63525-Speaker Headshots-Discovering the

Head of Education, Bezos Academy

MICHAEL ABELLO

Michael has spent his career striving towards educational equity for all children, working as a preschool teacher, instructional coach, and school principal. Before joining Bezos Academy as Head of Education, Michael served as the Chief of Early Childhood Education for Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the country. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance, a master’s in Early Childhood Education, and a doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership. Michael is excited to continue the work of expanding access to high-quality, early childhood education at Bezos Academy. He recently moved to Seattle from Chicago with his family. Michael’s favorite children’s books include Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Little Engine That Could, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Keynote: Interviewed by Ray Girn

Transforming Communities through Montessori Education

Montessori education has benefitted the lives of millions of children, but in percentage terms has barely made a mark on children’s lives on the whole. Particularly, children in low-income families have had minimal opportunities to access Montessori schools. If Montessori education has helped children grow in such rich and complete ways, then this lack of access further widens the gap between underserved communities and those who have ample access to and increasing adoption of Montessori schools for their children. We believe that children in underserved communities learn best from adults that share their circumstances. In this conversation, Michael Abello and Ray Girn will discuss why Montessori education is uniquely suited for helping children in underserved communities and how full engagement with the local adults is a necessary ingredient to transforming not just the children’s opportunities, but also serve as a change agent for the community on the whole.