History & Mission

Founded in 1979, Montessori Northwest educates adults on the nature of childhood. MNW has grown from a small training center into a Pacific Northwest center for Montessori education and community outreach. Through the stewardship of previous executive directors Rita Shaffer-Zener, Shannon Helfrich and Ginni Sackett, and currently through the leadership of Executive Director Jennifer Davidson and the Board of Directors, MNW advances the international Montessori movement through high-quality, in-depth adult education.


Our mission statement says it best:

To provide education honoring the pedagogical principles of Dr. Maria Montessori by offering AMI Montessori teacher education, professional development, parent education, and community outreach for the benefit of children throughout the world.

MNW is a non-profit (501c3) organization that is guided by a Board of Directors. Board members come from a variety of backgrounds, from Montessori educators and administrators to individuals successful in a variety of professions. All care deeply about supporting MNW’s mission and growing our presence in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.