Association of 


Executive Director

Denise Monnier

September 4,2017

Greetings Fellow Montessorians:

I am thrilled to be beginning another year with AIMS as your executive director. This past year has been a time of learning and change with our new conference venue and with all of the advocacy projects AIMS is involved with as well.

Our AIMS Board of Directors has several new members this year, elected through their determination to bring a formal community wide nominations process to our bylaws. The state of Illinois is fortunate to have such cohesive, enthusiastic community leadership in Montessori. Among other initiatives this year, the board has implemented a new postcard system to alert members that registration is open, and a process for recruiting new members from the entire state is in the works. 

I am continuing my role on the now expanded DCFS License Advisory Council. The council is a great source of information and connections for the AIMS community. One of the important things to be aware of in the state right now is that all schools that accept CCAP funds must have all staff working on CCAP classrooms complete federally mandated health and safety training by September 30th. Here is a link to more details.

While this training is most easily accessed online, I am also attaching a list of trainings and locations for in-person options. CCRR Training Coordinator Directory SDAs 1 - 6.xlsx - CCRR Training Coordinators.pdf

AIMS has been invited to schedule Montessori information sessions for DCFS licensing representatives throughout the state. This was an idea that was originally proposed about 18 months ago, and I am grateful for them continuing to support this endeavor. 

I am continuing my drive to increase the recognition level of the Montessori credential in Illinois. The state is transitioning to a new competency based recognition process for all ECE credentials, which poses both opportunities and challenges for this work. My conversations with INCCRRA and DCFS on this matter are ongoing.

Looking forward to this school year, I am grateful to continue working with Cheryl LaCost as AIMS president. Cheryl is an excellent coach and collaborator, and our different backgrounds definitely compliment each other as we work in this partnership.

This year's annual conference will be hosted by Benedictine University. I will be focusing on smoothing the few rough spots that we experienced last year. We appreciate those speaking proposals that were received last summer and are re-opening the proposal system from September 1st to the 15.  Please pass the word on and encourage your staff and colleagues to submit a proposal. Our community offers such a richness of knowledge and experience that is so valuable to share. I am  pleased to announce our keynote speakers for the 2018 AIMS Conference, Montessori: Celebrating Diversity.  Tammy Pawloski, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Director, Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University will speak on Saturday, and on Friday we will welcome Habeeb Quadri, Elementary School Principal, Harvard Professor. and In addition to his teaching and administrative experience in public and private schools, Habeeb has delivered hundreds of lectures throughout the United States, Canada and abroad on Islam, society, and social problems confronting Muslim youth and the community at large. On Friday we will also welcome Mary Ellen Kordas, AMS President and Dr. Timothy Purnell, AMS Executive Director.

Membership registration is now open. There will be a late fee for schools registering for membership after October 15, 2017. We continue to refine  our online processes  for membership renewals and conference registrations. 

I wish you all a smooth and positive beginning to the school year. 

Welcome to another year of growth for Montessori in Illinois!

Denise Monnier

AIMS Executive Director

@ Association of Illinois Montessori Schools