Linda Zankowsky, Ed.D., Board Chair
Linda, also the parent of Montessori-educated children, is the Interim Director of the Early Learning Center at the University of Delaware. Linda is the former head of school of Wilmington Montessori and a former teacher and principal in several Delaware public schools. She is certified in Montessori school leadership by the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York, a member of the American Montessori Society, the Montessori Teachers Association of Delaware and the advisory board of the First State Montessori Academy.
Christine Carrino Gorowara, Ph.D., Co-Vice Chair
Christine Carrino Gorowara is the senior associate director at the Delaware Center for Teacher Education at the University of Delaware. She was previously a vice president at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and a faculty member at UD’s School of Education. Her children attended Elementary Workshop Montessori School.
Trish Hermance, Co-Vice Chair
Trish has worked in Delaware public schools for more than 20 years as both a teacher and school leader. Her work has been in district schools, charter schools and a national nonprofit focused on providing non-traditional, high-quality educational programming.
E. McCrae Harrison, Secretary
McCrae, former director and teacher at the Elementary Workshop Montessori School, now oversees the Montessori Academy at Christina, Delaware’s first public Montessori program. McCrae is a member of the American Montessori Society, the Montessori Teachers Association of Delaware and the advisory board of First State Montessori Academy.
Jessica Crampton Bradley
A native Delawarean with a Masters in Elementary Education, Bradley was born in Lewes, grew up in Centreville, and has resided in western Sussex County for over 20 years, where she raised her two sons. Now back in Lewes, her southern Delaware roots run deep as her mother and father were, respectively, from Roxana and Dagsboro and many members of her family are still scattered throughout the county. Currently she works as a full time realtor for Jack Lingo, but maintains a strong community focus, particularly regarding children in Sussex.
Mark is a senior vice president at Citizens Bank and former treasurer of the board of Wilmington Montessori School, which his children attended.
Jesse, principal of Sales Solutions and IMPACT Search, has a son currently attending First State Montessori Academy, Delaware’s first public Montessori school. Jesse’s daughter also attended the Elementary Workshop Montessori School, and both his son and daughter attended the Montessori Learning Centre.
Sean is a licensed Realtor with Home Team Realty and co-owner of lnfiniti Transportation LLC in Bridgeville. He also serves as a board member of the Sussex County Association of Realtors and is past director of Delaware Association of Realtors.
Dawn Alexander, is the Preschool Expansion Coordinator in Colonial School District. Dawn was recently recognized at the Governor’s Birth to 8 Summit for her work in helping move forward Delaware’s Early Childhood Strategic Plan.
Madeleine Bayard, is the Senior Vice President at the Rodel Foundation of Delaware where she manages investment partnerships and provides policy, program and research support to statewide efforts in K-12, higher education, and early childhood programs.
Alonna is the manager of teacher leadership development for Teach for America Delaware. A former fifth-grade math teacher and ninth-grade English teacher, Alonna also served in the Delaware Department of Education as aide to the Chief Academic Officer and Associate Secretary of Education.
Gina Castelli, is an educator and researcher specializing in Responsive Classrooms. She has her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University and works as an adjunct professor for the University of Delaware and a trainer in Trauma Informed Care. She trains teachers nationally in the Responsive Classroom approach and focuses on how to balance social and academic demands. She has created and delivered teacher professional development in topics such as Common Core, co-teaching, and Quality classroom culture strategies.
Drew Fennell, is the chief officer of strategic communication and development for Christina Care. Drew served as Chief of Staff for former Governor Jack Markell. Before becoming Gov. Markell’s chief of staff she served as policy director and deputy chief of staff. Drew’s children attending the Elementary Workshop Montessori School where she experienced how a Montessori education positively impacts the lives of all children.
Carol Holzman, is the Executive Director for Cadbury Senior Lifestyles retirement community in Lewes. Prior to moving to Delaware she worked at Washington Montessori School in Washington, CT, where her son attended through 7th grade and daughter through 4th grade. Although her children are now in their 20’s, Carol has an undying passion for Montessori education.
Rita Landgraf, joined the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences in early 2017 as professor of practice and distinguished health and social services administrator in residence. She also serves as director of the UD Partnership for Healthy Communities (PHC), a cross-college, cross-state initiative. Prior to joining the faculty at UD, she served as Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services from Jan. 22, 2009 through Feb. 6 2017, under Governor Jack Markell’s administration. As secretary, she led the principal agency charged with keeping Delawareans healthy, ensuring they get the health care they need, and providing children families, individuals with disabilities and seniors with the essential services they depend on. She managed one of the largest departments in Delaware’s government, with an annual budget of more than $2 billion. She is a former executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Delaware and of The Arc of Delaware, which advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is also a former president of AARP Delaware. Rita currently serves as a member of the DGA Healthcare Advisory Council and is on the Board of Delaware Center for Health Innovation, the Executive Advisory Boards of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Delaware and atTAcK addiction. Rita also serves as the First Lady of Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland.
Yvonne Nass, is a Delaware Certified Parent Educator and Certified Adlerian Family Counselor who is currently a self-employed family counselor. She has worked in the non-profit sector for twenty-five years. She was a founding board member of First State Montessori Academy and is currently the Board Chair.
Lori Smith, a teacher in the Caesar Rodney School District, is certified by both the State of Delaware and the American Montessori Institute.
J Brett Taylor, Ed.D.
Specialist in organizational development, finance, strategic planning, and governmental relations.