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About the Board of Trustees

Montessori Community School is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, governed by an 11 to 15 member Board of Trustees that includes an elected faculty member, the Head of School, and parents. The Nominating Committee annually presents a slate to the membership for confirmation. All elected trustees serve three-year terms. Trustees are nominated based on the skills and talents they possess.

The duties and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees include: hold the Mission of the school in trust; ensure that the operation of the school is consistent with the Montessori philosophy and is in the best interest of its students, teachers, and parents; promote the school within the community; maintain a Strategic Plan; maintain a connection with the PTO; review and pass an annual budget and monitor finances; selection and performance review of the Head of School; and oversee the school’s long range and annual fundraising, and implement the annual fund campaign.

Standing Committees

Standing committees are usually, though not always, chaired by current or past board members. Each committee is comprised of interested parents, teachers, and staff members who wish to contribute their time and expertise in a particular area.

Buildings and Grounds, Chair - TBD

Communications, Chair - Ann Winter-Vann

Development, Chair - Lynda Katz; Members - Gary Furda, Shannon Leslie, Deborah Shah, Linda Wilson, Cindy Zajic
The Development Committee works to support the school in its fundraising efforts including an Annual Fund drive and various community events, as well as supporting the Director of Development in all cultivation, stewardship, and fundraising endeavors. The Committee meets on a monthly basis, but as often as weekly if necessary to carry out its various functions.

Diversity, Chair - Cecily Peterson; Members - Nancy Astrike, Holly Dykes, Joy Goodwin, Megan Hughes, Eleftheria Mantzouka, Angela Molfese, Beth Omane, Ruth Phillips, Kalpu Shah, Roopali Shrivastava, Gaby Valdivia, Linda Wilson
Newly formed in 2015 as a mandate of the 2015-2022 Strategic Plan. This committee is charged with working with the greater MCS community to achieve the following goals:
• Regarding school culture, continue a dialogue within the MCS community recognizing the benefits of including a diverse student body.
• Regarding marketing, share MCS’s vision of and commitment to diversity with the broader community.
• Regarding recruitment of students, families, faculty, and administration, actively pursue a strategy to increase persons of color, LGBT persons, persons with varied family structures, and persons with socioeconomic and religious diversity in our school community.
• Regarding diversity education, pursue professional development for faculty and administrators.
• Maintain and grow the scholarship fund to support increased socioeconomic diversity among school families.

Finance, Chair - Jennifer Credle

Head of School Support, Chair - Cecily Peterson
This committee is responsible for overseeing the work of the Head of School providing both support to and evaluation of that individual. The Head of School Support Committee uses the Strategic Plan Action Items and Targets and conducts an annual survey of the community as the grounds for evaluation of the Head of School. 

Marketing, Chair - Deborah Shah

Master Plan, Chair - TBD
The Master Plan committee oversees the planned expansion and replacement of buildings on the MCS campus. They also work with the school architects and engineers on design and city approval of our campus. It is also charged with organizing committee meetings at least twice a year to update neighbors about any physical changes to the school and offer a forum for neighbors to talk with the school. The Master Plan committee assists the school in complying with Chapel Hill’s Zoning requirements.

Nominating, Chair - TBD
The nominating committee examines the skills and characteristics that are needed in future board candidates. The committee works as a group to identify and organizes interviews with the perspective candidates. They also organize the annual affirmation vote. 

Technology, Chair - Harry Park

Ad Hoc Committees

Head of School Search, Chair - Lynda Katz
The Head of School Search Committee is charged by the Board of Trustees with the responsibility to present to the Board its recommendation on the next Head of School for their consideration. The Committee, composed of faculty, staff, and parents was charged with the responsibility to interview vetted candidates and coordinate all logistics surrounding their school visits and meetings with the community. The work of the Committee is held in confidence out of respect for all involved in the search process. The committee met regularly and its work concluded in May 2016, upon the selection of our new Head of School.

Strategic Planning, Chair - Cecily Peterson; Members - Holly Dykes, Emily Evens, Megan Hughes, Amanda Ingraham, and Sally Jones.
Formed in 2013 to create the strategic plan for the way ahead for 2015 – 2022. This committee completed work and finalized the plan in June 2015. For more information, visit HERE.

Executive Committee

Gary Furda - Board President
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BS (Agricultural Science), Rutgers University
7 years as MCS parent; child in upper elementary


Cecily Karen Peterson, MD - Board Vice President
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Duke University Health System, Hospitalist Physician
BA (Music), Case Western Reserve University
MD, Dartmouth Medical School
6th year as MCS parent; 1 child each in Upper Elementary and Adolescent Community

Ann Winter-Vann, PhD - Board Secretary
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Whitsell Innovations, Senior Medical Writer and Consultant
BS (Biology), Duke University
PhD (Molecular Cancer Biology), Duke University
12 years as MCS parent; children in lower elementary and adolescent


Jennifer P. Credle - Board Treasurer
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Nelson & Company, CPA and Shareholder
BS (Business Administration), University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
MS (Accounting), University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
8 years as MCS parent; child in upper elementary


Cindy Zajic - Head of School
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Montessori Community School, Head of School
BA (Humanities), University of Colorado - Denver
Teaching License (Middle Grades): NC
5 years at MCS


Trustee Members

Alana Argersinger
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BA (Environmental Studies; Minored in Geology and Geography), Denison University, Granville, OH
4 years as MCS parent; child in primary

Joy Goodwin
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Information coming soon!

Lynda J. Katz, PhD
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Neuropsychologist, Private Practice
PhD (Rehabilitation Counseling/Psychology), University of Pittsburgh
5 years as MCS grandparent; grandchildren in upper elementary and adolescent program


Shannon Leslie
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Shannon Leslie Consulting, Owner
BS (Civil Engineering), North Carolina State University
MS (Civil Engineering), North Carolina State University
7 years as MCS parent; child in lower elementary


A. K. Bobby Mallik, DMD, PA
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A. K. Bobby Mallik D.M.D., P.A. - Owner Endodontist
BS (Chemistry), University of South Florida
DMD, Certificate in Anesthesia, University of Pennsylvania
Certificate in Endodontics, University of Iowa
4 years as MCS parent; child in lower elementary


Larry J. Moray, DDS
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The Happy Tooth Dental Group, President
BA (Bio-Psychology), Vassar College
MS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
DDS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
3 years as MCS parent; child in lower elementary

Harry Park
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Links Logic Inc., CEO
BS (Economics & Computer Science), Vanderbilt University
5 years as MCS parent; children in primary and lower elementary


Daniel West
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Marslender-West Asset Management, Partner
BA (Economics), North Carolina State University
2 years as MCS; two children in primary