Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of the school. It establishes policies for the school, oversees finances, and provides continuity and direction. Board members are elected by the current Board for three-year terms and are recruited and trained by the Committee on Trustees. Each member of the Board must endorse the Montessori philosophy of learning, language immersion education, and the purpose and values described in Intercultural Montessori Language School’s current strategic plan. The Board’s primary role is to focus on fiscal and strategic planning, policy, hiring and evaluating the Executive Director, and institutional and organizational stability and sustainability.

Among the Board as a whole, the Committee on Trustees looks for members with experience that supports initiatives on the strategic plan, in addition to in education administration or Montessori education, bilingual experience, strategy/strategic planning, business management, financial/accounting, marketing, fundraising, law/policy, human resources, communications, and site management or real estate development.

The Board currently has the following members:

(presented in alphabetical order by last name)

Ms. Fatima Beach

Ms. Beach is a Vice President of Human Resources for AST Corporation an Oracle consulting partner firm headquartered in Naperville, IL where she focuses on employee workplace strategic initiatives. Ms. Beach is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago where she received both her Master of Science degree in Human Resources and her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. She has volunteered and organized large charity events for not-for-profit schools. She has lived abroad, traveled locally and internationally for business and has presented at various large Oracle user group conferences throughout the U.S.

Mr. Mathew Ditto

Mr. Ditto came to Chicago via the Urban Teachers Corps and DePaul University’s Center for Urban Education after serving in various capacities with the United States Peace Corps in Kenya, East Africa and Uganda, East Africa. He has served for the last eight years as the principal of Andrew Jackson Language Academy. Most recently he serves in the role of CEO Administrator for School Transformation for Chicago Public Schools. He believes that elementary education is the process by which students discover, develop and share their gifts and talents.

Mr. Kevin Harris

Mr. Harris is a Senior Director of Facilities Management for Northwestern University. His portfolio includes 225 buildings across 15 million sq feet of space on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. He is a board member for 360 Youth Services and a leader for the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Harris also owns Bedrock Assets, which is a leadership development and executive coaching business. Mr. Harris holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and a M.B.A. from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Ms. Kirsten Langley

Ms. Langley is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents and their families. She is currently the founder and owner of a group practice with locations in Chicago and Westchester. She has extensive experience working in school settings, including therapeutic day schools, and frequently consults with teachers and other school personnel to address the needs of students. She holds a Doctorate of Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mr. Michael Liang

Mr. Liang, Ph.D., is a partner at Baird Capital, focusing on venture capital investments in healthcare. He has been a venture capitalist for the past 12 years and before that was a Director of R&D at a spinal orthopedics company. He is currently a member of the board of directors of a number of different medical companies and also serves on the Rush University Medical Center Associates Board, the Chicago MATTERS board, and advisory boards at Northwestern University, University of Illinois-Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a B.S. from the University of California Berkeley, a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Stanford University, and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

Mr. Bret Ruiz

Mr. Ruiz is an education professional with over 10 years’ experience in teaching and academic leadership. His work portfolio includes: teaching at Le Cordon Bleu-Chicago, The University of Notre Dame, and Northwestern University. He has successfully managed several non-profit organizations. Mr. Ruiz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in American Studies and an MBA in marketing from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management.

Mr. Jeffrey Schroeder

Mr. Schroeder is a Managing Director and Partner with The PFM Group. Public Financial Management (PFM) advises government entities including school districts on financial and investment matters. Previously, he was also an Educational Services Manager with the Foundation for Educational Services. Mr. Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Valparaiso University and a Masters in Business from Northern Illinois University.

Mr. Thomas Schwallie

Mr. Schwallie is a Regional Director for Humana in the Strategic Development group. He previously worked as a Vice President within the Duff & Phelps Investment Banking unit and with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Business Advisory Services group. Additionally, he served on the Board of the Association for Corporate Growth in Houston. Mr. Schwallie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Ms. Vesna Stelcer

Ms. Stelcer received her Honours BA international Relations from the University of Windsor and her MA International Studies with Distinction from DePaul University. Vesna is the Board Chair of the Ed Paschke Foundation and Director of the Ed Paschke Art Center. She is the past Executive Director of the MGR Foundation, a non-profit that focused on empowering youth through innovative health and well-being programs. Vesna is the co-founder of the Rabb Family Foundation, along with her soulmate, Lionel Rabb and their two daughters that both attend Intercultural Montessori Language School. The mission of the Rabb Family Foundation is to make our world a better place.

Mr. Jason Torres

Mr. Torres is a Senior Counsel in the labor & employment group at Seyfarth
Shaw LLP, and an adjunct professor in Northwestern University’s trial
advocacy program. He graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with
degrees in Public Management (B.S. 1999) and Law (J.D. 2002). He happily
dedicates time to providing pro bono legal services to immigrants through
the National Immigration Justice Center and to serving on the board of
directors for various community organizations.

Mr. Ryan White

Mr. White is a Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting LLP, based in downtown Chicago, where he focuses on providing financial support for professional services engagements. Mr. White is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he obtained his B.A. in Economics and of Loyola University Chicago where he obtained his M.S. in Accountancy. He also holds a CPA license. He is the father of three Intercultural students – two of whom graduated from Oak Park’s Primary program and one of whom is a current student – and has been actively involved in school volunteer activities since 2012.