Founders

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Sophie Wallas Rasmussen

Co-Founder & Head of School

Sophie holds an MS in Human Nutrition 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 since 2013, which offers functional nutrition and holistic health guidance and training for families in upstate NY. Her former work experiences include college lecturer in cultural studies and personal (re)presentation, business liaison for careers services for university graduates, running personal development training courses as a sub-contractor for various organizations, and conducting research projects for national and international NGOs in Europe.

 

As a Montessori child alum herself, Sophie enrolled her firstborn in a Montessori School in NYC after maternity leave, and is now excited to return both of her kids to this learning method. She is currently completing her Montessori Leadership Institute Courses on How to Start a Montessori School, as well as An Overview of Montessori Principles & Curriculum: Infant-Toddler through High School, both offered by the Montessori Foundation. In addition to this, she will during Spring 2021 be completing her Association Montessori International (AMI) Orientation (Certificate) Course for ages 3-6 at the Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE). 

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David Madie

Co-Founder & Chairman of Advisory Board

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.

David is married to Sophie and they have two kids, ages 12 and 8, who will be attending the Bovina Center Montessori School.

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We are inspired by our children

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Elizabeth Lamont

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 are planning to relocate 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 an AMI Montessori Assistants Certificate (3-6 Years) from the Maria Montessori Institute in London.

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Donna Dickson-Noonan

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 also 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.

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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. As a mother of a four-year-old and as a supporter of the community, she is looking forward to working with the Bovina Montessori School.  

School Advisory Board

External Montessori School Advisors

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Tim Seldin

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.

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 Barbara Callahan

Barbara is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a nationally certified psychoanalyst. In addition to this, she is a long-term school external consultant for five Montessori Schools in Fairfield County, CT. She runs bi-monthly parenting seminars, teacher workshops, and other staff support seminars at 7 regional preschools in the Tristate area. 

 

Prior to her current professions, she’s had over 18 years of experience in founding and teaching at Montessori schools, while also being a Montessori parent. She earned her AMI International Montessori Diploma at the Southern Montessori Institute and founded The Children’s House (Montessori) in Hong Kong, before relocating and teaching ages 2.5 - 6 years at two other Montessori schools; Sunset Montessori School (Miami, FL) and The Montessori School (Wilton, CT). Along with assisting in the start-up phase of our school, Barbara will run the school’s teacher workshops and some parent seminars.