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)

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Eric Jelinski (President) 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. 

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Melinda Cummings, J.D. (Vice President, 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) 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 graduating from college and currently manages a $100M 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 recently relocated from Northern Virginia with her husband and three young children, choosing Wilmington for its small hometown feel and salty air.  She is excited to be a part of the Island Montessori family and looks forward to watching her children be inspired to learn and grow every day!

Jill Bean Davenport, RN (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. (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. 

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Molly Murphy co-directs Working Films, a national nonprofit that uses documentary films to advance social justice and environmental protection. In her eighteen year tenure, she has planned and directed national media engagement campaigns, facilitated partnerships and coordinated coalitions centered on the use of film and visual art to enhance communication and make an impact on the issues of our time. Molly has designed and led dozens of trainings for filmmakers, grassroots organizations, educational institutions and NGOs focused on using film and online media to effect change. In her role as co-director at Working Films, Molly acts as C.E.O., providing oversight to all organizational programs and leading external partnerships and fundraising. She has deep experience in strategic planning, building organizational capacity, and developing a strong and active board of directors. Molly holds a B.S.W. in Social Work with a minor in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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Renae Harris (Secretary) 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.