively. She holds a B.A. from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (formerly Philippine College of Commerce) in 1986, a teaching certificate from the Philippine Normal University in 1988 and an M.A. in Education from the University of the Philippines in 1994. She is also the Program Director of Montessori Teacher Preparation of the Philippines and Montessori Institute of Vietnam. As a former program director and/or current faculty member of teacher education programs in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Hanoi, and the Philippines, she had at least 40 adult learners to mentor each year. She has trained more than 1,000 adult learners from 18 countries and mentored over 500 candidates for the last 15 years. She worked at SeedsChild School of Quezon City (now Joyful Scholars Montessori School) and City Montessori Plus Schools as Montessori guide. Normi Son is also the co-founder and Managing Director of Kopino Children Association, Inc., a charity organization that caters to disadvantaged Filipino children and youth since 2005.
3-6 INSTRUCTOR, FIELD SUPERVISOR
Michelle Ulgasan received her MIA Montessori Teaching Certificate in 2012. Ms. Ulgasan has completed her BA in Psychology, has taken units in Master in Montessori Education and Special Education, and earned her Certificate for Continuous Professional Education. She is the co-founder and owner of Menti Assorbenti Montessori School (toddler class through preschool) in Quezon City, where she has been teaching as head directress for children ages 2 ½ to 6 for six years and serving as Supervising Teacher for student teachers since 2013. She has trained and consulted with four preschools in the Philippines and one in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011. She also taught children ages 18 months to 8 years using the Individualized Instruction, Thematic, and Project Approach from 2000 to 2008 at La Mia Scuola and Cambridge Child Development Center where she also served as Operations Head and Corporate Trainer. As Corporate Trainer, she conducted trainings in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Ms. Ulgasan actively serves in various capacity as a volunteer for charity and non-profit endeavours.
3-6 INSTRUCTOR, FIELD SUPERVISOR
Brenda Petta received the AMS Montessori Early Childhood credential from Saint Catherine University in 1985. She has also completed the Montessori Applied to Children at Risk (MACAR) Levels I and II Trainings from The Shelton School in 2014 and 2016. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville in 1973 and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls in 1991. Prior to completing Montessori teacher training, Ms. Petta worked both as a social worker for the State of Wisconsin and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco where she started a school for young children and taught for two years. She has accumulated nearly 20 years of teaching experience as a Children’s House teacher at J.J. Hill Montessori School and Crossroads Elementary School in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has been training teachers as an early childhood adjunct lecturer, Montessori early childhood coordinator and field supervisor, and Montessori early childhood presenter and consultant at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Montessori Teacher Education Program (UWRF) since 2012 and helped develop hybrid courses including practical life, sensorial, math, cultural studies, movement, music and the arts, and Working with Children Who Learn Differently. She has also independently conducted various teaching and training projects in Yiwu, Beijing and Shanghai, China, Jordan, Greece, and Kenya. Ms. Petta’s interests include writing stories, composing songs, authoring books, designing educational materials, interior decorating, traveling, camping, and hiking.
Mary is a long-time Canadian A.M.I. primary directress, consultant and the author of “At Home in the Montessori Children’s House” – volumes 1 & 2. In 1984, she earned her A.M.I. primary diploma at the Toronto Montessori Institute under the direction of Renilde Montessori, Audrey Sillick and Judy Buckman. Since that time, Mary has been a head directress in various primary classrooms throughout south-western Ontario.
In addition to her classroom work with students, Mary presents workshops to teachers and parents regularly and offers consulting services to Canadian Montessori schools. Between 2006-2013, she acted as the program director for the Canadian Association of Montessori Teachers. In this role, Mary worked to provide excellent professional development opportunities for Canadian Montessori educators. Highlights in Mary’s long career include attendance at the A.M.I. international congresses in Portland (2013) and Prague (2017) and time spent establishing a new Montessori primary class in Chengdu, China. Mary is excited to be undertaking new responsibilities as a teacher trainer in the Philippines.
Mary is a passionate advocate for Montessori education and is committed to supporting Montessori educators, parents and organizations all around the world in their transformative work with children and families.
Janet Margaret Duffy is an experienced Montessori teacher and trainer. Her experience in the field have provided unique insights into the strengths of the Montessori language methods. She has kept abreast of developments in the field of human potential obtaining honours degrees in Population Studies and Psychology. Janet has Montessori experience in a number of countries, including U.S.A., South Korea, Vietnam and South Africa. She specializes in teaching English in second language countries. She has worked with Normi Son, Program Director of teacher education programs in the Philippines, Vietnam, and China to bring about some important changes in the Montessori Language curriculum. Currently living in South Africa, Janet is working on establishing a Montessori school in one of the more underprivileged areas. She consults on the benefits of the Montessori method, encouraging the use of the Montessori materials, philosophy and methods in these underprivileged areas. Janet is also excited to help Montessori second language speaking teachers feel more comfortable using the Montessori language materials and methods.
BIRTH TO THREE COURSE DIRECTOR, INSTRUCTOR, FIELD SUPERVISOR
Christine Munn holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible/Christian Education from Manhattan Christian College. She has over 20 hours of successful coursework in Elementary Education from Kansas State University. Her Montessori education includes a Birth to Three Credential from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina, an American Montessori Society approved center, and a 3-6 credential from Montessori Plus Teacher Preparation, a Montessori Institute of America approved center. In 1994 she completed her level one RIE training with RIE’s founder, Magda Gerber in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Mrs. Munn has been working in Montessori education for 41 years in the classroom, as an administrator, and teacher education instructor. She has founded four (4) different Montessori schools and has served as the administrator in two (2) others in four (4) different states. She currently serves as the Head of School for the Christian Montessori in Gainesville, GA. She has served on the Board of the Montessori Institute of America more than 12 years and has served as President for three (3) terms. It is her passion to assist adult learners to fully embrace the unique needs of children under three (3) years of age and to create beautiful environments in which they can thrive. She has served as in international teacher instructor for seven (7) years.
SKYE NICHOLE DODSON
BIRTH TO THREE INSTRUCTOR, FIELD SUPERVISOR
Skye Dodson holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Guilford College, and an M.Ed in Education from Ashford University. She is also trained in mediation/ conflict resolution. Skye is Montessori credentialed in Birth to 3 and has completed the RIE 1 training. She has worked with infants and toddlers for 15 years and is the mother of 3 daughters. She currently works with toddlers 18 months to over 3 years. Skye trains birth to 3 Montessori teachers at Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina. She also owns a consulting business serving families and schools. She is passionate about Montessori education and enjoys working with both teachers and families. She is a faculty member of MIA training centers in Vietnam, China, and the Philippines.
SAYDA SKINNER CANO
BIRTH TO THREE LECTURER
Sayda received her degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. She worked as a classroom assistant for several years before receiving her AMI certification in Assistant to Infancy from The Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado. She has been a Lead Infant Toddler teacher at Mastro Montessori and a Parent Educator for many years.
Shine is a graduate of Psychology and Human Resources from Dordt University. Before she committed to work as a Montessori teacher and Montessori training center Administrator, she served in the HR Department of both computer and electronics industries as well as a manager of a University-run call center in the U.S. She moved back from the U.S. to the Philippines after a big decision to shift her career. She received her MIA/MACTE 3-6 Certificate and is trained for the 0-3 and 6-9 level. She served as a volunteer Montessori teacher for Joyful Scholars Montessori school before spearheading her own Montessori school that serves children ages 18 months to 6 years. Aside from handling and managing all administrative work for the MTP of Philippines training center, she also conducts Keynote workshops for parents, teachers, and administrators. Shine continues to volunteer for several non-profit organizations in her spare time.