Summit-Questa Montessori principal Judith Dempsey was awarded the Richard and Dorothy Lear 2016-2017 Distinguished Educator of the Year Award—the highest honor given by the Association of Independent Schools of South Florida. She will accept her award at the annual conference in spring.

Named for the founders of the Lear School of Miami, the award recognizes the distinguished career of Dempsey spanning more than 40 years. Her passion for education led her to be the founding owner and principal of the 25-year-old Summit-Questa Montessori School, in Davie, for students toddler age through 8th grade.

Dempsey is also co-director of the Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute where she guides other teachers into the Montessori leaders of today and tomorrow. In her informative, bestselling book, Turning Education Inside-Out: Confessions of a Montessori Principal, she addresses the need for parents and educators to better understand the Montessori philosophy as a means to help solve the problems of the traditional structure of education in the U.S.

Dempsey is a board member of the Montessori Florida Coalition. She has been trained to serve on school evaluation teams for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools-Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).