The Board of Directors functions as the governing body with executive oversight of the school, and deals with strategic, financial, and long term planning and communication. Creating policies and procedures that have a far reaching impact on our school’s future is a key focus of the Board of Directors. We seek to uphold our vision, mission and values as defined in our Charter. Our board is comprised completely of volunteer members who donate their time, money, and talents to preserving our Montessori culture and supporting a solid educational experience for all of our students.
Board of Directors 2023-2024
Ms. Stacey Williams
Stacey has been in education for over 15 years, teaching at all levels from elementary through high school. She holds a Masters in Educational Leadership and currently is a Principal with Florida Virtual School. There, she supports students and teachers with strengths in management, leadership, and technology. She works with leadership to streamline procedures and improve efficiency for all students. Stacey has served on several boards in different educational settings and has a background in fundraising as well. She taught geometry and coached cross country, track, and soccer for Olympia High School. She continues to value a healthy lifestyle and has completed multiple marathons and triathlons.
Ms. Kristin Chase
Kristin Chase is the Senior Director of the Organizational Development department for Universal Parks & Resorts. She has contributed to Universal since 2003 through consulting and leading employee feedback surveys, performance and talent management, leadership development, coaching, mentoring, selection assessment tool and competency model development, employee research, facilitation, and team effectiveness. She is a 2003 graduate of the UCF Masters’ program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Mr. Kevin Stone
Since 2006, Kevin Stone has been with Stone & Gerken, P.A. acting as outside general counsel to government, school, and public pension clients while also counseling businesses operating in construction, development, and facility management. Kevin earned his B.S. in business in Decision Sciences and Marketing as a National Merit Scholar at Miami University in Oxford, OH, then his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati. After wrapping up his education, he immediately escaped the Midwest to rejoin his extended family in the warmer clime of Central Florida and to start a family of his own.
Ms. Marissa Caravelis
Marissa has over two decades of progressive and diverse experience within both a Fortune 100 corporation and a family-owned business. Her recent work has been focused on talent development, project management, change management and enhancing leadership skills. She has a history of creating and executing strategic solutions that positively impact employees and move the organization’s culture forward to keep up with the demands of our fast-paced and competitive work environment. Marissa started her career as a financial analyst; therefore, she also has a solid background in data analysis, data consolidation and presentation construction. Marissa is a 2002 graduate of UCF with a B.S in Business Administration with a major in Finance. She also obtained her Master’s in Business Administration in 2007 from Rollins College.
Mr. Brett Casey
Brett Casey has over 15 years’ experience in the Information Technology industry. He has been a successful leader in both digital media start-up’s as well as corporate IT for Fortune 500 companies. Brett holds a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Computer Information Systems from Florida Atlantic University. Brett has led the successful development of innovative digital products, as well as large business transformational projects & programs. Brett is currently the Vice President of Digital Products and Transformation at Travel + Leisure Co. where he oversees the modernization of the customer experience through the development of new digital technologies.
Mr. Philip Gallina
Philip has 15 years of experience in corporate accounting working for several large corporations in their shared service groups. His focus has been navigating the complexities of corporate needs and requirements, while evolving processes to achieve high levels of efficiency and accuracy. These roles have helped him to develop skills in finding solutions to complex situations through understanding the needs and desires of the others involved.
Mr. A.J. Stevenson
A.J. worked for Hyatt Hotels for 13 years and was in a senior leadership position at one of the largest convention hotels in Orlando. Using the leadership, organizational, and people skills from his tenure with Hyatt, he has transitioned to financial planning as a Financial Advisor with Virtus Financial Partners. His passion for personal finance, working alongside individuals as a guide, and forging long lasting relationships has worked to his advantage as he has started this journey.
Philip Gallina - Chair
Kevin Stone - Chair
Purpose: To plan, monitor, and evaluate Innovation Montessori, Inc.’s funding, financial management, facilities, assets, risks, and insurance programs in order to assist the board in ensuring the organization is in good fiscal health.
Meeting Frequency: Monthly
Purpose: To ensure board effectiveness, maximum participation and performance; to recommend new board members in a timely fashion; to ensure board policies are being observed; to implement board development and growth opportunities throughout the year; to ensure all board members receive orientation; and to annually recommend a slate of officers to the board for approval.
Stacey Williams - Chair
Purpose: The executive committee will meet for the purpose of performing business between board meetings or to resolve an emergency or organizational crisis. The executive committee shall not have power to amend Innovation Montessori, Inc.’s charter, bylaws, or to fill vacancies on its board. The executive committee shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be delegated to it by the board.
Philip Gallina - Chair
Purpose: To ensure an annual audit is performed and reviewed on financial records.
Ad hoc committees may also be formed to address special projects and topics such as the following on a short term basis at the request of a Board member. Ad hoc commitees include:
Fundraising - Led by Marissa Caravelis; includes Grant Writing Sub-Committee
Purpose: On an ongoing basis, the Fundraising Committee will work with the Executive Director and School Principals (IM leadership) to create and foster income sources for longer-term growth needs of IMO and IMHS.
Grant Writing Subcommittee
Purpose: The Grant Writing Subcommittee’s purpose (part of Fundraising) is to compete nationally, statewide, and locally for public and private investments that would assist in enhancing the quality of life for the IMO and IMHS school community. The Grant Writing Subcommittee seeks to identify funding opportunities to prepare and submit grant applications on behalf of Innovation Montessori.
2. Nominating - Led by Kristin Chase
Purpose: Dedicated to search for new Board members; activated for 2023-24 to search for 8th member
Approach to Communications
The Board’s approach to communication is that we support our administration and staff in their operational decision making, focus on longer term strategic planning, as well as foster inclusive and respectful communication with and input from our IMO-IMHS school community. Our meetings are all open to the public and follow Florida State Sunshine Law protocols, as well as Robert’s Rules of Order. Periods for public comment are designated. These times will be determined at the Board’s discretion and will be either: 1) at the beginning of the meeting (comments should be focused on agenda items) and/or 2) prior to the designated meeting agenda item(s) where votes are conducted (comments should be focused on items that are up for voting).
Board members are held to strict guidelines in regard to only holding discussions on topics to come before the Board as part of public meetings. Community members with specific concerns and questions should first discuss with their child’s teacher, then with Administration, and then if not resolved, with the President of the Board of Directors. Grace and courtesy should be followed as part of all forms of school related communication, whether verbal or written. You may contact the Board Secretary about meeting agenda items, and the Board President or the Board as a whole at IMO_Board@innovationmontessori.com to share comments about Board meeting agenda topics and/or public comments to be read aloud at Board meetings. A Grievance Policy is available on our website for additional guidance, as well as Public Board Meeting Participation Guidelines.
For the 2023-24 school year, we have established four key goals:
1) Board Succession Planning & Cross Training
2) Add an 8th Board Member
3) Formalize Committees by end of year
4) Work with new Executive Director Heather Clay to establish a 5-year long term plan for our school
When We Meet
Our main monthly meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of the month and are noticed via posting on the online school calendar (on our website and linked within Parent Square – also, you can add it to your Google calendars!) with agendas included at our BoardDocs website https://go.boarddocs.com/fl/imcsfl/Board.nsf/Public. All Board meetings are open to the public with meeting minutes available once approved at the following month’s meeting at https://go.boarddocs.com/fl/imcsfl/Board.nsf/Public. We have a hybrid option for many meetings including in person and online. Committee meetings and working sessions outside of our main monthly meetings are also posted on the school calendar with minutes taken and posted. Our main monthly meetings that include Zoom typically also include a video recording that is posted shortly after the meeting.