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Board of Trustees


The Montessori School of Raleigh’s Board of Trustees is a self-perpetuating body consisting of parents, grandparents, alums and community members. Meeting approximately six times a year, the Board is the guardian of the school’s mission, a responsible steward of the school’s resources, and the entity held accountable for the school’s financial stability. The Board works closely with the Head of School, delegating responsibility for day-to-day management to the Head and the school's senior leadership, and contributing vision and guidance to ensure the school’s long-term success.


  • Brand Stewardship
  • Buildings and Grounds
  • Committee on Trusteeship
  • Compliance
  • Development
  • Executive
  • Finance



Krystin Knox (President)

Krystin spent 25 years in large corporations, primarily focused on accounting information systems (SAP, Oracle Suite, SalesForce) and directed teams on development of financial processes and reporting in the wireless industry.  After leaving the workforce for family, she has engaged in various roles within the nonprofit sector and is a director of a nonprofit she helped start.  She loves excel spreadsheets and never shies away from a complicated system integration.  She has degrees in Accounting, Finance and Taxes.

Krystin hails from the north (Upstate New York and Boston) but has called Raleigh home for more than 20 years.  An avid water skier, snow skier, wake surfer and runner, she enjoys weekend relays (Tuna Run 200 and Smokey Mountain Relay most recently) as well as any half marathon.  She and her husband Rob have a daughter who is a sophomore at ECU and a son who is at the BC Middle School.

Peter Kamarchik (Vice President)

Peter is the oldest of three children from a small town north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He and his brother and sister all attended a very small Montessori preschool and kindergarten near there, which is where he first developed an appreciation for the Montessori method.

He went on to get his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and after moving to the Raleigh, North Carolina area and working in the semiconductor field, did his J.D. at North Carolina Central University in their evening program (where he met and married his wife, Lisa).  He currently works as the Director and Senior Counsel for Intellectual Property at Ampere Computing.Peter and Lisa have two children - Aleksander, who will be an extended day student in Children's House, and Linnea, who will be an incoming first year student in Toddler.  Favorite family activities include skiing (and enjoying the cuisine) in New Mexico, sailing in the Outer Banks, and reading.

Kim Rohde (Treasurer)

Kim has been the Controller/CFO of Chuao Chocolatier, a craft chocolate confectioner, for ten years. She was drawn to working in a smaller more purpose driven environment after working for fortune 50 corporations for over fifteen years. Prior to Chuao, Kim was at Warner Bros. in the International TV Distribution Division culminating in the role of Executive Director of Finance/Accounting. Kim graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.

Kim grew up in California, but moved to Raleigh seven years ago for a job opportunity for her husband Derek. They have two children at MSR: Cooper, a first year in UE2 and Caroline, a second year in LE2. When Kim is not getting people hooked on chocolate, she loves travelling and spending time with family, water sports at the lake, snow skiing, gardening and cooking.


Tammy Franklin (Secretary)

Tammy Franklin is a senior global operations leader in the pharmaceutical industry with 17 years of experience identifying and implementing global strategies and standards in a regulated environment. She takes initiative to drive meaningful operational change in close collaboration with stakeholders using a holistic mindset and versatile leadership skills. Tammy brings a distinct ability to communicate complex concepts to diverse audiences ranging from business partners to senior executives. Her current role at UCB is Head of the GCSO Operations Management team within the Global Clinical Sciences and Operations business unit. Tammy has a passion for creating value for patients living with severe diseases who are in need of new and innovative solutions. Tammy holds a BS in Biological Sciences and MSc in Technical Communication from North Carolina State University.

Tammy and her husband Scott have two children at MSR, Caleb (UE2) and Josh (LE2). They enjoy spending time together as a family at the beach and attending various sports events. Tammy is an avid reader and NC State Wolfpack fan!

Matt Baldwin

Matt is a current parent at MSR and is a single family home builder.  He came to Raleigh with his wife and 3 children.  His family believes in volunteering and both he and his wife look to provide their resources to endeavors that touch their lives.  Matt has developed numerous home developments in the Wake Forest area and meets so many new families in the area.  He finds that education is a primary topic and enjoys relaying his MSR experience.

Charles Bayless Trustee
Charles Bayless

Charles is the Retired President of the West Virginia University of Technology. Prior to that he was CEO of Tucson Electric Power and Illinois Power. Earlier in his career he held various managerial positions at other Electric Utilities in Michigan and New Hampshire. He began his career on a Line Crew at Kentucky Power. He is the author of numerous papers on the Electric Utility Industry.

Charles has a BSEE from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, an MSEE and a J.D from West Virginia University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Charles and his wife Joan have three Triplet Grandchildren Paige, Madison, and Jonathan who have attended MSR for three years and will be entering the UE1  in September. 

Dustin Bermudez

Dustin is a current parent and has been part of the MSR community for many years.  His third child began MSR last fall and in a few months number four may be on their way!  He is the Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at UNC Rex Hospital where he has served since 2013.  He is a Stanford graduate and UNC Greenville Fellow.  His family sponsored the Head of School Challenge during our May 2021 day of giving…a record giving day.  He believes in MSR and the strong education it provides and doesn’t believe MSR gets the proper recognition.

Kristina Brunelle

Kristina Brunelle is a Talent Development Consultant, Executive Coach, and Master Facilitator with over 25 years of global experience in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), executive coaching, and organizational development. She specializes in developing effective leaders, and helping organizations unleash the potential of their employees to achieve ambitious goals.

Kristina’s consulting, coaching, leadership, and DEI experiences include working at or with global companies such as RTI International, Red Hat, Vistaprint, the Forum Corporation, Ameriprise, Irving Oil, Archstone, Novell, and Cambridge Technology Partners.  She is also a fluent Spanish speaker and has delivered programs in Spain, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Canada, Jamaica, Australia, China, Africa, India, and Indonesia.

Kristina holds a master’s degree from Harvard University, a BA from Tufts University, is a certified Executive Coach through William James College (formerly The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology) and is certified in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership through Georgetown University.

Sherri Lawson Clark

Sherri Lawson Clark teaches at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.  She is an applied cultural anthropologist and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork for over 25 years with low-income urban and rural African American, Latino, and white families across the United States.  Dr. Clark’s research specialty surrounds housing instability among poor families and examines the intersections of housing policy with health and welfare policies, marriage initiatives, migration, and the effects of residential mobility on the well-being of poor children and families.  Her research is guided theoretically through the lens of the built environment in which spaces where the poor live, work, shop, entertain and relax are seen as socially produced, constructed, contested, and embodied.  Dr. Clark has discussed her research in both academic settings and at the local level with community-based organizations, social service employees and others who provide direct services to those in need.  She lives in Winston Salem with her husband, Penn Clark, two sons, Noah and Jonah; and their new, blue French bulldog, Bentley!  She loves to travel, entertain, play tennis, people watch, and listen, sing, and dance to live music.  First a beach lover, she has migrated to a lake lover after moving to North Carolina!

Abdel Darensburg

Abdel is the second child of four sons reared  in the eastern part of the Tar Heel State. Abdel attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, where he studied Biology and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1996. An interest in biomedical research and technology took Abdel on a circuitous route from the NIEHS in RTP to a biotech startup in Malvern, Pennsylvania to academic based laboratory research at Thomas Jefferson and finally graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2001. While pursuing a master's degree, Abdel decided to forgo the biotechnology program and attend dental school at Howard University in 2002. The completion of his doctoral degree was later followed by residency in New York’s Harlem Hospital Center.
Following residency, Abdel  completed a two-year obligation with the National Health Service Corps in Myrtle Beach, SC. Currently, Abdel is a licensed and practicing dentist in Danville, Virginia. He met his wife, Tori, in 2012 while attending a reunion with his childhood friends and neighbors. They have one son, Ayden, who is a Kindergarten 3rd year student in CH4. Abdel enjoys competitive sailing and auto racing, fishing, traveling, the marital arts, pleasure reading and escaping to the Great Smokey Mountains.


Patty Eggerding

Patty grew up on a farm in central Michigan as the youngest of 6 children.  She was a Rotary Exchange student in Brazil for a year in high school, which fueled her passion for travel.  She graduated from Stephens College and also studied in Salamanca Spain for her junior year.  She completed her first AMI (Association Montessori International) training at the Montessori Institute of Denver for ages 0-3.  She couldn’t get enough Montessori, so she went back for more and became certified in AMI for ages 3-6 at the Milwaukee Montessori Institute.  She has also completed the AMI Administrator’s Certificate for Whole School Management.

Patty has delighted in working with children for 30 years.  She has worked at some incredible AMI Montessori schools in the Chicago area including Forest Bluff School and Countryside Montessori.  Patty has been the Head of School at WSMS since 2012.

Patty lives in La Grange with her husband Scott and three children.  In her free time she enjoys exercising with friends, traveling, gardening, reading and driving to countless soccer games and cross country meets!

Debbie Gordon

Debbie Kapp Gordon grew up a “Military Brat,” as her father was in the Special Forces branch of the Army.  Her mother had four kids in five years and was a busy homemaker until branching out into the workforce to open the family business, Slenderella Figure Salon.  To save for college, Debbie set aside babysitting and yard work clients to take on slanted sit-up boards, and the long gone belts and rollers that were thought at the time to shake the fat right off your body.   Like her dad, who played football in college, Debbie was a scholar athlete at North Carolina State University and a former cheerleader.  Debbie studied math and taught at the high school level prior to returning to engineering school at NCSU to study computer science.  While studying computer science, she crossed paths with former student body president, Joe Gordon who was attending NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine.  They married during Joe’s junior year in vet school, and became the proud parents of Sampson the Great Dane.
Debbie and Joe raised two Montessori kids, Wade and Meredith, and now have a Montessori granddaughter, Emaline who describes herself as, “a big kid that is ready for Children’s House.”
Debbie and Joe enjoy community service, and their family business, Care First Animal Hospital is the go-to for many area rescue groups including the SPCA of Wake County for which Care First donates over a quarter million dollars in volunteer veterinary services annually.  The flagship location near Cameron Village is currently being rebuilt next door to the current hospital and will be the first Passive House animal hospital in the world that will enable close to net zero energy consumption as well as healthier work environment for the veterinary team.  The couple enjoys close ties with the NCSU College of Ag and Life Sciences and started an endowment, Farm to Philanthropy, to promote accessibility for rural students and enable future debt free graduation.
The couple’s devotion to MSR goes back to over two decades ago.  Always mindful of the importance of collaborative and experiential learning, Debbie and Joe opened their home and hosted the first location of MSR Middle School in the basement of their residence off Strickland Road.  Debbie is excited to begin the next year of service on the MSR Board of Trustees and stands ready to assist with taking on the challenge of times such as these.

Lisa J Lowe-Hall

Lisa J Lowe-Hall, MHA, is a passionate Healthcare Administrator with 14 years of experience in various facets of ambulatory care. She brings a deep commitment to women’s and children’s services and ensuring accessible, affordable and safe healthcare delivery. Lisa currently serves as the Chief Executive Director for the Women’s Birth & Wellness Center and in this role, she is dedicated to providing women of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds with comprehensive primary, maternity and lactation healthcare throughout the life cycle. She develops and implements strategy and has responsibility for the leadership and oversight of the organization to include: operational management , new business development, resource development and advocacy; and board relations. She also defines the growth and vision for the organization and participates in local, state and national efforts to improve access to services.

Lisa has led and supported several successful fundraising efforts, including creation and implementation of fund plans, donor engagement and fundraisers to support annual and capital campaigns, major-gifts donors and various events. Lisa is a graduate of Guilford College and Pfeiffer University, where she received a Master’s in Health Administration. She serves on the SAFEchild Board of Directors leading program strategy, hospitality and staff relations. She also partners with several healthcare and research organizations to provide health related consultation services.

Lisa grew up in Madison, North Carolina and loves spending time with her three-year old daughter Londie, husband Michael, and the family dog Louie. She enjoys volunteering at the school to support her daughter’s classroom, Garden Day and helping out in the library. In her free time she enjoys engaging in projects with family, journaling, gardening, cooking and canvas painting.

James Ham Trustee
James T. Ham

James is the Country Director at Peace Corps in South Africa and has served in this role since January 2021. Prior to this he was the Country Director for the Peace Corps Uganda program from August 2018 to his arrival in South Africa. James is a Senior Executive with over 30 years of service in the United States government. Mr. Ham previously served as the Deputy Country Director at CDC Côte d’Ivoire (2009- 2011 and 2015 – 2018), and as the Deputy Director for Management and Operations at CDC Zambia from (2011 – 2015), during which he completed a 5-month detail to support the Ebola Virus Disease response in Guinea (November 2014 – March 2015).

James has been consistently recognized for his dedication to international volunteerism, and embodiment of core leadership principles. He is a proud veteran, and served honorably in the United States Navy. He is fluent in French, and holds a Master of Arts in International Education from American University, and Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education from North Carolina Central University. James is an alumni of the University of Denver - International Career Advancement Program (2004), the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellows Program (2018), the African American Federal Executives program (2019), and the American University Key Executive Leadership Program (2020). He is married to Sharoya Ham and has three sons, Jeremiah, Myles, and Malachi. 

Brian McNeil Trustee
Brian McNeil

Brian Keith McNeil, MD, MBA, FACS is the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Vice Chair of the Department of Urology at the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. He also serves as the Urology Chief of Service at the University Hospital of Brooklyn. He completed a clinical fellowship in urologic-oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center following research fellowships in urologic-oncology at both the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute and James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Similar to the "Doughnut City" concept, previously used to describe booming economic centers surrounded by concentrated pockets of poverty, some patient groups have access to state of the art treatment while other more vulnerable populations lack access to standard of care therapy. This is an issue in most fields of health care.  Brian’s focus is care in medically underserved communities, a dilemma international in scope, which he strongly believes we must “think globally and act locally” to address. 

Brian is a graduate of Morehouse College, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the New York University Stern School of Business.  He credits his elementary education at the Montessori Genesis II School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for planting seeds of intellectual curiosity that continue to bear fruit.

Tim Meigs
Tim Meigs

Tim is a Patent Attorney who has practiced intellectual property law since 1993. He began his practice at IP law firms in Greensboro and Raleigh.  He then spent eight years specializing in biotechnology patent law as an in-house attorney with various incarnations of CIBA-Geigy, Novartis, and Syngenta in the Research Triangle Park and in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Following a stint at a Washington, D.C., IP law firm, Tim returned to Raleigh in 2005 and spent almost 17 years as an IP attorney for BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company). In 2022, Tim joined AgBiome, Inc. in RTP as its Chief Intellectual Property Counsel.

Tim grew up in the North Carolina mountains in Cullowhee, but headed east to attend East Carolina University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree in 1989, with a chemistry minor. After working as a lab technician for a year, Tim moved to Chapel Hill for law school, receiving his law degree from the UNC School of Law in 1993. He also completed a Master of Science in Biotechnology program at Johns Hopkins University in 2006.

Tim and his wife Julie have been MSR parents since 2010, with a son at the Middle School and a daughter in Upper Elementary. They enjoy time with their two dogs in Raleigh and frequent weekends in Blowing Rock. Tim is a nationally competitive masters distance runner, regularly racing distances from 5k to the marathon, with 30 completed marathons to date including 10 Boston Marathons. When not racing himself, he pretends to be a sports photographer at track meets, road races, and MSR cross country meets.

Greg Peele 

Greg is a construction professional with over 35 years of management experience delivering construction projects throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States.  He has spent the last 20+ years working for Skanska USA Building where he serves as Executive Vice President.  In this role, he has direct oversight of Skanska’s operations throughout both North Carolina and Virginia.  In addition, Greg sits on the National Senior Leadership Team helping shape Skanska’s corporate strategies on a national level. His unique management style, strong leadership skills and unwavering team commitment has helped Skanska remain a leader in an ever-changing construction and development industry.

Greg received his BS in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University and his Master’s in Business Administration from UNC-Greensboro.  He also completed the Top Executive Development Program at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Greg has served on a number of education boards at UNC-Greensboro, NC A&T State University and Norfolk State University.

Greg and his wife Wendy have one son, Thomas, who is currently enrolled at MSR in 11th grade.  Thomas has attended Montessori school since kindergarten.  Both Greg and Wendy are active volunteers supporting MSR on both campuses. They enjoy spending time together as a family traveling, entertaining, hiking, biking and golfing.

Meghan Pyle

Meghan grew up the oldest of three daughters in Evansville, Indiana.  Meghan attended the University of Dayton where she  met her husband, Jeremy, and graduated with a pre-medical degree in 2003. Meghan grew up always wanting to be a physician and after graduating with her B.S. immediately attended medical school.

Medical school and residency brought Meghan to North Carolina. She graduated from Wake Forest University School of Medicine with an  M.D. in 2007 and remained in Winston-Salem for her Anesthesiology residency until 2011. Throughout her journey to becoming a practicing physician, Meghan learned hard work, dedication, and the value of sacrifice.

During her time at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, she and her husband fell in love with North Carolina and were both able to find promising jobs within their careers of Plastic Surgery and Anesthesiology. Meghan is  currently providing anesthesia part-time in the operating room at Amelia Aesthetics. Meghan has three children who attend MSR; Eloise (incoming third year in LE4), Samuel (incoming first year in LE) and Will (incoming extended day in CH3).  She has been a very active volunteer at the school in myriad ways.  Meghan enjoys being with family, especially while traveling, reading, and exercising.

Candace Waters

Candace Waters, MD (nee Candace Mitchell), an MSR alum, is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC. Her clinical focus is in Facial Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery, which can range from complex reconstructions after trauma/Mohs surgery to rhinoplasty (nose job), rhytidectomy (facelift), blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), and other cosmetic procedures. In addition to caring for patients and pursuing clinical research opportunities, she also has a teaching role instructing residents and medical students in didactic and clinical/surgical settings.

Candace grew up in Raleigh and attended MSR from Children's House through 6th grade, where her passion for learning and affinity for Spanish language were born. She attended Harvard undergrad, where she concentrated in Biochemical Sciences with a citation in Spanish. For medical training, Dr. Waters attended UNC School of Medicine. She did her ENT residency at Jefferson in Philadelphia, PA and returned to UNC for a Facial Plastics fellowship before starting her job at Wake Forest.

Candace is a huge foodie with a passion for plant-based cuisine, an outdoorswoman, a wannabe photographer, a tree hugger, and an activity junkie (trail running, cycling, hiking, tennis, triathlons, etc.). She and her husband love backcountry camping and traveling to the far reaches of the globe, but those adventures are on hold as they adjust to life with their four-month-old son!