The Mountain Shadows Montessori School Board of Directors named Liana Oram its next Head of School effective July, 2017.
Oram brings more than two decades of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) experience as a teacher, school co-founder, and administrator to lead Mountain Shadows into its fifth decade.
“Liana demonstrated that she is a model of AMI pedagogy and values. Her Montessori and real estate business experiences give her the complete package of requisite skills to manage the variety of demands the position of Head of School encounters daily,” said search committee chair and Board President Polly Buster (P ’01, ’06). “The committee and board, as well as the teachers and staff, were drawn to her listening and strong problem solving skills, and her ability to articulate not only her position on matters, but also the Montessori pedagogy clearly and thoughtfully.”
Oram comes to Mountain Shadows from Montessori Northwest, an AMI training center, where she has been an Elementary Course Assistant for the last year. There she supported the Director of Elementary Training helping oversee supervised practice in model classroom environments.
“I strongly believe that each child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential, and a Montessori education provides an excellent foundation by fostering independence, critical thinking, and social awareness,” she said. “During my visit to Mountain Shadows, I was elated to see so many wonderful examples of this in action. From my conversations with students, teachers, staff and members of the board and search committee, it was clear to me that Mountain Shadows is a very special school.”
Oram’s journey in AMI education began as a child in an AMI Primary school in Connecticut founded by her mother, continued when she earned her AMI Elementary certification in 1986, and came full circle when she and her mother opened The Clariden School, an AMI Primary and Elementary school in North Texas. The school grew from six students in a leased space to 200-plus students in a state of the art, custom designed campus. The location would eventually accommodate adolescent and high school programs with 40 students.
As a founder and co-director, her roles included advancement, human resources, operations, parent education, external outreach, board management, and transitioning the school from a privately held entity through its 501(c)(3) application. She also taught all subjects of first through sixth grades and math in grades 7-12.
In 2005 Oram took a sabbatical from AMI education to support her husband in building a residential and commercial real estate business until her hire at Montessori Northwest.
Oram received her B.S. in elementary education and M.Ed. from the University of Texas. She earned her Elementary Level AMI Teacher Certification from Washington Montessori Institute and has credit hours toward a doctorate in education program from the University of North Texas. She also has a TEFL/TESOL certificate and has taught ESL in the Dallas area.