Toni Norton, Advanced Literacy Specialist, M.Ed.

Photo of Toni Norton Advanced Literacy SpecialistThank you for taking the time to find out more about me. I was introduced to Montessori in the 1970s as a teenager. My step-mom was the director of a highly respected Houston school and I worked there part-time during the summer months. I was naturally drawn to both to the nurturing environment of the school and the self-reliant nature of the children who attended there.

While a student at the University of Texas in Austin, I became a teacher’s assistant at Austin Montessori School. I was fortunate enough to work with Joe Bruno and several other wonderful teachers. The experience I gained from working in many positions and with many different age groups at Austin Montessori School gave me the inspiration to pursue my Montessori certification.

I graduated from the Toronto Montessori Institute in 1980 as a Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) certified teacher. I then went on to receive a BA from the University of Texas Austin with a degree in Italian and accumulated hours toward a second degree in English. I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for ten years, first while living abroad in Rome and Buenos Aires and then in Austin to corporate internationals in the high tech community. I am fluent in Italian, proficient in Spanish, and continue to have an interest in world cultures and travel.

In 2011, I earned my master’s degree in Education majoring in Advanced Literacy while working full-time at Parkside Montessori School. I am a state certified reading specialist and currently an Academic Language Therapy trainee at Rawson Saunders Institute. I have been dedicated to the field of education for over 30 years, with many of those years at Parkside Montessori School.

I am also the mother of two now grown children, my daughter Kaila and my son Teo. Cancer has touched our family in profound ways and, along with my husband Adam, we actively promote cancer research and blood donations  through community outreach.

My work with the Montessori method has given me an innate love of the natural world. When I am not teaching or cooking, you can often find me swimming, gardening with native plants or collecting rocks and fossils at my Dripping Springs home. One day I hope to learn the art of beekeeping.