The Board currently consists of volunteers who are parents of current or alumni students, but may also include volunteers who are members of the community. The Board is responsible for the policies and finances of the school and for overseeing the Executive Director, whose job it is to implement those policies and who is responsible for the overall daily operation of the school, including the budget and staff oversight. As a non-voting member of the Board, the Executive Director works very closely with the Board to develop policies that are in the best interests of our children, families, and staff. Additionally, the Board serves as a resource and provides the Executive Director and staff with support as needed. The Board members are unpaid volunteers who donate their time and are not permitted to receive any monetary compensation from the school for their work. For further information please contact the Board at
Why We Volunteer as Trustees:
Quite simply, we believe we are touching future generations in profound ways. Through our work with the school, we are helping young children develop a love of learning that will continue for the rest of their lives. We believe that by helping them establish a firm foundation in areas like academics, initiative, grace, courtesy and respect, they will become valuable additions to our society, making our world a better place to live for everyone.
In addition, serving on the Board strengthens our community. As with any volunteer opportunity, such an effort allows you to meet new people, learn new skills, and share your knowledge.
Composition of the Board:
Regular board members with full voting privileges attend most scheduled meetings. Ideally, we would like to have 9 regular members, including parents of students, alumni parents, and members of the community. We also welcome Members at Large and Advisory Members. Members at Large are individuals that are usually invited to be part of the Board for a short period of time for a specific purpose. Advisory Members are people with skills in a specific area who cannot meet the time requirements for the other types of membership. (Voting privileges for these latter groups are negotiable and depend on the reason for recruiting such a member). The Board has four officer positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary) along with General Members.
Board of Trustees:
Richard Pollard, President, joined the Board in the fall of 2019. Richard’s wife Christelle, who has a Ph.D. in Econometrics, is also an active member of the school’s Parents Guild. Their daughter is currently thriving as a second-year student at BWMCH.
Richard and Christelle found BWMCH through their search for the best Pre-K educational experience available. They both wanted their daughter to have a warm, loving and nurturing environment that provided both the freedom and professional guidance required to realize the full potential of the Montessori approach.
Prior to being a father, Richard worked as an Electrical Design Engineer, Software Engineer and Architect. He has held notable positions such as the Senior Design Engineer on the National Ballistic Missile Defense System, designed the industry’s first just-in-sequence manufacturing system used by the Hyundai Motor Company and was the Executive Office of the President’s Software Architect for the Obama administration.
Richard holds the rank of Black Belt in three styles and previously managed a Martial Arts school that trained several international champions.
While not working in technology and data science, Richard enjoys building fine custom furniture for a variety of clients in and around the Maryland and DC area.
Anneli Freeman, Secretary, joined the Board in the fall of 2013. She has taken on various roles on the Board and recently stepped down from having been the President of the Board for the past three years. Her oldest daughter graduated from BWMCH in 2016, and her middle child in 2018. Her son is currently a second year student at the school. Anneli received a Master of Laws degree from Uppsala University in Sweden, and went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Health and Society (medical sociology) at Linkoping University in Sweden. Anneli’s career before moving to the United States included field research in South Africa regarding the South African criminal justice system and epidemiological profiles of violence under the guidance of Dr. Mickey Chopra, former Chief of Health at UNICEF. In 2004, Anneli became a resident of the United States and worked for many years in the Federal Public Defenders Office’s Capital Habeas Unit in Pittsburgh with federal appeals of individuals sentenced to death on state level. She left the workforce eight years ago and is now a stay-at-home mom to her two daughters and a son. On her free time, Anneli enjoys training in Muay Thai (Thai Boxing), hiking/backpacking, and trail running. BWMCH encompasses the three most valued criteria that Anneli looks for in education – passion for learning, student centered approach and celebration of diversity – and she is excited to be a member of BWMCH Board helping to further the mission and goals of the school.
Chris S. – Treasurer, Chris joined the Board in 2018, becoming the treasurer in 2019. His oldest child graduated from BWMCH in 2018 and his younger child is currently a first-year student. Chris holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science and has spent the last fifteen years working in software development and information security research. Chris has seen his children thrive and develop a love of learning at BWMCH and is looking for ways to give back to the school community.
Vinodhini Guhesan, Member at Large, joined the Board of Trustees in the Spring of 2012. Both of her daughters attended BWMCH and had an enriching experience. Vinodhini holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University and is an MBA from University of Maryland University College. Vinodhini believes that the love of learning should be developed at a young age and that providing children with an individualized education fosters that love of learning. As a member at large, she continues to assist the school in diverse capacities as needed.
Heather Pruger, Advisory Member at large, joined the board in 2010. Her daughter and son both attended BWMCH. In addition to being a wife and mother of two, Heather is a corporate attorney in Maryland. Heather earned her undergraduate degree in Legal Studies and English from the University of Maryland, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. Heather is experienced in working with businesses on a broad range of issues including corporate governance and employment matters. As someone who was homeschooled from preschool through high school, Heather is a firm believer in child-driven learning that fosters a sense of independence, initiative, and curiosity and is excited to be a part of a Montessori environment that invokes these traits in a cooperative, respectful environment. She joined the Board of Trustees to help the school develop policies, a corporate structure, and financial stability that will enable it to continue to provide this nurturing environment for years to come.