MSM Board of Directors 2023-2024

MSM Mission

The mission of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts is to promote knowledge and understanding of the Montessori methods of education in Massachusetts and to provide a framework for communication and cooperation among Montessori schools within Massachusetts and other New England states, and between these school and other private and public schools, government agencies and organizations concerned with education.

Interested in becoming involved?

MSM is always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to populate our committees and to become more involved with our board. If you are interested please contact Renee Duchainey-Farkes at

Our Board 2023-2024

The MSM Board works on behalf of all its members, including schools outside of Massachusetts. Current projects and activities that the Board and its committees are working on:

Heads of School Cafe
Annual Conference
Long-Range Plan
Advocacy for Massachusetts schools

Todd Covert, President
The Montessori School of the Berkshires
Deborah J. Jernegan, Vice President
Vineyard Montessori School
Beth Black, Secretary
Wellan Montessori School
Rosine Hekmat Afshar, Treasurer
Adams Montessori School
Christina Gasbarro, Program Coordinator
Woodside Montessori Academy
Jay Scheurle
Oak Meadow School
Renee Duchainey-Farkes
Kari Headington
Hollis Montessori School
Jin Huang
eBridge Montessori School
Martha Torrence
Summit Montessori School
Katherine Bowen
Quest Montessori School
Maria-Veronica Barnes
Lexington Montessori School
Patty Horn
Montessori Children's House of Nantucket
Emily Miller
Hnds On Montessori School
Rupali Sharma
T.E.C. Schools

MSM Articles of Organization

MSM is growing and evolving, and with that comes more responsibility to our members - you.

The Board of Directors works on your behalf in lots of ways, including advocating for Montessori schools, providing quality professional development for teachers and administrators, and keeping you up-to-date with useful resources for your schools.

Some of our recent work behind the scenes was to apply to be an official non-profit - a 501(c)(3) organization. To complete the application to the IRS for this status, we needed to update our Articles of Organization to be current with our practice.

On Wednesday, January 13, we will include in our Town Hall meeting for members an opportunity for you to vote on the Articles as amended. You can do this “live” at the meeting or by proxy before the meeting. Click the links to review the Articles and Continuation of Articles. Please participate as representatives of your school - state law requires a majority vote for passage. You will get an official notice of the meeting together with the proxy voting form in the next week.

Thank you for being part of this organization and for supporting the work of Montessori schools and teachers.

Best wishes for the New Year,
Martha Torrence
President of the MSM Board of Directors
Head of Summit Montessori School

Aline Gery
Member of the MSM Board of Directors
Head of Lexington Montessori School

MSM Committee Charters

The work that MSM does on behalf of members is wide ranging because of that we break work into small committees. Committees are a practical way to structure and manage the board's work. Smaller groups can be more focused and efficient with certain tasks than the full board. A committee is created to provide counseling and advice for the board or to handle a task on the board's agenda.

If you are interested in learning more about or joining an MSM Committee, please contact the chair listed after the committee description.

See committee descriptions

The Finance Committee oversees the yearly operating budget for MSM. It recommends the annual budget to the Board for approval. In concert with the Board of Directors, it sets annual fees, conference fees, etc. for Board approval. The Finance Committee monitors the budget and makes monthly reports to the Board about MSM’s financial status. The Treasurer and the Finance Committee are specifically charged to ensure the sound financial condition of MSM and to keep the Board up to date on all aspects of finances. The Finance Committee develops and recommends policies for full Board approval that delineate how the organization will spend operating income.

Committee Members:
Rosine Afshar, Chair
Beth Black
Laurel Zolfonoon

The purpose of the Membership Committee is to serve as MSM’s primary method for securing new members, retaining existing members, and tracking memberships. The Committee works to identify and establish relationships with new schools and Heads of Schools and to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with member schools, and other Montessori educational organizations and institutions. As new schools seek MSM membership, the Committee presents the school to the Board for a vote. Along with the Annual Conference, membership fees constitute a major revenue stream for MSM.

Committee Members:
Kari Headington, Chair
Beth Black
Christina Gasbarro

The Scholarship Committee awards scholarship grants to a small number of rising Montessori teacher trainees who have been accepted at MACTE accredited training programs. Usually two scholarships are awarded, but the Board reviews this annually. The Committee’s mission is to promote and support the addition of a new generation of inspired and inspiring teachers to the Montessori community.

The Committee recommends policies for Board approval concerning the eligibility and administration of scholarships. The Board determines the number and amount of scholarships granted depending upon the total budget amount allocated to teacher scholarships that year. The Board also determines the range in the percentage of tuition and fees the scholarships can cover, and the criteria for awards.

Committee members:
Susan Swift, Chair
Jin Huang

The Governance Committee oversees the quality of the Board and the Board’s self-management and organization. The purpose is to assist the Board in identifying, recruiting and proposing qualified individuals for service to the MSM Board; to provide orientation for new board members; to oversee the development and administration of MSM’s corporate governance guidelines and policies and procedures; to develop and oversee a process for evaluating Board effectiveness; to assist the Board in planning for leadership succession at both officer and committee levels; and to assist the Board in reviewing MSM’s strategic goals annually.

Committee Members:
Conrad Wildsmith, Chair
Renee DuChainey-Farkes
Todd Covert, Ex-officio

The focus of the Advocacy Committee is to provide a unified voice representing all Montessori schools in Massachusetts when advocating to the state regarding policy, licensure, and professional qualifications that may affect Montessori schools and/or Montessori credentialed teachers. Working with MPPI, the Committee represents the state of Massachusetts regarding Montessori public policy and advocacy initiatives. It is recognized by the Department of Early Education and Care as representing Montessori education in the state. The Committee keeps MSM informed about activities at the State level, particularly focusing on the Department of Early Education and Care.

Committee Members
Martha Torrence, interim Chair
Deborah Jernegan
Laurel Zolfonoon
Jin Huang

The Professional Development Committee oversees MSM’s goal to promote knowledge and understanding of the Montessori methods of education and to foster excellence in authentic Montessori practice for its membership and beyond. MSM’s professional development opportunities are dedicated to improving teaching practice and providing connections for its members to learn and to champion and expand Montessori education.

MSM provides its members with multiple formats of learning allowing school leaders, administrators and faculty (guides) to choose the venue most suitable for their schedule and interests.

There are generally three major PD events each year: the Heads’ Retreat, the Annual Conference, and a spring Admissions workshop. MSM also provides member networking sessions and speaker series’ during the school year. Participants come together to advance their practice, gather expertise, and make connections. The Annual Conference continues to be the major source of revenue for MSM.

There are separate task forces for the specific events under Professional Development such as Heads’ Retreat, Annual Conference, Town Halls, etc. They are determined by the Chair and the Committee, working with the MSM President.

Committee Members:
Deborah Jernegan, Chair
Donna Milani Luther
Susan Swift
Martha Torrence
Conrad Wildsmith
Christina Gasbarro

MSM’s Communications committee is responsible for all forms of communications, traditional and digital, to ensure that MSM informs its stakeholders and members with clarity, timeliness and relevance. This includes website, email, social media and marketing collateral for events. Further, Its responsibilities include members, news, resources and announcements pertinent to its membership. MSM prides itself to be known as an organization that informs its stakeholders and members with clarity, timeliness, and relevance. The goal of the Communications Committee is to continuously improve outreach and communication, and be responsive to the needs of our members. Some of our areas of responsibility include the delivery of social networking policy, annual calendar with event dates and deadlines, and growth strategy for MSM’s online presence

Committee Members:
Christina Gasbarro
Debbie Jernegan