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:
DONALD S. RUSHMER, PH.D., PRESIDENT
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 focuses 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.
RACHEL WEISSHAAR, VICE PRESIDENT
Rachel Weisshaar is an Assistant Attorney General with the Oregon Department of Justice. She holds a B.A. in English from Pomona College and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. She lives just a few blocks from The Portland Montessori School with her husband, Jonathan, and her cat, Dinah.
PATRICIA BUDO, TREASURER
Patricia Budo is recently retired from Providence Health and Services where she served as the Executive Director of Children’s Developmental Health. Pat first learned about Montessori education when the Portland Montessori School, then known as Providence Montessori School, was sponsored by Providence and reported to her. Pat has an MSW from San Diego State University and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law. She has a particular interest in strengthening the diversity of the school and in sharing her knowledge and experience in non-profit management, marketing and finance.
TONKA FORMIGLE, MEMBER
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.
MICHAEL KUBLER, MEMBER
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.
SAM ANDEMARIAM, MEMBER
Bio coming soon!
STEFANIE LINCH, MEMBER
Stefanie Linch is a research scientist turned non-profit grant writer at the Providence Foundations in Oregon. She has a special interest in science and medicine, receiving her PhD in Immunology and Microbiology from Oregon Health and Science University and BS in microbiology from Colorado State University. Stefanie’s interest in the Montessori Method is cultivated in science and she values that it provides children with respect and freedom, to be themselves without too much adult interference. Her son attends The Portland Montessori School and she greatly values the sense of community and the diversity her family finds there. Stefanie brings to the board grant writing and development experience, through her role as Foundation Relations Director at Providence and her volunteer efforts with the Susan G Komen Foundation.
"We've been a part of this amazing community for seven years. Not only are our children getting a fabulous education, but they receive personal care and attention every single day."
"The Portland Montessori School has given my children such an appreciation for learning and an extensive fund of knowledge. It has been a nurturing, appropriately challenging environment for them to reach their potential."
"I could write an essay on how my daughter joined PMS in the last year and graduated from her primary class reading chapter books and doing long addition and subtraction with multiple numbers. She’s well beyond her kindergarten peers, and my younger son's pride in his work and love of learning has grown beyond expectation."
"Yesterday my second grader added 61 plus 61 in her head and she's zipping through the Harry Potter series. So while the school doesn’t measure her progress with test scores, I can see how much she has learned, but more importantly, I can see and feel her excitement about learning."
"At The Portland Montessori School, our kids learn to use buttons, tie their shoes, juice an orange, crack nuts and cut bananas, clean up after themselves, identify odd and even numbers, sew, set their place at the table, pour their own milk, understand the value of numbers into the thousands, and identify continents and countries on a map—and have fun doing it all!"