AMS 2009 Living Legacy: Marie M. Dugan
The following tribute was written when Marie M. Dugan was named AMS Living Legacy for 2009.
With grace and distinction, as both a parent and an educator, Marie M. Dugan has helped nurture the growth of the American Montessori Society—and, indeed, the American Montessori movement—since the earliest days, when AMS founder Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch became her mentor and friend.
Today, Marie most values the personal and professional connections that bind far-flung AMS members into a community that is committed to educating for peace and social justice.
She enjoys documenting the unfolding history of the Society’s extended family through its living archives collection.
And she appreciates the opportunity to speak for the rights of children as an AMS representative to the United Nations.
As AMS Living Legacy for 2009, Marie is particularly pleased to call our attention to the importance of financial support for teacher education.
“Teachers are truly the heart of our schools,” she says. “If the Montessori movement is to continue to grow, our community must commit to developing more teachers. Contributions to the Living Legacy Scholarship Fund are urgently needed to help new teachers prepare at accredited Montessori teacher education programs.”
Marie currently provides consultation on Montessori practices for both public and private schools and is the co-coordinator for the Center for Montessori School Management at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/NY.
She began her professional career as an AMS-educated teacher in 1971 at Wilmington Montessori School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she served as head of school from 1980 to 2000. She now serves on the school’s advisory board.
Throughout her career, Marie has been devoted to the American Montessori Society. A member of the Board of Directors for 13 years, she often found herself in the role of peacemaker as the group sought consensus.
She served as AMS president for 5 years and as the first chair of the Heads Section. She continued her service to AMS through the Schools Accreditation Commission and as chair of the Founders Fund.
In 2004, Marie agreed to take the position of AMS interim executive director, leaving her home and moving to New York City to help guide the organization through a complicated transition.
She currently chairs both the Archives Committee and the Centennial Campaign Committee—which has raised a half million dollars for AMS—and is a member of the Development Committee.
Our 2009 AMS Living Legacy has also made significant contributions to education outside the Montessori community.
In 1992, she became a member of the Board of the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges. The same year, the governor appointed her to Delaware's Daycare Regulations Task Force.
She served on the Board of Directors of Delaware’s Futures from 2000 to 2005, and on the Board of Connecting Generations from 2000 to 2006. In 2003, Marie became a charter member of the Early Age Education Advisory Committee for the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools. She has served on the Board of the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children and the Delaware Association of Independent Schools.
In 2001, Marie received the Community Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from Creative Grandparenting, Inc. In 2005, she was awarded the Alumnae Association Medallion Award from Misericordia University and the Board of Directors Award from Wilmington Montessori School.
On a personal note, Marie and George Dugan recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have 3 children, George, Joanne, and Annette, and 2 grandsons, Hugo and Max.