The Sofia Center for Professional Development engages educators in reflection, dialogue, and action focused on essential questions about teaching and learning. The Center nurtures and restores educators’ sense of calling and purpose, and empowers educators to be creators of innovative change in their schools and communities.
The work of the Sofia Center is rooted in its home ground – the beautiful high desert campus of Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Nestled against the cottonwood forest along the Rio Grande, the Center serves as guide, resource, and leadership opportunity for the faculty at Bosque, while also providing a vital resource to educators from diverse schools and organizations throughout the community.
The Sofia Center manifests Bosque School’s commitment to innovative leadership in professional development and to serving the larger public through collaborative partnerships and good work.
We believe that teachers’ voices belong at the center of conversation about education.
We believe in the power of educators working together across communities and cultures.
We believe that teaching well is an honorable practice.
We believe that education has the power to transform individuals and communities.
We believe intentional reflection yields meaningful action.
We believe that the heart of the teacher matters as much as the training.
Who We Are
The Sofia Center opened its doors in January 2013 with Reflect : Innovate : Act, our first community-wide public event, and Global Issues : Local Voices, an in-house professional development conference for Bosque faculty and staff. Since that time and with the support of many generous people and institutions, the Sofia Center has welcomed educators from over 175 schools and organizations to its programs and built a vibrant professional learning culture at Bosque School.
We are grateful for your interest and hope you will add your voice to our shared learning.
Sheryl Chard is the founding director of the Sofia Center for Professional Development at Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1998-2013, Sheryl served as Bosque’s first head of middle school and had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to build a thriving middle school of 250 students and 35 faculty members. In 2013, after several years of designing and planning, Sheryl became the full-time director of the Sofia Center for Professional Development.
The Sofia Center is the manifestation of many of Sheryl’s passions – her love of working with educators; her commitment to lifelong intellectual inquiry; and her desire to create innovative and beautiful spaces in which people can work collaboratively, think outside the box, and stay true to the heart of teaching and learning. She is an experienced retreat and seminar leader who has designed a wide range of inspirational offerings for educators at Bosque School, teachers and education leaders from over 175 schools and organizations in New Mexico, and educators from Teach for America and the Golden Apple Foundation.
Sheryl earned her B.A. in English from Trinity University and her M.A. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University. In 2004-05, she was a Klingenstein Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she spent a year taking a wide range of courses while researching and writing about meaningful professional development for educators.
Sarah Camp is the program coordinator of the Sofia Center for Professional Development at Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Roma Arellano recently retired as Learning & Development Manager for Intel’s worldwide Human Resources organization, where she focused on leader development and leader-led learning. Her career with the company included being an HR representative on Intel’s Site Selection team, which took her all over the world assessing potential new sites on everything from labor code to the strength of the universities and availability of experienced talent. Roma also implemented a multi-million dollar workforce development program in Vietnam for Intel for five years. She has worked in community service, diversity, and recruiting. Outside of Intel, she is an international board member of AMIGOS de las Américas, and she serves on Bosque School’s Diversity Task Force. She lives in Corrales with husband Jim Ransom. Daughters Daisy and Mia are Bosque graduates and attend college in Colorado and New York. Roma holds an MBA in International Management and an MA in Latin American Studies from University of New Mexico.
Dana Asbury is a retired editor, who worked at the University of New Mexico Press for eighteen years. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she moved to Albuquerque and earned her M.F.A. in photography from UNM. At UNM Press she worked primarily on art and photography books but also in other areas, including Latin American Jewish literature. Her two daughters attended Bosque School for all seven years and graduated in 2003 and 2005, the third and fifth graduating classes. One lives in London, the other in Boston, and they both work in publishing. Dana was on the board of trustees at Bosque for over fifteen years, five of them as the chair. Her husband is still enjoying running the Richard Levy Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in downtown Albuquerque that opened in 1991.
Gary Gruber is a Leadership Consultant who works independently and in conjunction with Leadership and Design, the successor to The Santa Fe Leadership Center. In 2010-11, he served as Interim Head of School at Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was also the founding head of school from 1994-98. Gary has worked in numerous independent schools, including serving as Head of School at The Shipley School in Pennsylvania and Principal of the American School in London. He was a senior consultant with Carney Sandoe & Associates for 11 years, working with independent schools throughout the United States. He is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio. He holds a Master’s Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development from Pennsylvania State University. Gary is the author of two recent books, Seven Decades: A Learning Memoir (2013) and YOUR CHILD, YOUR CHOICE: Finding the Right School for Your Child (2014). Gary and his wife Susie are residents of Santa Fe, where they have lived for the past 18 years.
Nina Leacock teaches upper school English at Bosque School and serves as the Upper School Dean of Academics. Nina has taught English to high school, college, and graduate students in Georgia and California. She was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine. Her essay on Goethe was published in the scholarly journal Narrative. Nina loves walking in the mountains almost as much as she loves reading novels. She lives with her husband, Scott, and her dog, Katie, in Cedar Crest.
Anna Mara Rutins
Anna Mara Rutins, Director of Service Learning at Bosque School, holds 22 years of experience in education and non-profit community programs, including six years living or traveling overseas with various development and government agencies. She has worked for U.S. Peace Corps, Open Society Institute / Soros Foundation, Berlitz International, New Mexico Dept. of Health, and Albuquerque’s Futures for Children in the roles of program officer, trainer/facilitator and consultant. As the founding Director of Program Development for Journeys in Film – Educating for Global Education, Anna created and facilitated professional development workshops for teachers and administrators throughout the United States and Canada about the need for integration of global perspective into core curriculum content. She continues to apply her B.A. degree in Inter-cultural Communication from American University (Washington, DC), with a concentration in Applied Cultural Anthropology, to all aspects of life.
Russell Shaw is the Head of Georgetown Day School, founded in 1945 as the first integrated school in Washington DC. GDS is a thriving and nationally recognized k-12 institution, known not only for its quality education but as a leader in social justice, equity, and diversity curriculum. Russell began his educational career leading backcountry expeditions for Voyageur Outward Bound School in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. He subsequently taught at Thornton Friends School in Maryland, served as Dean of Students at Woodside Priory School in California, and was Assistant Head of School and Middle School Director at Abington Friends School in Pennsylvania. Russell received a Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College where he earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. He is a graduate of Yale University. He and his wife, Rabbi Shira Stutman, have three children.
Melissa Stevens is the Director of Philanthropic Partnerships for the nonprofit organization Cultural Survival and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been in the nonprofit and educational sector for 25 years focusing on issues of justice and equity in Central and South America, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Berkeley, Boston and Santa Fe. Melissa has a wide range of organizational development and fundraising experience and has served as an executive director, development director, events coordinator, program manager and grants manager. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Lake Forest College. She is passionate about working at the intersection of indigenous and human rights, community health, healthy living practices, climate justice and the environment, both nationally and internationally. Melissa has a grown daughter and a teenage son.
Lori Taylor is the Education Specialist at The Silk Road Project, an organization founded in 1998 by Yo-Yo Ma to promote innovation and learning through the arts. Prior to joining the Silk Road Project, Lori served as Project Director for the Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston. Lori helped forge ASP, one of the largest professional theater companies in New England, and directed and facilitated ASP’s Incarcerated Youth at Play program, community programs, artist residence programs and summer teacher institute with Salem State University. Before working at ASP Lori directed the Teacher Residency Program at The Met in Providence, Rhode Island, a teacher training program that targets young adults from urban communities who aspire to be teachers. Lori worked for nine years at the Cambridge School of Weston where she taught history, was Dean of Faculty and founded The Shakespeare Ensemble. She was a teaching assistant to Ted Sizer at Brown University where she received her M.A.T. and a personal assistant to legendary cartoonist HerBlock at The Washington Post. Lori also served as curriculum director at Exploration Summer Program which served over 800 high school students in a residential summer program at Wellesley College.
Tamisha Williams is the Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, California. Tamisha earned her B.A. in Studio Arts and Comprehensive Education from the University of Richmond and her M.Ed. in Family and Marriage Counseling from The College of William & Mary in Virginia, her home state. Prior to relocating to California, Tamisha began her career as an Assistant Director of Admission at the University of Richmond where she coordinated multicultural recruitment programs, recruited and trained student volunteers, and planned open house and other admission events. Leaving her home state, she relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico and served as the Director of Diversity Initiatives/Asst. Dir. of College Counseling at Bosque School for three years. During her time at Bosque School she chaired the Diversity Task Force, facilitated professional development workshops for faculty and staff, and co-developed a day-long conference for 7th grade students, entitled “ME WE Conference: Exploring Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice.” In her current position, Tamisha works with staff, faculty, administration, parents, and trustees in creating an integrated program to further the school’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and in naming and confronting structural and systemic inequalities that exist for members of the school community.
Andy Wright is the Head of the Middle School at Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California. After graduating with a B.A. in geology from Earlham College, he earned a teaching credential in secondary mathematics from California State University, Fresno. Since then he has been part of both boarding and day schools as a teacher and administrator in New Mexico, Utah, Pennsylvania, California and Kenya. Prior to his current position at Pacific Ridge, Andy served as associate middle school head and faculty member at Bosque School for 14 years. Andy is an avid hiker and cyclist. Prior to moving back to California, he and his wife Laura spent countless days exploring the remote canyons of southeastern Utah. Now they are looking forward to rediscovering the deserts and mountains of California.
The Sofia Center designs and leads professional development programs
for Bosque faculty and staff, and offers an ongoing series of professional
retreats, seminars, and workshops open to all educators.