Advisory Committees to the Board
11 months ago
Strategic Leadership Team
Ross Montessori is in the midst of an exciting strategic planning process under the guidance of consultant Jan Thirlby. A committee comprised of parents, teachers, staff, and board members has worked together to determine a vision of what Ross should become in thirty years time. This committee is also charged with creating the long and short-term goals that are needed for Ross Montessori to achieve its renewed vision. This committee will also serve to hold the school “accountable” to its long and short-term goals, and thus will also assume the role of the committee formerly known as the “School Accountability Committee.” The desire is that the new Strategic Planning and Accountability Committee remains in place for many years to come to establish consistency in the process and to hold the school responsible for its own established goals. Please stay tuned for updates from the committee regarding Ross’ vision, goals, and progress.
The Finance committee shall have the responsibility for establishing the budgeting procedure, recommending annual budgets to the Board for approval and review of financial performance against the budget; establishing and reviewing financial controls:appointment of independent auditors; and considering and recommending financing for long range capital projects.
Board of Directors
2 days ago
Sara Berry May 2016- May 2019
Sara graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Philosophy and Literature from Lake Forest College, and she completed her MA in English at CSU where she taught English composition. She also holds an RSA/ESL diploma and has taught ESL in Indonesia. Currently, she teaches ESL and English at Colorado Mountain College. She enjoys spending time with her two Ross Montessori boys Aden (in Wendy’s class) and Lucas (in Mandi’s class) and has been a Ross Montessori parent volunteer for the past seven years.
Anna Cole May 2016-May 2019
Anna grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio where she attended one of the country's first public, Montessori K-6th grade schools. She attended the University of New Mexico for an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Southern Oregon University for a masters of science degree in environmental education and returned to UNM for her doctoral degree in education. Anna was a founding board member of the Children's Kiva Montessori School, a Colorado charter school located in Cortez. Anna lives in Carbondale with her children Henry, Caroline and Maggie (attending Ross and MSMS) and her husband Dustin, a physician at Valley View Hospital. Anna currently works as a curriculum developer for the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, developing curriculum that brings together people, places, culture and science.
Robin Cole, President May 2015-June 2017
Robin is from Princeton, NJ and moved to Aspen from New York City in 1997 to become Development Director of Dance Aspen and then Development Director at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. In her fundraising and nonprofit career she has also worked for Aspen Community Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and Martha Graham Dance Company. She has a BA in English from Vassar College. Robin and her husband Alan have two children attending Ross Montessori. Robin was co-chair of the RMS Annual Fund from 2009-2011 and served as past president of the Mark Ross Montessori Foundation and as chair of the Shaping our Future capital campaign for Ross Montessori.
April 2015-April 2018
Dave was raised in the Roaring Fork Valley and is blessed to be able raise his children here. As a custom home builder his skill set and experience will greatly assist the Board, especially during the construction of the new school. His general construction knowledge of schedules, permits, budgets and scope of work will be an asset to Ross. "We are all fortunate to call this valley our home and among the various educational opportunities that we have for our children, none resonate with such clarity for my family as Ross Montessori does." Dave is honored to contribute his service to the Board.
PC Drew, Vice President
April 2015-April 2018
Last year, PC left active duty as a Marine Corps Officer and moved his family to Carbondale to start an educational technology company. He's passionate about leading people, technology, building new things, and fixing problems. He is thrilled to be elected to the school board position because he believes in Montessori and wants to be more involved in the future of his children’s education. PC is currently the Chief Technical Officer of Sopris Apps, an online website development firm in Carbondale. He hopes his unique skills and experience in complex problem solving and large project planning will be valuable to the school as a board member.
Advisory Board Members
Carolyn Fisher, Founding Parent and Former Board Member
Betsy Hoke, Montessori Educator
Kathryn Ross, Montessori Educator
Lori Ventimiglia, Former Board Member and Staff at Colorado League of Charter Schools
The Montessori Method at Ross
over 2 years ago
The 100 year old Montessori method of education differs from more traditional approaches. Students are grouped together in multi-age classrooms (ages 5-6, 6-9, 9-12 and 12-14) allowing older children to master skills by helping to teach the younger children. Classrooms typically are made up of 24-30 students (8-10 of each age ideally) and are staffed by a Montessori trained teacher as well as a teaching assistant.
RMS’s curriculum is extensive in its scope and diversity. Its major aspects include: Practical Life, Sensorial, Arithmetic, Language, Writing, Reading, Geography, History, Botany, Zoology, Art, Music, Spanish, Science and Outdoor Education.
There are few textbooks found in Montessori classroom, with the exception of our Middle School program. The classroom is set up as a prepared environment with numerous learning works in which the child engages at his or her own pace. Various teaching styles such as visual, auditory, and hands-on are used in each classroom. Maria Montessori deemed that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. Because of this hands-on experience, second language learners often do well even before they are fluent in English.
Students have long blocks of uninterrupted work time (typically 3 hours) every morning to allow in-depth exploration of a particular subject or material or to engage in as many activities as is deemed applicable to their age-level.
Dr. Maria Montessori understood that children learn best through their own efforts, thus the teacher's primary role is to follow each child's developmental progress and gently guide him/her toward progressively more challenging academic pursuits. Teachers frequently give small group lessons as well as individual instruction rather than whole class lessons. Students are always encouraged to use the tools provided to work toward their academic potential, persevere with difficult challenges and personally correct their own work. Students are able to work either alone or in small groups and move freely about the classroom during the day. Parents are also an integral part of Montessori schooling and volunteering for activities is common and encouraged
The main goal of the Montessori approach is to develop the joy of learning. In essence, Montessori helps bring out each child's gifts. The Montessori method of teaching helps students reach their academic potential through directed but non-competitive activities producing students who are confident in their academic knowledge as well as in their problem-solving skills. These students often go on to become leaders in their communities because of the skills developed during their school years.
Mark Ross Montessori Foundation
5 months ago
The Mark Ross Montessori Foundation (MRMF) is a 501(c)3 entity whose mission is to provide financial support to Ross Montessori School (RMS). We oversee and participate in major fundraising campaigns and events, grant requests, and individual donor solicitation. These monies are used by RMS for construction and renovation of facilities, educational programming, teacher development, and operational support.
Gregory Mohl, President
Amanda Benis, Secretary/Treasurer
Jake Allen, Board Member
Jake is a Colorado native with roots in the Roaring Fork Valley dating back to the 1890s. He and his family moved here from Denver in 2010, and his daughter is currently in kindergarten at Ross. Jake is a real estate broker with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's, and worked as a health care policy advisor in the US House of Representatives and as a lobbyist for Denver Health prior to relocating to the valley. Jake attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and has a degree in Political Science. He is excited about the opportunity to serve on the Ross Montessori Foundation Board and help with the development of the new campus.