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Expert in Experiential Learning

Marliese Colantuno

A lover of animals, books, gardening, and the arts, Marliese Colantuno comes from a service-oriented family with a holistic worldview, and was attuned from a tender age to the impact of global events on individuals. Spiritually inclined, innately curious, and an innovative thinker, she discovered her own pathway to making a meaningful contribution early on. Having changed schools frequently as a child, she acquired the habit of observing and analyzing each new system in which she found herself. She started noticing what was and wasn’t effective in education, and taking an active interest in how people learn. As fate would have it, the high school she attended operated a preschool on campus that also served as a laboratory setting for students studying Child Development. The delight she took in her senior year internship in a first grade classroom, along with enthusiastic endorsements from her mentors, solidified her commitment to embark on her journey as an educator. The mentorship she has been blessed to receive since then has had a profound and lasting impact on her practice.


An expert in experiential learning, Marliese is inspired by thinkers such as Maria Montessori, whose legacy is a scientific approach to enlightened education intended to bring about mental health, personal and cultural transformation, and, ultimately world peace; Virginia Satir, who promoted “peace within, peace between, and peace among”; and Buckminster Fuller, who dedicated his inventive spirit to a world that works 100% of the time for 100% of its inhabitants.

Out of her commitment to manifest these goals, Marliese has enjoyed serving children and families in many ways. Her background as an educator includes a broad range of experience teaching children and adults, with and without developmental differences, at multiple levels, in a variety of interesting settings, including conventional and Montessori schools, peace and social justice groups, technology conferences, equestrian camps, parent book clubs, arts organizations, gardening programs, and the hospitality industry. Rising up through the ranks in education, she became a Montessori Guide, the Director of a Montessori program, and ultimately a Montessori teacher trainer at a graduate level teacher-training program, where she has been employed since 2000 as a faculty member, concurrently with her work teaching children. She is acknowledged by her peers as a trusted resource. She also serves as an educational consultant and coach.


A voracious reader and a collaborative learner, Marliese seeks out eclectic opportunities for expanding her general knowledge base, cultivating her skill set, and developing her consciousness. Recognizing that we cannot effectively facilitate growth beyond our own level of understanding, she has immersed herself in personal and professional growth and development work. Her intensive study of family systems, indigenous thought, spiritual traditions, and human potential models provides an intricate framework that enhances her work as an educator and entrepreneur. Her connection to these learning communities has also enabled her to forge international friendships that provide essential context to her endeavors. Ever on the lookout for exciting ways to use herself on behalf of others, her forays in outdoor education, improvisational theater, and educational software design have expanded her capacity for observation, imagination, and communication, and connected her to a community of futuristic systems thinkers. These experiences inform and enrich her practice. Each has had a determining impact on her personal and professional trajectory, as have an incredibly wise, kind, artistic, and talented circle of friends whose creative influence in her life and work is deeply felt and treasured.

In addition to her Montessori Credential, Marliese holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Psychology and Human Development, a topic she finds endlessly fascinating, and an area of interest she shares with the inimitable Renee Beth Poindexter. Marliese has witnessed Renee Beth’s inspiring and effective coaching in the areas of business, education, personal growth, and health and wellness, and she immediately recognized the value Renee Beth consistently provides. Having experienced Renee Beth’s gift for asking powerful, insightful, and life-altering questions, Marliese was intrigued by the possibility of collaborating with her. She embraced the invitation from Renee Beth to participate in the Beta Mentors Mastermind, along with a cohort of brilliant companions, each with a rich and varied background, a wealth of knowledge, and a desire to share the treasures they have acquired on their own journeys. This decision turned out to be fruitful beyond her already high expectations, empowering her to elevate her performance in all areas of her life. In addition to expert facilitation and personalized guidance from Renee Beth, Marliese gained access to a community of wise, loving, and innovative partners supporting one another to co-creating a unique platform for offering our gifts to the world and engaging others to do the same.

Joining the Living the Potential Network was an easy choice. Rigorous, illuminating, convenient, and fun, this platform represents a revolutionary approach to making an effective contribution in areas crucial to all aspects of life: connection to nature, mental health, youth empowerment, support and coaching for parents and educators, environmental solutions, ethical entrepreneurialism, peace and social justice, personal and cultural transformation. All life is crying out for this to happen. The Living the Potential Network offers the individual, community, and systemic solutions the planet so urgently needs.

At this critical juncture in human history, the question of our collective survival and the possibility that all life can thrive requires exquisite attention and appropriate collective action. Given what is at stake, it is urgent that together we broaden our perspective, recognize our interdependence, discover our inner resources, and cultivate enlightened ways of being. In so doing, we can prepare for an unknown future and generate new possibilities in a rapidly changing world. Marliese is thrilled to be engaged with colleagues and clients in the Living Potential Network, facilitating adventures in mentoring, education, community, and sustainability. Together we are going beyond our previous understanding of what is possible, shifting paradigms, and unlocking the human potential!