logo

Butler Montessori School’s Board of Trustees

Butler Montessori School’s Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees (BOT) is a dedicated group of widely talented individuals committed to preserving and improving Butler Montessori and its mission as an AMI Montessori School serving toddlers through young adolescents. The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that the Head of School has the resources, guidance and support needed to successfully operate Butler Montessori and the Butler Camp and Equestrian programs. Passionate about ensuring Butler Montessori’s continued success of providing an outstanding education on its exceptional campus classroom, the Board of Trustees meets regularly and carries its work forward through standing committees: Finance, Development, External Marketing and Buildings, Grounds and Stewardship. The Head of School, Business Manager and a staff/teacher representative (non-voting members) round out the Board.

Board of Butler Montessori school in Darnestown, Maryland

Butler Montessori Board of Trustees – Voting Members

Name: Freddie Gratz
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Passionate about education and helping nonprofits
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Finance Committee chair
Day Job: Squire, Lemkin + Company LLP, Senior Auditor
Education: Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, M.B.A.
Shepherd University, B.S., Accounting and Business Administration
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “Butler Montessori prioritizes the educational and developmental needs of every student, individually and as a class, and fully embraces that each child has an innate ability to be their best when given the choice and the opportunity.”

Name: Janet McDonell
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Passionate about Montessori education, former Butler Montessori teacher
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Montessori expert
Day Job: Loyola University, the Washington Montessori Institute, Director of Training at the Primary level
Education: Loyola University, M.Ed., Montessori Education
Ohio Montessori Training Institute, American Montessori Institute (AMI) Elementary Diploma; Montessori Teacher Training Institute of Northern California, AMI Special Education Diploma
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, B.A., comparative literature
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “In 1976, Butler gave me my first – and best – teaching job!”

Name: Jim Merriam
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent of four Butler graduates and interested in giving back to the school
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Buildings, Grounds and Stewardship Committee member, Master Electrician for 30 years; as a 20-year business owner, brings level-headedness and both technical and business expertise to the board
Day Job: JKM Electric Inc., President/Owner
Education: Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda, Maryland
Ferrum College, Ferrum, Virginia, Four-year electrical apprentice graduate (going to school two nights a week while working 40+ hours a week in the trade)
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “All of my children have excelled because of the education and values received during their years here.”

Name: Christine Neigh
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent of current students
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Development Committee Chair, Human Resources and Leadership Coaching expertise
Day Job: Neigh Consulting, LLC, Owner
Education: Johns Hopkins University, M.S., Strategic Human Resources and Organizational Development; Chatham University, B.A., Political Science with Minors in Economics and Philosophy; Company Certified Executive Coach
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “Our family is blessed and grateful to have found a wonderful community at Butler Montessori with a community that respects and nurtures our children, fosters our love of learning, and not only encourages but expects independence and responsibility.”

Name: Lynn Perry Parker
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Passionate about education
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Provides legal counsel to Butler Montessori
Day Job: LPP Law, Principal Owner and Attorney
Education: The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Doctor of Law (J.D.); The George Washington University, B.A., Political Science with an Economics Minor
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “The dedication and authenticity of the school’s teacher staff, leadership, and community to developing lifelong learners.”

Name: Kim Krause Schwalm
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent of two Butler graduates
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
External Marketing Committee Chair; past President of Butler Parent Connection (BPC); creative, growth-oriented business builder with nearly three decades of marketing experience
Day Job: Creative Synergy Inc., Copywriter and President
Education: Loyola University Maryland, M.B.A., Marketing; Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, B.S., Mathematics and Statistics
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “Knowing my children had the best possible educational experience and environment during their years here from age 3 through 8th grade, which helped lay the foundation for them growing into responsible, independent and happy young adults.”

Name: Deborah Sholtes
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent of two Butler graduates
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Board of Trustees President
Day Job: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, Program Analyst
Education: Partnership for Public Service–Excellence in Government Fellows; Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executive Fellows; Washington University in St. Louis, M.S., Engineering and Public Policy; Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, B.S., Environmental Geology
What I Love About Butler Montessori:
“Butler Montessori allowed our family to follow the interests of our children and not the narrow requirements of a limited curriculum. The confidence my children gained has helped them both work towards realizing their dreams.”

Name: Amy Silins
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent of current students
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Finance Committee Member, expertise in Information Technology, Strategic Planning and Program and Portfolio Governance
Day Job: Emergent BioSolutions, Senior Director, Project Management Office
Education: University of Vermont, B.S., Computer Science with an Economics Minor
What I Love About Butler Montessori: “We are thankful to have found Butler Montessori. It has been a special place that has supported the development of our daughters’ whole self through experiential learning of academics, music, arts, nature and physical education. It has guided them toward independence and created the basis for education as a lifelong endeavor.”

Name: Sandy Wright
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent of two Butler graduates
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Buildings, Grounds and Stewardship Chair
Day Job: Perkins Cole LLP, International Trade Analyst
Education: University of New Hampshire, B.A., Political Science and Economics
What I Love About Butler Montessori: 
“The creative, independent, yet collaborative, disposition that the education at Butler Montessori developed in my two young adult children.”

Name: Scott Chidakel
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent to former Butler Montessori students
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Finance Committee
Day Job: Butler Montessori, Business Manager
Education: University of Maryland, B.A.

Name: Lisa Daly
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board: 
Parent to former Butler Montessori student
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Staff Representative
Day Job: Butler Montessori, Media and IT Specialist/Intermediate Math Teacher
Education: Hood College, Frederick, Maryland, M.A.; Virginia Tech, B.A.
AMI Montessori Certificate in Adolescent Studies

Name: Laura Manack
Connection To Butler/Interest In Serving On The Board:
Parent to current Butler student and former Butler Montessori Teacher
BOT Role, Committee Membership And/Or Expertise
Member of Standing Committees
Day Job: Butler Montessori Head of School
Education: Loyola College, M.Ed.
AMI Montessori Elementary Diploma
AMI Montessori Primary Diploma
Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, B.S.