Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

The role of the Board of Trustees (hereafter referred to as the Board) is to adopt a clear statement of the school’s mission, vision, and strategic goals and to establish policies and plans consistent with this statement. The Board is the guardian of the school’s mission. It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that the mission is relevant and vital to the Richmond Montessori School community and to monitor the success of the school in fulfilling its mission. The Board selects, supports, nurtures and evaluates, the head of school. As leader of the school community, the Board engages proactively with the head of school in cultivating and maintaining good relations with school constituents as well as the broader community and exhibits best practices relevant to equity and justice.

2018 – 2019 Board of Trustees

  • Chair: Tara Casey
  • Vice-Chair: Sonny Gupta
  • Secretary: Chris Campbell
  • Treasurer: Brie Starke
  • Head of School: Grainne Murray
Board Members 
Contact the board at

Tara Casey, Chair
Casey_TaraTara Casey is the Director of the Carrico Center for Pro Bono & Public Service at University of Richmond School of Law, where she also teaches in the fields of public policy and poverty law. She and her husband, Alan Dow, have lived in Richmond since 2000 and have been engaged with Richmond Montessori School since their daughter, Sylvie, started in primary. Now with two children (Sylvie and Ezra, both in upper elementary), the whole family continues to look forward to more learning, discovery, and enjoyment.

Sonny Gupta, Vice-ChairPhotoELF Edits: 2016:10:06 --- Saved as: 24-Bit JPEG (EXIF) Format 98 % --- batch crop --- crop OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Sonny is a co-owner of a Richmond based Information Technology Consulting and Recruitment firm, Daybreak IT Solutions. They formed Daybreak in 2009 and have been fortunate to be recognized as one of the fastest growing firms in Richmond by RVA BizSense and were previously recognized by the INC5000 for growth.  Sonny obtained his Bachelors Degree from Virginia Tech in 1997 in Business Management with a minor in psychology and has been a part of the Richmond Technology community since.  He serves on two volunteer committees to help attract and retain technology initiatives in our region: RichTech (Richmond Technology Council) and WIT (Women in Technology). Sonny and his wife Harshna joined RMS in 2009 when their son, Avi, was in Miss Felicia’s toddler class.They now have two children at RMS; little Aria is a P3 student with Ms. Pryor, and Avi is flourishing as a 6th grader with Ms. Linton.

Chris Campbell, Secretary Campbell_Chris
Chris has been a Richmond Montessori School parent since 2008 and joined the board of trustees in 2015. He is a community volunteer who has served as an Richmond Montessori Parent Association officer since 2013. Chris has an extensive background in sales, marketing and distribution having held various Affiliate Relation positions at Comedy Central and MTV Networks. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Clemson University, double majoring in philosophy and psychology.

Brie Starke, TreasurerStarke_Brie_27A0521
Brie Starke heads a consulting firm specializing in private family office management with a focus on investment administration and IT management.  Since graduating from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland with a degree in Business and Economics, she has worked in account management at The Martin Agency and IT systems administration at both the Virginia State Corporation Commission and Albemarle Corporation.  She and her husband Rhett, a Richmond native, have two children at RMS in both Upper and Lower Elementary.

Christen Courville
With a background in local government management, Christen has been a public sector consultant for the last twenty years. As an associate manager with the management consulting firm Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) based in Boston, MA, Christen has experience in human capital development, marketing, partner and client relationships, budgets and financial plans, and project management. Within PCG, she is part of the education practice area that provides consulting services and technology solutions to help schools, school districts, and state education agencies/ministries of education in the areas of special education case management and revenue services, including the Virginia IEP system, and online professional learning in the areas of equity, data use, diverse learners, new teacher support, blended learning, and college and career readiness. Christen and her family value the education RMS offers their children. She is committed to supporting current and future students with thoughtful leadership that reflects a commitment to academic education, extracurricular growth, and a dynamic, collaborative RMS community.

Allison Held, Immediate Past ChairHeld_Allison_11B0029
Allison has served on the RMS Board of Trustees since 2010, and she is now the Chair of the Head Support and Evaluation Committee. She currently heads VCU Health’s Medical Legal Partnership, a healthcare partnership that embeds lawyers on the clinical team to improve health outcomes for low-income patients.  She previously served as Legal Advisor to Commissioner Christie of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, specializing in public utility and insurance regulatory law.  She and her husband, Chris, have two boys, Elijah and Sam Bossola.  Elijah graduated from the middle school in 2016, and Sam is currently an 8th grader in the middle school.

Peter L. Henderer
Peter L. Henderer is a native in Wilmington, Delaware. He was educated Wilmington Friends School, Bowdoin College, and The George Washington University Law School. Peter moved to Richmond in 1998 to marry his wife, Armistead Edmunds Henderer, whom he met at Bowdoin. Peter joined his current law firm in 1998 and has been practicing law in Richmond for over 20 years. Peter and Armistead have two children, of whom William (10) attends RMS in Upper-Elementary. Peter and Armistead value RMS for providing students with a positive environment for intellectual and personal growth.

Jerry LarkinLarkin_Jerry
Jerry Larkin works at Genworth Financial as VP Sales and Business Development.  He has worked at GE/Genworth for 16 years, during which he has led six sigma quality, e-business, and key client account management. Prior to Genworth he worked at 3M and Intel Corporation.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in risk management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He lives in Richmond with his wife and three sons.  He has had children at Richmond Montessori School since 2006.  He enjoys most sports and has many years experience coaching youth baseball, basketball and soccer.

Kelly del Campo Merricksdel Campo Merricks_Kelly_44B0484
Kelly del Campo Merricks is Vice President of Philanthropy with Sheltering Arms Foundation where she oversees the development efforts for Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Centers and for the future Sheltering Arms Rehab Institute: a Joint Venture with VCU Health System.  She has twenty years of experience in nonprofit management, development and public relations.  Kelly holds a BS in Biology from Washington and Lee University and an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She and her husband Jason joined the RMS family in 2012 when their daughter, Mary, was a P2.  Mary is now an upper elementary student in Kalyn Gerrity’s class.  In addition to the RMS Board, Kelly is a board member of the Virginia Gift Planning Council.

Amy PaisleyPaisley_Amy_27B0009
Amy has been an RMS parent since 2011.  She is a community volunteer who has served on the school’s Advancement Committee since 2015.  Amy is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a BA in International Relations and French.  She has a background in financial services, working for Capital One in various management and servicing roles over a period of 10 years.  Amy lives in Midlothian with her husband Chad and two daughters. Byrdie is a 4th grader in Mr. Hamilton’s class and Arden is a P3 in Ms. Sutton’s class.  Amy is an avid equestrian who has ridden competitively since grade school.

Erin PetersonPeterson_Erin_29B0005
Erin is a Partner at and CEO of Gain, a local marketing agency.  A business and marketing veteran, Erin has worked with many Fortune 1000 brands in her various leadership roles. Erin obtained a degree in Business and Economics from Randolph-Macon College in 1992. She and her husband, David, joined the RMS community in 2013 when their twin sons started the primary program.  Since joining the community she has been an active volunteer and serves on the Enrollment and Marketing committee.

Jennifer Pikejen p
Jennifer has developed a reputation as an energetic, strategic and innovative thinker; helping the c-suite navigate through their biggest challenges and identifying their greatest opportunities. She has over 20 years of experience building businesses, brands and organizations that deliver. After graduating from Princeton, she spent the first half of her career leading creative consulting firms. In 2003 she joined the Altria family of companies, where she ultimately rose to the executive ranks. Jen is now working work with an array of companies to help their leaders navigate ambiguity, identify their biggest opportunities and design business, brand and organizational strategies that lead to sustainable growth.

Falcon RankinsRankins_Falcon_27A0321
Falcon and his wife, Nicole, have been Richmond Montessori School parents since moving to Richmond in 2012. Falcon owns and operates PRISSEM Academic Services, a consulting business that assists higher education faculty with the development and evaluation of STEM education research projects. Falcon has degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland and recently completed a doctorate in educational research and evaluation from VCU. His two daughters regularly exploit his weakness for building Legos, and he awaits the day he has the free time to return to tinkering with cars in the garage.

Bob Sui CIMG0061
Bob Sui is CFO/President of Anna Sui Corp., his sister’s successful global fashion business, based in New York City. Bob was born in Paris, as his parents studied at the Sorbonne. The family emigrated to America. Bob was educated at the University of Michigan and INSEAD in France. He went on to an illustrious career on Wall Street, spanning nearly 30 years. He ranked among “The Top 25 International Brokers” and managed assets over a billion dollars in his Private Client business. In 2003, Bob utilized his global and financial expertise to expand Anna’s business to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  Today, her clothing, accessories and beauty products are sold in 50 countries. Bob and his wife, Christine Hunt, joined RMS in 2012, when their two children, Grace and Chance, began in the primary program (now currently in the Upper Elementary program). RMS is the major factor for their family residing in Richmond. Bob has six children, who have all benefited from a Montessori foundation. Additionally, Bob is an active volunteer on the Board of Tuckahoe Little League (TLL) and serves in the position as Director for several TLL baseball/softball leagues.

Tami TomsScreen Shot 2017-09-06 at 1.56.10 PM
Tami Toms is the Chief Operating Officer and a Certified Gemologist Appraiser at Carreras Jewelers, a family-owned Richmond retailer that recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, and she holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from The University of South Carolina.  In 1992, Tami and her husband, Clyde, moved to Richmond, and in 1995 when their eldest son, Clyde Jr., started at RMS, they began their long-lasting  journey with the school.  Their younger son, Will, entered RMS in 1997 as a toddler and graduated 8th grade in 2009.  During the boys’ school years, both Tami and Clyde were very active within the classroom, and Clyde served on the Board of Directors and the Building and Ground Committee.  Tami has served on the RMS Advancement Committee for the past two years, and along with Rejena Carreras, has been instrumental in the donation of the Middle School graduations gifts since 1998.

Edward Trageser
Ed is a community volunteer and stay-at-home dad with professional interests in the management and operations of not-for-profit enterprises. Ed is an active volunteer and adviser to various local non-profits, including service as treasurer of the RMPA from 2014-2016. Ed most recently worked in the real estate investment division of UBS as Associate Director of asset management. Previously, he worked in Prudential Financial’s commercial real estate lending division and investment bank. Ed holds a MBA from University of Richmond and a B.A. in Government and Economics from Claremont-McKenna College. He has lived in Richmond since 2013 with his wife, Sudha, and son, R.J.

Jenn Walker
Jenn joined the Richmond Montessori community when her daughter Hana entered the primary program. She was an active member of the Richmond Montessori Parents Association, where she served two years as President before joining the Board of Trustees. Jenn is a language fundamentals teacher at Riverside school where she teaches unique and brilliant children to read. When she isn’t spending her weekends cheering on her daughter at swim meets, she enjoys getting her hands dirty in the garden and hiking at the river with her dog.

John Wick
PhotoELF Edits: 2016:10:06 --- Saved as: 24-Bit JPEG (EXIF) Format 98 % --- batch crop --- crop OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJohn Wick is a Senior Private Banker and Senior Vice President for the Greater Virginia market of Wells Fargo Private Bank, with the primary responsibility for coordinating complex/customized/personalized credit, deposit, and treasury management solutions for individual and family clients. John has been affiliated with Wells Fargo and its predecessor banks since 1989, beginning his career in the Richmond area. He most recently served as Director for the MidAtlantic Region where he led the Private Banking businesses for the Virginia, Maryland, and DC markets. He and his family returned to Virginia in July of 2010 after five years in Northern Virginia. John’s education includes: Roanoke College, B.A. International Relations, McIntire Business Institute, University Of Virginia and Cannon Financial Institute. He donates his time to serve the International Hospital for Children and Richmond Technology Council.

Tom WoodwardWoodward_Tom

Tom has four children attending Richmond Montessori School. He is an educator by profession and has spent the last 15 years focused on helping educators and students use technology to improve learning in both K-12 and universities. His experience includes 10 years in Henrico County Public Schools, a large 1:1 laptop environment, as a classroom teacher, an instructional technology resource teacher, and the Director of Instructional Technology. Currently he is the Associate Director of Learning Innovation in VCU’s Academic Learning Technology Lab. He consults on technology integration nationally for a variety of partners including Dell, Apple, Discovery, and The International Society for Education (ISTE).