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This Community Conversation will be interpreted into Czech, Chinese, Russian and Ukrainian

Our next Community Conversation will take place on WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2022,

Join our next Community Conversation

with Kathy Minardi, Magdalena Ponurska
and Dr. Mari Fernandez

Thursday, March 24, 2022, 4 PM CET

Being a First Responder -
One Conversation at a Time

Three educators who are colleagues came together to share thoughts on how to prepare ourselves as adults for our conversations with children during crisis and disaster.  Each of them also share the imprint of child trauma in their own lives. They recorded their conversation and share it with you. We will watch the video and then share together live in person as a Montessori community.” 

Kathy Minardi

Kathy Minardi is Executive Director of Whole School Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization founded to help Montessori administrators around the world to guide healthy communities of children, families and school staff. Kathy has 40 years of experience as a school leader and was the Head of School at Aidan Montessori in Washington, DC for nearly 20 years. Kathy presents for NAMTA, AMI USA, Montessori Australia Foundation, AMS and AMI.

Magdalena Ponurska

Magdalena Ponurska is an Executive and Leadership Coach, Director of Operations at the Montessori School Rochester, an AMI Montessori Administrator, a co-founder of the Global Montessori Network, and is the founder of the Zone of Genius, LLC. Magdalena is a living example of a “lifelong love of learning”. She is a voracious reader and consumer of programs on psychology, childhood development, and what it really means to be a human being.

She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, and she
completed the Team Management and Leadership Program (TMLP) with Landmark Worldwide.

Magdalena served for 15 years in the corporate automotive world, doing tours in purchasing, marketing, information technology, and Human Resources—honing her ability to powerfully use technology, communicate effectively with global teams, and manage projects on a global scale.

As a Montessori mom, Magdalena is passionate about Montessori education and is committed to empowering and guiding Montessori schools to develop our children to be bold and compassionate future leaders of our world.

Dr. Mari Fernandez

Dr. Mari T. Fernandez comes to this conversation as a school psychologist having worked with children, educators, and parents in school and clinical settings, both public and private. For many years, she served on the faculty of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida where her teaching and research focused especially on the socioemotional well-being of children and on effective home-school collaborations.  She considers herself a developmentalist who uses a systems approach to understand and address children's needs.

Dr. Fernandez also comes to this conversation remembering her own childhood as a refugee from Cuba at age 7. While she has lived and worked most of her life in the US, she also has lived in Cuba where she was born, in Venezuela, France, and briefly in Morocco. These experiences have led her to see herself as a child of the world and to embrace a personal responsibility to do whatever she can to support the well-being of the world's children. Dr. Fernandez is inspired by the meaningful work of Montessori communities worldwide which can serve as important bridges of support for children in these times of crisis.

Watch our latest Community Conversation

Being a First Responder - One Conversation at a Time

K. Minardi, M. Ponurska, M. Fernandez

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View Recordings of Community Conversations 

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- click to watch -

Being a First Responder - One Conversation at a Time

Kathy Minardi, Magdalena Ponurska, Dr. Mari Fernandez
Madlena Ulrich, Tiina Suominen, Carla Foster & Dinny Rebild
Shifra Sverdlin Florman and Eder Cuevas Iturralde

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