BMS Board

Photos by Sadie Glass Photography
The Board of Directors is the governing body of our incorporated not-for-profit school and endeavors to protect and develop the school community. Its primary concerns are the financial and program functions of the school, for which it defines a program mission and operating policies. Over time, as the program develops, its operations may be delegated to the Head of School and administrative staff. The corporate power of this school is vested in the Board of Directors, acting in accordance with the written bylaws. The Board of Directors is composed of nine to eleven voting members plus the school Head of School, who serves as a non-voting ex officio member. Whether appointed or elected, Board Members are selected for their commitment to the mission of the school and for their ability to contribute particular expertise or experience. Board members model the respect and mutual support that is central to the philosophy of this Montessori school.

Leslie Thomas

Longtime Bloomington-area residents, Leslie, and her husband, Mike, are the parents of Arden, who will be entering her third year at BMS as a kindergartner in the Magnolia classroom, after spending her first two years in Hickory. Their family’s history with Bloomington Montessori began over 20 years ago when Mike’s elder daughter, Sarah, benefited from years spent in Hickory with Linda Mjolsnes. While currently occupied as a student and homemaker, Leslie’s professional background includes time spent in office management, as a paralegal, and as a local Realtor. Her personal observation of the dynamic ways in which Montessori education enriches the lives of children, and their families, inspires her dedication to service. Leslie is honored to be entrusted with a leadership role with our school community and has a deep respect for the level of responsibility that accompanies this position. She is excited to continue offering her contribution as part of a talented team of caring individuals who work hard to ensure our children’s well-being, now and into the future.

Amanda Cook

Amanda Cook and her husband, Brian, have two sons at BMS: Vincent, a 5th grader in the Sycamore classroom; and Julian, a 1st grader in the Walnut class. Amanda received her degree in early childhood education from Marian University in 2000 and taught briefly before becoming a full time parent in 2006. After moving to Bloomington in 2008, she joined the Bloomington Moms Meetup Group, eventually becoming a co-organizer running many events and activities for the other members and their families. She has enjoyed being a part of the vibrant BMS community since Vincent’s first day in the Hickory classroom and has helped out where she can over the years. A lifelong reader and occasional blogger, she turned to fiction writing in 2009 and self-published her first fantasy novel in 2014 under her imprint, A. Cook’s Books. Her second novel, a feminist, environmentalist science fiction story will be published in late summer/early fall of 2017. Amanda has enjoyed contributing to the board as secretary in the past and is excited to take on her new role as vice president in 2017-2018.

Phuong Thang

Phuong, and her husband Matthijs, are the parents of Esmee and Liam. Esmee is currently in the all-day preschool program in the Sweet Gum room. Liam will join the all-day preschool program once he turns three, which will be in the 2018-2019 school year. Phuong grew up in The Netherlands, and obtained her undergraduate degree from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and her Master of Science in Accounting from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has worked as an accounting professional for two of the big four accounting firms in Indianapolis in the past 7.5 years, and will start a new position for a startup tech firm in Bloomington in the summer of 2017. She is excited about the reduction in her commute, which allowed her the opportunity to volunteer for a role in the BMS school board. Phuong enjoys travelling, cooking, and spending quality time with her family. She looks forward to contribute to the Bloomington Montessori School community, and serve in the Board as Treasurer.

Grace Findley

Grace and her husband Andrew have two boys, Dominic (7) a second grader in the Walnut room and Samuel (2) who will enroll at BMS in 2018. The family moved to Bloomington in the spring of 2015 when Grace accepted a position at IU Foundation. Andrew is a professor of Art History at IVY Tech. In between baseball, soccer and hockey the family enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, biking and running. Grace and Andrew are thrilled to be part of the BMS community and Grace looks forward to contributing to continuous success of school in the role of secretary.

Ross Thackery

Ross and better half Stephanie, have two children, Riley (8, Maple room) and Sierra (6, Walnut room). Ross is from Columbus, Indiana, and spent a few years at Vincennes University before coming to IU to finish a BA degree in Chemistry. Now working in Bloomington at ABR Imagery & Print, Ross enjoys working with his hands, traveling, and spending time with the little ones. Ross has been to over 47 US states and several countries.

Todd Schnatzmeyer

Todd is a registered architect in the states of Texas and Indiana, an AIA member, and holds a NCARB certification. He is also a LEED® Accredited Professional and a member of the U. S. Green Building Council. Todd earned his Professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas at Lawrence in 1988 and practiced in Texas until moving to Indiana in 2003. Prior to joining the ILI, he worked for an Indianapolis based Commercial Construction and Development Company in executive management and business development.

As Executive Director of the Indiana Limestone Institute, Todd is responsible for the management of this trade association which represents quarries, fabricators, masons, designers, and associate members. In this role he is actively involved in the promotion of Indiana Limestone by way of industry trade shows, providing technical support to fabricators, masons, designers, & building owners. He is also continually working to expand on the availability of digital technical information, case studies, & historical documentation in order to reach the broadest possible audience.

As a representative stakeholder, Todd is actively working with the Natural Stone Council and several industry leaders in the continued development and promotion of the “ANSI/NSC­373 Standard for the Sustainable Production of Natural Stone”, which provides for a sustainable pathway in the extraction and production of all natural dimension stone products.

“I am humbled to be asked to join the Montessori Board of Directors. I hope to prove a beneficial member and look forward to lending my experience in design, construction, and development to help guide the current & future needs of the school.”

Todd and his wife Tami are the proud parents of two Montessori students, Mia (Sweet­Gum) & Emma (Magnolia).

Susan Yeley

Susan and her husband Brian have three children, and they are astounded to find that after eight years all of them have now graduated from the Hickory Room. She laments that they will have to start buying wrapping paper again now that the influx of preschool paintings will cease. In 2016-17, Susan’s oldest, Anna, will be in 5th grade in the Sycamore Room, Simon in 4th, and Liza launching into the BMS Elementary program in Maple. Susan grew up about an hour north of Bloomington, went to undergrad at IU, and later got a Masters in Philosophy/Religion from University of Chicago followed by a degree in Interior Design at Harrington (also in Chicago). She worked in high-end residential design in Chicago, as well as Change Management consulting for Accenture, before moving back to Bloomington in 2005. Currently running her own business in Interior Design and managing projects large and small with a staff of three, Susan brings to the board a business acumen and background in communication and culture change. If she had free time, she might plant vegetables or read, can tomatoes and peaches, hike, travel, go to more theater, and improve her yoga practice. Or she might binge watch Downton Abbey.

Scott Pitkin

Scott and his wife Laura Foster have two boys in the Maple classroom at BMS: Garrett, a 3rd grader, and Kyler, a 2nd grader. They moved to Bloomington in summer 2012 when Laura started at IU as an Associate Professor in the department of Gender Studies. Scott is a User Experience Designer who has worked for Angie’s List and now Salesforce, creating websites, apps and digital products. This is Scott’s fourth year on the BMS board, and third year as the Personnel Director. In this role he works closely with the Head of School on personnel issues, manages the annual school culture survey and participates in the finance committee and strategic planning committee. Scott looks forward to continuing as Personnel Director and supporting the school’s mission & vision and the tremendous team of teachers and staff.

Tiffany Coleman

Tiffany J Coleman is an associate attorney practicing family law, estate planning, criminal defense, business law, and alternative dispute resolution. In addition to her legal advocacy, Tiffany is dedicated to the Bloomington community. She has served in a variety of roles at local nonprofits and makes contributing to the community a priority. She is also an adjunct professor at Ivy Tech.

Stacie Farmer

Stacie and her husband Tony relocated to Bloomington in the Spring of 2015. They were lucky enough to have their son Xavier placed in Eve’s PM Hickory Class. Xavier is now an all day Kindergartner in Robyn’s Hickory Classroom. The Bloomington Montessori experience has been such a positive experience they have decided to make their Bloomington relocation permanent. Stacie grew up in Columbia City, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism. She has been in the medical device sales industry for nine years. Tony graduated from Ball State University and has recently absorbed X-Printwear and Promotions after a long career in media. The family is thrilled to be part of the Bloomington Montessori family and Stacie is looking forward to serving the community as part of the board.

Simon Lee

Simon and his wife Erika have a son named Max, who is a first grader in the Maple classroom. He was born in Taiwan, but has lived in Bloomington for most of his life. Simon graduated in 1998 from Indiana University with a degree in Computer Science and lived in Cincinnati for seven years before returning to B-town. He currently works as a Computer Nerd (Senior Software Engineer) for SAIC at Crane. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his family, playing games, and going to Crossfit a few times a week. According to his wife, his secret power is ordering the most delicious dish off of a menu, although he won’t eat octopus because they are smarter than they are tasty.