Our Board of Directors – Casa di Mir Montessori

Our Board of Directors

Casa di Mir’s Board of Directors plays a critical role in establishing the school’s strategic direction and ensures that goals are met.  The Board of Directors includes:

Catherine Ambrozewicz, Board President

Catherine AmbrozewiczCatherine joined the board in 2016 when her son and daughter first started at Casa in kindergarten. She has a BS in Mathematics from McGill University and an MBA from INSEAD. Her professional background is in corporate strategy, including as a consultant with Bain. She now works as an Executive Coach at Stanford GSB as well as with tech leaders throughout the Bay Area.

“We chose Casa for our children because we saw something really special and unique: it is a school that has so much heart, and feels like home. We are all raising our children in a time of great innovation, as well as volatility. In order for our children to thrive, they need to grow into confident, creative, resilient—and also compassionate—leaders. This is what I believe Casa prepares them to become.”

Louis Tieu, Secretary

Louis Tieu has been a Casa parent since 2008 with his three children Emily, Adam, and Hayden.  Emily and Adam have graduated, and Hayden will be in middle school starting fall of 2019. Louis is an oral surgeon, with a dental degree from UC San Francisco and a medical degree from UC Davis, as well as surgical residency training from UCSF. He is very active on the Santa Clara Dental Society (SCCDS) Board of Directors which has been in continuous existence since 1889. Louis is most interested in talent development and succession planning of the future leaders in the organizations that he is involved in and hopes to do the same on the Board of Directors at Casa di Mir.  He has completed the advance leadership training course Wood Badge through BSA and a wilderness first aid certification.  He enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and camping.  Louis is committed to helping Casa continue to excel at delivering its core mission.

Jane Mulcaster, Board Member

Jane Mulcaster is a technical communications specialist in the software industry. She has led, managed, and helped develop technical documentation teams for more than 20 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in English and Career Writing.

Jane is a lifelong volunteer who serves organizations that uplift humanity and drive civic engagement. The Mulcasters joined the Casa community in 2014 when their daughter started first grade. Jane became a board member in 2019.

Casa di Mir Montessori School is a unique and authentic Montessori experience built on the values of peace, integrity, and justice. I am deeply motivated to help build a stable stewardship that supports Casa’s leaders, preserves the integrity of the school’s mission, and delivers Casa into a thriving future.”

Jane loves exploring the outdoors, reading, and traveling with her family.

Seitaro Nagao, Board Member

Seitaro Nagao has been in the Casa community since 2007 when his first daughter joined pre-K. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Osaka University, Japan. He has experience in software engineering, Product Management, and management, at several companies in Japan and Bay Area. Seitaro joined the board in 2019 hoping to support Casa and the community to keep providing nurturing environment. Over the weekend, he likes to go sailing on the bay.

Paul Rust, Board Member

Paul Rust has been a Casa di Mir parent since 2016 and is a longtime avid fan of Montessori Pedagogy.

Paul holds a B.S. in Electronics and Computer Technology from California State University, Chico (CSUC), and has worked as an Electrical Engineer in Silicon Valley for over 20 years.  Paul is also a former Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) of Alameda County. A Silicon Valley native, Paul has a deep appreciation for diversity, education, and technology. He was inspired and delighted to join the Casa board to lend his efforts in helping to preserve and continue the first-class educational experience for our next generation of global citizens.

“Our family has been so pleased with the learning atmosphere at Casa di Mir. Our son regularly comes home with lively stories of the interesting subjects and topics he has learned.  … to have your child eagerly describe what he’s learning on a regular basis – pure magic!”

Belinda Stow, Board Member

Belinda Stow is the I.T. Director of Execustaff HR, a Professional Employer Organization that serves high tech startups in the Bay Area. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and has worked in I.T. for over 35 years. Her daughters Katie and Kelly Hoose attended elementary school at Casa di Mir. Katie is now working as a mechanical engineer, and Kelly served as the PE teacher at Casa for a year and is now in graduate school in Denver, studying to become a Physician’s Assistant. Belinda also serves on the executive board of the Silicon Valley Democratic Club and is involved in local political organizations and campaigns.

Sophie Riss, Board Member

Sophie RissSophie has been a Casa parent since 2018 when her daughter Emilie joined preschool. She became a board member in 2020. Sophie was born in France; she holds an M.S. in Medieval History and a B.A. in Education. She taught middle school and high school geography in France for 15 years, before moving to the Bay Area with her husband 6 years ago. After her arrival in the United States, Sophie’s immigration status did not allow her to work. Since then, she has been taking care of her daughter and taking English lessons.

” Casa di Mir offers a real Montessori experience where children can grow and learn at their own speed. Emilie is now more curious, less shy, and more mature even if she is only 5 years old, thanks to her wonderful primary teachers.”

During her free time, Sophie likes reading, hiking, and enjoying the beach with her family.

Iftikhar Ali, Board Member

Iftikhar AliIftikhar Ali has been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 20 years and has a passion for disaster medicine. He helped after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Maria. He also provided relief work in Guyana, Kashmir, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru. Iftikhar’s wife is an ophthalmologist. They travel to Guatemala, along with their daughters, for an “eye camp” every other year. They are strong believers in Montessori education. Their daughters attended Montessori schools in Miami, FL, Little Rock, AR before joining Casa di Mir.

Casa di Mir Montessori School