Board of Trustees

Walnut Farm Montessori School is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), non-stock education corporation governed by a Board of Trustees.

The WFMS Board meets each month and is guided by a set of bylaws that contains provisions dictated by law as well as the Board’s own procedures. The Board elects a President, a Vice President, and a Secretary and may elect other officers if it deems it appropriate to do so. All Trustees volunteer their time. Developing and overseeing the fulfillment of the school’s strategic plan, the board ensures that the school will continue to achieve its mission and continue to thrive in the areas of financial stewardship and momentum.

The Head of School is the chief executive officer of the School. The Head is charged with implementing the School’s long-range plan and overseeing the effective administration of all aspects of the School’s operation.

2022-2023 Board of Trustees

Smita Vadlamani, President

Runa Howard, Vice President

Lina Scroggins, Secretary

Sean D’Hoostelaere, Treasure


Chi Ibekwe

Emma Pengelly

Peyton Sterns

Amanda Marsee

Jannea White

Smita Vadlamani


Smita is a seasoned retail and consumer goods professional with experience as an investor. She has deep knowledge in merchandising, finance, strategy and supply chain. Prior to retailing, Smita was an institutional investor and made equity and fixed income investments in the US and Europe. Smita has been a parent at Walnut Farm for more than five years. She has served on the WFMS Board of Trustees for three of those years, serving on and leading the Finance Committee. Smita has a BS in Finance from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Smita lives in NWA with her husband, her three children and her cat. Two of her children attend Walnut Farm.

Runa Howard


Runa is currently a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Solutions Real Estate in Bentonville, AR, where she works with buyers and sellers of residential, commercial and investment properties. Prior to real estate, Runa spent 20 years in the corporate world, working for some of America’s most iconic brands. Her experiences encompass Information Technology, eCommerce, Marketing, Sales Operations, Finance and Organizational Change Management. Runa currently serves on the board of the NWA Women’s Empowerment Initiative and is also the chairperson for the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council. She previously served on the boards of Goodcity and The Merit School of Music, both in Chicago. She has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and an M.B.A. from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Runa is also Six Sigma Black Belt certified.

Sean D'Hoostelaere


Sean D’Hoostelaere brings the Walnut Farm board more than 25 years of Montessori experience. From attending Primary and Elementary and spending every summer working at his parent’s Montessori school in Arizona, to joining the board of that same school in 2010, Sean has been involved with the planning and strategy of Montessori schools for over a decade. Sean and his family joined Walnut Farm last year, with three daughters enrolled in Primary and Elementary.
Outside of Montessori, Sean currently works for Walmart and has spent the last several years in various finance and strategy roles. He will be bringing that experience to the WFMS board’s Finance and Growth Committees. Sean has a Bachelor’s in Finance & Accounting from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, where he currently serves on the board of the business school’s Student Association.

Lina Scroggins


Lina Sestokas Scroggins is a Senior Program Manager at Google, driving the development and execution of technical projects for the company’s health product portfolio. She moved to Bentonville in 2017 with her family to support her husband’s role in Walmart data analytics with Mastercard. Her professional experience includes running a learning and development program for Google’s Information Technology Resident Program, hardware operations for Google’s Chromebook team and graduate education in psychology. Lina and her husband, Steve, have 3 children at Walnut Farm, daughters Klara, Rita and Indre, who are in the Elementary, Primary and Toddler programs respectively. In her spare time, Lina likes to read, bike and spend time with her family.