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The Board

Leonor Stjepic – Chair

Leonor Stjepic, is an award-winning social enterprise entrepreneur, whose career has spanned both the private and NGO sectors. She is Chief Executive of the Montessori Group.

Prior to this role, Leonor was CEO of the medical research institute, RAFT. Leonor spun out a commercial company called Smart Matrix Ltd, from RAFT raising $8m in social investment. This has been widely used as a case study in how to avoid risk in social investment.

Leonor has also had a number of Non-Executive roles and is often asked to speak at international conferences on leadership and entrepreneurship.  Leonor also mentors a number of young professionals at different levels of their careers.

Maccs Pescatore – Chief Executive Officer

Maccs brings extensive international, commercial experience from the profit sector. A chartered accountant, qualified with Coopers & Lybrand, she worked for Geest plc, Camelot plc and spent 13 years with Tate & Lyle Plc and ASR Group in the FMCG sector holding a variety of senior finance positions in European divisions, including doing significant, high value cross border transactions from the age of 32.

Her passion for the outdoors includes mountaineering, skiing, cycling and running which she marries with her interests in education in her non-executive roles. She is currently Chair of Advance Performance (UK) Ltd and has held a number of non-executive director positions including at Plas Y Brenin, the national outdoor centre.

She has mentored young people through both The Prince’s Trust and Hatch Enterprise.

Karen Chetwynd – Director of Academic Quality and Partnerships

Karen has worked extensively in educational quality assurance, partnering with FE and HE providers to secure programme recognitions, nationally and internationally.

Work with University partners; Ofqual Awarding Organisations and National Governing Bodies led Karen to support qualifications development from Entry to Post-Graduate, overseeing curriculum design within vocational Teacher Training; Performing Arts; Health and Fitness.

Karen’s work has supported access to greater physical education within schools; widened vocational and academic transferability for Performing Arts trainees and helped specialist HEI’s prepare for DAP’s.

Following her MA (Educational Leadership & Management) Karen became a QAA Reviewer, continuing to maintain an active research interest in authentic assessment practice in vocational training and development of educational partnerships and accreditations to benefit student progression.

The Senior Leadership Team

Preeti Patel – Head of Education

After fifteen years practice in a Montessori day-care nursery as Nursery Manager and an Early Years Educator, Preeti took on the role of Academic Placement Tutor at Montessori Centre International (MCI). She is now our Head of Education.

Preeti holds a BA (Hons) Degree, Montessori International Diploma and an Early Years Teacher Status. Preeti has been involved in Safeguarding training and has delivered many CPD training sessions to colleagues over the last few years.

Jeremy Clarke – Head of Digital Education

Jeremy joined the Montessori Centre International (MCI) academic team in 2013. He previously taught in Nursery and Reception age classes for 13 years and was at Gorton Mount Primary when it became the first state school in the UK to adopt the Montessori approach. At MCI he is the Head of Digital Education, overseeing the Virtual Learning Environment and new Open Learning platform.

He received his BA (QTS) in Environmental Science and Outdoor Studies studying in the Lake District at Charlotte Mason College, Ambleside. He completed his Montessori Diploma at MCI.

Kate Addison – Head of Finance

After completing her MSci in Chemical Physics at the University of Bristol, Kate decided that finance might be more useful than quantum mechanics to everyday life, so she joined KPMG to train as a chartered accountant in financial services audit. Then, from a technical accounting role in a large life insurance company, she moved to gradually more commercial positions in the educational software sector.

Her most recent role was heading up the Financial Planning and Analysis function at Bristol Energy, a start-up electricity and gas supply company set up by Bristol City Council with three main objectives: creating financial value for the Council, environmental benefit, and social good.

Between office jobs, Kate spent three years sailing round the world as crew on award-winning sail training ship Picton Castle, offering adventure travel and sail training to an international, intergenerational crew. She will gladly share salty stories with anyone who might be willing to listen.

The search for meaningful work took Kate to Rwanda, where she volunteered for a short time as a consultant accountant at One Acre Fund, a large international NGO working with smallholder farmers across East Africa. And then to London and the Montessori Group, where she is delighted to have joined the team at such an exciting and inspirational time.