New Gate School Inc
5237 Ashton Rd
Sarasota FL 34233-3417
The Mission of The New Gate School is to cultivate a love of life and inspire academic excellence.
CEO/Executive Director Timothy David Seldin
Board Chair Dr. Andrew Cutler MD
Board Chair Affiliation Florida Clinical Research Center
General Info
Organization DBA
NewGate School
NewGate-Field School
NewGate International Montessori Academy
Former Names
Countryside Montessori School. Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1993
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration Exempt 0
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,602,601.00
Projected Expenses $1,450,000.00
IRS Letter of Determination
New Gate School (originally Countryside Montessori School) IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
Last year:

1. Our first class of IB Diploma students began their two year advanced program.
We are working in partnership with the Montessori Foundation to develop curricula, a program model that can be replicated across North America, and an accredited teacher education program for Montessori-IB secondary schools world-wide.

2. We continued NewGate's long-standing commitment to integrating Arts Education throughout our curriculum. In 2015-16 this included our annual immersion programs into theater, visual arts, poetry, and vocal music education. All of our elementary students participated in our 17th annual Shakespeare production (Romeo and Juliet), and our 16th annual Children's Opera, Rhodopis. Secondary students participated in an intensive theater education program, competed in the Poetry Out Loud competition, and served on the Junior Jury at the Sarasota Film Festival.

3. Economics Education: We introduce students to basic principles of small business and microeconomic theory. They run a number of student businesses. 1st to 3rd graders were introduced to small business and ran an entrepreneurs fair that raised $2,000. 4th to 6th graders ran a small business at school. 7th to 12th grade students participate in our annual Internship Program giving them real-world experience in the business and professional world.

4. Organic Gardens: Children need daily contact with nature, and gardens are an important classroom and lab for the study of the life sciences. We work with gardening experts and parent volunteers to teach organic gardening and manage the children's gardens.

This year, we are focusing on:

1. Continuing to expand our Arts Programs: Intensive theater education, video production, photography, poetry competition, and the Sarasota Film Festival;

2. Preparing to graduate the first class of Montessori-International Baccalaureate Diploma Program students in Florida;

3. Expanding our Science and Technology program at all levels from age 3 through high school;

4. Continuing to develop and disseminate a K-12 Economics Education curriculum;

5. Continuing to expand our gardening programs;

6. Video production: We have been setting up a video production program with new computers and professional videos cameras.
Needs Statement

1. Sponsorship for the school's programs in the Arts, including:
a. NewGate's 17th Annual Youth Opera in which all of our elementary students participate - $12,000
b. Our 18th Annual Shakespeare Players Production - $5,000
c. Our immersion programs in playwriting and production - $5,000
d. Our Junior Great Books and Philosophy for Young Children Program - $4,000
e. The Poetry Out Loud Competition - $2,000
f. Our Annual Arts Festival - $5,000

2. Funding for our International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program
a. IB fees - $11,000
b. IB teacher courses  - $8,000

3. Renovations and Improvements to our classrooms, buildings and grounds
a. New roof for the office building - $30,000
b. Improved and more energy efficient classroom lighting - $20,000
c. Expansion and continuing development of our natural playground - $50,000
d. Energy efficient air conditioning  - $50,000
e. Campus-wide security improvements - $50,000

3. Science and Technology Education - $50,000

4. Needs-based Academic Scholarships for ten middle and high-school students per year - $135,000

5. A second school bus for field study programs - $60,000
Background Statement

In 1984, Kitty and Steve Williams, founded Countryside Montessori School on their small organic farm on Ashton Road in Sarasota, FL.

They founded the school because Kitty, a Montessori educator, wanted to offer the community an alternative child-honoring approach to education. Since its founding, the we have inspired the lives of more than 2,000 children.

From its humble beginnings, by 1994 Countryside evolved into an 501-C-3 nonprofit, renamed the NewGate School, and, began to serve as a model Montessori school under the leadership of the Montessori Foundation international 501-C-3 educational organization).

Because of its relationship with the Montessori Foundation, more and families move to Sarasota every year to join the school, and NewGate enjoys a national reputation. Sarasota is the setting for the Montessori Foundation's annual international conference and school leadership institutes, further promoting our community as a center for educational innovation and bringing revenue to the area's economy.

NewGate is Sarasota's oldest and best known alternative student-centered independent schools for gifted learners. As an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, it offers a vital educational choice for Sarasota families (and to families who are moving here for the school), because, in an era of mass education and teaching to the test, NewGate students learn in an environment that promotes reflection, discovery, experiential learning, and collaboration.
The NewGate School is an independent, international, Montessori academy. It offers programs for students from toddlers through the 12th grade. NewGate is the only Montessori-International Baccalaureate World School, in Florida, offering the IB Diploma Program. Since our first high school graduating class in 2004, 99% of our graduates have completed college or university, most continuing to seek advanced degrees.

The term academy has come to hold many meanings, but, at its root, an Academy is a way of learning through deep, reflective conversations and shared inquiry, field observation, hands-on experience, and discovery.

NewGate's goal is to nurture each of our student's intelligence, curiosity, and imagination while supporting and developing each one's unique talents. We prepare our students for both university and life.

NewGate teaches universal values and instills a global perspective, responsible citizenship, and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit. We graduate young people who are balanced between their knowledge and character: life-long learners; critical thinkers; and active leaders in their local community, their country, and the world.

As the Lab School of The Montessori Foundation, NewGate serves both its own students, and plays a national role in educational innovation and school reform. NewGate influences Montessori schools worldwide through its role in curriculum and program development, embodiment of principles of best practice in Montessori education, and professional development for Montessori school administrators.
Last year more than a thousand teachers and school principals came to NewGate from 31 countries to observe, attend our annual international conference here in Sarasota, and to study school leadership at our Montessori institute.
Senior members of the staff of The Montessori Foundation provide the school's educational leadership.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments As the Lab School of the Montessori Foundation, NewGate draws families from other states and countries that are seeking a strong Montessori education for their children through the 12th grade. Our families tend to travel fairly long distances to get to the school, from Palmetto to Boca Grande.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
It is a great privilege to serve as Chairman of NewGate’s Board of Trustees. It has given me a deep appreciation for the incredible passion and dedication of our school’s leaders, the teachers and staff, our parents, and, of course, our students. I am consistently heartened by the diverse talents and strong character that exemplify our community.

Through incredible leadership and the combined talents and energy of our community, NewGate is poised to move forward on a sound basis, with clarity, commitment, and vision.

As parents, my wife Lori and I are amazed at the wonderful education, experiences and opportunities NewGate affords our sons, Jackson and Nicolas.

Andrew J. Cutler, MD
CEO & Chief Medical Officer
Florida Clinical Research Center
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
"I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life."

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Author, Nobel Laureate, Montessori Alumnus

I have known and loved the NewGate School since 1993, when I first met this extraordinary community of teachers, students, and families. It serves as the Montessori Foundation’s Lab School, and I have the privilege of serving as its Head of School. For me, leading NewGate is a labor of love.

I appreciate the depth of NewGate's international curriculum, the patient guidance of its Montessori teachers, and the spirit of kindness, warmth, and mutual respect. This is a gentle way to learn that leads to a world-class education without the stress, pressure, and needless competition found in most schools. It is a place where young minds grow organically in an unhurried atmosphere of inquiry and discovery.

Tim Seldin, Headmaster
Description Assistance for this year’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program fees, IB and Montessori secondary teacher certification, and program design and course development.
Budget $15,000
Category Education, General/Other Curriculum Development
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) US& International
Short Term Success

All of our teachers have completed their initial IB certification. This year they need to continue their professional development. We have refined our program design and implementation plan,

We are accepting new students in grades 7 to 11 for the Montessori-IB Diploma Program. Over the next few years, we will work with them closely in a highly personalized program to prepare them for the standards of the IB Diploma Program. Our first class will take the Diploma Examinations in 2017.

The Montessori Foundation and the school are collaborating to document, disseminate, and organize professional development programs for other Montessori schools in the US and abroad.

Long Term Success
NewGate is recognized by the International Baccalaureate Organization as an IB World School, and is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program as our capstone program for the last two years of high school.
In collaboration with the Montessori Foundation, we are developing a model for Montessori middle and high school programs that integrates Montessori education with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program.
Our goal is to develop a replicable and affordable model for small secondary Montessori programs (100-400 students) that can be disseminated to Montessori schools around the world.
It will offer an international course of study, an emphasis on deep learning, research, discussion, and field experience. Montessori and the IB are already an excellent match. Used conjointly, the IB program can be offered to a much wider range of students with potential than we see in most existing public school IB programs, which admit only the most gifted. This program will benefit our own students, Sarasota  (by attracting families to the area and generating international attention), and several hundred Montessori schools that are interested, but need a clearly defined path to follow.
Program Success Monitoring
The International Baccalaureate Organization
The Southeastern Association of Colleges and Schools
The International Montessori Council
We will also be conducting ongoing evaluations, interviews with stakeholders, and documentation of progress.
Program Success Examples NewGate students will pass their IB Diploma examinations and earn the IB Diploma.
Description For many years, NewGate has offered strong programs in the Arts to all of our students from preschool through the 12th grade. They include our Annual Youth Opera, under the direction of Sanford and Judith Jones of Youth Opera International ($11,500); our 16th Annual Shakespeare Players Production ($3,000); our immersion programs in playwriting and production ($5,000); funding for our Junior Great Books Program ($2,000) and the Poetry Out Loud Competition ($2,000); and our Annual Arts Festival: ($5,000).
Budget $28,000
Category Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Short Term Success Our programs run over the course of the year: Our annual Shakespeare Production is held in November, the secondary students theater immersion programs are held in January, Poetry Out Loud is held in February, our Opera is performed in April, and the Arts Festival is held in May.
Long Term Success Our arts program is unusual in that it ties in closely with our entire curriculum, it blends the visual and performing arts, promotes a strong interest in the opera and theater, and involves all students from age 6 to 18.  Our operating budget does not cover the additional cost of these excellent programs, and we rely on support from parents and friends of Montessori and the NewGate School. Over the last 16 years, almost a thousand local children have participated in and been inspired by NewGate's various programs in the Arts. Their reflections as young adults reveals how much their lives have been touched by the experience.
Program Success Monitoring Our elementary and secondary teachers work closely with our Arts Director, Youth Opera International, and a committee of highly involved parents. Together we evaluate the process and interview stakeholders.
Program Success Examples NewGate has been producing these performances and experiences for 18 years. They have become a tradition among parents, students, grandparents, local alumni, and friends of the school.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Timothy David Seldin
CEO Term Start July 2010
CEO/Executive Director Email

Tim Seldin serves as Head of The NewGate School in Sarasota, Florida. He is the President of The Montessori Foundation and Chair of The International Montessori Council. His 45 years of experience in Montessori education includes 22 years as Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD and previous service as Head of the NewGate school from 1994 to 1999. He also served as the Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. He is a noted expert in Montessori education and sits on the national Montessori Leadership Council. Tim earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. He is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including Building a World-class Montessori School, Finding the Perfect Match - Recruit and Retain Your Ideal Enrollment, Master Teachers - Model Programs, Starting a New Montessori School, Celebrations of Life, and The World in the Palm of Her Hand. 

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Christopher Gallagher June 2000 - July 2005
Paul Wenniger E.Ed.June 2005 - July 2010
Senior Staff
Daniel Robinson Howe IIIAssociate Head of School
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 16
Part Time Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate % 90
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 150
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The  International Baccalaureate Organization; The International Montessori Council; the Renaissance School of Ft. Myers, FL; the Colegio Montessori Chiaravalle, Leon, NL, Mexico; Florida Studio Theater; Sarasota Film Festival; University of Central Florida; Youth Opera International; Suncoast Soccer; Friends of Montessori; Center for Partnership Studies; Race To Nowhere; Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools2015
Florida Department of Children and Families2016
International Montessori Council2015
Awards & Recognition
Full AcccreditationAdvancEd2015
Full AccreditationInternational Montessori Council2015
Authorization for the IB Diploma Programm/ IB World SchoolInternational Baccalaureate Organization2014
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2015
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Andrew Cutler MD
Company Affiliation Florida Clinical Research Center
Board Term Feb 2015 to Jan 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Katherine Bravo Center for Guided Montessori Studies
Dr. Andrew Cutler MDFlorida Clinical Research Center
Leslie Hites Renaissance School of Oakland, CA
Daniel Robinson Howe IIIMontessori Foundation
Kathleen Leitch Renaissance Montessori School
Lorna McGrath Montessori Foundation
Timothy Seldin Montessori Foundation
Joyce St. Giermaine JDMontessori Foundation
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 5
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 91
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Campus Planning and Development
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Institutional Advancement
Governance Comments by Organization

Governing a school offers incredible challenges and rewards. Even a simple decision can have long-term impact in the life of a child. The challenge is to bring together a group of people with the expertise to govern wisely and always act in a manner that reflects the best interests of the children in their care.

A challenge for any board member is to understand that most non-profit schools are small, and the margin for surplus and deficit is very thin. The customer base can also be very fragile and can as easily be derailed by negative changes in the global economy as by an incident in a classroom.

The ideal board of a school is a blend of parents, community members, and educational experts. The biggest challenge is recruiting the right volunteers and providing the support they need to lead the school through whatever challenges and opportunities are presented during their term of office. Any organization that has children and families as its main constituents will face challenges that require calm, rational, and objective judgment from all board members.

NewGate’s board has parent, community, and educational representation. The school is updating its strategic plan and preparing to launch a capital campaign.

Many organizations recognize their highest donors with honorary board membership. That is not the case at the NewGate School. If you are asked to join the NewGate board, you need to be ready to pay attention, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.

— Joyce St. Giermaine, Board Member

Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $1,602,601.00
Projected Expenses $1,450,000.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose Expansion to allow growth to 250 students.
Campaign Goal $2,500,000.00
Campaign Dates July 2016 to Aug 2018
Amount Raised To Date 212000 as of June 2016
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$863,372$810,190$804,350
Administration Expense$542,405$549,105$496,431
Fundraising Expense$23,652$22,923$20,370
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.021.040.86
Program Expense/Total Expenses60%59%61%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue23%18%32%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$584,839$544,290$525,195
Current Assets$145,182$84,512$48,818
Long-Term Liabilities$640,468$650,701$439,115
Current Liabilities$372,205$343,611$589,631
Total Net Assets($427,834)($450,022)($503,551)
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTuition and Fees $1,216,695Tuition and Fees $1,095,159Tuition and Fees $963,446
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountStudent Activities $131,271Student Activities $208,324Student Activities $108,674
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $103,469Contributions, gifts, grants $130,794Contributions, gifts, grants $63,343
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.390.250.08
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets110%120%84%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

In July of 2010, the NewGate board asked The Montessori Foundation to resume management of the school after a 10-year period, during which the school was self-managed.


The Foundation reviewed prior-year audits and a draft of the audit for the year ending June 30, 2010. NewGate, like many other non-profits, had suffered a severe, negative impact from the national recession. Independent schools, in particular, were disproportionately impacted because parents could always turn to public schools to reduce their family expenses.


The financials showed that, during the prior two years, the school relied on prepaid tuition and the sale of assets to remain solvent; however, based on the June 30, 2010 financials, it appeared that the school had made progress to reverse this trend and restore financial stability. Based on this information, The Montessori Foundation agreed to resume leadership of the school, using NewGate as its demonstration/lab school.


Twenty/twenty hindsight and reality collided in October of 2010 when the school ran out of money. A truly staggering bookkeeping error  included tuition for the 2010/11 year as income for the 2009/10 year. Much of the anticipated income for the 2010/11 year had been spent before the new school year even began


Immediate action was required. When the full extent of the problem was revealed, the inevitable upset in the school community followed. Some members of the board resigned; some families left the school. All ongoing expenses were reevaluated, reduced, or eliminated. We moved the school back to move to its original smaller and more cost-efficient Ashton Road Campus.


Through emergency fundraising, along with contributions and loans from The Montessori Foundation, the school survived.


NewGate continues to grow stronger every year. Enrollment is growing and we have formed waiting lists. We are now authorized to offer a Montessori-based International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. We look forward to new growth based on sound educational leadership and fiscal responsibility.


At a time when many other organizations gave up, defaulted on loans, and closed their doors, NewGate persevered. While NewGate is just a tiny reflection of the larger economy, we believe our school represents a story of success, inspiration, and hope for the future.
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.
Nonprofit New Gate School Inc
Address 5237 Ashton Rd
Sarasota, FL 3417
Phone 941 922-4949