Board of Directors
All regular meetings of the Board of Directors are open to the public and are held at The Bold Building, Suite 170, Governors Village, 50101 Governors Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517.
Meetings begin at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Board Minutes of the public charter school Board of Directors meetings for the current school year can be accessed from the Board Minutes page where they are added once approved. Prior school years' minutes are available upon request.
Note that minutes are not approved until the following month's meeting.
The public charter school Board of Directors currently has four committees:
Board Development Committee
Operations & Programming Committee
Meeting dates, times, and locations can be found on the school calendar located here. All charter committee meetings are open to the public.
Board of Directors and Committee Volunteers
Do you have a desire to support Willow Oak Montessori in furthering its mission? April is typically the time of year we reach out to our community to recruit new board members and committee members. We’ve come up with this FAQ and would love to talk to you about joining. Please email BoardInterest@willowoakmontessori.org by April 15, so we can set up a good time to chat.
Our Board of Directors
The following individuals are the Directors for Willow Oak Montessori Charter School, Inc.; Willow Oak Montessori Children's House, Inc.; and Willow Oak Montessori Foundation, Inc.
Tiffany Cooper, President & Design Team Leader
Tiffany is a Pittsboro native who moved away from the rural country life to the big city only to return to her roots. She graduated from Meredith with a BA in psychology and completed a Masters in Organizational Management in Arizona. Most of her corporate career was spent in healthcare focused on organizational development, process improvement, and strategy. Desiring more flexibility with her kids and creative work she changed careers to hops farming in 2016. Tiffany was first introduced to Montessori in Phoenix, and when the family returned to NC in 2011 she enrolled her son at Children’s House Montessori in Burlington, where the family was living at the time. Tiffany’s son and daughter both attend the Charter School. She is excited to be part of the growing Willow Oak community and is looking forward to contributing to the success and development of the board efforts.
Mark Smith, Treasurer & Finance Chair
Mark grew up in upstate New York and earned his B.A. in English at St. Lawrence University. After college, he attended Albany Law School, was admitted to the New York Bar, and went to work for an asset/wealth management firm based in NYC. While in law school he supplemented his legal education with accounting courses and after passing the Bar, became a Certified Public Accountant. Mark spent the majority of his career working in public accounting as an auditor in the high tech and private equity, venture capital industries. Mark now holds a position with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants in Durham, NC. Mark and his wife Julie have two girls and have been a part of the Willow Oak Montessori community since 2014. He welcomes the privilege to serve on the board during this exciting time of growth to help ensure that current and future students and families benefit from all that Willow Oak Montessori has to offer.
Susannah Hunter, Secretary & Equity Team Liaison
Susannah is a Chapel Hill native who always knew she wanted to raise her own children back in central NC someday. After a 10-year stint in the Washington, D.C. area doing writing and editing work in the fields of healthcare improvement and social justice, Susannah and her husband, Luke Gilligan (also a Chapel Hill native and a Montessori alum!), returned to Orange County in 2010 with their two children, Amelia and Isaac. They were thrilled to discover Willow Oak Montessori Charter and moved to Chatham County to be closer to the school and community. Susannah and her family have loved being involved with Willow Oak in various ways since 2013.
Charleen Cody, Board Development Chair
Charleen’s parents moved to Chatham County while she was in elementary school and she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, so she has been a long time local. Prior to starting a family, Charleen worked for a company that consulted to biotech and pharma in their marketing department. Charleen and her husband currently live in the North Chatham area with their children. Her oldest has attended Willow Oak Montessori Charter School since its inaugural year. Since she left her corporate career, Charleen has been an active volunteer in her community and in her children’s schools. She is also a part-time assistant at her youngest child’s preschool.
Colleen Selleck, Institutional Advancement Chair
Colleen has a long history of entrepreneurship, from early lemonade stands to helping her father with his business to running companies with her husband most recently. Simultaneously, she spent about 11 years in executive roles with YMCAs in NY and NC. Colleen moved to Chapel Hill 3 years ago with her husband Dan and their 5 children: Evan, Max, Molly, Jackson and Oliver. While the move was due in part to business, their driving motivation was to get into “better schools.” As expected, the traditional public school system was far better than their previous schools, and the supportive services some of the children needed were exceptional. What they quickly found was that as others in the family were eager to reach beyond the boundaries of their worksheets and classroom rules, there was nothing for them. Thankfully, Willow Oak has become home for most of the Selleck children, providing the exact opportunities each has needed to grow. Outside of school, Colleen stays busy managing their company, Progressive Water Solutions in Durham, and trying to get an ocean view as frequently as possible.
Mike Dasher, Board Member
Mike was born in Toledo, Ohio and moved to North Carolina in 1989. He and his wife, Selbe Bartlett, arrived in Chatham County in 2004. Mike is a builder and developer and also serves as a Chatham County Commissioner. He is a graduate of Barton College where he earned degrees in Political Science and Finance. After college Mike joined AmeriCorps and spent a year building houses with Habitat for Humanity, and discovered a passion for building, service, and for creating community. He continued working for Habitat for Humanity for another 6 years, and eventually founded his own company to develop smart, sustainable communities. Mike enjoys spending time with his two children, both of whom attend Willow Oak Montessori. Mike and Selbe have found the Montessori principles reflect their core values of trust, respect, mindfulness, and community.
Danielle Ward, Operations Chair
Danielle was born and raised in NYC but found that big city life did not suit her. She looked for a college in a small town setting and found it in Davidson College in Davidson, NC, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology and met her husband, Mattison. After a brief stint in Connecticut, she returned to North Carolina in 2001 and settled in Wake County. She graduated with honors from UNC Law and went on to clerk for a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, an engaging and personally meaningful position. Her recent years have focused on raising her two children, Riley and Cassidy, both Willow Oak Montessori students. She is thrilled to serve on the board during this exciting time of growth for the Willow Oak Montessori community.
Laura Jacobs, Children's House Operations Chair
Laura is a stay at home parent who has lived in Chatham County since 2005. A native of eastern North Carolina, she attended Johnson & Wales University and graduated with a culinary arts degree. Laura has worked as a pastry chef in fine dining, a caterer, and a personal chef. She has been volunteering at Willow Oak since 2016, when her child began attending Willow Oak Montessori Children's House. The values of independence, creativity, and diversity that Willow Oak fosters in its community greatly appeal to Laura and make her excited to be involved on a more formal level. In her spare time, she likes listening to music, tackling home improvement projects, cooking, and photography.
Thomas Petley, Board Member
Originally from England, Tom grew up in Milan, Italy and returned to the UK after high school. After earning an undergraduate degree in accounting and a master degree in finance, Tom wound up working at Motorola in Munich, Germany. In 2006 he moved to Chicago with Motorola and a few years later to North Carolina, where his wife Amy is from. Together they have two daughters, Lilly and Hannah, at Willow Oak Montessori.
Melissa Robinson, Board Member