Wendy Shenk-Evans is a collaborative and strategic leader whose commitment to social justice has shaped her vocational choices. As a veteran Montessori school administrator and Montessori parent, Wendy has seen the transformational impact that a Montessori education can have in the lives of children. Her passion for making authentic Montessori accessible and available to more children inspires her public policy work.
Wendy has been involved in MPPI’s work and leadership since 2014, serving on and chairing the MPPI Council, overseeing MPPI’s strategic plan development, and leading workshops at numerous Montessori conferences. Accomplished in state-level advocacy and state and national coalition building, she successfully advocated for policy changes to help Montessori programs in Washington, DC flourish.
Experienced in mission-driven organizational development and rooted in strategic thinking, Wendy is honored to serve as MPPI’s first Executive Director and lead its efforts to transform the policy landscape so that children of all ages can have access to authentic Montessori education.
Director of State Advocacy
Denise Monnier is a Montessori parent, advocate, and advocacy coach, striving for public policy that supports universal access to Montessori education. More than 15 years of teaching in and leading Montessori schools made her deeply aware of the need for equity in and access to high quality education. Denise‘s journey into education policy began when she founded an early childhood outreach program. Later, as the head of Fox Valley Montessori School in Aurora, Illinois and through her involvement in the Association of Illinois Montessori Schools where she currently serves as Executive Director, her advocacy efforts turned to statewide and national advocacy. Her work with MPPI is centered around supporting our state advocacy groups and equipping them with the tools and training they need to be effective advocates for children.
In addition to holding a Masters in Cultural and Education Policy Studies, Kandyce brings a breadth of experience to her work with MPPI. Her attraction to Montessori advocacy stems from a strong belief in child-centered learning, her recognition of the importance of social emotional development, and past work around early childhood programming. Driven by a desire to make a social impact, Kandyce wants to advocate for policies that are best for children and is excited to blend her experiences in research, analysis, community engagement, and grassroots organizing with her background in education policy.