Sophie Wallas Rasmussen
Co-Founder & Head of School
Sophie holds an MS in Human Nutrition (Functional Medicine) from University of Bridgeport, an MSc in Social Anthropology from London School of Economics, a BA in Anthropology from Copenhagen University, and a Diploma in Multi-disciplinary Project & Innovation Leadership from Copenhagen Business School.
She is the founder of the holistic health institute HOLISCOPE LLC, which offered functional nutrition and holistic health guidance before she took it upon her to work full-time for the school. She is also the founder of the non-profit 501(c)(3) KidSkill Fund, which raises funds for children scholarships for families in the Catskills Region. Along with her functional medicine/nutrition practice, she's had experience lecturing in cultural studies and personal (re)presentation at college level, has served as business liaison for university graduates, run personal and organizational development courses as a sub-contractor for various organizations, and conducted research projects for national and international NGOs in Europe, before founding the Bovina Center Montessori School with her husband David.
As a Montessori child alum herself, Sophie enrolled her firstborn in a Montessori Daycare in Manhattan after maternity leave, followed by having her children in a Reggio Emilia-based school closer to her family's former home in Brooklyn. She is excited to have her kids return to the Montessori method on a beautiful farm in Bovina.
Sophie continues her joy of life-long learning and has completed all levels of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Orientation Courses during 2021-2022, including ages 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 12-18. She is also currently part of two Montessori Leadership Cohorts, offered by the Montessori Foundation and the Whole School Leadership Institute, which are both run by seasoned and world renown Montessori Administrators.
Co-Founder & Head of Business
David holds a MSc in Economics and Business Administration from Aarhus Business School (Denmark). He has been a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years, most recently as the founder and CEO of GrowthWheel International Inc., a training and software company with 20 employees working for economic development agencies worldwide. Prior to this, he has successfully started more than 10 companies across the globe, including in Scandinavia, North America, South and Southeast Asia, as well as East and South Africa.
David is the principal creator and designer of GrowthWheel, a visual toolbox and software platform for business advisors who work with small businesses. David has trained and certified over 3,600 small business advisors in 49 US states and 50+ countries. It is the intention that GrowthWheel will design a child-centered, Montessori-inspired, entrepreneurship toolbox for the school’s curriculum. David also sits as the chairman of the School Advisory Board, and is the co-Founder of the KidSkill Fund non-profit organization.
David is married to Sophie and together they have two kids who are currently attending Bovina Center Montessori School.
We are inspired by the children
Elizabeth is a C-suite executive with 30 years of experience leading the marketing departments of the world’s top beauty brands. Her skill set covers marketing, sales, education, and PR.
Personally, her upbringing brought her to the Catskills, as summers spent at canoe-tripping camps and family cottages in her native Canada led her to seek a rural balance to her urban life. Six years ago, Elizabeth and her husband bought a three-season, camp-style cabin in Bloomville and have relocated to Delaware County permanently.
Elizabeth was a volunteer Child Care Assistant at Mother’s Choice in Hong Kong, where she lived for several years, comes from a family of Montessori educators, and has completed AMI Montessori Assistants Certificates for 3-6 and 6-12 Years from the Maria Montessori Institute in London.
Donna is a native “Bovinian”, her family having lived and farmed in the area for generations. She is currently the President of the Board at Cornell Corporate Extension of Delaware County, which serves as an educational system that enables people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work, in the areas of agriculture, human ecology, and youth development.
Donna is a member of the Town of Bovina Board, and holds a degree from Western New Mexico University, previously working in healthcare in New York, Wyoming, Minnesota, Montana, and New Mexico. She runs her Glenanore Farm with her husband Mike, where they produce meat and dairy to the local community in Bovina. She is a proud mother and grandmother to several children and grandchildren still living in the county, two of which are enrolled in Bovina Montessori.
Catharine Du Bois Sherry
Catharine is a lawyer and a professor at Brooklyn Law School teaching legal rhetoric and legal communication. She has been teaching lawyers and soon-to-be lawyers to communicate more effectively for over a decade. Catharine also consults on curriculum development and effective learning technique. Catharine is a mother of two children, alternates between her home in Brooklyn and the family house in Bovina, and is with her husband Jake a strong supporter of the local Delaware community.
Independent Montessori School Advisors
Tim Seldin is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. He is a noted Montessori teacher trainer, school consultant, and keynote speaker at scores of Montessori conferences around the world, including the Montessori Foundation’s annual international conference, which is held in Sarasota every November.
Tim has 49 years of experience in Montessori education, beginning with 25 years as a Montessori teacher and Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, which was founded by his family in 1932 and which he attended from age 2 through high school graduation.
As President of the Montessori Foundation, he served as Head of the NewGate School from 1993 through 1999, during the years when NewGate was the Lab School of the Montessori Foundation. Tim was, with Harvey Hallenberg, the co-founder and Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Tim earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from the American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. He is the author of several books about Montessori education. Tim served for many years as an officer on the Board of the American Montessori Society. He is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Instructor.
Tim is currently assisting our school with private consultation during the administrative start-up of the school, as well as ensuring the establishment of a strong Montessori curriculum.
Michele owned and operated a successful, private Montessori school for over 20 years, and improved operational efficiency for a number of AMI Montessori schools in the DC area.
She holds AMI Montessori diplomas for birth through age 12, as well as a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and Masters degree from St. John’s Graduate Institute. She currently mentors Montessori school administrators and guides in best practices.
As Director of Conference Operations and a member of the Core Executive Team for Youth for a Better World, LLC, she chairs committees, trains teacher-coordinators, and inspires elementary and adolescent students to become young change-makers through programs such as Montessori Model United Nations.
Michele is excited to help our growing school evolve into a strong AMI affiliate.