Head of School, Muskegon Montessori Academy of Environmental Change
For six years, Ali has led MMAEC to be a Montessori leader on the West side of the state, building the program (and the physical school) into a thriving community rooted in true Montessori principles. Beginning her career as a teacher, Ali eventually made her way to West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, a Choice Schools sister school that also featured an environmental focus, and eventually left to pursue leadership at MMAEC. Unlike WMAES, MMAEC doesn't sit on a large nature preserve - but it is right around the corner from Lake Michigan, and Ali's educator team works hard to instill principles of sustainability and global responsibility in their students, using the lake as just one learning tool. For every student at MMAEC, there is no end to the learning journey - kids are individuals who grow, beginning where they're at, with endless opportunities to set goals and achieve amazing results. Under Ali's leadership, the school continues to meet high standards - and expand meaningfully.