MFS Board of Directors
Montessori Family School is a non-profit entity, tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In keeping with that status and with the best practices recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools and the California Association of Independent Schools, it is governed by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time to the school. Board members are the parents of current students, parents of alumni, and professionals in the community who are dedicated to Montessori education.
The Board of Directors has three principal duties: (1) it selects, evaluates, and supports the Head of School, to whom it delegates authority to manage the school; (2) it develops broad institutional policies that guide the Head in running the school; and (3) it is accountable for the financial well-being of the school.
The Board of Directors acts only as a whole; its individual members have no authority to act unless they have been authorized to do so by the Board as a whole. The day-to-day operations of the school are the responsibility of the Head of School; as such, the Board does not respond to questions about such matters nor can it respond to anonymous communications.
One subset of the Board of Directors is the COVID Response Team; a list of its members can be found below.
The 2021 - 2022 Board of Directors
Anne Marie Richard
Anne Marie is a lifelong learner and educator who brings a creative spirit and constructive approach to her work and community service, and a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. She completed her doctorate in Education at UC Berkeley, and her professional background includes 25+ years of experience in leadership and management, program design, research, teaching, and advocacy for underrepresented communities in a range of settings including higher education, public agencies, and non-profit organizations. Anne Marie’s initial connection to MFS was fleeting - her son attended MFS for the two middle school years - but its lasting impact on her son’s confidence and abilities was such that when the opportunity arose to serve on the board, she was delighted to join. When not working, Anne Marie usually can be found hiking a trail, riding her bicycle, enjoying family and friends, or curled up on the couch with a good book.
Rebecca Redwine is the Director of Chocolate Experiences at Dandelion Chocolate, where she leads a team that develops educational and experiential learning. In addition to her professional leadership capacity, she is actively involved in promoting equity and inclusion in the chocolate industry at large. Rebecca has a dynamic background in sales and operations management, in addition to her years as a restaurant owner in North Berkeley. Rebecca has a daughter entering second grade, who has been immersed in Montessori education since her schooling began at 18 months, and a (step) daughter who has recently graduated from SFSU and is exploring a career in Montessori education. In her off time, Rebecca enjoys running, hiking, and vegan cooking.
Kristine Solseng is a Principal Planner at Contra Costa County, where she has worked at the intersection of data analysis, finance, and strategic planning to support sustainable communities for over two decades. Her daughter started Montessori Family School at age three - with her grandmother as her teacher - and recently graduated from the middle school program. Kristine loves to explore the world with family and friends, in particular if good food is involved.
Gabriel Marshank joined the board of Montessori Family School a full 40 years after he entered the school’s inaugural class as a student – and son of the founder, Jane Wechsler. A lifelong Montessorian, he considers the intellectual curiosity sparked at the school to have been the formative experience in his life. It led him to study at Yale University, and then pursue a career in investment research first in New York City and then in London. His three daughters were born in the UK and transitioned seamlessly from their Montessori school there back to MFS in 2018. Two can still be found roaming around the El Cerrito Campus - one each in Lower and Upper Elementary.
Michael Aldaco enjoyed a long career as an accomplished higher education executive with a focus on equity and inclusion. He attended UC Santa Barbara, where he began his career in higher education in 1978 as a counselor for undergraduate students. After serving one year as a UC President’s management fellow he began work in the UC Office of the President in Oakland, where he held a number of positions, including Director of Undergraduate Affirmative Action, California’s Executive Director of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program, and finally Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Academic Services. He retired from the UC in 2008. Michael and his wife, Luci Castruita, have three children. Two of them, Natalia and Nico, are MFS alumni. Their granddaughter, Cristina, is a student in UE.
Christine Chilcott is the Chief Executive Officer for Girls Inc. of the Island City (GIIC) and loves working to provide engaging and informative programs to girls and teens all over Alameda and now Richmond and San Pablo. Christine is very proud that during her time at GIIC, first as Director of Programs and as CEO for the past six years, that she has partnered with the Alameda Unified School District to bring programming to all 16 district schools.
Christine has her Bachelor’s in Recreation and Leisure Studies and her Master’s in Education, both from San Francisco State. She is interested in how school districts and community partners work in a beneficial and sustainable way to support the whole child. To that end, Christine begins working on her Doctorate in Education, also at San Francisco State, this fall.
When she is not working, Christine enjoys reading, swimming, and going on walks and playing backyard soccer with her husband and two daughters. She also loves snuggling with her two toy Chihuahuas, Marshmallow and Cocoa.
Sean McPhetridge is Superintendent of Cabrillo Unified School District. Previously he served as Superintendent of Alameda Unified School District after working in various roles there over time. He has worked almost thirty years in teaching and administrative assignments spanning K-12 to prison. He earned his doctorate at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Sean lives with his wife Kirstin and dog Stella in San Francisco and enjoys cooking, gardening, and playing the guitar.
Sara Stone has been an equity-focused educational leader for the last 25 years. She currently serves as the Vice President of Teaching and Learning at the Chabot Space & Science Center, with a focus on building equitable and accessible pathways for youth in STEAM.
Growing up in Oakland allowed Sara’s passion and understanding of the assets of diversity, the necessity of equity, and the undeniable need for social justice within the education system to be ignited. Sara Stone is married to a video game designer who she has known since she was 5 years old and together they have two sons, 13 and 19. She wants for all children what she wants for her own: safe, joyful, rigorous, and engaging learning experiences.
When Sara is not working you can find her hiking with her family and chorkie, reading True Crime stories, or exploring the incredible gifts that the Bay Area has to offer.
Head of School & Ex-Officio Board Member
Alissa Stolz is a multi-credentialed Montessori practitioner, teacher trainer, field consultant, Montessori Coach, and international knowledge presenter with a specialty in adolescent developmental frameworks and education. In a variety of capacities, teaching has been her lifelong work. Guiding learners both young and not-so-young towards self-discovery and autonomy and the belief that this work is essential to the fullest development of the human inspires her each day.
A Bay Area native who moved ‘back home’ in 2009, she remembers from childhood where the Cheeseboard used to be. Down time might find her playing cards or board games somewhat raucously at home with friends and her family: a sweetheart of 30 years, two Montessori Family School alums (Middle School,’13 and ’15), and a collection of animals who have strayed in the back gate and decided to stay.
El Cerrito Site Director & Ex-Officio Board Member
Dylan's first visit to a Montessori classroom was in 2015, when he observed the KB and LE classrooms at MFS. The experience was transformative: witnessing the delight, curiosity, independence, and courtesy of these children, encouraged to discover and explore for themselves, inspired him to move to the Bay Area and begin working at MFS.
Dylan spent the next 5 years at MFS teaching in first the Lower Elementary and then the Upper Elementary classroom (with a short stint as a PE teacher in between), before leaving to help run a local independent bookshop, Spectator Books, in Oakland. Dylan is delighted beyond words to be back at MFS in a new role, as Site Director at the El Cerrito Campus.
Dylan believes that a Montessori education provides the opportunity and occasion for children to discover for themselves how they learn best, to solve conflicts with empathy and understanding, to desire purposeful work, to encounter obstacles with a positive and determined attitude, to create order in their spaces and peace in their groups, and to learn as much as they can about their world, to preserve what is good and improve what is not. For these reasons and more, Dylan is proud and grateful to work at MFS, whether in the classroom or in the office.
The COVID Response Team (CRT)
MFS Communications and El Cerrito Campus Site Administrator
El Cerrito Campus Site Director
MFS Early Childhood Campus Director
Anne Marie Richard
MFS Board Chair
Head of School