Jason Arndt, Chair
Michael Biniek, Founder
Mike brings a love of nature, the outdoors, wildlife. His energy and wily sense of humor make working with him an adventure. He enjoys sharing practical projects with students. Mike holds a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University. He practices sustainable, grass-based farming. He has both a theoretical and a practical interest in farming. Mike studies and practices ecological growing of food and animal husbandry. He created a heating system for the schoolhouse and the farmhouse using locally available wood. He is involved with the students as a teacher, mentor, and school trip chaperone. With his wife Susan, Mike also manage Belle Meade Bed & Breakfast and Belle Meade Day Camp. In addition, Mike served two terms on the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors.
Sol Feldman is a recent immigrant to Sperryville and Rappahannock County. Before moving here, he often felt at two with Nature. No longer. He’s grown to appreciate the vast expanses of green, the buzzing bees, and the birds that flit from here to there – not necessarily in that order. Sol has volunteered for several non-profit organizations, including schools, juvenile criminal justice organizations, and has been active poking his nose in places it doesn’t belong.
Kit Goldfarb has provided communications and marketing services for 30 years. She has worked for major global organizations as well as small start-ups, primarily in the technology sector. During the tech boom, she established and ran KG Communications, a public relations and communications firm focused primarily on start-ups in the telecommunications industry. As president of KGC, she helped emerging companies establish and build corporate and brand leadership in their marketplaces. Through her work with technology companies, Kit began working with communications applications that would later become the foundation of social networking. In 2008, she switched industries and began working in global health and development, including living in sub-Saharan Africa and working in programs in areas including women’s economic development, community health services, and HIV/AIDS. During her studies and field work, she became interested in the issue of food security and sustainability in both the developing and developed world. Earlier in Kit’s career, she worked with programs focused on cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis through shared community and business activities. Kit and her husband moved to Rappahannock County in 2013. Kit has a B.A. in government from the University of Texas, Austin, and an M.P.H., with a focus on global health, from George Mason University.
Susan Hoffman, Founder
Susan is a dedicated and compassionate leader who provides inspiration and vision for the school program, working towards her goals with a determined passion. Susan cares about her staff and students, working hard to ensure that each person is valued and heard.
With an A.B. Smith College, Ed. M. Harvard, and Ed. D. Johns Hopkins University,she has a diverse educational background. She has more than four decades of experience teaching, training teachers, and writing curricula. Her love of teaching and her love of the outdoors have merged in Belle Meade School. Susan’s experience includes training teachers, developing mathematics curriculum, working as a mathematics resource teacher, classroom teaching, individual tutoring in mathematics and reading. She was twice the state level winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. She also was awarded a Cafritz Foundation grant for studying mathematics in China and Japan. She teaches Mathematics and Latin and participates in many school and farm activities. She and Mike established Belle Meade Day Camp in 1994 and Belle Meade School in 2007.
Clare Lindsay recently retired from EPA where she worked for 20 years on resource conservation issues. Ms. Lindsay led EPA’s efforts to initiate the first-ever national dialogue on electronics product stewardship in the US. This initiative led to numerous states creating electronics take-back laws. She actively participated in development of many product stewardship initiatives for packaging, carpet, office furniture, and paint. Ms. Lindsay initiated a more coordinated EPA engagement in the development of sustainability standards for product design and performance. Ms. Lindsay was one of the primary authors of a road map for EPA leadership on sustainable materials management. Currently, Ms. Lindsay serves on the Boards of the National Center for Electronics Recycling and R2 Solutions (an organization that manages an international standard for electronics recycling practices). Ms. Lindsay also serves on the Steering Committee of a new organization that is being launched called the Sustainable Purchasing Council. Before going to EPA, Ms. Lindsay practiced environmental and energy law in the private sector. She has an undergraduate degree from Smith College and a J.D. with honors from George Washington University.
Tobey Wheelock is a web developer with a great deal of experience in helping small organizations thrive. He is a former algebra teacher and farmer and is the father of two home-schooled young adults. He is also a board member of the Businesses of Rappahannock, an organization devoted to helping county businesses succeed. He feels that all of those experiences help him guide Belle Meade Montessori School as it navigates the intersection between education, agriculture, and sustainable prosperity. Tobey has a B.A. degree from Williams College.