Board of Directors

Mission Statement

"Montessori Children's School Board of Directors stewards the school's mission and values by establishing strategic goals and policies, while allocating resources through the careful consideration of annual operating budgets. The board also works in tandem with the head of school and administrators to focus on long range and strategic planning efforts that ensure the Montessori Children's School remains a premier private school in the Onslow Community. MCS board members are committed to the success of the school, and observe the highest ethical standards and principles of fiscal integrity".

Current Board Members

Bryan Marsh

President

Bryan grew up in western Pennsylvania and attended college in Illinois. He moved to Eastern North Carolina with his wife, Carissa, just over ten years ago, and started a small Information Technology business. His daughter Vala is starting her fifth year here at MCS, and he is starting his fourth year on the board. Bryan enjoys spending time with his family, fostering Vala’s burgeoning interests, reading about cutting-edge technology in the fields of biology and space, listening to dubstep, and relaxing with numismatics.



Michele Parsons

Vice President

Michele Parsons is a native of Maryland and began her residence in NC in 1996. Her family began their MCS journey in the Primary House 5 Years ago. Her daughter Sophia is transitioning to Upper Elementary this Fall. Michele has enjoyed the past two years serving as a Board Member and assisting to guide the school through its transitional growth and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Her intentions as a re-elected board member are to continue assisting in the decision-making process as MCS strategically plans to grow the school and our children. Michele brings 30 years experience working with pregnant women, families, and children in a variety of community settings. She has been with the Onslow County Health Department for the past 16 years overseeing care management programs that serve families with children birth to five and pregnant women. Prior to that position, she has served as a certified NC Infant, Toddler, and Family Specialist for the state on NC, a Developmental Specialist for Healthy Families America, a Childcare Center Director, and an Early Childhood teacher for both a private school and military CDC. She has an educational background in Early Childhood Development and Child Life. Michele enjoys spending time traveling, visiting family, and coloring. “We absolutely love the school and the Montessori philosophy. Watching my daughter blossom under the wings of the school has brought us peace and gratitude. “-M. Parsons

Ciara Hunter

Treasurer

Ciara Hunter is the Vice President of The Hunter Family Company Inc. and small business owner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Towson University, Associate of Science in Nursing from The Community College of Baltimore County, Paramedic certification and license from the Baltimore County Fire Rescue Academy and continuing education through Indiana University Kelley School of Business Executive Education. During her medical career she has served in various roles in the fields of solid organ transplantation, emergency medicine and critical care medicine. In 2016 Ciara and her husband opened their first small business. Since then, they have continued to expand locations and start additional business ventures. She was the recipient of Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce 2019 Minority Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Ciara has had the pleasure of volunteering with the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association, Catholic Charities and serving on Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce committees. She is a native of Maryland, a retired US Marine Corps spouse and has resided in North Carolina since 2014. Together, Ciara and her husband, John, have one daughter who will be starting her third year at Montessori Children’s School (MCS). Ciara enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and seafood.


Bethaney Long

Secretary

Bethaney moved to Jacksonville 7 years ago from Rhode Island. Her parents also moved here and live in Williamsburg Plantation. She and Tim started her daughter Dylan at MCS 5 years ago. Dylan is going into her 6th year as a first year in elementary! Bethaney is currently co leading an international company that trains transformational coaches. The company has 3 live (now virtual) events that run each year that she manages. Bethaney is the Sales and Marketing trainer for their coaches. By nature of her role, she handles difficult conversations with both high-level clients and staff. Though not always possible, she looks for the win win.

Before this life, Bethaney was a sign language interpreter. She worked both freelance, in a high school and a few year at Northeastern University where she also got her master’s degree. She has navigated the behind the scenes of the school systems in this capacity for over 10 years.

“This school is a precious resource with a philosophy that supports our children to be independent thinkers, love learning and to resolve conflict from a very young age. We are in a time where there is nothing more valuable and it is reflected in the work I do as well as this school. It takes a community to maintain this vision and ensure it thrives.” -B. Long

Jana Bartley

Building & Grounds

Jana Bartley has served as the Vice President for Buildings and Grounds on the Board of Directors at MCS for the last three years. Only a month after taking on the role of Vice President, Jana was responsible for the rapid reopening of the school following Hurricane Florence; directing most of the recovery and clean-up operation with minimal help, while most were evacuated from the area. During the last two years Jana facilitated improvement and expansion projects too numerable to detail and truly went above and beyond as a parent volunteer. Her leadership and dedication were integral to rallying the MCS community together during times of transition. She organized numerous community workdays, maintaining a staunch support system for parents in the community to join and be part of. In the absence of volunteers to help, Jana can often be seen tackling projects herself and parents and students can attest to the fact that she is a vital presence at MCS. The management of buildings and grounds has been a project that Jana has completely devoted herself to and her experience and wealth of knowledge will be invaluable to the continued growth and development of MCS.

Jana spent 26 years in the Marine Corps in various administrative positions and has extensive personnel management experience with both active duty and civilian employees. She is not only an active volunteer at MCS but can be found volunteering in the local community with youth sports and religious education programs. Jana and her husband Milt are committed to the Montessori philosophy and community at MCS and are a vital asset to both the board and the school. Their son Jayce has attended MCS for three years and is a student in Lower Elementary.

Shelley Freeman

Shelley Freeman is beginning her second year serving on the MCS Board of Directors. She has a son, Evander, who is 4 and will be in Primary South this year, as well as a daughter, Amelia, who is 2, who will be in Stepping Stones. Shelley and her family have been a part of the school for 3 yrs. She is a native of Jacksonville, NC and grew up military. After moving around for college and graduate school, she returned to eastern North Carolina since her family retired here. Shelley owns a private practice in counseling, specializing in trauma, with a focus on perinatal and motherhood issues. She enjoys baking, cooking, wine and reading.


Sara Mashburn

Sara Mashburn is a freelance graphic/website designer and social media manager. She is student at ECU studying Neuroscience and Psychology. Her children have attended MCS since 2014 and have experienced all of the programs that Montessori Childrens School has to offer. Sara’s oldest daughter is her final year as an Upper Elementary student at MCS. Her younger sister, is starting her first year as an Elementary student. Sara’s family enjoys everything that MCS has to offer and is dedicated to helping build and enrich this incredible Montessori Community.




Overview of being a Board Member

The Board of the Montessori Children’s School is a volunteer organization of parents, directors/directresses, Head of School, alumni parents, and community members. Our Board model supports the Head of School who, in turn, supports the children, their families, and the staff.

The Board does not involve itself in the day-to-day running of the school. Rather, it sets and reviews school policies, oversees the budget and sets fiscal policy, raises funds for the school through our annual auction, participates on important committees, and identifies ways to make the school better.

Board members serve for a two-year term. At the Annual Board of Directors Meeting, new Board members are elected to replace those whose terms have expired. The new Board members should be committed to the well-being of the school and work to promote all policies and procedures as well as the long-term goals of the school.

The Board meets monthly throughout the year. Committees may meet more often.

Board members follow the organization’s bylaws, policies and board resolutions. Each member signs an annual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and updates it during the year, if necessary, as well as discloses potential conflicts before meetings and actual conflicts during meetings. Board members maintain confidentiality about all internal matters of the organization.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors, please contact Vice President, Michele Parsons: vicepresident@mcsjax.org

Core Duties of the Board

1. Duty of Care: Board members should be committed to following through on promises and assisting the organization to the best of their abilities. This means:

  • Attending meetings and actively participating in committees

  • Communicating with the executive director and other board members

  • Following through on assignments

  • Supporting program initiatives


2. Duty of Loyalty: Board members should do more than show up. They should fully support and embody your organization’s mission and be loyal ambassadors for your cause. When acting on behalf of the organization, each board member must put aside their personal and professional interests. All activities and decisions should be in the best interest of the organization, not in the best interest of the individual board member.

3, Duty of Obedience: One of the more subtle duties of a nonprofit board member is obedience. The board should do everything in its power to reach organizational goals, but members still have an obligation to follow your organization’s guidelines. These are found in your governance documents, and every board member has a legal responsibility to understand them. A board that strays from your governance rules could steer your organization in the wrong direction or even impact your nonprofit’s standing in the community.

Board Expectations as a Whole

As the highest leadership body of the organization and to satisfy its fiduciary duties, the board is responsible for:

  • Determining the mission and purposes of the organization

  • Selecting and evaluating the performance of the Head of School

  • Strategic and organizational planning

  • Ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management

  • Fundraising and resource development

  • Approving and monitoring the organization’s programs and services

  • Enhancing the organization’s public image

  • Assess its own performance as the governing body of the organization

Board Expectations of Individual Members

Each individual board member is expected to:

  • Know the organization’s mission, policies, programs and needs

  • Faithfully read and understand the organization’s financial statements

  • Serve as active advocates and ambassadors for the organization

  • Fully engage in identifying and securing the financial resources and partnerships necessary for the organization to advance its mission

  • Leverage connections, networks, and resources to develop collective actions to fully achieve the organization’s mission

  • Help identify personal connections that can benefit the organization’s fundraising and reputational standing

  • Prepare for, attend, and conscientiously participate in board meetings

  • Participate fully in one or more committees


Board Position Details

President

The President shall preside at regular meetings of the Board, and call additional meetings on his/her initiative, shall be responsible for preparing the agenda for the Board meeting, shall be responsible for tracking and expediting the work of the Board and its committees, and shall be responsible for the evaluation of the Administrator(s). The President shall be head of the Personnel Committee, or find another Board member to head the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee shall consist of at least one Board member and one member who is not of the Board. The Personnel Committee shall be responsible for assisting the school in adapting personnel policy, and suggesting revision of the policy to keep them consistent with current laws and developments in the area of human resource management. The President shall also chair the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will consist of the President, Vice President(s), Secretary, Treasurer, and one Staff Co-Representative. The President shall assign members of the Board to head committees that have not already been assigned by these bylaws. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that efficient and lawful operation of the Corporation in the periods between meetings of the Board.


Vice President

The Vice President(s) shall assume the powers and duties for the President in the President’s absence and shall have other such duties as the President and Board assigns. The Vice President(s) shall be head of the Committee on Directors. The Committee on the Directors shall be responsible for nominating new Board members, for orienting new Directors, and for leading the evaluation of the Board and the Board members. The Vice President(s) shall also be responsible for the building and the grounds. The Vice President(s) shall be responsible for oversight of the school’s major asset, its building and grounds: their maintenance, improvement, conformity with safety and building codes, and identification of future needs. This includes inspecting and addressing safety issues, conducting a quarterly safety walk-through, and reporting to the Board on safety issues.

Secretary

The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board, record all proceedings of such meetings, and will record all absences of Board members pursuant to Article IV, Section II. The Secretary shall also maintain a Board policy book that includes policies adopted by the Board including bylaws and a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order. The Secretary will also file a copy of the minutes, which can be sent electronically, of the Board meetings in the office within a week of the meeting. When the Secretary is absent from a meeting, another Board member by volunteer or request of the President shall fulfill the duties of the Secretary at said meeting. The Secretary will notify all members in writing of the annual meeting of the Board pursuant to Article IV, Section II.

Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for fulfilling the Board’s responsibility to inform and educate the board regarding the financial condition of the school, shall chair the Finance Committee, and shall review the annual/monthly line item budget prior to the presentation to the Board. These reports will be given to the Secretary to be included with the filed minutes. The Treasurer, working in coordination with The Head of School, will also be responsible for approving expenditures that exceed the line-item amount approved in the annual/monthly budget. The Finance Committee shall consist of no less than two (2) members of the Board and one member who is not a Director. It shall be responsible for overseeing the formulation of the annual operating budget and salary schedule. It recommends to the Board of Directors policies regarding the financial management and operation of the school, including policies on purchasing, collection of accounts receivable, accounts payable, deposits, and investments.

Staff Co-Representatives

In accordance with Article IV Section II, three members of the Board will be Staff Co-Representatives, with at least one from the upper school and one from the lower school. The Staff Co-Representatives shall be voted to the Board by the employees of the Corporation and must be certified Montessorians with a minimum of one year faculty experience at MCS. The Staff Co-Representatives shall have only one vote in total. The Staff Co-Representatives shall keep the Board informed of the teachers and the concerns of the parents, as well as relaying Montessori principles and philosophy to the Board. The Staff Co-Representatives shall have other duties as the Board may assign.

A note – it is the job of the Staff Co-Representatives to have their hand on the pulse of the staff members in the school. If and when there are major issues or concerns amongst the staff that have not been addressed or resolved through the normal chain of command, the Co-Representatives should bring them to the Board. The Staff Co-Representatives may at any time ask the Board President for the Board’s time in closed/executive session and/or without the Head of School present at the meeting. This can be a private or public request and will be honored. Information discussed will remain confidential.


Members at Large

Members at large shall have duties as the Board assigns.

Board Calendar for 2022

  • Tuesday January 18th, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Tuesday February 15th, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Tuesday March 15th, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Tuesday April 19th, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Tuesday May 17th, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Tuesday June 21st, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Tuesday July 19th, Monthly Board Meeting, 6:30-8:00pm

  • Saturday August 6th, Annual Board Retreat & Orientation