Board of Trustees
Ambleside School is a non-profit corporation, managed by a Board of Trustees, which includes the Head of School as a non-voting member. The board has a three-fold responsibility of fiscal management, spiritual oversight, and operational accountability. Trustees are elected by the Board and meet approximately once a month.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that the School is operating in accordance with its mission statement. It is also responsible for ensuring the long-term viability of the School, and for hiring and overseeing the performance of the Head of School. The day-to-day operations of the School are the responsibility of the Head of School.
Richard McDonnell serves as Chairman for the Ambleside Board of Trustees. He is Director in the General Motor’s Washington, DC office where he manages both the Grassroots and Political programs. Richard has an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University and received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. He and his wife, Julia, have three children at Ambleside. They are both natives of Northern Virginia and worship at The Falls Church Anglican Church.
Adam Soto, Vice-Chairman, attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, then Davidson College where he received a major in Spanish Literature. He was commissioned into the U.S. Army, then attended medical school in Bethesda, MD at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). He is Board Certified in Family Medicine, serving as a Flight Surgeon and Physician for a Special Operations Aviation Unit, Executive Medicine Clinic, and Telehealth program for 7 years. He is now in a second residency in Anesthesiology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He and his wife, Becky, have two boys at Ambleside. They are committed to raising, guiding and leading their children spiritually and emotionally and found Ambleside to be a wonderful fit. He stated that, “Ambleside provides a seamless continuum of education, consistent with God’s word and that nicely compliments our parenting endeavors. The name of Jesus is proudly proclaimed at Ambleside.”
Rob Newton, Treasurer, is almost finished with his Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and has an MBA from Old Dominion University. He is working as an engineer and program analyst supporting Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard in DC. Rob is an active member of Sterling Park Baptist Church. He and his wife, Jessel, have three children: Alana, Joey and Stephen. They are all at Ambleside School, where their love for learning has been cultivated and continually nurtured by the Charlotte Mason education.
Nargues Weir, Secretary, has served on the Ambleside Board since 2012. She is a physician and clinical researcher working at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She and her husband, Scott, have three daughters, one that graduated from Ambleside and two currently attending. She is passionate about Ambleside School because of the transformation she has witnessed in her children and in her home.
Virginia Wilcox (ex officio)
Debra Christenson has an 8th grade son at Ambleside this fall, and three older sons who are attending or have graduated from college. She and her husband Arne have been delighted by the excellent educational experience their youngest child has had in middle school at Ambleside. They find the Charlotte Mason method builds self-confidence and intellectual curiosity, which leads to strong academic performance. In addition, they value all of the daily components of social interaction and personal care which support strong mental health in each student. Ambleside offers hope in a society where depression is far too rampant among school-aged children. Debra graduated from Phillips University with a degree in communication and worked on Capitol Hill as an executive assistant to a senator and congressman before leaving the workforce to raise her family. She and her husband have attended Truro Anglican Church for the past 27 years, and she has worked in a number of volunteer roles within both her church and school community.
Ashley Ewer first read Charlotte Mason’s books in college, and was inspired by her emphasis on forming godly, life-long habits, her passion for being outdoors, and her love of high-quality art, music, and literature. Ashley studied at Oxford University and graduated from Geneva College with a degree in History and Writing. She has been a professional fundraiser for 12 years, working with political candidates and non-profit organizations across the country. Ashley’s husband Jayson is on the facilities team at Ambleside School, and they have two sons and a daughter. The Ewer family worships and serves at Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Vienna, VA.
Charles Ikutiminu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Master of Art degree in Communication from Regent University. He is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center, and has served as a Pastor for more than two decades. In the last five years, he has served as Director of International Missions at Capital Church, Vienna, VA. Charles also serves as the Executive Director of ENI-Espwa Nouvel International, a non-profit organization he co-founded in 2012 with a mission to reverse the cycle of poverty in communities of developing countries. He is the Lead Minister and Founder of CrossPassion Ministries International, an organization with a burden for effective discipleship. Charles and his wife, Adekemi, have two sons, William (who graduated from Ambleside last year), and Kenneth (currently a student here).