BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The school's board is made up of volunteers of varying professional backgrounds with one thing in common...
...their commitment to Montessori education and to the children in our community.
The board welcomes your input. Please contact us or attend one of our monthly board meetings.
All of meetings, which are open to the public, are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm.
Please note that these meetings alternate between our Charter School and the Children's School Building.
Board Member Terms
Terms ending July 2022: Michael Davenport (Founding Board Member)
Eric Jelinski (President Charter School, Vice President Children's School) earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee and a Master of Science degree in Recreation Management from the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse. He currently is the Parks and Recreation Director for the Town of Carolina Beach. Previously he was the Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Chattanooga, TN, and also served as the Parks and Recreation Director for the Town of Beech Mountain, NC, and as a Recreation Coordinator for Brunswick County, NC. Eric is a current member of the National Parks and Recreation Association (NRPA) and North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association (NCRPA). Eric has a passion for the outdoors and loves running, hiking, camping, kayaking, and playing soccer. He is excited to be a part of Island Montessori and the education it provides through discovery, curiosity and creativity. Eric lives in Wilmington with his wife, Sarah, and son Mason. firstname.lastname@example.org
Melinda Cummings, J.D. (Vice President Charter School, President Children's School, Founding Board Member), graduated from Creighton Law School, cum laude, and from Marshall University with a B.A. in Political Science. She currently works for the federal district court, and she previously worked as an assistant professor at the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. Prior to that she worked as a litigation attorney at the firm of Schmid Mooney and Frederick in Omaha, Nebraska. Melinda was founder, president and vice-president of the Board of Directors for 15 years for the Montessori Parents’ Co-Op for Children, Inc., a preschool and elementary school in Omaha, Nebraska. Melinda was also a member of the Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee for the Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools for 6 years. Melinda was Vice-Chair and member of the Executive Committee for Dreams of Wilmington and previously served as Secretary and fundraising co-chair. She was the President of the Board of Directors for Island Montessori Preschool and Island Montessori Charter School, a member of the Carolina Beach Island Women, and a member of both the Omaha and Nebraska State Bar Associations.
Kari Namiot (Treasurer for Charter & Children's School) earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She has worked for the U.S. General Services Administration since 2004 and currently manages a $175M+ IT budget and multiple large scale IT contracts. Previously, she worked in strategy management developing and implementing strategic themes, long-term performance goals, and corporate measures while helping to prioritize and align organizational initiatives. Kari and her husband, Ben, have three children thriving at Island Montessori School. In their spare time, they enjoy boating and camping together.
Jill Bean Davenport, RN (Charter & Children's School, Co-founder) graduate from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her background encompasses home health and community-based nursing, and currently is a consultant in clinical trials. She spent over 5 years at the Tileston Medical Clinic as the Volunteer Diabetic Clinic Coordinator. The Wilmington Parkinson’s Support Group is where she currently volunteers as a co-facilitator. She loves kids and spends time volunteering as a soccer coach. She has special interests including anthropology, neurology/brain health, working with the aging population, and non-profits. She has two older children that attended Cape Fear Center of Inquiry since its inception who are now 28 and 25 years of age. Jill wanted a similar option for her younger children, now 14 and 12, supporting their stewardship of the environment and learning at their own pace. She enjoys activities outdoors the most: gardening, surfing, snowboarding, boating, hiking, volleyball, ultimate, soccer, and being around animals. She lives in Kure Beach, NC with her husband, Michael of 17 years and their children, 2 cats and 2 dogs. email@example.com
Michael Stuart Davenport, Esq. (Charter & Children's School, Founding Board Member) was born in Stutgardt Germany in 1965, with his father, George’s overseas US Army duties next leaving the family in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and with his father’s subsequent civil engineering duties then taking the family to Pennsylvania, California, and – ultimately – Wisconsin. Michael graduated from Our Lady of Premontre High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1983, then earned an unusual Bachelor of Science degree, in English Literature (with a minor in American History), from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1987. Michael then attended law school at Southwestern University School of Law (Los Angeles, California), as a Paul Wildman Scholarship Recipient and a member of its Dean’s List. Michael received his Juris Doctor in 1991, and spent the next five years practicing law in Beverly Hills, California, as sole litigation associate to 1996’s California Lawyer of the Year Award recipient, Gregory A. Yates. Michael then braved the North and South Carolina Bar Exams, and relocated his legal practice and family to the more spacious confines of the Carolinas, spending the next three years at Kaufman & Green, L.L.P., a small, prestigious commercial law firm in Wilmington, North Carolina. Michael founded the Law Office of Michael Davenport, PC, in 1999, and so began a personal crusade, waging war on behalf of Davids against Goliaths everywhere. Michael has always relished and cherished education (at least since barely finishing high school, and then "getting it"). He was an active parent-volunteer for Wilmington's flagship charter school, Cape Fear Center For Inquiry from its inception, even helping upfit its makeshift rental quarters in 2000. Michael is thrilled at the prospect of his youngest two children having a Charter (Montessori!) School education as well, at Island Montessori Charter School.
Renae Harris (Secretary for Charter & Children's School) Renae grew up in a small town – Valdez, Alaska. She moved to Wilmington over 20 years ago to be close to family while attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Renae graduated with a degree in Health Education and spent over 10 years working for the Office of State Fire Marshal as an Injury Prevention Specialist. After a 3 year relocation to Wyoming with her husband’s job, they are happy to be back home to Wilmington and part of the Island Montessori School family again. Renae is currently a Loan Officer at Alpha Mortgage and mother of two children. Since her oldest child first attended Island Montessori Children’s School, she has been passionate about Montessori Education and the joy of learning it brings children. In her spare time, Renae enjoys travel and spending time with her husband and children.
Miranda Brothers (Charter & Children's School) Miranda has lived her whole life in eastern NC, growing up in the Harbor of Hospitality - Elizabeth City, NC - and moving to Wilmington in 2008 to attend UNCW. Miranda graduated from UNCW cum laude with a B.A. in both political science and sociology and a minor in public administration. Miranda has spent nearly 10 years working for New Hanover County in various different public service roles and currently has the pleasure to work with her heros, foster parents, where she helps recruit and train foster parents for the county. Miranda and her husband, Tom, have two children, a newborn and a 5 year old who is a part of the Island Montessori family. Miranda loves that her children will be able to thrive and grow in this environment. In her spare time, Miranda and her family enjoy spending time outside by going to the beach to surf together or relax, going camping, playing at parks, and traveling.
Becky Maynard (Children's School) RD, CDE graduated with honors from Virginia Polytechnic University, with a B.S. in Dietetics. She previously worked as Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator at VCU Department of Pediatrics and New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Becky helped create the Diabetes Health Plan for employees of NHRMC and enjoyed her role in Wellness by helping others lead healthier lives. Becky lives in Carolina Beach with her husband Jeff and her four children. Becky is passionate about acts of service for communities and schools and believes that "every great dream, begins with a dreamer" (Harriet Tubman). In her free time she enjoys tennis, hiking, and living an active lifestyle with her young children.
Whitney Wilson (Charter School) Whitney grew up in East Lyme, Connecticut and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education. Relocating to Wilmington in 2004, Whitney graduated from Cape Fear Community College School of Nursing (ADN) and later Fayetteville State University (BS in Nursing). She currently works as a charge nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Novant Health (formally New Hanover Regional Medical Center). During the Covid-19 pandemic, Whitney was grateful to assist locally by administering Regeneron infusions to at-risk populations through Wilmington Health Associates. Alongside her husband, Whitney founded and operated one of the first CrossFit affiliates in New Hanover County and continues to teach functional fitness and weightlifting classes to adults and children. Whitney has watched her son, Joseph, thrive in the Montessori environment and is thrilled to be part of the board. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, thrift store shopping, and taking walks with her rescue dogs, Lux and Cooper.
Nicole Smith (Charter School) Nicole earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration degree in Town and County Management from Appalachian State University. She has been a devoted public servant in planning and land use for the last fourteen years. Nicole is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Certified Zoning Official and a Certified Floodplain Manager. Nicole and her husband, Elliott, live in Wilmington, with their three children, including one enrolled in the Children’s School and one enrolled in the Charter School. Nicole is passionate about responsible growth and holistic education. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, running, and reading.
Emily Elmore (Children's School) Emily Elmore grew up outside Washington, DC, and graduated from the
University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts and double majored in Communications and History. Emily is currently the Director of Marketing & Communications for a telemedicine and medical advisory company, VIGILINT, based in Raleigh, NC. Emily has been a key speaker for major corporate summits and events; including the Corporate Social Media Summit New York (CSMNY) on Customer Interaction: Enhancing Customer Relationships through Effective and Human Response; Emily was a key speaker at the American College of Cardiology Annual Conference and presented on The Intersection of Digital Health and Patient Engagement. She and her husband Carl have spunky and wonderful young children currently enrolled in the Children’s School, and in their free time, the family loves to be outside at the beach, on a trail, or screaming along to the Moana soundtrack.
Kate Medero (Children's School) Kate grew up in New Jersey where she graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration before continuing on to receive her Master of Arts in Education from Georgian Court University. She is certified as a teacher of both elementary and special education in New Jersey and California. She also received a post graduate certification as a holistic nutritionist and began her own holistic nutrition business in 2018. Kate also spent years training CrossFit athletes in southern California. Her hobbies include weightlifting and training, cooking, snowboarding, and doing just about anything outdoors. She moved to Wilmington in 2017 with her husband Jay. They have two little boys, the oldest of whom is enrolled at the Children’s School.
Jeremy Linquist (Charter School) is a founding board member of Island Montessori School. Since moving to the area from Southern California he served the Port City community as a Board Certified licensed acupuncturist for over 8 years prior to retiring from the Health Care industry. He has been involved in many small businesses and currently is the managing partner in an nationwide retail millwork, fixture and graphics company. Jeremy served as the President of the NCAAOM (North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) and donates his time and expertise to a variety of community events and educational classes. In his free time Jeremy soaks up every moment with Susie, his wife of 19 years and his 2 children, Jackson and Ella.
Pamela Thigpen (Charter School) Pamela graduated from UNCW with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Environmental Science concentrating in Biology. She is a certified doula with DONA International. She owned and operated an online babywearing boutique for several years. Since 2007, Pamela and her husband, Scott, have owned Solid Foundation Builders, Inc. an interior and exterior trim company focusing on new construction. They have four children and a dog. Their youngest is in third grade and is enjoying his Island Montessori Charter School experience. They have two high schoolers who are IMCS alumni and one freshman at North Carolina State University. Pamela has spent several years homeschooling and is a strong advocate for children with special needs. She enjoys surfing, snorkeling, SCUBA, traveling, hiking, camping, and art. She is a rare Wilmington native.