Oregon Montessori Association

child working

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

About the Board

The OMA Board consists of an Executive Committee as well as committees for Communications, Professional Development/Events, Community Outreach, and Advocacy/Public Policy. OMA also has Regional Liaisons, representing regions of Oregon and SW Washington.  If you would like to contact the board, please send us a message.

2015 | 2016 Board Members

Executive Committee:

Hilary Smith, President

Hilary holds A.M.I. diplomas at the Primary and Assistance to Infancy levels as well as a M.Ed and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education from Loyola College, Maryland. Hilary taught for over ten years both in private and public sectors of the Montessori community in Oregon and New Zealand. Hilary founded and directed Cedar Montessori School from 2006-2012. Hilary co-founded the Portland Montessori Collaborative in 2012 and is currently the Administrative Director of pdxMC. Hilary and her husband Aaron have two boys, Hughett and Griffin. When she is not busy in the office or the classroom Hilary enjoys spending time with her family and walking her two crazy Jack Russell Terriers, Peanut and Pickle.

Mary Sahm Hicks, Vice-President

First a Montessori parent, next a primary guide, now a school administrator. A life-long student of cultures – ethnic, urban, organizational. Mary loves to travel, play in her garden and read contemporary fiction. Her next trip will be to climb Kilimanjaro.

Jeanne VanDeRiet, Secretary

I am delighted to serve on the OMA Board and want people to see it as a valuable resource for the Montessori Community.  I became interested in Montessori after working for several years with emotionally disturbed children and their families.  I did my research and was AMI Primary certified in 1985.  During my beginning years as a Guide I was fortunate to have worked in Corvallis with great mentors, followed by the Virgin Islands, which gave me a love of diversity and the tropics.  I also worked eleven years at Providence (now Portland Montessori School), which gave me an opportunity to be an On-Call Guide, an Assistant, a Guide and an Administrator.   I enjoy walks in the woods, scuba diving, writing short stories, playing my piano and supporting Montessori Education.

Ursula Melvin, Treasurer

Members at Large

Jessica Breed

David Cannon

David Cannon taught in the elementary Montessori classroom for eight years and was a school administrator for 20 years. He has recently opened a new school in the South Waterfront neighborhood.  Montessori Children’s House serves toddlers and primary aged children.  He also works part-time as a consultant in public affairs and education, and has several volunteer jobs. Besides the OMA board, David has served on the MINW Board, three Montessori school boards, and as a city planning commissioner.

Adele Carey

A native of Ireland, Adele moved to the U.S. at the age of 24 to become Head of School for the Kennebec Montessori School in Maine. With over 30 years of experience in the Montessori environment as a guide or administrator, Adele is highly dedicated to the Montessori approach to education. Adele has been with Corvallis Montessori School since 2010 when she moved to Oregon, first as an Elementary Guide, advancing then to Head of School the following year in 2011. Adele received her primary AMI training at the Dublin College of Montessori in 1981, and returned to Ireland for training in elementary Montessori instruction in 1986. She also holds a degree in Spanish and Archeology (1980) from the University College of Dublin.

Julie Davis

Julie is interested in promoting Montessori as a movement for peace/child welfare, encouraging schools to offer scholarships, and demystifying Montessori for the general public.  In addition to an AMI 0-3 diploma from Montessori Northwest, Julie has a Masters in Public Administration.  Her husband, Jon, teaches public middle school, and they have two sons enrolled in Montessori elementary and one daughter in high school.  Julie attributes her children’s passion for learning and work ethic to their Montessori education.  Julie owns and guides her toddler community, A Peaceful Path, in Vancouver, WA.

Julia Mendelson

Julia is currently on staff at Montessori Children’s House as a Toddler guide.  She is also leading the OMA Toddler Summit group for the 2015-16 year.

Judi Simmons

Bio coming soon.

Tamara Ulrich

Tamara Ulrich first came to Montessori at the age of 2 ½.  As an adult, Tammy has been involved in Montessori education for over 30 years.  She is the Founder and past Administrator of Child’s View Montessori in SW Portland.  Tammy is AMI trained and an Oregon Registry Master trainer, teaching various Early Childhood classes and workshops.  She is also an AMS Field Consultant and most recently serves as a MACTE verification team member. She is a past president of OMA, and the mother of 4 amazing, now adult, kids.

Regional Board Liaisons

Adele Carey, Southern Willamette Valley and the Coast Representative

A native of Ireland, Adele moved to the U.S. at the age of 24 to become Head of School for the Kennebec Montessori School in Maine. With over 30 years of experience in the Montessori environment as a guide or administrator, Adele is highly dedicated to the Montessori approach to education. Adele has been with Corvallis Montessori School since 2010 when she moved to Oregon, first as an Elementary Guide, advancing then to Head of School the following year in 2011. Adele received her primary AMI training at the Dublin College of Montessori in 1981, and returned to Ireland for training in elementary Montessori instruction in 1986. She also holds a degree in Spanish and Archeology (1980) from the University College of Dublin.

Julie Davis, SW Washington Representative

As OMA’s Southwest Washington Regional Representative, Julie works to bring more opportunities for professional development and fellowship to Southwest Washington.  She is interested in promoting Montessori as a movement for peace/child welfare, encouraging schools to offer scholarships, and demystifying Montessori for the general public.  In addition to an AMI 0-3 diploma from Montessori Northwest, Julie has a Masters in Public Administration.  Her husband, Jon, teaches public middle school, and they have two sons enrolled in Montessori elementary and one daughter in high school.  Julie attributes her children’s passion for learning and work ethic to their Montessori education.  Julie owns and guides her toddler community, A Peaceful Path, in Vancouver, WA.

Meredith Tufts, Bend/Central Oregon Representative

Meredith Tufts completed a BA in History and in Linguistics from the University of Oregon before discovering a passion for education while working as an AmeriCorps volunteer at an elementary school in Salinas, CA. Since receiving her AMI Primary training from Montessori Institute Northwest and her Masters in Education through Loyola University in Maryland, she has worked as a primary guide and administrator in San Diego and Bend. Meredith also enjoys being outdoors, whether she is working in her garden, volunteering on a local farm, traveling around the world, or hiking and backpacking in beautiful Central Oregon.

Administrative Liaison

David Cannon

David will administer the AdministratorGroup for the 2015 – 16 year.  Please contact David with topics or questions about the group.

In-Home Group Liaison

Theresa DeVost,

The In-Home group is made up practitioners of In-Home Programs.  Please e-mail Theresa to be added to the listserve.

Toddler Summit Group Liaison

Julia Mendelson

The Toddle Summit is a group made up of those working with Infants and Toddlers.  Please contact Julia to be added to the listserve.

Oregon Montessori Association

PO Box 82932 Portland, OR 97282 | 503-688-0526
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