Eden Prairie - North:
Eden Prairie - South:

Recently, Eden Prairie Montessori South Director Ms Lisa visited the original Montessori Training Center in Perugia, Italy. We are delighted to share with you some interesting bits of AMI history, photos and Ms Lisa’s special connection to Perugia, written in her own words…


“I went to a local small liberal arts college here in innesota, Gustavus Adolphus,  from 1975 – 77 as a Fine Arts student, studying with Paul Granlund. He encouraged me to study art in Italy.  My mother (always practical) said, ” why don’t you study Montessori too? There’s a training school in Perugia – a large city in Umbria, close to Assisi.” I had an assistant job with a local Montessori school and liked children.  I said sure! I was 19 years in 1977 and did the two year training at the AMI Training Center of Perugia.  I returned to Minneapolis and started teaching my first class in 1979, yep, 39 years ago….

I’ve returned to Italy as a tourist 7 or 8 times over these past decades.  I love the food, culture, people and Italian language.


Four years ago I was moving house and discovered a box of personal papers from my youth under a stairwell. Inside a folder were old paper sheets of two lectures – one labeled M.Montessori    Geneva 1932 Attitudine Morale Del Maestra – lectures in Italian. I thought, no – could they be original? I didn’t know how I came into possession, but knew I wanted to return them to the training center.


Dr Maria Antonietta Paolini (right)


My teacher, Maria Antonietta Paolini, was Dr. Montessori’s favorite pupil.  Together, the two women started the training center of Perugia in 1952. Senorita Paolini directed 33 courses from 1952 until she retired in 1994. In 1997 an earthquake hit the region of Perugia and the training center closed for a number of years.  The AMI organization revived the center in 2014, labeling it the Montessori Training Center of Perugia Maria Antonietta Paolini. It is affiliated with AMI, Association Montessori International. The rebirth of the international course is now offered in two modules of 3 months each, over a 2 year span.  People from all over the world come to do the training (in Italian with English translation).



I loved visiting the center and reuniting with a peer, Sylvia Dorantes, who is now the director.  We spoke of the papers that I returned, our history, our experiences with teaching, directing programs, administrating and working with children from all paths of society and race.  I presented curriculum on teaching peace in the classroom – social and emotional intelligence training incorporating song, poetry, grace and courtesy lessons, the peace table, reading emotion exercises, etc.  It was wonderful to be in the building and visit the beautiful city of Perugia again!”




Ms Lisa

Director of Eden Prairie Montessori South – 

Lisa joins us with over four decades of teaching experience, most of that in a Montessori setting. She completed her AMI Montessori Teacher’s certificate in Italy- where Dr. Maria Montessori originated her method. She also holds a Fine Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, a BA in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and graduate work through Metro State. She is quite the academic and is always learning! Lisa comes from a family of artists. Her husband owns an art gallery, her oldest son is a filmmaker and married to a writer with 3 publish books, her youngest son is a woodworker and she herself sings and plays guitar and ukulele. She is a world traveler with trips to South and Central America and Europe, as well as having seen 4/5 of the United States.

Fun Fact: Lisa is an Italophile. She loves anything Italian- the food, the cities, the museums… She’s even learning the language!



Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn more about our SUMMER child care program in Eden Prairie! For over 20 years, our attentive staff has been creating fun, student-centered summer daycare learning experiences for Eden Prairie children.

To learn more about our summer program, book a tour by contacting a member of our staff at 952-777-3606. We look forwarding to showing you a better type of summer camp.