About Kathy Minardi
A prominent educator with over 37 years of experience working for independent schools, Kathy Minardi has professional skills in many areas of education and administrative theory. Her work at Aidan Montessori School in Washington, DC, has been extensive, with a focus on systems thinking, family systems, and organizational systems. Kathy Minardi supplements her work at Aidan Montessori with many professional memberships and activities that allow her to continue developing her leadership skills in education.
Minardi has held several leadership positions in Montessori associations, and she lectured at the Australian Montessori Head’s forum in 2012 on school leadership. She is also an active member of the North American Montessori Teachers Association and the Montessori Administrators Association. Her school holds accreditations from the Association of Independent and DC Schools and the Association Montessori Internationale.
Kathy Minardi graduated from St. Olaf College with a bachelor’s degree in English education and continued her studies at University of Wisconsin, where she earned a master of arts degree in English literature.
The NAMTA Montessori Whole-School Management Course
A longtime educator, Kathy Minardi has served as head of Aidan Montessori School in Washington, DC, for more than 15 years. Throughout her career, Kathy Minardi has presented on a number of educational topics at professional symposia such as the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association’s (NAMTA) Montessori Whole-School Management course.
The Tier I Whole-School Management offering serves the network of administrators from a number of Montessori schools, providing specialized leadership education to both new and experienced teachers. Hosted at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel in Columbia, Maryland, the course features a number of experienced presenters, including Ms. Minardi.
During the three-day course, attendees take part in critical thinking and professional discussion across a number of subject areas, including school development, parent education, and teacher support. The course closes with a seminar on the “Foundations and Characteristics of Montessori Whole-School Leadership,” which addresses each faculty member's insights on managing the organic whole-school model.
Each year, NAMTA also holds a supporting Tier II workshop, entitled “The Art of Strategic Planning.” The Tier II seminar is available to those who complete the Whole-School Management course, facilitating further administrative management skills.
Outreach Initiatives of the Association Montessori Internationale
Kathy Minardi serves as head of the Aidan Montessori School in Washington, DC. As a leader in an independent school, Kathy Minardi also belongs to several professional groups and associations, including the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).
An organization that focuses on encouraging children’s natural development, AMI supports several outreach initiatives that aim to allow students access to an education that fosters their natural talents and abilities. AMI believes that a quality education is an immeasurably useful life tool, thus part of its outreach initiative is to advocate for the right of all students to have access to Montessori educational styles.
To do this, AMI provides parents with DVDs, leaflets, and other resources to help them understand the benefits of raising a child in a way that supports natural development, as outlined in the Aid to Life initiative. All beliefs of the Montessori and Aid to Life programs are centered on the idea that children can love learning if they experience it on their own terms and are capable of autonomy from an early age.
Another way that AMI promotes Montessori learning is through its Educateurs sans Frontieres (EsF) program. EsF connects certified Montessori teachers with international communities that lack accurate knowledge about this particular education style. Additionally, EsF brings supporters together to work with foreign governments and nonprofits in the interest of bettering the lives of children from all backgrounds, races, and countries.
The Montessori Method
Kathy Minardi has nearly 40 years of experience as an educator. In 1999, Kathy Minardi became the head of the Aidan Montessori School in Washington, DC. Founded in 1961, the Aidan School is Washington DC's oldest Montessori institution.
The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. In her capacity as a physician and educator, she observed children throughout all stages of life to see how they learned new concepts and skills. She concluded that children need uninterrupted time for completing work as well as time for playing and learning with peers. Situations where younger children can learn from older kids, also known as multi-age groupings, are central to the Montessori Method. Montessori teachers are taught to manage their classrooms in ways that encourage exploration, independence, and decision-making among students. The activities Montessori students focus on vary according to age. Young children learn through sensory activities, while older kids complete tasks to organize and utilize their new-found knowledge.
The first Montessori school opened in 1907 in Rome. Now, more than 4,000 Montessori schools are found in the United States, and the method has spread to six continents. While the majority of Montessori schools are private, there are more than 400 public schools in the US that embrace Montessori principles.
The Aiden Program for Families at Aiden Montessori School
Kathy Minardi holds a bachelor of arts in English education from St. Olaf College and a master of arts in English literature from the University of Wisconsin. An experienced educator, she has served since 1999 as the head of school at Aiden Montessori School in Washington, DC.
Aiden Montessori School offers such programs as the Aiden Program for Families (APF), which encourages the parents of enrolled students to develop a relationship with, and firm understanding of, the Montessori program, with the goal of better marrying the home and school environments. Among the many events offered by the APF are parenting book groups and occasions for guardians to discuss the program with the faculty. In addition, parents can avail themselves of opportunities to observe their children in the classroom setting as well as interact themselves with materials used in the Montessori learning environment.
Parents of children not yet of school-age can also take part in the APF, with parent and infant yoga and other community events that help guardians begin instilling Montessori principles early.
What Is Organizational Learning?
Kathy Minardi, the head of school at Aiden Montessori School in Washington, DC, has more than 35 years of experience in the education sector. Outside of leading Aiden Montessori School, Kathy Minardi holds membership in the Society for Organizational Learning.
The Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the development of educators and educational institutions. Organizational learning involves creating and disseminating knowledge throughout a group or community, resulting in lifelong study. The process encourages not only understanding of one’s chosen field but also an appreciation of why and how the information has been understood.
One branch of organizational learning is “communities of practice.” Such a community consists of a group of individuals who learn from and share their own knowledge with each others who have a vested interest in similar professional or scholarly pursuits. This method of shared education was formed around the idea that learning is best achieved through social environments.