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 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.
Michael Abbey, Board Chair, has been an Ambleside parent since 2009, with two alumni daughters and a current grade school son. He is an emerging markets transactional lawyer, having graduated from UVA Law and Duke University, and a partner with the DC law firm Hills Stern & Morley LLP. He and his wife Jacki love that Ambleside teaches a Christ-centric worldview, and that it focuses on both character and intellectual development. A Chicago native, he has been living in NoVa since 1990. The Abbey family worships and serves at McLean Bible Church.
Emily Borkholder, Secretary, sought out a school that was on a mission to engage the minds of her children. She chose Ambleside after reading Charlotte Mason's philosophy of instilling a life-long love of learning. Her daughter's kindergarten year at Ambleside was filled with learning good habits and excellent academic material. Her mind was being trained to learn and think about all aspects of life. Attention to detail in the small things: careful nature paintings with watercolors, the expectation of consistency and improvement in handwriting, and memory work with challenging vocabulary have all stretched her patience and focus in wonderful ways. The myths and tales, in conjunction with consistent Bible reading, has provided her with character lessons that have matured her thinking about what is expected in her own day to day behavior. The confidence and character building that happens at Ambleside makes it a jewel in Northern Virginia education. A native of rural northern Indiana, Emily has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Indianapolis. She and her husband Brandon have three children, one enrolled at Ambleside and two who are preschoolers. Emily is a homemaker and loves all things handicraft with a special affinity for gardening and sewing. The Borkholder family worships at Sterling Park Baptist Church.
Jeremy Farber’s, Vice Chair, predilection for entrepreneurial ventures first emerged from a simple dorm room, a cottage industry during his time at the esteemed Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel. Witnessing a need for his fellow students to sport their team spirit during college athletic events, Jeremy began producing shirts for his fellow faithful. After graduating in 1999 with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting, Jeremy chose to travel for a year in South America, immersing himself in the study of Spanish and international business. Upon his return to the U.S., Jeremy began acquiring and selling previously-owned computers on eBay. As demand grew, Jeremy discovered some of the old computer systems he’d obtained weren’t fit enough for sale. It dawned on him that the disposal of these unsalvageable devices needed an environmentally-sound solution. Many recycling firms wouldn’t accept these devices for processing; however, Jeremy was not deterred. He developed his own process for the effective, secure, complete recycling of such products, and in 2003, established Securis in Albany, NY. Successful growth lead to an expansion into the Washington, D.C. area market in 2005, and demand for Securis's signature green solutions has yet to slow.
Jeremy and his wife Michele have three young children and attend Reston Bible Church. Their son, Caden, started Kindergarten at Ambleside in 2017. The Charlotte Mason method encouraged a love and curiosity for learning within Caden. He became passionate about nature and his faith deepened as he connected Bible stories with his own life. Caden thrived in the small classroom environment, became close with his classmates, and learned when to be disciplined in his work and when it was time to play. He also learned to work hard in subjects that might not be his favorite, and to do things “he ought” rather than what he felt like doing at the time. Caden grew immensely in his first year at Ambleside. His sister, Julia, joined him as a fellow Ambleside student in 2018!
Renée Luwis is the mother of five children and has been an Ambleside parent for eleven years. She discovered Charlotte Mason during her ten years as a homeschooler, so when transitioning to a private Christian school, Ambleside was the obvious choice. She graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture. She is a designer, painter and adoption/orphan care advocate. It was while practicing architecture in the DC area that Renée and her husband, Brian, began an adoption journey that led them to create America World, an adoption/orphan care ministry. Renée currently serves as a board member of America World which is celebrating 25 years of service to thousands of families and children. She also serves on the advisory board of Becoming, a bible curriculum created to inspire believers to realize God through his creation so the body of Christ may be built up. She remains involved with the family’s commercial real estate development business and continues to paint the subjects she is passionate about, children and God’s creation.
Alex Pino first heard about the Charlotte Mason method when his mother taught at Ambleside some years ago. He has enjoyed seeing the fruits of the method directly now that the first of his three children has reached school-age and is attending Ambleside. He appreciates that Ambleside is not afraid to present all children, even the youngest, with great things, whether it be classic literature, the finest art, or the best of Western classical music. He and his wife Jaime believe that the habits and character traits that are nurtured and formed at Ambleside, even in Kindergarten, are habits that will benefit a person for the rest of their lives, even as adults in the modern marketplace. During his son’s first year of school Alex found that he especially enjoys attending field studies as a chaperone so that he can see the teachers and children interact. He grew up in northern Virginia before studying economics at GMU and public policy at Pepperdine University. He now works in the public sector advisory practice of Ernst & Young. Alex, his wife Jaime, and their three children are members at McLean Presbyterian Church.
Victoria Ro grew up in England and graduated from the University of Durham with a Bachelors in Combined Arts. After graduating, she moved to Northern Virginia to be with her parents who were on staff at a local Anglican church. Although they moved back to the UK two years later, she remained in the US and it has become home. She is a Realtor and loves serving the Lord in her work, combining her passion for people and real estate. She and her husband, Gene, have two children, Jonah and Toby, and attend Reston Bible Church where Victoria serves in the women’s ministry. Growing up, neither she nor her husband enjoyed school or had a love of learning and hearing about Ambleside raised their curiosity. Initially, it was a desire to have their children be in small classes where they were encouraged to enjoy using their minds to explore ideas that drew them to Ambleside but over the years what has become more important is the focus on Christ, the presence of Him that can be felt throughout the school, and the desire to teach children to glorify the Lord in all areas of their lives that has kept them at Ambleside.
Adam Soto 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.”
Alex Tsao is the father of four Ambleside students (both former and current), and has been in the Ambleside community since 2008. Originally a skeptic of Ambleside, he was forced to revisit his preconceptions about private Christian schools after encountering three Eighth-Graders at an Ambleside Open-House event, who recited from memory Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Following this shocking display of virtousity, he enrolled his first child into Ambleside’s Kindergarten class, where she did other shocking things such as memorizing Shakespearean Sonnet #143, and explaining it to her perplexed father. Now in public high school, this child again encountered the task of reading and explaining Sonnet #143, but this time in 10th Grade English Honors class, ten years after first encountering this exact same material in Ambleside’s Kindergarten class.
As he acquired familiarity with Ambleside and the distinct Charlotte Mason approach to education, he began to appreciate that Ambleside is not just about high academic standards, it is about cultivating affections for learning, beauty and truth. Charlotte Mason had a high view of a child-that they are full, spiritual persons created in God’d image. This basic assumption means Ambleside respects the dignity of a child and allows for children to wrestle with, and often struggle with challenging material. The struggle is an important process, and he has seen his children grow and love to learn as a result. William Butler Yeats is thought to have said, "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” This is true at Ambleside where teachers gather kindling and encourage children to light fires.
Alex obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Business at James Madison University and his Master’s degree in Telecommunications at the George Washington University. He currently works as a consultant for MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) business, advising on business development and product development. He is married to Huey Tsao, who is also an enthusiastic supporter of Ambleside School, and attend King’s Cross Church in Ashburn, VA.
Alex Voorhees, Treasurer, was an Ambleside student from 2000-2004 after his mother, Leslie Voorhees, helped start the school. In 2014, he graduated from Christopher Newport University, where he met his wife, Emily. They live in Reston, VA and recently had their first child, Ezekiel (Zeke). They attend Christian Fellowship Church in Ashburn, VA where they lead a community group for young adults. He now works at Reston Wealth Management serving business owners and other families in the community.
Virginia Wilcox (ex officio)