Board of Directors
Board Mission: The Board of Directors 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 Directors 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 Directors 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 Directors. Presently, the ad hoc committees are Development, Finance and Head of School Support & Evaluation.
2017-18 Board Members
Abby joined the board in 2015. She and her husband, Nic, have one child, Matilda, who is currently in Children’s House. 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 Secretary on MCMS’ Board of Directors.
Laura rejoined the MCMS Board in 2014 after a one year absence, having held the role of President from 2006 through 2013. Laura and her husband, Scott, have three MCMS graduates, Brendan, who will be attending graduate school at the University of Chicago, and Sam and Philip, who both attend 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 over 10 years but she was introduced to Montessori education while living in Ohio. 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 Directors.
Jessica joined the board in 2016. She lends her energy and expertise to the work of the Development Committee. She has two boys, who currently attend MCMS.
Brandon joined the MCMS Board in 2012. He and his wife, Jen, are the parents of four MCMS students, Maggie, Ella, Owen and August. Brandon studied at Luther College and Arizona State University and holds a master’s degree in mathematics. He is currently a product manager at Epic, a healthcare software company, where he has worked since 1998. Brandon currently serves as the Vice President on MCMS’ Board of Directors.
Diwakar joined the board in 2016. While he initially worked on the Executive Committee as the Secretary, Diwakar has chosen to lend his talent and expertise to the work of the Finance Committee this fall. He has two children, who currently attend MCMS.
Amy rejoined the board in 2017, after serving for five years during the school’s move to its current location. She will be leading the work of the Development Committee as she serves as Chair this fall. She has two children, who currently attend MCMS.
Teri joined the Board as an alumni parent in 2013. She and her husband, Luis Pinero, have one son, Emilio, who attended MCMS and graduated from the Adolescent Program in 2011. Teri has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree in nursing from UW-Madison. She has 35 years of experience working with children and their families. She is currently a clinical nurse specialist and case manager at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison.
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 who went 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 President. 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.
Mike joined the board in 2016. He lends his energy and expertise to the work of the Committee on Directors. He has two girls, who currently attend MCMS.
Josh joined the MCMS Board in 2017. He and his wife, Whitney, have two boys who currently attend MCMS. Josh holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his professional life, Josh is a Business Development Manager at Mirus Bio, a Madison-based biotechnology company that develops DNA delivery tools for life science research. Prior to joining Mirus he worked as a Forensic Scientist in the DNA unit of the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory. In his free time, Josh enjoys hiking, reading and photography.
Rich joined the board in 2017. He has three children, who currently attend MCMS.
Dorothy is the Head of School 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 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. Dorothy also has one granddaughter, who still attends MCMS, and two grandsons, who attended MCMS for 11 years and are now in high school and in college.
Photos courtesy of Amy Jester Photography