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Who was Shirley Plath?

Shirley Jean Plath’s (1922-2003) gifts to the betterment of humanity extended beyond her family and circle of friends. She gave herself totally to children and organizations to preserve and promote the peaceful and spiritual Montessori approach to life. She and her husband, Chuck, married for 58 years, laid the foundation of the Montessori Institute of America (MIA), later working for the organization and the creation of MEPI. Shirley was a visionary who could envision the end result and not allow doubts, problems or nay-sayers deter her forward movement toward a goal. She traveled worldwide, speaking about Montessori to groups in the Middle East, India, Hawaii, Italy and Thailand – to name a few. Back home she began a Montessori school in Kansas City and expand that school to the present Clay-Patte Children’s House (now Clay-Platte Montessori) in Missouri. She spoke before Congress on the need for the creation of MACTE. Her lifelong passion of advocating for Montessori education helped her guide and mentor not only children, but countless adults who attended her Montessori teacher preparation classes. Her legacy is carried forward by her daughter, Andrea Plath Scott who directs a Teacher Preparation Course, and MEPI who has created this humanitarian fund in her name.

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The Shirley Plath Committee serves as the executive agent to support the society’s mission of “building peace in the world through Montessori education.”


Financial  aid is available for individuals seeking help with MEPI Montessori teacher preparation tuition expenses. Contact the Shirley Plath Fund Chair for more information.         

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