Michele Aspinall began her journey in Montessori at Countryside Montessori School in Northbrook, Illinois as a part-time assistant in the before and after school program in 1989. She went on to assist in the toddler, primary and elementary environments. Michele directed the many variations of the school’s day care program while earning a BA in graphic art in 1995 from the Illinois Institute of Art. She later earned her AMI primary diploma from the Milwaukee Montessori Institute taught by Hildegard Solzbacher and Joen Bettman in 2000.
Michele is a pioneer in the creation of one of the first authentic All Year Montessori models in the US. She began her work on this project in 2000, ten years ago. Since that time she has nurtured and tailored this program into a truly magnificent experience for children who spend much of their lives at school. The program runs from 7:30 – 5:30 for 245 days per year. Over the last two summers Michele presented workshops on her program to over 120 attendees coming from over 16 states and as far as Mexico and Chile.
Michele also wrote an article, “The Road Less Taken”, which was published in the AMI USA Newsletter in 2001. Michele has shared her All Year Montessori story at an AMI conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2002. In addition, Michele spoke about the importance of peaceful transitions at a North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA) conference held in Austin, Texas. Michele continues to teach in the All Year environment. Michele and her husband Jim live in Northbrook and have two children who attend Countryside.