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.
The board application process has been closed for the 2023-2024 school year.
If interested, please check back in the fall or contact one of our board members if you have any questions.
Whitney Wilson (Charter School President)
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 Vice President / Children's School Secretary)
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.
Kate Medero (Treasurer)
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.
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.
Michael Stuart Davenport, Esq. (Charter & Children's School, Founding Board Member)
Michael 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.
Pamela Thigpen (Charter School Secretary)
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.
Emily Elmore (Children's School President)
Emily Elmore grew up outside Washington, DC, and graduated from the
University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts and double majored in Communications and History. Emily is the Director of Marketing & Communications for a telemedicine and medical advisory company, VIGILINT, based in Raleigh, NC. She and her husband, Carl, relocated to Wilmington from Newport Beach, CA, in 2013 and have three spunky and wonderful young children, two of whom are currently enrolled in the Children’s School. Emily is a devoted advocate for Montessori education and the freedom of unique learning it provides for children. For fun, the Elmore family loves to have living room dance performances, go to concerts, hit the beach or a trail, and scream along to the Moana soundtrack.
Lara Fritz (Children's School Vice President)
Lara grew up in update NY, and attended University of Rhode Island to earn her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies. After graduating from URI, Lara attended Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, while also coaching crew at URI and Roger Williams. After massage school, Lara opened a massage studio, Wild Heart Wellness, and taught yoga until moving from RI to warmer weather. Lara has been in NC for almost 8 years, and in that time she ran the Massage Program at Miller Motte College, as Program Director for 5 years. After 5 years at MMC, Lara shifted gears to join the team at PPD and is currently a manager, and loves working from home. Lara is a full supporter of all things Montessori, and is looking forward to working with the Island Montessori Community. In her free time, Lara enjoys anything outdoors with her three kids, Ruby 9, Myers 4 and Hollis 5 months, two dogs, and rockstar husband.
Jeremy Linquist (Charter School)
Jeremy 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.
Tyler Howell (Charter School)
Tyler grew up in San Diego, California and transitioned to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2010. Tyler studied Emergency and Disaster Management in college, while pursuing a career in the fire service. Tyler worked in emergency medical services in San Diego before transitioning to NC, his wife’s home state. He became a member of the Wilmington Fire Department in 2010. Tyler currently serves in the Wilmington Fire Department, he’s a member of the Wilmington Technical Rescue Team and the NCOEM Urban Search & Rescue Task Force working in various rescue capacities. Additionally, Tyler owns and operates a local Real Estate business brokering sales in the Cape Fear region. Tyler loves spending time with his wife, son and dog, who he holds as the pinnacle of his life. He spends his free time practicing/teaching grappling as a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu, surfing, coaching his son's sports, spending time with his family on their boat and enjoying the outdoors. Tyler’s service oriented nature led him to volunteer his time as a member on the IMCS Board and is committed to the continued success of Island Montessori.
Mark Turner (Charter School)
Mark Turner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Penn State University, after growing up in rural northwest Pennsylvania. After college, he had the privilege of working across the globe for 15 years as a drilling operations supervisor for ExxonMobil, and for the last few years has owned and operated an epoxy flooring install business across the Cape Fear region. Currently he is working on a drilling rig in New Mexico. He coaches his oldest daughter’s soccer team, and enjoys playing in a local adult recreation soccer league as well. His other hobbies include woodworking, weightlifting, traveling, and cooking. Mark and his wife, Michelle, have all 3 of their kids at Island Montessori in Upper Elementary, Lower Elementary, and the Children’s School, and have been a part of the Island Montessori family since moving to the area in 2016.