Birchwood Montessori is a non-profit organization and is therefore governed by our board of directors. Our board fulfills a variety of roles and responsibilities. Among its many duties, the board:
Oversees the financial operations of the organization
Maintains the legal and ethical standing of the organization and its staff
Provides leadership and strategic direction for the organization
Ensures that our organization remains accountable to its donors and to the general public
Board members consist of both parents and community members with a broad range of experiences who bring diverse talents and perspectives to the table. Our board serves an essential role in helping Birchwood Montessori become a sustainable organization that will serve our community for years to come. Our current board members for the 2018-2019 school year are listed below. If you are interested in becoming a board member for this school year or next, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birchwood Montessori is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment or admissions on account of race, age, color, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or religion or otherwise as may be prohibited by federal and state law. Any employee, board member, volunteer or client who believes that they or any other affiliate of Birchwood Montessori has been discriminated against is strongly encouraged to report this concern promptly to the Director.
Megan is an active member of the community. She is the founder of GiGi's Playhouse Des Moines, and is currently a member of the ChildServe Board of Trustees. Megan has seen the magic of Montessori education first hand. She is thrilled to be a part of Birchwood Montessori, and is excited to see Montessori education offered to more families in the Des Moines area.
Shelley Shah is thrilled to be part of the Birchwood family! She has 8 years of Montessori experience including 5 years as an Administrative Assistant and 3 years in the Primary classroom. She also took part in a Montessori leadership course with Tim Seldin and the American Montessori Society. She is a parent of two girls who attended a Montessori school from ages 3 through 6th grade. Currently, she uses her passion for Montessori while teaching 2-6 year olds for several nonprofit organizations.
Jo Christofferson retired from her positions as Head Librarian and City Clerk in Elk Horn, IA, a few years ago. After seeing the results of Montessori education in her own family, she knew she had to jump in to add her skills and talents to Birchwood Montessori.
Janice Marquardt is a Birchwood parent who was a Montessori child herself for her primary years before transitioning to public school in Ames when her family moved there. Janice has an MBA from the University of Iowa and currently works in Procurement for MidAmerican Energy. She brings a problem-solving approach to our board and is passionate that Montessori education really sets children up for success, regardless of their future schooling, because it teaches them to take a level of control over their own education. Janice and her family run Wild Rose Pastures, a beef and poultry farm, near Van Meter. In her spare time, she likes to quilt.
Sarah Riley is a Birchwood parent. She is also a Spanish and ESL teacher and currently pursuing her Masters in Education from Drake University. She and her husband have 4 boys that keep them busy and are constant reminders that children learn best when they are active agents in their own inquiry-driven learning. Aside from truly enjoying being involved in the educational journeys of her children, she is interested in being part of a unique and intentional educational option for Des Moines. Sarah believes the Des Moines area is ripe for advancement in high quality education options, and she couldn’t be more excited to be a part of Birchwood Montessori!