The Anglo-American School is a not for profit organisation that is governed by a Board of Directors that are all volunteers. The Board develops policies, financial guidelines, and long-term strategic plans.


Board of Directors

It entrusts leadership and management-related issues to the Director who, in turn, works with faculty and staff to implement the best educational program possible within the parameters provided by the Board.

There are nine voting members of the School Board. The American Ambassador appoints four board members including the Chairperson. The British Ambassador appoints four Board members including the Vice-Chairperson.  The ninth member of the Board is a member of the School community who is nominated by AAS parents and approved by the Board.  Ex-officio, non-voting members of the school board include the Director of the School, the Director’s secretary, the PTO President and an elected Staff Representative. The Board reflects the diversity we have in our community and includes a number of parents at the school.

Each person brings different types of expertise to their role as a Board member (management, policy, finance, diplomatic, marketing etc.) and serve on Board Committees as well as attending the monthly meeting of the whole Board.

Aaron Cope

Aaron Cope is the Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia. He previously served as the State Department’s Deputy Director for the Office of Western European Affairs and Director for Western Europe on the National Security Council staff. In addition to other positions within the State Department, he has worked at the U.S. embassies in Russia, Malaysia, Botswana, and India. He received a master’s degree from the National War College and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University.  Aaron is originally from Seattle, Washington.  

Oliver Patten

I am with the British Embassy in Sofia with my family and have three children attending AAS.  I have been fortunate enough to serve at a number of countries, including Kenya and United Arab Emirates where my children also experienced international schooling.

My family and I are active in supporting our children’s activities, particularly figure skating for our daughters and football for our son.  I enjoy playing music and sports, presently do running and enjoy the kicking a football around whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Boni Bonev

Born on 02.08.1960. Swiss/Bulgarian citizenship. 1991-2005 Head of Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et le Développement (BICD)’ Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Finance Department. Head of BICD’ American Express Products & Services Department. Since 1994 Member, Board of Directors, Nestle Bulgaria. 2007-2008 Member, Board of Directors, Svilosa. Since 2013 Chairman, Supervisory Board of VAPTECH. Voluntary work: Chairman, Managing Board of the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce (; Chairman, Board of Directors of Junior Achievement Bulgaria (; Honourable member of the Board of Directors of New Symphony Orchestra (; Member of the Board of Directors of Anglo-American  School in Sofia  (; Chairman, Managing Board of Doctors’ Garden Association (; Founding Member of the Association of the Bulgarian National Ballet (

Gillian Penswick

Gillian Penswick was born and raised in the United Kingdom where she received her Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management. Following graduation, she moved to the United States and earned her Master’s in Business Administration from the City University of New York. She recently retired following a 20 year career with the U.S. Government coordinating security for U.S. and foreign heads of state.
Gillian is currently based in Sofia, where her husband is assigned to the US Embassy, and has two sons at the AAS in grades 8 and 11.
She looks forward to serving on the board and finding ways to make positive contributions to the AAS school community.

Stanimira Georgieva

Stanimira Georgieva (Tania), born in Sofia, holds Master of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and also Math at Bologna University, Italy.

After more than 14y of successful career with a prestigious international finance corporation, Head of Human Resources, VP and Member of the Management Board at UniCredit CF IFN S.A. in Romania the passion for chocolate and its use as an instrument for inspiration and teams empowerment, a tool for fund raising in charity campaigns and a sweet promotion of social causes, an expression of creativity, bringing joy, sharing and goodness she becomes a social entrepreneur  and Master Chocolatier.

Aiming, through her work to create value, joy, inspiration, using all the knowledge and skills acquired so far, she has set herself the goal to continue and in an even broader aspect to support social projects, especially in the employment of people with intellectual challenges and from vulnerable groups.

Stanimira believes that life is a good adventure and we all can make the choice to live it wise and to be happy.

Gia Ashley

Gia Raskino, born in Mumbai, India, has done her degree in Sociology and prior to that did an International Diploma in Child and Youth Development with the University of the Nations.

Gia has since lived in Edinburgh and London and is currently based in Sofia where her husband serves with the British Embassy.  She has spent the last 25 years working in senior management roles for international agencies on issues of child development, child protection and anti-human trafficking.  She has also had the privilege of working with commercial firms in operations management and recruitment.

Gia is excited and  passionate to serve on the AAS board and has two children currently in AAS in grade 8 and grade 5.

Pamela Della Toffola

Pamela Della Toffola, born in Italy, received a degree in Italian, French, and Russian Philology from the University of Trieste, which has qualified her as a teacher.

She lived in Russia from 1994 to 2002, where she worked for an Italian advisory company as the head of its Moscow branch. In 2002, she moved to Sofia.  For the last 20 years she has been working for an advisory firm together with teaching Italian . She has two children, who both attended AAS since Kindergarten (Matteo is Class of 2021 and Chiara is Class of 2023).

She is proud to be a member of the Board of Directors of AAS since 2021 as a representative of the parents.

David Knox

David Knox is the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia. He previously served as a Course Director and Senior Instructor at the Military Advisor Training Academy. David has worked U.S. missions abroad in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master’s degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, and an associate’s degree in Serbo-Croatian Languages from the Defense Language Institute.
David and his wife, April, have three sons attending AAS in Grades 6, 3, and 1. They enjoy skiing, music, hiking, Jiu-Jitsu, and biking.

Nikolay Rashkov

Nickolay Rashkov serves as Bulgarian delegate to the Expert Group for International Transport at the European Commission (DGMove) and COO of EuroSpeed. He completed his education in the USA (has been awarded an NCAA Athletic scholarship for basketball) and subsequently spent several years of his life in England, working in the field of supply chain management. 

Rashkov is also a strong voice in the “Race to Net Zero Logistics”, working closely with the largest automotive OEMs.

Since 2020, he is UCI ranked amateur cyclist- riding in XCO, XCM and Road races whenever time permits.

Ex-Officio Board


Dr. Tim Fries

Christine Wiest
Faculty Representative

Diana Tzvetkova
Finance Manager

Governance &

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