It Takes a Village
We love children and we believe in the importance of their education. Everything we do at The Earth School is with that in mind, from our curriculum and carefully designed campus and materials, to the people we have with your children every day. Come meet our team, comprised of education professionals from around the world who all have two things in common - a love of learning, and an understanding of the importance of instilling that in our students.
The Dynamic Duo
Edna de Bonilla
President, Head of School, Proud Mother of Two
Edna founded The Earth School in 2011 and is responsible for overall leadership of the school, including academic assessment and evaluation.
She holds a Master's degree in Education from University of Dundee (UK) as well as doctoral level studies in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute (USA) and Mind, Brain and Teaching (Neuro-Education) at Johns Hopkins University (USA).
She has 24 years of experience in education, 18 of those in Montessori. Edna is also a member of Association Montessori Internationale, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori.
Juan Carlos Bonilla
CEO, Co-founder, Proud Father of Two
Juan Carlos co-founded The Earth School in 2011 and is responsible for the strategic plan implementation and financial oversight of the school.
He holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School (Heriot Watt University, UK), a M.Sc. in Organizational Research from the Université Nice Sophia Antípolis (France), and a Doctorate in Business Administration (D.B.A.) from the International University of Mónaco. He has over 20 years of experience in management, mainly in the non-profit sector.
Here to Guide, Inspire, and Support
How The Earth School Came to be
It Started with One
The Earth School started from the vision, work, and effort of Edna and Juan Carlos Bonilla.
When the Bonillas first came to Rwanda in 2010, it was for a short-term assignment in gorilla conservation headed by Juan Carlos. After almost 20 years of living, studying, and working abroad across three continents, Rwanda was to be the last stop on their expatriate journey before returning to their native Guatemala. When the conservation project expanded beyond what was originally planned, it was clear that the Bonillas were to be in the country for longer.
A lifelong educator and deeply committed to the values and principles, as well as professionally trained in Montessori, Edna wanted the best for their children’s education. Their eldest, Andrés, had grown up in Montessori and she wanted the same for her youngest, Nicolás. If there were no authentic Montessori schools in Rwanda, she was going to make her own. She converted the living room of her home into the first classroom, went back to her teaching manuals, made Montessori materials from scratch, and began teaching Nicolás, as her first and only student.
As time went by, other international families were struggling to find appropriate education programs for their young children. Soon Edna began to realize that there was a growing and genuine need for child-centered, holistic, and experiential education in Rwanda. Seeing this, she endeavored to begin what is now The Earth School. With the help of Juan Carlos, they began working night and day to found the school. From a living room with only one student, we established the first summer camp program in Rwanda. From there, we opened our first campus with a handful of eager, bright-eyed, and excited students, and from there, we have continually grown and taught with the same excitement, love of learning, and value of education that we have had since that first classroom and first student. Our beautiful state of the art campus in Kigali is now a showcase of what an authentic Montessori school should be and is a center of excellence for Montessori best-practice. The school is an accredited member of the Geneva-based International School Association, the most senior organization in the world of international education.
Together, Edna, Juan Carlos, and our team have worked tirelessly to create a space and a school where children from all over the world can come together and grow, learn, and have fun while receiving a world-class education.
Grounded in Montessori, green and conscious, experiential and transformative – The Earth School way.
Lauren is responsible for curriculum development and the supervision of the school's planning, assessment and student progress as well as teaching practice oversight. Lauren has eight years of teaching experience, five in the UK and three with The Earth School.
She holds a B.Sc. Hons degree in Psychology from Cardiff University (UK), an Early Years PGCE from University of Birmingham (UK) and an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center (Canada). She has also completed a course in Coaching in Montessori Schools..
Lauren plays the piano and double bass, and has led school choirs and directed whole school productions.
Alan has over 25 years of teaching experience in the UK, focusing on English and the Humanities.
He holds a B.A. from Worcester University College, a M.A. in History from the University of Birmingham, and a PGCE (Secondary) from the University of Bristol.
Natalie has six years of professional experience as a teacher and behavioural therapist in Canada. She holds a B.A. Honours Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada) and a M.A. in Child Study and Education from University of Toronto.
She is a qualified and certified Primary Teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers and she also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science.
Sophie has 12 years of teaching experience, including six years at The Earth School.
She was trained as a Montessori Primary Teacher at the Montessori Education Center of Uganda and holds an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center (Canada). Sophie speaks English, Luganda and Kinyarwanda.
Flaviah has nine years of teaching experience, including four years at The Earth School.
She was trained as a Montessori Primary Teacher at the Montessori Academy of Uganda. She speaks English and Kinyarwanda.
Snezana holds a Bachelor's degree in Philology from the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center (Canada).
She has five years teaching experience, particularly working with children for whom English is not their first language as well as those with special needs. Snezana speaks Serbian, English, and Arabic.
Margaret holds an International Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the Montessori Center International in London (UK).
She has eight years of teaching experience in Montessori schools. Margaret speaks seven languages: English, French, Swahili, Luhyia, Tagalog (Pilipino), Kinyarwanda, and Luganda.
Pre-Primary Teacher | French Instructor School Nurse
Gladys has three years of teaching experience at The Earth School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Rwanda and an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center (Canada).
She is also a Registered Nurse with three years of nursing experience in clinical settings and three years of experience as school nurse. Gladys speaks English, French, and Kinyarwanda.
“I've been taught many things through my mom and Montessori, but my love of learning is the lesson I hold most dearly."