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.


2020-21 Board Members

Amy Jester, Chair
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. Amy 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.

Brandon Baldock
Brandon Baldock first joined the MCMS board in 2012 and after rolling off has rejoined in 2020 as Board Secretary. He and his wife, Jen, are the parents of an MCMS graduate and 3 current students, one each in Adolescent, Upper Elementary, and Lower Elementary. 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.

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.

Lauren Craig

Gary Harutunian

Jessica Hermsen
Jessica joined the MCMS Board in 2018 and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board. She and her husband, Josh, have two children in the Lower Elementary program at MCMS. 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.

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 happy to contribute to the MCMS community in this way.

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.

Kate Vestlie

Dorothy Zografi
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 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.