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Montessori in a South African Orphanage

Mary Ellen Maunz


My story is of the New Jerusalem Children’s Home, founded to care the orphans of AIDS, and Lanto Montessori the school that has grown up around the humble start almost four decades ago.  Located in Midrand, South Africa, they now serve almost 200 children-toddlers through high school. One of my adult students from 1992 brought Montessori and I spent a month there in 2023. Inspiring!


Mary Ellen Maunz
  • Founder and Program Director of Age of Montessori’s infant-toddler, early childhood and elementary teacher certification courses and pioneer in blended Montessori Teacher Education
  • Mother of three grown children
  • Holder of AMI certificate for 2-1/2 – 7, PAMS certificate for 6-12 and as Master Teacher, BS in Child Development and M.Ed. in Integrative education with Emphasis on Montessori
  • 50 years of experience in Montessori education, as toddler, early childhood and elementary teacher, administrator and teacher educator
  • Co-author of Learning to Read is Child’s Play, 2001, Author of Nurturing Your Child’s Inner Life, 2012
  • Creator of more than 75 webinars and 4-week virtual courses on numerous aspects of Montessori education
  • International speaker and trainer, presenter on five continents, founder of Montessori early childhood training program in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 10 years as a Commissioner and Member Board of Directors, Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
  • 2015 Recipient of MACTE’s Wisdom of the Elders award
  • Currently serves as a MACTE on-site evaluator

When not working, Mary Ellen is an avid photographer and loves to read, hike, travel, collect stamps and spend time with her children and close friends

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