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 is currently entering her second year at BMS, as a middle-grouper in Mrs. Cusack’s PM Hickory class. Mike’s eldest daughter, Sarah, also enjoyed time as a preschooler in the Hickory classroom with Mrs. Mjolsnes, many years ago. Leslie is a homemaker and part-time student. Her professional background includes years spent as a paralegal and as a Realtor. Mike is a Deputy Clerk with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office. They are pleased to again be a part of the Bloomington Montessori Community and Leslie is excited to offer her contribution as a member of the Board.

Amanda Cook

Amanda Cook and her husband, Brian, have two sons at BMS: Vincent, a 4th grader in the Sycamore classroom; and Julian, a Kindergartner in the Hickory class. Amanda received a degree in early childhood education from Marian University in 2000 and taught briefly in special needs preschool classrooms before becoming a fulltime parent in 2006. After Brian completed his medical residency in 2008, he and Amanda moved to Bloomington, where Amanda immediately joined the Bloomington Moms Meetup Group, also known as the Hoosier Mamas. She eventually volunteered to help organize the group, including planning, scheduling, and hosting member meetups; promoting the Hoosier Mamas at local community events; and updating the group’s calendar with listings of family-friendly activities in the area. Since Vincent’s first day at BMS, Amanda has enjoyed being involved in the school community. She loves to sew for her sons’ classrooms, volunteer at various school functions, and substitute for BMS’s amazing teachers. A lifelong reader and occasional blogger, she recently turned to fiction writing, self-publishing her first fantasy novel in 2014 under her publishing imprint, A. Cook’s Books. Her second novel, a speculative fiction story set on a space station, is due to be released in 2016. Amanda was thrilled to join the BMS school board in 2015 as board secretary and looks forward to continuing her 

Phuong Thang

Grace Findley

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 have two boys in the Maple classroom at BMS: Garrett, a 3rd grader, and Kyler, a 1st grader. Both boys graduated from the Magnolia classroom, and will share time together in Maple this year! The family moved to Bloomington in summer 2012 when Laura accepted a faculty position at IU in the department of Gender Studies. Scott manages a product design team at Angie’s List, which is focused on the user experience for websites and mobile apps used by the company’s consumers and service providers. Prior to Angie’s List, Scott has worked for Yahoo! and The Procter & Gamble Company. During the 2014-15 school year, Scott joined the BMS board as the Technology director and helped build a technology committee, transition the school website to a new host, and support technology needs, in collaboration with IT Manager Teresa Mandell. In the 2015-16 school year, Scott remained on the board as Personnel director. In this role he managed the annual school culture survey, worked closely with the Head of School on personnel issues, and participated 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

Stacie Farmer

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.