Catherine 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.”
Julie McDonald joined the board in 2019; she had previously served on the board in 2017. Julie has over 20 years of experience in human resources, and works at Cadence Design Systems as a Senior Human Resources Business Partner.
In her spare time, she is a volunteer puppy raiser/trainer for Canine Companions for Independence; is a host-family for the San Jose Giants baseball team; and has recently joined the City Lights Theater Company as a volunteer.
“I have always valued the warm and nurturing environment at Casa di Mir. It is an inspirational place where I have seen so many children blossom and grow. I was fortunate to have had both of my children attend Casa di Mir from 1994 through 2007, and have enjoyed watching the tremendous growth of the school since that time. I am pleased to join the board and to be part of Casa’s continued success.”
Mike Agueros has been an active community member of Casa di Mir since 2007. He serves as the board’s CFO and leads the Finance Committee. With over 15 years working in Corporate Finance and Operations for high tech companies in Silicon Valley, Mike works to ensure the integrity of Casa’s financial records and long term strategy. Mike received his Bachelors of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA in Finance & Accounting, both from Texas A&M University. He is originally from San Antonio, has lived in Tokyo Japan where he met his lovely wife and moved to San Jose in 2001 where he currently lives with his wife, daughter and son. Both children are Casa di Mir Alums.
His fondest Casa memory:
“After our 1st year-end cultural night, where students participated in preparing poster boards and presenting a skit about Africa I remember our drive home. My daughter had so much fun and was so excited that I’ll always remember her words, ‘I can’t wait until school starts again! I wonder what continent we will be studying next year!’ it was as if we had a bright light shining from the back seat.”
This is what Casa and the Montessori way is all about, educating our children and teaching how wonderful it is to learn about the world. Beginning with life lessons and “practical life” activities. The students get a sense of purpose and community. The one thing that I tell other families is that at Casa, children “learn how to learn” and this helps them throughout their life.
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 the 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 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 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 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 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.