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Who We Are

Texas Education and Advocacy for Montessori (TEAM) is a volunteer driven, grassroots nonprofit organization with the purpose of supporting Montessorians in speaking with One Voice in Texas regarding issues related to providing exemplary Montessori experiences.

TEAM is the result of decades of advocacy efforts in Texas.  In 2021 a group of Montessorians came together, and over a series of statewide meetings, one-on-one, meetings, and survey data. The decision to formally incorporate as a nonprofit was made in order to create a sustainable organization with the purpose of unifying the voice of Texans to speak for children, teachers, and Montessori organizations. As an inclusive and diverse group of advocates we look to a future where all families who want a Montessori education have equitable access to outstanding Montessori experiences.

Funding

Texas Education and Advocacy for Montessori (TEAM) relies on donations and grants to fund our work. With more than 55,000 children in Montessori programs in Texas, TEAM exists to create a policy environment that supports students, teachers, and Montessori organizations. 

Our Team

Montessori education is growing in Texas. There is a strong base of teachers, administrators, schools and teacher education programs working to create exemplary experiences for students and families. TEAM is passionate about promoting Montessori with a unified voice to protect and increase access to high quality Montessori experiences for all across the state. We can do this most effectively by speaking with a unified voice on the issues that impact our community the most.

Jai Brisbon

Executive Director

Jai Brisbon is the Executive Director of Texas Education and Advocacy for Montessori. Jai has 20 years’ experience in teaching, school and instructional leadership, educational research, consulting, and program management in private and public schools. Jai holds her AMI and AMS elementary diplomas, with a B.S. in Economics and M.Ed. in Montessori Integrated Studies. Jai’s professional interests include Montessori advocacy, program support and development, and supporting adult learning. Jai is passionate about teachers and leaders having access to systems and strategies to support their work with children.

Joanne Chatlos

Board Member

 Joanne completed Primary and Elementary training in Toronto, ON, at Toronto Montessori Institute. She came to Dallas in 1998 to teach Lower Elementary at Alcuin School. In 2003-2004, she went to AMI Elementary training in Milwaukee. She returned to Alcuin to teach another 3 year cycle of Lower Elementary and one with Upper Elementary. Joann is the Executive Director of Wonderland Montessori. She enjoys making connections that help support individuals and the overall organization. Joanne has a Master of Education (MEd) degree in Educational Psychology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and earned her Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Studies from the University of Northern Colorado.

Gulzar Babool

Board Member

Gulzar Babool, a 20-year Montessorian, a Montessori parent and educator who follows Montessori principles in all aspects of her life. Gulzar is the Director of Shelton Montessori Training which is part of the Shelton School’s Outreach Department.  Shelton School & Evaluation Center in Dallas, Texas is the world’s largest independent school for intelligent children with learning differences.  She has been guiding adult learners during their practicum year as a field consultant for the AMS training centers as well as instructing courses in the Elementary I-II and Administrator programs at the Shelton Montessori Training.

Lindsey Pollock

Board Member

Dr. Lindsey Pollock describes her role as Provost of Sarasota University as the pinnacle of her career.  Her 35+ year career in the field of education has been filled with exciting adventures and keeps her motivated to set new goals!

Dr. Pollock has led private for-profit and non-profit schools as an administrator and owned and managed a small retail business. Dr. Pollock has consulted with schools across the United States and has been an international speaker/consultant to school systems/organizations in Sweden, China, Brazil, Mexico and Ghana. Dr. Pollock has written numerous articles for national publications and wrote a monthly parenting column for the Garden Oaks Gazette for 13 years. She continues to serve on local, state and national non-profit boards including Montessori for Social Justice. Her dedication to Social Justice has been recognized by numerous organizations including the Human Rights Campaign. Dr. Pollock holds a Montessori Administrator credential along with her Texas Teaching certifications in Elementary Education (1st – 8th grades), Special Education (PK – 12), English as a Second Language, Speech Communications (1st – 8th grades), Mid-Management Administrator (PK – 12) and Superintendent (EC – 12). She was chosen as a Rice Fellow in the Rice Education Entrepreneurial Program (REEP), represented the US as a Fulbright Exchange Principal and attended Harvard with Raise Your Hand Texas for numerous certification programs in Educational Leadership.  She has earned Master’s Degrees in Montessori Integrative Learning, Educational Leadership, Social Work as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

In her free time, she volunteers as the Executive Director of The Lian Dante Foundation in Houston, TX and teaches for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS)   Her efforts continue to impact classrooms and communities in new and ever-meaningful ways.