“An important key to the success of an international school is the quality and commitment of the Board of Trustees. I could not have been more impressed with the talent, enthusiasm, and dedication of the outstanding individuals on the Board of AIS. I have no doubts but that AIS will be a remarkable international school. And the fact that the school seeks to be accessible to all families makes it almost unique amongst international schools around the world.” Pete Woodward Former Director, Commission on American and International Schools Abroad New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Stephen Johnson Founder, Board President Mr. Johnson is the founder and managing principal of Thames Street Capital, a real-estate development and investment group based in Washington D.C where he transacted more than $100 million in real estate. Mr. Johnson was born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and the United States. He attended Kent School in Connecticut and then went on to receive his B.A from Colgate University and his MBA from the University of Maryland. His family has long standing ties to Guatemala. His mother Diane assisted in the development of the curriculum for the Universidad del Valle. Mr. Johnson resides in Antigua with his wife Kim and their three young children, all of whom attend AIS.
Christine Keilhauer de Wilson Founder, Board Vice President Mrs. Wilson was born and raised in Guatemala and currently resides in Antigua. After working as a Management Consultant for Anderson Consulting in the United States, Mrs. Wilson moved back to Guatemala and managed an organic coffee farm for ten years. Mrs. Wilson also runs a marketing and communications company providing strategy and materials for a variety of clients. Mrs. Wilson graduated from Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and holds a degree in International Relations from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Christine and her husband Philip Wilson, CEO of Ecofiltro, are the parents of four children, two who are currently at AIS.
Pablo Arenales Founder Mr. Arenales is the founder and director RE/MAX Colonial, the leading real estate company in Antigua. After earning a degree in law from the Francisco Marroquin University, Mr. Arenales worked as the Guatemalan representative and first secretary to the U.N. in New York and later as Guatemalan Consul in Paris. Mr. Arenales lives in Antigua with his wife Karen and their three children, two of whom attend AIS.
Terry Atkinson Retired, UBS Bank Mr. Atkinson graduated from San Diego State University, with his B.A. Public Administration and also attended the University of San Francisco. Terry worked at leading Wall Street firms for 40 years and headed the top ranked UBS municipal bonds division in New York for over two decades. Throughout his life, Terry has been an avid philanthropist. He has worked with a number of organizations, founded the Harlem Day School in NYC, and helped raise $400 million for San Diego State University as part of the Campanille Foundation for SDSU. He currently lives in Northern California.
Katherine Flatley Burns Mrs. Flatley Burns is the founder and director of the Women’s Justice Initiative, an organization that provides legal services, education and gender-based violence prevention programs to women living in rural Guatemala. She originally moved to Guatemala in 2004 to work for a NGO promoting access to education in rural communities. Mrs. Flatley holds a B.A in Anthropology from Yale University and a J.D from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar. Mrs. Flately Burns married to Billy Burns, a longtime Antigua resident, and her daughter attends AIS.
Rafael Coelho Universidad de San Andrés, M.B.A. Universidad de San Andrés, M.B.A. Rafael is the founder and director of Central BTS, a global marketing firm specializing in branding and online marketing and sales solutions for business. Rafael resides in Argentina with his wife Agustina, a speech and learning disabilities specialist, and their four children.
Ronald J. Marino University of Detroit—B.A. Michigan State University—M.A. Michigan State University—Ph.D Ron is a retired state side school Superintendent, who is actively involved with overseas schools, having conducted School Board governance and finance workshops in more than 50 counties. He has assisted schools with Head searches, self-studies and has served on Visiting Committees. Ron has been a consultant to the Dept. of State-Office of Overseas Schools, the Inter Regional Center, the Inter American Development Bank and the Founders of AIS during its early development. He and his wife Mary Beth, with whom he collaborates on many projects, reside in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.
Jessica Hammer Benaim Ms. Hammer holds a B.A. in Biology and Health from Brandeis University and a Masters in International Health from the University of Copenhagen. At present she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Programa VALENTINA, an impact enterprise focus on solving unemployment and underemployment in at risk populations, specially women and immigrants. Before Co-creating VALENTINA, Jessica was the executive director of FUNSEPA an organization that improves the quality of education in Guatemala through technology. She was also the director of Guatemala SANA Foundation, which focuses on education, health, nutrition and environment in Sacatepéquez. Jessica has more than 15 years of experience working with social causes, from children with disabilities in Tibet, to children with HIV in Gambia, sexual workers in Curacao, at risk adolescents in Venezuela, and orchestral music in Guatemala.
Julie Murphy Julie is a Certified Public Accountant, having graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in International Economics. Prior to settling in Guatemala in 2008,Julie lived in San Francisco, California where she worked in Audit at Deloitte and Touche, LLP, Corporate Finance at CBSMarketwatch and in Executive Recruiting at CVPartners, a boutique firm for financial professionals in the tech industry. Mrs. Murphy and her husband, Rex Murphy, have three children, the oldest of whom are at AIS, with the youngest to follow soon. Parent Elected Board Members: Rodrigo Barillas Research Fellow at Children's’ Hospital and Harvard Medical School. MBA Universidad Complutense de Madrid, M.D Universidad San Carlos, Guatemala. Rodrigo is the Executive Director of WINGS in Guatemala. Mr. Barillas was a founding member of Rotary Club Guatemala de la Ermita, and has served on the boards of the National Cancer League and SERES Global. Mr. Barillas recently moved to Antigua, where he resides with his wife Manola and two sons.
Anaite de La Cruz B.A Psychology, Universidad Rafael Landivar. Anaite was born and raised in Antigua. She is a licenced psychologist with practices in Antigua and Guatemala City where she treats learning differences and provides emotional therapy. She is also a professor at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. In addition to her degrees, Anaite holds extensive international training and certifications in Education,,Human Resources, Crisis Management, Emotional Support and Clinical Psychology.
Emeritus Board Members
1. Ellen Mueller Founding Board Member 2011-15
Colby College, B.A. in Administrative Science. Ellen has a marketing background and managed clients such as Visa, Baskin Robbins and Levi Strauss & Company. Originally, from Boston, Ellen has lived in Antigua for over 20 years. Her two oldest children graduated from AIS, and currently attend Wake Forest University and Middlebury College. Her youngest will graduate in 2021. In addition to her Board duties, Ellen participated as a member of the PTO, and has continuously supported AIS as an engaged parent.
2. Dr. George Carofino, Founding Board Member 2011-17
University of Villanova, B. A. University of Maryland, Dental School Dr. Carofino served eight years on the boards of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Commission on American and International Schools Abroad (CAISA), and the Connecticut State Board of Education, among other local school boards. Dr. Carofino has practiced dentistry for over 30 years; in the U.S. Air Force, privately, and in medical missions around the world. He and his wife Diane, a retired school psychologist, split their time between Connecticut and Antigua.
3. Jose Juan Serra, Board Member 2013-17
University Francisco Marroquín, Law Degree Anderson School at UCLA, M.B.A.José Juan works as the Director of the Serpa Family Office overseeing governance processes and investments. He is a Trustee of Universidad Francisco Marroquín and former board member at AGG, Chamber of Commerce. He served as an active board member for his family’s supermarket business from 2002 until it sold to Walmart in 2010. He currently resides in Guatemala City and enjoys spending time with his three daughters.