Jennifer Shields
Jennifer ShieldsDirector of Primary Training
Jennifer Shields is a primary trainer for AMI. She holds both the AMI Primary and Assistants to Infancy diplomas. Jennifer earned a B.A. in English Literature from Georgetown University and an M.Ed. from Cleveland State University. She worked for over fifteen years in Montessori schools as a teacher, assistant, and administrator. She is an examiner and consultant for AMI and presents at workshops and conferences locally and worldwide. Jennifer loves observing in classrooms, coaching teachers and teacher trainees, and spreading the insights made by Dr. Montessori.
Janet McDonell
Janet McDonellDirector of Primary Training
Janet McDonell is a primary trainer for the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Janet holds Primary, Elementary, and Special Education diplomas from AMI. She also has a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. Before training teachers, Janet had 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in Montessori schools serving children of widely varying backgrounds. Janet has served on the AMI Training Group, the AMI/USA Board of Directors, and currently serves on the AMI Consultation Committee. She lectures, examines, consults, and offers workshops around the world.
Samantha Vejay
Samantha VejayExecutive Director
Samantha’s Montessori career began as an infant in her mother’s Primary classroom, and continued as a child in AMI Primary and Elementary environments.

Samantha has a degree in Business and Non-Profit Management, and a Masters in Education from Loyola University. She holds dual AMI diplomas from our own Washington Montessori Institute at the Primary (2004) and Elementary (2010) level. She has taught in 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 environments. Most recently, Samantha completed the AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Rydet, Sweden (2019), and also completed the 0-3 Orientation through WMI (2020).

Samantha has experience working in the classroom, leading schools, offering community workshops, working with non-profit organizations and supporting public and private educators. She is a board member for the Montessori Administrators of Georgia (MAG), and is an active participant in the Elementary Alumni Association (EAA). Samantha lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, Shakespeare, and her snake, Sarah Mildred. When not immersed in Montessori, she loves to travel (6 continents and 40 countries and counting) and visit schools all over the world.