Board of Trustees

Clara Serrano

President
Clara Serrano is parent of three alumni daughters that attended AMS through the adolescent level. Clara has worked at NXP Semiconductors for 32 years, managing global technical teams and driving cross-functional corporate initiatives. She served on the board of another independent school for 3 yrs. She holds a BS Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Christina Pesoli

Vice President
Christina Pesoli has long been associated with the school, first as a student and later as a parent. Christina is a native Austinite and a graduate of St. Edward’s University and Notre Dame Law School. Christina practices family law with Noelke Maples St. Leger Bryant. Christina is the author of Break Free from the Divortex: Power Through Your Divorce and Launch Your New Life and she blogs for the Huffington Post. Christina is the daughter of founder Donna Bryant Goertz.

Maggie Walsh

Secretary
Maggie Walsh, PhD is a long-time AMS parent of two graduates of the adolescent community. Maggie has her own consulting practice where she works with organizations around the world on learning and development, with a focus on leadership development, change leadership, and strategy execution. She holds a PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of Texas, where she led two research programs and was published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Maggie’s non-profit experience includes volunteering at AMS, board member and Chairperson (10 years) of a large Austin non-profit, and consulting with non-profit organizations on strategy and team-building.

Chris Howard

Treasurer
Chris Howard is former parent at the school, having had three daughters attend through the adolescent level. He has 18 years of experience in various levels of management at Motorola and had operational responsibility for the network processor division there. He has also worked on several high-tech projects as an independent consultant and is a certified tax advisor. He holds a BS Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chris is an avid traveler, and when he’s not in Board meetings, you can often find him hiking the Appalachian Trail.

David Spence

David Spence is the Herbert Kelleher Professor of Business Law at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, and Professor of Law, Politics & Regulation at the UT School of Law. He earned his Ph.D in political science from Duke University, his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and his B.A. from Gettysburg College. Professor Spence’s research and teaching focuses on government regulation of business, particularly energy and environmental regulation, as well as corporate social responsibility issues. He has taught as a visiting professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Bren School of the Environment, the Harvard Law School, the Cornell Law School, the Vanderbilt University Law School, and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He also teaches executive education courses on corporate social responsibility and stakeholder relations for firms in the energy industry.

Michele Sweeten

CPA
Michele Sweeten, the owner of a local CPA firm specializing in small-business and non-profit accounting, has been the school’s accountant since 2004. She has served on other boards of local nonprofit organizations, and was for a number of years an instructor in accounting at Austin Community College. Michele is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Grae Baker

Head of School
Grae Baker (Ex Officio) is the Head of School at Austin Montessori School in Austin, TX. Grae holds an AMI elementary diploma, a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a M.Ed. in Montessori education from Loyola College, and has attended the AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies. He began his work in Montessori as a primary classroom assistant. He later served as a guide in upper elementary, 6-12 elementary, and as founding lead teacher of the adolescent program at Omni Montessori School in Charlotte, NC where he went on to serve as Head of School.

Sandy Bartholome

Business Manager
Sandy Bartholome (Ex Officio) is the Business Manager at Austin Montessori School. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, an M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and a NonProfit Finance Certificate from Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Before joining AMS in July 2016, she worked at Chinquapin Preparatory School near Houston for thirty years, the last ten as the school’s business manager.