Project Manager

Lisa Kathleen

Bio

Lisa Kathleen

Lisa Kathleen read her first book about Montessori education when she was 15, just for fun. As a high school student still engaged in her own schooling, she immediately identified the stark difference between her own experience and the exciting possibilities of a Montessori education. She closed that book and thought, “That’s what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.”

She then attended UT Austin, graduating with highest honors and a double major in History and Philosophy, then spent two and a half years in Japan, teaching English, earning a black belt in aikido, and learning taiko drumming. Twelve years after reading that book, Lisa Kathleen earned her AMI diploma from the training centre that Maria Montessori founded in Bergamo, Italy. She then went on to rejuvenate the struggling lower elementary program, then founded and developed an upper elementary program at the only AMI-accredited school in her hometown of Calgary, Canada. Her emphasis on parent involvement earned her the trust of the school’s families.

With the birth of her own baby, she turned to administration, running the admissions program for a local Montessori primary program on two campuses on a part-time basis. At the same time, Lisa Kathleen built her own business as a parenting coach and parent educator, serving hundreds of families.

Lisa Kathleen moved from Canada to join the Higher Ground team.

My Story

Learn more about Lisa Kathleen.

  • Tell us about yourself.

    I grew up in Calgary, Canada. After high school, I lived in Brazil for a year as a Rotary exchange student before studying history and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. I knew I wanted to go on to complete my Montessori training, so to help pay for it, I went to Japan to teach English for a couple of years before completing my training in Italy.

    After my training, I was hired to teach in a classroom in Canada, establishing the lower elementary program, then founding the upper elementary program. Afterward, when my daughter was born, I started my own business in parenting coaching and parent education, which I ran for 10 years. I also ran the admissions for a Montessori preschool during that time.

    I worked for LePort Schools before joining Higher Ground upon its inception in 2016.

  • What inspires you about education?

    Ever since I learned about Montessori, I have always believed that Montessori education could change the world. Now, working with Higher Ground in this capacity — seeing what we’re doing, the connections we’re building, and the scope of what we can accomplish and have already accomplished as a team — I know that Montessori education WILL change the world.

  • How did you discover Montessori?

    I read my first book about Montessori education when I was 15 years old and considering a career in education. As a high school student still engaged in my own schooling, I immediately felt the stark difference between my own experience and the possibilities of a Montessori education. I remember closing that book and thinking, “That's what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.”

  • How does Montessori philosophy inspire your daily life?

    I’ve always believed that Montessori is a broader philosophy. It’s not just an educational model, it’s a way of life, and that’s because of the deep understanding of the human experience that Montessori brings to the table.

    An example is the fundamental concept of, “Help me do it by myself.” That applies to every person at every age. Nobody wants to be told what to do. Everybody wants to be supported to pursue their inner direction.

  • Do you have a favorite Montessori quote?

     “An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking: it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” — Education and Peace

  • What have you learned from your time working at Higher Ground thus far?

    Working as part of the team at Higher Ground, what I’ve really had affirmed for me is the value of collaboration with people you trust, respect, and admire.

    I’m challenged every day by the desire to be the best I can be and to honor the team and honor the mission we are pursuing.

    I jumped on board at Higher Ground as soon as I possibly could! In the beginning, I was helping to support AMI training centers before transitioning to the marketing team, where I wrote and edited much of our website content and many of our marketing documents. That was such an amazing experience for me, because in order to write effectively about our organization, I had to understand the real-world choices we were making as we implemented the philosophy in real time.

    Eventually, I wanted to start digging deeper into my own expertise, which is Montessori education, the philosophy and the theory and how it’s implemented in our classrooms. That’s how I became a part of our Prepared Montessorian elementary teacher training team.

  • What do you enjoy most about working with your teammates?

    I am constantly blown away by the depth of knowledge, commitment, and understanding of the Montessori approach-and of what children and families need-within our Prepared Montessorian team. It’s amazing to be surrounded by the kind of profound care for children, families, the school staff members, and others on the team that is exemplified at every level of our company. 

  • What are your passions, interest, and hobbies?

    I love hot yoga. It wrings out your soul. I also love being in the ocean, traveling, and dancing. I’m currently learning lindy hop and studying to be a black belt in tae kwon do. (Not at the same time.)

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