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The Story of Florida Montessori Partnerships

History of FMP

During the pandemic it was evident that teachers needed to collaborate and support each other. Many Montessorians reach out to me for advice and ideas, to share what we were doing, and how we were reaching the students and parents and supporting our teachers. I saw firsthand how difficult it was to get county support for our school, while at the same time schools in other states were progressing in the Montessori Public Policy Initiative.


In my personal educational journey, I acquired state certifications such as ESE, GIfted, and Clinical Education. I also reached out to St. Leo University and USF for student teachers to be allowed to intern at our school and to advocate for the opportunity to expose more new educators to the Montessori method.


This is how in 2021, with the support of my school principal, I applied to be selected for the Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ELF) Cohort 5 of the American Montessori Society. Following my acceptance (as one of only twenty) to this program, I decided to develop my capstone project: a state organization that will fulfill our needs as Montessorians in the public and private sectors and advocates for Montessori education. During that time, I reconnected with Sheila Linville, with whom I received my first Montessori credentials. While collaborating at the first ELF conference meeting, we realized that we had the same goals for our state and were concurrently working toward this at different stages of our journey. With Sheila’s and Michael Picone’s (our school principal) support, we started to work! 


After many interviews and connecting to other important Montessori leaders of our state, I was able to develop the name and plan of action for this partnership. This capstone project will be presented at the AMS Conference in Boston in March 2023. 


This is how the Florida Montessori Partnership (FMP) was born. 


-Lorna Cohen

Image by Paige Cody
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