Board members

Mirjam Stefels – The Netherlands
President
Mirjam Stefels works as Montessori teacher trainer at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam. She teaches (Montessori) pedagogy and coordinates the Montessori courses. Mirjam has been working in Montessori education since 1982, first as a teacher for the age groups 4-6, 6-9 and 9-12 and later as the principal of three Montessori schools. Since 1993 she has worked as a Montessori teacher trainer.
Mirjam was elected as board member at the ME Congress in Oxford in 2008 and became president of ME in 2014.

 

Dr. Beata Bednarczuk – Poland
Vice President
Beata Bednarczuk works as a research fellow at the Institute of Pedagogy, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. She could not attend a Montessori school herself, but her sons did. Her interest in Montessori pedagogy started while studying “Individualised education according to the assumptions of Montessori pedagogy” (1991-1993, a project from HAN University Arnhem/Nijmegen and UMCS Lublin). She gained competences to work according to the Montessori method and educate students.
Her main research interests focus on the organization of the learning process and the functioning of the child in schools that are run according to the principles of Montessori pedagogy. The research led to her dissertation (2000). She was co-author and co-editor of “Learning in the Montessori classroom. The process of becoming an independent person” (as co-editor,  2014), which engaged specialists from Europe and the United States. Her latest book: “Self-authoring personality of graduates of Montessori classes from the perspective of experiences and life goals” (2017) is the result of many years of research and is her habitation thesis. She is an active member of the Polish Montessori Association, the Lublin Branch of the Polish Montessori Association and of Montessori Europe.

 

Dr. Jörg Boysen – Germany
Treasurer
Jörg Boysen is a retired management consultant with a doctorate in Industrial Engineering who became involved with the Montessori movement through his children’s attendance at a Montessori school near Frankfurt, Germany.
Since 2001 he has had longterm volunteer positions as the head of the Board of Directors of the Montessori Center Hofheim, head of the regional Montessori Association in Hesse and the German Montessori umbrella association Montessori Dachverband Deutschland. As MDD president since 2014 he is focused on improving its support of the German Montessori movement through MDD’s Quality Framework and MONTESSORI 2020 projects.
In 2014 he became board member for finance of Montessori Europe.

 

Bojana Mikarić – Serbia
Bojana Mikaric has built a career in a variety of roles and industries, mostly in small companies. During her studies she had a part time job in a multinational company and gained valuable experience and knowledge of working in such an environment.
After completing her studies her main job was teaching in a public school. Then she started to explore various teaching methods and discovered Montessori pedagogy. Soon after that she started her own language school, which led to starting a kindergarten where Montessori is gradually becoming the main approach in working with children.  She also has experience in developing and running projects, in organizing children’s camps, in organizing and running workshops and in working as translator.

 

Christian Grune –  Germany
Christian Grune is the chairman of the Montessori Foundation in Berlin and is responsible for six schools and four children’s houses in Berlin. He studied educational science, psychology and sociology and worked in various management positions both in commercial and non-profit-organizations.
Christian tries to adapt the essence of Montessori education – indepencence and responsibility; self-direction and confidence – in his work as a Montessori administrator.
He has been a board member of Montessori Europe since 2016 and is active in national Montessori networks in Germany.

 

Ken Healy – Ireland
Ken Healy was raised in a Montessori environment, growing up with Montessori all around. His mother, Clare Healy Walls, had a Montessori school attached to their home in the ‘70s and Ken has been engaging with Montessori ever since then. His wife is a Montessori pedagogue and has worked in all aspects of Montessori from being a Montessori guide to a Montessori guide trainer. So home and life are built on and around the sound and fundamental principles of Montessori. And, this will probably not stop with Ken’s generation as his eldest daughter has just started to study Montessori.
Ken is currently a director of Waterpark Montessori International (a Montessori Teacher Training Institute) and of Flex Montessori (software for Montessori guides, Montessori pre-schools and Montessori schools). He is also involved in start-ups that are focused on learning. His background is in accounting and he has worked in various positions across various industries in Ireland. He has spent the last five years working directly in Montessori in Norway and across Europe.
Ken believes that education is how we best affect our future and Montessori in particular. The Montessori method continues to prove itself to be ideally suited to our learning needs. With Montessori Europe we get a great European collaboration and networking platform to promote and progress Montessori. Ken joined the Montessori Europe board in 2013.

 

Eva Bækkel – Norway
Eva Bækkel is the owner of Bambini Montessori Barnehage in Hamar, Norway. In Bambini there are 85 children, divided in four groups: one group of one year old children, one group of two year old children and two groups with children from 3-6.
Eva studied economics, language and Montessori pedagogy for children of 0-9 years. She is the head of the volunteers in the region for SOS Children Village. She is active in Montessori Express 2020 and wants to help in connecting Montessori schools from different countries so that people can share their knowledge. Eva has been a board member of Montessori Europe since 2014.

Michael Rubinstein – The Netherlands
Michael Rubinstein’s parents chose the Montessori school as the most appropriate type of education for their children. Michael completed Montessori kindergarten, primary school and secondary school and some years later started teaching at the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam.
After over twenty years of teaching he became an independent consultant in education, mainly, but not exclusively, working for Montessori schools and the Dutch Montessori Association. Among other things, he set up a quality framework for secondary Montessori school in the Netherlands and co-wrote and edited an number of books about secondary Montessori education.
Michael joined Montessori Europe in 2006 and became a board member in 2014.