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 (President)

As president of the Board, Leslie is honored to contribute her diverse skills, including experience in management and real estate. She and her husband, Mike, have one child currently enrolled and a second who attended previously. Her dedication to service is inspired by the lifelong benefits of a Montessori education.

Amanda Cook (Vice-President)

Amanda holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and brings teaching experience to her work on the Board as well as experience organizing a large moms’ group. She has two sons who are current students at BMS.

“I am serving on the Board to strengthen my family’s connection with BMS and to help further the school’s mission of becoming a hub for peace and education.”

Phuong Thang (Treasurer)

Phuong works for Platformatics, a Bloomington-based tech company focused on providing “smart” lighting solutions through Power over Ethernet (PoE). Prior to this, she worked for 7.5 years as an accounting professional for two of the big four accounting firms in Indianapolis. Raised in The Netherlands, Phuong obtained her undergraduate degree from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and her M.S. in Accounting from the Kelley School of Business at IU. She is excited to help contribute to the BMS community as Board Treasurer and is looking forward to work together with the other Board members. Phuong and her husband Matthijs have one child enrolled at BMS, and one who will join in the 2018-2019 school year.

“I have always wanted to give back to the BMS community after witnessing the important role it plays in helping develop our kids into intelligent, independent, and caring individuals. I hope my background and experience in accounting will allow me to be of added value to the Board.”

Grace Findley (Secretary)

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.

Lacey Walz (Fundraising Chair)

Lacey has been part owner of an Indiana-based fundraising consulting company, working with nonprofit organizations around the country. She has a background in leadership, studying at Bellevue University in her home state of Nebraska, and has completed several leadership courses with Landmark Education. Lacey also holds certifications in garden and permaculture design and is currently participating in the Indiana Master Naturalist program. She is often seen with a bun in her hair and dirt on her hands working diligently towards building soil, attracting pollinators and growing food. Lacey has three children enrolled at the school, having moved to Bloomington specifically to attend BMS, which has proven to be a wonderful experience. She is excited to apply her skills to such a worthy cause by serving on the BMS board.

Todd Schnatzmeyer (Maintenance Chair)

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 (Past President)

Susan is the owner and creative director of Susan Yeley Interiors, bringing to the Board business acumen as well as a background in communication and culture change. She has three children enrolled at the school and has spent over half a decade on the Board, including five years as President. “This community of families and staff, and their continual efforts to live the truth for which Montessori stands, inspires me to be a better human being, not to mention parent.”

Scott Pitkin (Personnel Chair)

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.

Amelia Lahn (Policy Chair)

Stacie Farmer

(PR and Communications Chair)

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 (Technology Chair)

Simon is a professional software engineer with 20 years of experience in application development, server administration, and database management. Simon has one child, who attends BMS.

“I hope to improve the technological tools used at BMS to help the school fulfill its vision
of becoming a model Montessori school and a community hub for peace and education.”