2023 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
2023 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award
Saturday, February 25, 2023
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Josie Aguilar is an accomplished early childhood educator and entrepreneur for youth. In her 35 years of dedication to children, Josie has served her community through various roles, including school founder, director, teacher, and mentor. Josie’s leadership roles and passion for working with children have launched her recognition from parents and children into her present role as a Montessori Director.
Josie was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. She studied at the University of Albuquerque and specialized in orthopedic nursing. Her support of charitable foundations began at that time. Although she left the medical field, Josie continues to support children’s funding for cancer research and is a proud sponsor of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Josie is now a certified Montessori teacher through the American Montessori Society, of which she is a member. She completed her training in both primary and elementary training certifications at the Houston Montessori Center and has 35 years of exceptional educational experience.
For over ten years, Josie was a primary lead teacher at United Orthodox Synagogues Goldberg Montessori School where she mentored, and learned from, rabbis and entrepreneurs in the Jewish community. Her experience resulted in her becoming a keynote speaker at bar mitzvahs, and, because of her dedication, being nominated for the Disney Hand Teachers Award in 2003.
Today, Josie is the proud Director of Casa Dei Bambini Montessori School in Riverstone. As director for the past 11 years, she has opened countless doors of opportunity for many training interns and teachers. In 2020, Josie guided her academic programs at Casa Dei Bambini to achieve their first accreditation through the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The NAEYC accreditation acknowledges Josie’s deeply rooted commitment to promoting high-quality early learning for all young children. Josie truly believes that all children have a wonderful gift to be discovered and shared with the world.
As a Montessorian, Josie has made a commitment to be informed and exhibit best-practices that progress Montessori philosophy into the present challenges and dynamics of life and the evolving world around us. She continues her commitment to her studies by researching and implementing techniques to accommodate and work with the families of children with learning differences.
In 2021, Casa Dei Bambini was awarded “2021 Best Of” schools in Missouri City in conjunction with Josie’s commitment to students and families during the pandemic. In 2022, Josie received a proclamation of honor by Fort Bend County Commissioner Ken DeMerchant for 10 years of commitment to Casa Dei Bambini with recognition from Head of School Ms. Rozina Mohammad.
Two experiences stand out as having deeply inspired Josie’s teaching. The first was a visit to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor. It encouraged her to be even more motivational in her teaching of science and resulted in a collaboration with over 20 astronauts. The second was accompanying a student’s family on a cultural excursion to Germany and Austria. The insights she gained from the memorable trip allowed her to incorporate cultural learning experiences into the classroom.
An avid supporter of youth sports, Josie is the CEO and owner of The Houston Challenger’s youth sports organization. Established by Josie 15 years ago, the program provides leadership opportunities within youth sports with the mission to produce, allow children to become student-athletes and gain admission, scholarships, and grants to colleges and universities across the nation. Many of the organization’s students have graduated from high school and gone on to attend various high-ranking universities.
In addition to her work as director of Casa Dei Bambini, Josie enjoys spending her leisure time maintaining good health with her family by playing tennis, biking, hiking, swimming, and running marathons. Josie is a Chevron Houston Marathon Legacy runner with over 13 marathons completed. She also holds two gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal in the National Aerobic Competition.
Josie is married and has an amazing daughter and two lovely grandsons. Her husband is a retired general manager for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Josie remains in contact with many of the families and students she has taught over the years. She believes the unique insights and experiences she has shared with her students has helped inspire them to become successful doctors, lawyers, teachers, and professional athletes.
Josie is grateful to her parents, family, siblings, and mentors for believing in her and trusting in her commitment and caring devotion to children. Her strength is to persevere with children as they continuously seek to discover the many wonders of the world in the years ahead.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Josie Aguilar has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2023.