Meet the Co-Founders

Donors, Supporters, People Seeking Sustainable Reform Answers
Re expectations of how your donations &/or efforts will grow in the coming years:

Our Intention

“Education reform is huge and necessary… Yet, it feels like a somewhat futile adventure, doesn’t it?

We felt the same way and realized that MORE THAN advocacy and education about the issues were going to be needed to make the type of IMPACT where we could literally SEE A Desired DIFFERENCE happening. 

And, it could be seen in a way that was more than hopeful, but in a way that was recognizable, ideally, inspirational and exciting with verifiable advanced learning outcomes evident.

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That seemed like a big challenge.

Did we have the skills, experience and verve to offer something that would translate into impact or not? Frankly, we wrestled with this question.

We knew we had experience + passion driven by a heart of ethics + insights + certain savvy with an enjoyment of listening to the beat of a different drummer – all of which are required to bring a new dynamic into operational functionality for a notable change.

We decided to commit our vision of an educational end result, so clear in our minds we could “taste it”, into curricula.

Sharon possesses a gift of rapport – she can enter a class or group of kids, esp. pre-k to age 8 and “magic” happens. Could this gift be analyzed and taught to others ?… Dennis and Tina were sure of it.

We decided if we could commit our vision of an educational end result, so clear in our minds we could “taste it”, into curricula, then we had an obligation to offer it to a world hungry for such knowledge of how-to do it.

Besides, we were motivate to end the suffering of children bored by rote and turning to criminality for the challenges it offered! And, so our deliberations and intention merged into formulated curricula to pass on the skills of rapport driven classrooms.

It was exciting to watch our ideas take form!

In a nutshell, we arrived at taking a parallel approach by training new breed of teachers to open public charter schools as pilot models demonstrating the new curriculum in action – much the same way Montessori came into recognition as a superior methodology.  Let us grow together and heal our society one classroom at a time, joined in collaboration as a system benefiting as many people as we can interest in being the change!

We can most definitely can do it, we simply have to start the process.”


Sharon Quinn:

The Creative Intuitive

 Educational Experience and Training

  • Trained in the Montessori Educational Method as a certified classroom teacher and as a master mentor and educationalist
  • American Sign Language (ASL) training with informal classroom teaching at pre-k level
  • Conducted a 5 year research project validating the methodology and curriculum AKRNA will be advancing, included classroom teaching and school administration
  • Co-founder of Antakarana Montessori  Method Association (AMMA) training pre-k through grade 2 teachers
  • Growing Up Strong (GUS) Senior Master Trainer conducting workshops and developing curriculum materials
  • Educational Consultant for academic and affective skill development – early childhood-grade 3 (setup a preschool program and teen discussion group for a local organization)
  • Private tutoring for children 2–10 years and teaching adult workshops on variety of subjects
  • Director of Prime Time, a latch key after school program, for the YMCA
  • Established a part-time children’s program for Nature’s Nook
  • Various College and Continuing Education courses for facilitating co-dependency and alcoholic recovery, discipline, resource utilization, leadership, communications, computer program usage, professional sales training with field application, public speaking, listening skills,  results-oriented planning, and marketing and public relations
  • Grant Writing Workshops
  • Attended Eastern Michigan University, Oklahoma State University Technical Institute, Pacific Institute, University of Oklahoma, continuing education, and a Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Fraternity member.

Public speaking, volunteerism,  headline editor, and worked on a cookbook publication.


Tina Samuel:

The Steady Beat of a Mother’s Heart & Wisdom

Tina brings her B. Ed, Progressive Montessori, and Nursery School Administration Certification to the Antakarana foundation.

Her many years teaching in foreign countries and the United States enriches her cultural openness which she brings as a valuable asset to our evolving work.  Tina’s strong base of ethics and honesty in relating underscores the Principles and motives which generated our unique curriculum insights and formulation.  Her keen interests are in advancing the social sciences and superior education that elicits the inner nature of a child to find their gifts and learn how to translate them into practical skills.

Tina and Sharon co- founded the  Antakarana Montessori  Method Association (AMMA), and together they formulated a curriculum training pre-k through grade 2 teachers in an advanced Montessori Method, reincorporating aspects that foster human spirit development, which, according to Dr. Elizabeth Caspari, were near and dear to Maria Montessori, yet often excluded from the schools and training organizations as either, not “popular or modern.”

Tina joined the As Buds Blossom research project validating the methodology and curriculum AKRNA will be advancing, including classroom teaching and school administration.

Tina Samuel
 My original attraction to work with Sharon was when I first had the opportunity to observe her interaction with the students and witnessed her skills in the classroom.  She was actualizing what I had been taught to be the true Montessori way in her school.

Dennis Gillum:

The Man, The Force of Nature :), & Voice of Reason  

Graduate of United State’s AIR University, Maxwell Air Force Base

  •   Academic instructor, special track ISB (Instructional Systems Development)*
  •   Technical instructor
    •  12 years in class instruction
    •   Developed definitive training programs for “War Skill,” air force wide

Central College of Texas, Killeen, Texas

  • Adjunct professor of Criminal Justice, 3 years

Rest is “classified”

  •   Taught Delta Force

* ISB is about building curricula and validating them by testing the inherent hypothesis

Dennis brings his deep thought, love of nurturing children, love of learning, creative open mind, and grant writing skills to A.K.R.N.A projects. 

We are blessed by someone of his caliber of giving and intelligence being integral to our founding.

Related Articles:
About US  
Our History
Eye Opening Experience Urges Founding of AKRNA Foundation
Join a Movement with Answers! 
What Makes A.K.R.N.A. Educational Reform Different 
Lasting Educational Change – 5 Bottom Line “Must Haves”   
21st Century Education: 21 Year Cycle