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.
Ms. Edna de Bonilla
President, Founder, and Proud Mother of Two
Ms. Edna founded The Earth School in 2011 and continues to provide guidance and overall leadership of the school, as well as to oversee school admissions.
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).
Ms. Edna is an education practitioner and researcher who started her international education career in 1994. Her experience includes teaching, school management, leadership, professional development training, and consulting in both private and public school systems in different countries around the world. She is also a member of Association Montessori Internationale, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori.
Juan Carlos Bonilla
CEO, Founder, and 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 (DBA) from the International University of Mónaco. He has over 25 years of experience in management, mainly in the non-profit sector.
Juan Carlos is an elected Board Member of the International Schools Association (ISA). Founded in Geneva (Switzerland) in 1951, ISA is the most senior organization in the world of international education and the first educational Non-Government Organization to be granted consultative status at UNESCO.
Ms. Lauren Rogers
Head of School
Ms. Lauren is responsible for the day to day management of the school, family-school partnerships, curriculum development and the supervision of the school's academic planning and implementation, assessment and student progress as well as teaching practice oversight. Ms. Lauren qualified as a teacher in the UK in 2008, and joined The Earth School in 2015.
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.
Ms. Lauren holds a Certificate in School Management and Leadership, a program for preK-12 school leaders from the
Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Harvard Business School (HBS).
She plays the piano and double bass, and has led school choirs and directed whole school productions.
Ms. Beth Runo
Ms. Beth is an experienced financial manager with a focus on accounting management and compliance. She has guided the school's administrative
functions since 2011.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Egerton University (Kenya) and a Master of Arts in Economics from Nairobi University (Kenya).
Ms. Beth also holds certifications by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in both Kenya (ICPAK) and Rwanda (ICPAR) and has been a lecturer at the Kigali Institute of Management.
Ms. Margaret Wafula
Ms. Marggie is a dedicated Montessori teacher who loves working with students of different ages. She started teaching in 2009 and joined us in 2017.
She holds an International Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the Montessori Center International in London (UK) and also studied Business Administration at the
Adventist University (Rwanda).
Ms. Marggy speaks seven languages: English, French, Swahili, Luhyia, Tagalog (Pilipino), Kinyarwanda, and Luganda.
Ms. Victoria Lidede
Ms. Vicky is an experienced Montessori educator who started teaching in 2009. She holds an International Montessori Diploma from Head Start Mercy Montessori Center (South Africa).
She has worked with students of Primary and Elementary ages
as well as children with
Ms. Vicky has experience teaching internationally in Kenya and South Africa.
Ms. Carlène Kabeja Gihozo
Elementary French-Speaking Teacher
Ms. Carlène is full of passion about the intellectual, emotional and social development of children.
She joined us in 2023 as a French-speaking teacher in our Elementary section.
She holds a certificate in Providing Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Special Education Services in School from the University of Colorado via Coursera.
Ms. Leana Beza
Ms. Leana is a lifelong learner and caring teacher who joined us in 2020 as a Primary teacher and French Instructor.
She studied Hospitality Management at Davis College (Rwanda) where she graduated before joining the school.
Ms. Leana has enjoyed implementing the Montessori method to teach French to our youngest students.
Ms. Gisèle Gwaneza
Ms. Gisele is a passionate and caring teacher who deeply enjoys working with different students. She started her teaching career in 2018, working with students with Special needs, and Children in need of one-on-one support.
She has been working with our Elementary children since she joined the school in 2022.
She is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree in Records and Information Management at Mount Kenya University (Kigali, Rwanda).
Ms. Gisele speaks both English and French.
Ms. Monica Koki
Ms. Monica is a kind and dedicated teacher who loves working with students of
She holds a Bachelor of Psychology degree from University of Cape Coast
(Ghana) and also has training
Ms. Monica joined us in early 2022 and speaks English
Ms. Joselyne Umuhoza
Ms. Joselyne holds a Bachelor's of Business Administration from the Independent Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali.
She also studied Mathematics-Chemistry-Biology (MCB) at Lyceé Notre Dame du Bonne Conseil (Rwanda).
Ms. Joselyne joined us in 2018 as a Montessori teacher when she started her teaching career. She has worked with our Pre-Primary and Primary students teaching French using the Practical Life and Sensorial curriculum.
Ms. Sonia Agarwal
Ms. Sonia is a resourceful Montessori teacher with a passion for education. She has been teaching since 2005.
She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree from South City College (Kolkata, India) and a Diploma in Montessori Teaching from the Indian Montessori Centre (Kolkata, India). She joined the school in 2023.
Ms. Maureen Mbabazi
Ms. Maureen is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher who enjoys working with children of different ages. She started teaching in 2018, working with children with special educational needs and learning difficulties.
She holds a diploma in Working with Children with Disabilities from Alison and she is currently completing her Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences and Administration from Mt. Kenya University.
She joined The Earth School in 2022 and she is really enjoying working with us.
Mr. Job Byiringiro
Physical Education Teacher and Swimming Instructor
Mr. Job is passionate about sports in general and swimming in particular.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Sport from the College of Education, University of Rwanda. He also completed a Certificate in Hospitality Management at Cornell University-Rwanda.
He has been a trainer since 2013 and has led our PE program since 2019.
He combines his sports training with our overall child's healthy living program that includes fitness and nutrition.
Mr. Job has specific formation as a beginners swimming trainer from FINA (International Swimming Federation) and RSF (Rwanda Swimming Federation).
He is also a football referee from FERWAFA (Rwanda Football Federation) and a basketball referee from FERWABA (Rwanda Basketball Federation). He has also received training with Special Olympics Rwanda to support learners with special needs.
Ms. Sophia Kivumbi
Ms. Sophia is an extremely experienced Montessorian, having taught, guided and supported children of different ages and abilities for over 20 years. She started teaching in 2002, working in international schools in Uganda and joined us in 2011. After working in a different environment for a year Ms. Sophia is very excited to be rejoining The Earth School in 2023.
She holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the Montessori Education Center in Kampala (Uganda), an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center (Canada) and The Complete SEND Diploma from New Skills Acadamy (UK).
It all 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 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 Schools 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.
“I've been taught many things through my mom and Montessori, but my love of learning is the lesson I hold most dearly."