Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of The Portland Montessori School works with the school administration, the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and other school stakeholders to ensure the school fulfills its mission and purpose. The following individuals currently serve on our Board of Directors:
Mr. Smejtek leads a product development engineering team for TE Connectivity (formerly Tyco Electronics). Mr. Smejtek is the father of a student in her fourth year of our elementary program.
Rachel Weisshaar is a judicial law clerk at the Oregon Court of Appeals. In September 2014, she will join the Oregon Department of Justice as an Honors Attorney. She holds a B.A. in English from Pomona College and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. She lives two blocks away from Portland Montessori School.
Dr. August is a retired Psychologist who specialized in the assessment, care and treatment of infants, toddlers and young children. Her area of practice focused on Developmental Disabilities with a particular interest in children with Autism. She has two grandchildren in the primary program.
Tonka is a citizen of Chile who spent her childhood in Denmark and has also lived in France. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology from UC Berkeley where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Following her undergraduate studies, Tonka pursued graduate international fieldwork in maritime archeology at Texas A&M University. After returning to the US, Tonka earned her teaching and ECE credentials from San Francisco State and taught kindergarten in California. Subsequently, Tonka went on to co-found Clarus Property Ventures, a commercial real estate investment group where she served as its COO for seven years. Tonka is a strong supporter of the Montessori philosophy and both her children attended West Hills Montessori School.
Mrs. Franceschi is delighted to provide skills and experience in nonprofit management, marketing and fundraising to advance the work of The Portland Montessori School. As a Development Officer for Concordia University in Portland, she leverages the strength of academic programs to cultivate philanthropic support that impacts students and the community, engaging people who have a passion for education with meaningful opportunities to help develop leaders for the future. Two of her three sons attended TPMS when it was housed at Providence Child Center.
Joel is the Executive Director of Soccer Shots, a fun, non competitive soccer skills program serving more than 7000 players ages 2-8 each year. Before starting Soccer Shots, Joel worked for the Australian Government as a Senior Director of US Market Development. There he advised hundreds of businesses, primarily about their marketing and strategy. Joel currently serves as on the board of the non profit Active Children Portland, which impacts middle schoolers through soccer, basketball and poetry programming. Joel holds a Masters in Business and a BA in Religious Studies from OSU.
Michael Kubler leads the Providence Health & Services Emergency Management department. He returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2007 after 9 years in the Navy where he practiced public health and emergency preparedness from Iceland to Diego Garcia. In addition to his work with Portland Montessori Michael also volunteers as the board president for the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup and as a member of a number of organizations and committees usually focused on emergency management and education issues.
Educated as a research scientist, Donald worked for 20 years in research and research administration. He developed the concept, obtained funding from a private foundation, created research facilities and became the first executive director of the Neurological Sciences Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center in Portland. He has also served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Pacific University in Oregon. His consulting work with NXT Consulting Group focused on strategic issues identification, environmental scanning, visioning, strategic planning and organizational development for higher education institutions and non-profit organizations primarily involved in education. Dr. Rushmer has a B.S. in biological sciences from Antioch College and a Ph.D. in neurobiology/physiology from the University of Rochester. He was also a Senior Fellow of the International Executive Forum of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, La Jolla, California.