Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has responsibility for oversight of the school and empowers the Executive Director to lead school operations. Board members are elected by family members and at least 2 of the 5 Directors at any time are parents of students in the school. Each family of a child currently enrolled at Great Work Montessori School shall have one vote in electing Board Directors. Board members will be elected on a rolling schedule, so that turnover will be gradual.  Contact the board via e-mail at

Chase Bongirno, Board President (Term Expires 2020)
Mr. Bongirno is a business executive with ten years’ experience providing financial communications, investor relations, and compliance services to public companies. He is a founding member of XBRL US's Data Quality Committee and sits on the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Taxonomy Advisory Group. He is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Public Accountants Society of Colorado & Trout Unlimited. Mr. Bongirno holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.S. in Management from Colorado State University; previously he served as Board Treasurer. In his experience, “organizations are best served when, rather than pursuing an independent agenda, board members partner with the executive team to provide support to help facilitate a shared vision for the organization.” Mr. Bongirno is a Colorado native, avid fly fisherman, and a parent at Great Work Montessori. He lives in Lakewood with his wife and son and their two dogs.

Ellie Svoboda, Board Vice President (Term Expires 2020)
Ms. Svoboda is a Colorado native who attended Compass Montessori, one of only a handful of public preK-12 schools in the nation, from 3rd grade through 12th grade. Ellie earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Denver and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont. Ellie has taught at Compass Montessori High School since 2012 and was a founding member of Great Work Inc. Ellie credits her Montessori education for her love of learning and belief in social justice. She is thrilled to be a member of the Great Work Montessori School board and believes wholeheartedly in its mission and vision.

Tessa Williams, Board Secretary (Term Expires 2019)
Ms. Williams earned her B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Women and Gender Studies. After completing an apprenticeship at Compass Montessori High school, Ms. Williams went on to obtain her A.M.I. Montessori elementary diploma from the Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani in Bergamo, Italy. She has since been working in Colorado as a lower elementary Montessori teacher. Through her training and practical experience, both as a Montessori student from third through twelfth grade and as an instructor, Ms. Williams has an extensive knowledge of the Montessori philosophy, environment, and teaching method. She is excited to continue to advocate for the needs of students and broaden the community’s access to the unique and holistic method of learning that Montessori education provides as a member of the Great Work School Board.

Jonathan Cain, Board Treasurer (Term Expires 2019)
Mr. Cain received his B.A. in Politics and Government from Ripon College in Ripon WI. He took additional coursework in German, History, and Computer Science. He also spent time studying at the Friedrich Wilhelm University. He plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the Center for New Directions at CU Denver.
As a professional, Jonathan has worked in IT and as a Freelance Sports Writer and Media producer. He worked on Mark Udall’s Reelection Campaign in 2008, and was a director of one of the largest Swim School Franchises in the World. He has been a swim coach and ski instructor. Most recently, he has worked as the Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation in Gilpin County. There his duties involved overseeing operations, budgeting and grant writing, community development, marketing, and he is Director Qualified to lead school aged, State Licensed Child Care Programs.
One of his daughters is 4, and has started at Great Work; Mr Cain believes that the staff and the mission at Great Work has helped her blossom. “She has learned so much, and become such a part of her own community. I really think that Great Work has helped create an environment in which she feels safe and comfortable, and where she can continue to excel”. His other daughter is a “future Great Work kid”. He is very excited about this opportunity to participate on the board and to help support the mission at Great Work.

Thai Nguyen, Board Member (Term Expires 2018)
Mrs. Nguyen has two children currently attending GWMS and another that recently graduated from Denver School of the Arts and is now attending CU Boulder. Thai has been actively involved with their schools and 7 years with DPS district. Prior to being a parent volunteer, Thai worked in the corporate world for over 10 years and studied business at UCLA and Pepperdine University. In her free time, Thai loves to be outdoors and hiking with family and friends- she fully embraces the Colorado lifestyle. She is excited to be an active member of the board to help support GWMS ensure quality education for all.

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