Board of Trustees

Left to right: Rich Surek (exited in 2018-19), Abby Alexander, Amy Jester, Mike Pomroy, Judy Olingy, Teri Meyer (exited in 2018-19), Jessica Hermsen, Laura Anderson, Phil Orlandi (exited in 2018-19) (not pictured: Patrick Cooney, Kyle Larson, Philip Petrowski, Jason Ritzenthaler, Alissa Santurri and Dorothy Zografi)


Board Mission: The Board of Trustees preserves the mission of Madison Community Montessori School (respecting children & their natural joy of discovery) by ensuring the viability and vitality of the school for the education of present and future generations of students, consistent with the standards recognized by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).

Board Function: The Board of Trustees preserves and protects the health and well-being of the school by providing strategic leadership and governance, excluding the day-to-day operations, in accordance with the mission and bylaws of MCMS. In so doing, the Board is involved in long-term decisions, oversees financial management including establishing and reviewing the annual budget, monitors board educational strategies through hiring, reviewing and retaining a qualified Head of School, and leads the school in major fundraising efforts to ensure an excellent AMI education for the current and future children of MCMS.

Board Structure: The whole board meets periodically with an agenda primarily focused on monitoring the school’s strategic plans, staying on task pursuant to the annual agenda, policy setting and implementation, and assessment of the Head of School. The MCMS Board of Trustees appoints and oversees several standing and ad hoc committees that work to carry out specific aspects of the school’s strategic plan and mission. Each committee is chaired by a member of the Board, and some committees include additional non-Board members. The standing committees are the Executive Committee and the Committee on Trustees. Presently, the ad hoc committees are Development, Finance and Head Support & Evaluation.

 

2019-20 Board Members

Abby Alexander
Abby joined the MCMS Board in 2015. She and her husband, Nic, have one child, Matilda, who is in Lower Elementary. Before moving to Madison in 2004, Abby earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from the University of Cincinnati. Abby works as an architect for Flad Architects and enjoys putting her professional knowledge to good use at MCMS. Abby currently serves as the Vice Chair/Secretary on MCMS’ Board of Trustees.

Laura Anderson
Laura rejoined the MCMS Board in 2014 after a one year absence, having held the role of Chair from 2006 through 2013. Laura and her husband, Scott, have three MCMS graduates, Brendan, who attends law school at the University of Chicago, Sam, who plans to attend law school, and Philip, who attends Marquette University. Laura earned a BBA in marketing and management, and an MS in marketing research from UW-Madison. Prior to raising a family, she worked in the financial services and agrichemical industries. Madison has been home for 15 years, but she was introduced to Montessori education while living in Ohio. While there, she assisted in a Lower Elementary classroom as well as served in a leadership role in the school’s Family Connections organization. Laura currently serves as the Treasurer on MCMS’ Board of Trustees.

Patrick Cooney
Patrick joined the MCMS Board in 2019 and has two young children at MCMS: a four-year old in Children’s House and a two-year old in the Toddler Community. Patrick and his wife, Laura, love watching their kids thrive at MCMS as they’ve grown more self-sufficient, capable, self-assured, and curious in the Montessori environment. Patrick studied biophysics in college and has since become a lawyer. The rest of the time, Patrick enjoys hiking and swimming with his family at Devil’s Lake State Park or trying to convince his two-year old to go along on a bike ride.

Jessica Hermsen
Jessica joined the MCMS Board in 2018 and is a member of the Development Committee. She and her husband, Josh, have two children, Asher in Children’s House and Indie in Lower Elementary. Jessica currently has a consulting practice focused on organization development, change management and executive communications. She holds a BA in communications and marketing from UW-Stevens Point, and an MS from Case Western Reserve in positive organization development and change. After leaving a full-time career with Lands’ End in 2010, she and her husband, Josh, moved to Seattle to complete Josh’s medical training. In the summer of 2017, an opportunity with the American Family Children’s Hospital brought them back to family and friends in Wisconsin.

Amy Jester
Amy re-joined the MCMS Board in 2017 after serving for five years during the school’s move to its current location. Amy and her husband, Josh, have a daughter at MCMS in the Adolescent Program, and a son who is a recent MCMS graduate. She is on the MCMS Development Committee and also serves on the Planning Commission of the Town of Springdale. In addition to being a farmer/educator at Hidden Savanna Farm in Springdale, Amy is a professional family portrait photographer.

Kyle Larson
Kyle joined the MCMS Board in 2019, and has two children who are currently enrolled at MCMS. After studying political science and sociology at UW-Madison, she moved to Florida with her husband, where he completed his degree in 3D computer art. Through his education and her photography background, she found herself working on the websites and demos that were used to promote him in his field. Upon returning to Wisconsin, Kyle was able to combine her passion for political science with these newly- developed media skills, working at the Verona Public Library and focusing on community engagement, public relations, and marketing. When her oldest son was born, she made the difficult decision to leave the library to stay home with him full-time. Her life has finally settled to a manageable level of chaos and she’s eager to contribute to the MCMS community in this way.

Judy Olingy
Judy first joined the MCMS Board in 1993 when her son, Josh, was in the school’s toddler program. (Josh was the first MCMS student to go from the toddler program all the way through 8th grade, and he currently works as an assistant in the toddler program.) She has been on and off the Board since then, and presently serves as Chair. Judy graduated from law school in 1980. She practiced through the years in a law firm, with the federal government at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice. Judy spent the last 22 years of her legal career as a professor teaching in clinical programs at the UW Law School.

Philip Petrowski Philip joined the MCMS Board in 2019 and is a member of the Finance Committee.  He and his wife, Kelly, have one daughter who is currently in Children’s House.  Philip is a financial advisor focused on comprehensive wealth management, with offices in Madison and Chicago.  He holds a BS in consumer science with an emphasis in personal finance from UW – Madison, as well as an MS Financial and an MBA from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.  He has vast knowledge and experience, having served on numerous non-profit and foundation boards locally and nationally. When he’s not parenting, volunteering or working; you can try to find him lost in the woods.

Michael Pomroy
Michael joined the MCMS Board in 2016. He and his wife, Deborah, have two girls who currently attend MCMS. Michael has a BS in cell & structural biology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and an MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed his 3-year dermatology residency at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in 2008. He is currently employed as a physician at UnityPoint-Meriter in Middleton. During his free time, Mike enjoys biking, traveling, and running. He currently has a goal to run a half marathon in all 50 states (with his 50th scheduled for June 2020). He lends his energy and expertise serving on the Committee on Trustees.

Jason Ritzenthaler
Jason joined the MCMS board in 2019 and is a member of the Finance Committee. He and his wife, Roshelle, have two children who currently attend MCMS. Jason is Co-Chief Investment Officer at Members Trust Company, a wealth management firm primarily serving the credit union community. He is a member of the CFA Society of Madison, CFA Society of Chicago, and Chicago Council of Global Affairs. Jason graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Finance and Management Information Systems.

Alissa Santurri
Alissa joined the MCMS board in 2018 and is a member of the Committee on Trustees. She and her husband, Phil, currently have a daughter, Isabelle, enrolled in Children’s House.  As a practicing landscape architect, Alissa is passionate about the positive physical, social and psychological effects that being outdoors has on child development. She believes strongly in the flexibility and risk-taking opportunities provided by a Montessori education. In her free time, Alissa loves yoga, whittling and cooking for her family and friends.

Dorothy Zografi
Dorothy is the Head of School and Director Emeritus and continues to play an important role at MCMS. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from State University of New York at Oswego in 1957, and went on to teach fourth grade in the Michigan public schools from 1957-1960. After several years at home raising four children, Dorothy returned to school, attending the Midwest Montessori Institute, and received her AMI primary certification. At MCMS, she was a Children’s House Guide from 1978-1989, Head of School from 1984-2006 and on the Board as Head of School Emeritus since 2007. Dorothy’s daughter, Anna, is also an AMI-trained Guide, who has been a teacher at MCMS since 1993.