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.
Elizabeth Bonitz, President & Chair of Governance & Policy Committee
Elizabeth’s involvement at Willow Oak Montessori began in 2013, when she enrolled her 3-year old at the Children’s House, with her second child following in 2017. Both children have thrived at WOM, inspiring her to give back to the school in whatever ways she can, including serving on a board committee and chairing several PTA fundraisers, along with classroom parent volunteering. Prior to starting a family in Pittsboro with her husband, John, Elizabeth earned a Bachelor and two Masters degrees in Education & English, along with National Board Teacher Certification, which well-prepared her for a successful 20-year career in public education. She especially values how Montessori education empowers initiative and is excited to serve as President on the WOM Board again this year.
Jordynn Jack, Vice President & Chair of School Performance Committee
Jordynn was attracted to Montessori education from the time she first encountered Willow Oak students who launched a small coffee stand outside the school at its prior location (the BOLD building) across from her children’s preschool. When her daughter enrolled at WOM for first grade, it was an immediate fit, and her younger son joined Children’s House the following year. Jordynn’s background is in post-secondary education. She has a PhD in English Rhetoric and Composition from Pennsylvania State University and has taught professional writing and rhetoric at UNC-Chapel Hill for 17 years. Her academic research highlights the persuasive strategies used in science and health communication, with current interests in how neuroscience research is shaping public education policy. In her spare time, she enjoys working in her native plant and vegetable garden and doing craft projects with her two children, both WOM students.
Frank Siri, Treasurer & Chair of Finance Committee
Franck and his wife have always been committed to the Montessori philosophy. All of their three children started their Montessori journey at the age of two and now couldn't be happier to be a part of Willow Oak community! Franck finished school in Paris at Art & Metier (CNAM) in France with an engineering degree in thermodynamics, opening and managing multiple successful HVAC companies in different countries. This business opportunity has allowed his family to travel and live around the world, which definitely helps with being open-minded and appreciative of different cultures - again one more reason why his family values Montessori so much. With his professional skills in management and business, Franck is happy to serve on the Board of Directors, helping WOM become an even better place for kids to learn.
Andrew Lerner, Secretary
Andrew and his wife Jackie embraced the Montessori philosophy of education when they were living in Berkeley, CA and expecting their first child. Ten years later and across the country, their two children are thriving at Willow Oak Montessori. Andrew is passionate about applying his diverse skill set to serve the Willow Oak community and work toward a world where every child has access to a high-quality Montessori education. Andrew served in the US Marines as a Russian Cryptologic Linguist, worked for the National Security Agency, and deployed overseas. Andrew obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Biochemistry & Biophysics from UNC Chapel Hill. He is a life scientist at heart and is interested in pushing the envelope of what’s possible to develop new therapeutic drugs. His more recent experiences include supporting drug discovery and development, establishing and maintaining partnerships, formulating patent strategies, and evaluating life science technologies for investment. He enjoys getting outdoors, whether it’s mountain biking the local trails and sailing the local lakes with his family, or kitesurfing into the sunset.
Jennifer Boysen, Chair of Development Committee
Jennie has worked in education for over 18 years with the majority of her career spent in fundraising. She is passionate about helping schools get the financial resources they need so that every student can thrive. Prior to her consulting work, Jennie worked in major gift fundraising for UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School, annual giving for The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School, and served as the Chief Development Officer for Northern Seminary. She has served on several boards because of her sheer love of fundraising for initiatives that align with her personal convictions. Jennie is excited about joining the WOM family and the opportunity to serve this community well.
Lindsay Dentel, Board Member
Lindsay fell in love with Montessori somewhat by accident in 2017 when a patient tipped her off to put her oldest daughter in the WOM lottery for first grade. And now her family has had six years here and now three daughters thriving. She served as PTA treasurer for three years (thanks to Covid for that extended term ) and volunteers in classrooms and field trips and has served as a substitute. She is a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Dental Hygiene and has worked in Chapel Hill for almost 20 years taking care of smiles. She has loads of experience working with youth volunteering with Young Life for many years, serving at her local church and various other neighborhood capacities and serving as a foster care family for over five years. She is passionate about students having strong and healthy relationships with one another and the adults in their lives. She is excited to get a cross country team launched again and looks forward to continue to build community at WOM. In her spare time (is that a thing?), she enjoys getaways to the beach or mountains with her family, exercising, and listening to hours of podcasts driving back and forth to WOM!
Manju Reddy, Board Member
Manju credits his dad (an educator) for his awareness of the impact good education has on students of all ages. Manju knows he has benefitted from the educators and schools he has attended, and views his service on the WOM Board as a way to pay his educational benefits forward to subsequent generations and to the community. He especially appreciates the student choice and mixed-age groupings in Montessori classrooms, which he believes closely represents the real world environment in social and professional settings. He and his wife have two children at WOM, and he is delighted to be able to serve on the Board, combining his computer science and MBA skills to support the school.
Ali Wolfe, Board Member
Ali spent the first decade of her professional life advocating for improved systems and policies for kids. Upon graduating with a Bachelor's in Political Science from the University of Georgia, Ali was a public middle school teacher in New York City and then served as a policy advocate for teachers at two different non-profit organizations. Missing her direct work with students, she then ventured into wilderness therapy, as a field guide for adolescents facing a wide range of challenges. These collective experiences inspired her to obtain her Master's in Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ali then worked as an intensive in-home therapist and provided outpatient therapy in private practice and at several Durham and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools, supporting the abundant caseloads of school social workers and guidance counselors. She is most interested in the intersection of mental health and diversity, equity, and inclusion in public schools. Ali equally loves the mountains and the beaches of NC and any opportunity she and her family have to practice mindfulness and rest.