Debra Hershey Guren, President and Treasurer
As an avid supporter of Montessori, Debbie Guren has served as board president for Montessori Development Partnerships since its founding in 1990. Concurrently, as the President and CEO of The Hershey Foundation, Debbie has made nearly 1000 grants to 220 organizations to fulfill the mission of The Hershey Foundation to benefit children in NE Ohio. She has provided leadership and guidance to the growth and development of Hershey Montessori School since 1984, serving as board president for 25 years and now as board emeritus. Debbie currently serves on the board of directors for the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. She served on the boards of Hawken School for 13 years and Holden Forests and Gardens for 28 years. Debbie is the visionary behind Stonebrook Montessori, opened in 2015 as the first Montessori charter school in the state of Ohio and modeled after Marotta Montessori Schools of the 1980’s and 90’s. Upon merging with the neighboring Cleveland school, the Stonebrook-White Montessori School will develop over time with the guidance of the Campus Montessori Advisory Board where Debbie serves as a member. Debbie’s 6 grandchildren are enrolled in Montessori schools in Ohio and NYC.
Julia Brown, Vice President
Julie Brown has been a Montessori educator for over 35 years. She holds an A.M.I. Elementary Diploma, a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, and Executive Coaching Certification from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University.
Over the years, her work with MDP has included serving as Director of Institutional Advancement at Stonebrook Montessori, a Montessori public school in Cleveland, as well as creating the MDP Professional Learning Center for Montessori Educators at University Circle. Its purpose was to enhance local and regional professional development opportunities and to build collaborative professional support for the Montessori community.
Prior to joining MDP, Julie was the Head of School at Hudson Montessori School in Hudson (OH) for sixteen years. She has taught both Lower and Upper Elementary, trained elementary teachers at the Toronto Montessori Institute, served on numerous advisory boards and as an educational consultant. She has also presented at various conferences and workshops including NAMTA and the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators. Today, Julie’s primary focus is on leadership coaching to enhance individual and organizational potential.
Jacquie Maughan, Secretary
Jacquie received her AMI primary diploma in Palo Alto, California. She has taught at the primary and adolescent levels, and has founded two schools, Woodland Montessori School in Spokane, and Pacific Crest in Seattle, Washington. Currently, she is director of Access Montessori, an organization whose mission is to partner with and support the implementation of birth-to-six programs in communities who have lacked access to Montessori programs because of geographic, socio-economic or other conditions. Jacquie has served on the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA) Board and has been President since 2000. Jacquie has recently moved to Helena, MT and is working to build a regional network to carry out the mission of Access Montessori.
David Kahn, Executive Director Emeritus
David Kahn had been Executive Director of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association for more than forty years. He has seventeen years of Montessori teaching experience, twelve of them as teaching principal at Ruffing Montessori School (Cleveland Heights, OH). David was co-founding director of the Hershey Montessori School adolescent program on the farm in Huntsburg, Ohio, an internationally acclaimed Montessori model for adolescent education. He served as the founding director of Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland and consulted with schools with adolescent programs throughout North America. David developed the summer institute, A Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies, to help teachers specializing in the work with students ages 12-18. David stepped down as Executive Director for Montessori Development Partnerships in 2017.