Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Lillie May Carroll Jackson School is comprised of 13 members (2 community members will be added once a facility is located and 2 parents will be added once the school opens) who have extensive not-for-profit, education, banking and finance, board management and fundraising experience.
  • Monica Butler Mitchell

    Board Chair

    Is the Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo Bank, and has been listed in the Maryland Daily Record Top 100 Women for 2012 and Maryland Daily Record 40 under 40 for 2011. She graduated from RPCS in 1998.

  • Tanesha Chester

    The reason I choose to work for Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School is because I enjoy working with scholars. I think that becoming a patt of the team I have a lot to offer. I am a great mentor to students and find satisfaction in helping young minds develop. I have worked at in the public school system for 5 years partnering with teachers administrators, staff, parents, and scholars to create a value-based school environment that promotes student learning and leadership. I believe that by taking this position I will help prep young girls for the challenges they will face both in and out the classroom. Through this opportunity I will bring my expertise in behavior management and conflict resolution practices. I am eager to become an integral part of the new foundation for the betterment of girls in Baltimore City.

  • Maiesha Dockett

    I am currently finishing my 7th year of teaching in Baltimore City Public Schools. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Coppin State University in 2008. I completed my Master’s in Literacy Education as a Reading Specialist at Loyola University Maryland in 2012.

    Over the last seven years while teaching in low-performing elementary schools in Baltimore, I have become deeply invested in making Baltimore the best place possible for our kids and their families.  I love working with younger students, but I decided to make a change based on how I could have the most impact.  I believe that the best way to achieve transformational change in our schools and neighborhoods is to work (relentlessly) together.  I knew that LMCJ has an excellent team working hard to lay the foundation to change girls’ lives. I look forward to the opportunity to work collaboratively as part of such a dedicated team.

  • Tanaira Cullens

    I first heard about Lillie May while attending an alumnae event at its partner school Roland Park Country School. I was interested right away after hearing more about the school's mission and plans for educating and nurturing young women. I chose the Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School because I believe in the benefits of single sex education. As the product of an all-girls school myself I am excited to be a part of the LMO team and look forward to working with eager young minds. I also chose Lillie May because I am intrigued by the freshness of the program, the use of expeditionary learning and the fact that the program is malleable, so it can evolve over time. I must also admit that I am ecstatic about sharing my love of science with young women and hopefully piquing their interest enough that they want to become the next Marie Curie, Rachel Carson or Mae Jemison. It is my sincere hope that the seeds we plant today with these inaugural scholars will blossom into beacons of hope not just for Baltimore but for the world.

  • Amanda Doran

    I chose to join LMCJ for the inaugural year for so many reasons! I am passionate about education in general, opportunities for young women to flourish together, the community of Baltimore City, and active learning. Also, I have found that middle school has just the right amounts of goofiness, innocence, maturity, and open-mindedness.

  • Eddie Robinson

    I chose Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School because I have a passion for youth development. I also firmly believe in women equality in every capacity. Growing up in the south and Virgin Islands I always idolized my father because he always gave back to the youth through education and fitness. I want to become a role model for the young women at LMCJS and help prepare scholars to become better citizens for others. I believe education is critical to reach ones full potential. As a Teaching Fellow at LMCJS, I plan to work with others to create a space for ultimate success. Being an educator has always been a dream of mine and I am glad to serve the women of LMCJS.

  • Laurel Freedman

    Executive Director

    Laurel Freedman was hired as LMCJS’s founding executive director in April of 2014. She comes to LMCJS with 20 years of experience in non-profit and fundraising experience in the Baltimore region, including eight in a school setting.  She holds a masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelors from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. 

  • Jean Waller Brune

    Head of Roland Park Country School since 1991, has extensive experience in innovative school design and sound board governance. She is a nationally recognized leader in the independent school world.

  • Beth Casey

    Is the Lower School Head at Roland Park Country School who has over 25 years teaching experience at Gilman and Park Schools, and most recently served as Executive Director for Middle Grades Partnership, a non-profit academic summer program that partners the independent and public schools in Baltimore.

  • Ann Daniels

    Has extensive experience in non-profits and in board governance, including work with Middle Grades Partnership, Baltimore Community Foundation and Planned Parenthood of NYC. Most recently, she served as Board Chair of the Middle Grades Partnership.

  • Raquel Gilmer

    Is the Chief Operating Office at Learn It, a for-profit education company. Raquel is an attorney, seasoned campaign manager, founder of a non-profit for girls and author of Crumbs Are Not Enough.

  • Lisa Haywood

    A native of Milwaukee, WI, is a community volunteer having served in various positions at Roland Park Country School, Gilman School, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (former Chapter President), and the Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School.  Prior to her community volunteer work, she had careers in the brokerage industry and in pharmaceutical sales.

  • Shannon Montague

    Is currently the Middle School Dean of Students and Middle School Drama Coordinator at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, an all-girls, independent K-12 school. Prior to her current position, Shannon served as Bryn Mawr’s Middle School Technology Integrator for three years. Outside of the classroom, Shannon is a co-founder of Edcamp Baltimore and active participant in Edcamp Foundation subcommittees, a 2014 National Association of Independent Schools Teacher of the Future and current Teacher of the Future cohort faculty mentor, and a member of the Association of Maryland Independent Schools Technology committee.

  • Nancy Mugele

    Is the Assistant Head of School for External Relations at Roland Park Country School who has served as Interim Executive Director for the National Coalition of Girls Schools.

  • Clay Oliver

    IS a civil engineer and president of Project and Construction Services Corporation who has served as project manager for large commercial projects in the U.S. and other countries, including an IT project for the public schools in Washington, D.C.

  • Vanessa Robinson

    My name is Venessa Robinson and I am excited to be a part of this founding team for LMCJS! I first came across the LMCJS website in late April. I was on a serious job search and the school struck a chord in me. I was intrigued with the concept of an all girls' school, particularly at the middle school age level. Being a mom of an amazing daughter, I knew that I wanted to help other girls begin the path to reaching their fullest potential. It is at this critical point in a girl's life when she becomes aware of herself and her capabilities. To be a role model and facilitator in her journey is both an honor and a privilege.

  • Sierra Smith

    I’m looking forward to joining the LMCJ team because of my passion for deep, rich Expeditionary Learning and my commitment to working with young women. I’m ecstatic to return to the East Coast and bring my love of adventure, interdisciplinary learning, and community involvement with me to a new school. I hope to help forge lasting opportunities for the students and help craft a culture of empathy and respect by fostering a love for learning and for our new LMCJ community.

  • Kristin Sparkman

    Director Of Administration

    Mrs. Sparkman is a graduate of Roland Park Country School, along with our Board Chair Monica Mitchell, Class of 1998.  She studied Psychology at Bucknell University.  Since then, Mrs. Sparkman has pursued many passions including culinary school, the florist industry, and being an advisor with a rehabilitation center in California.  Since moving back to Baltimore, she has followed the progress of Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School very closely.  As the Office Manager for Lillie May, Mrs. Sparkman prides herself in caring for our scholars needs as well as the needs of our families and greater community as a whole. Mrs. Sparkman works hard to ensure that our school can be the best it can be, establishing our PTA, Scholar Amabassadors Program and Tiger Lillies Garden Club.

    I cannot believe how far our school has come in our first 5 months! When I came on board with LMCJS, I had never worked in a school environment before.  I simply knew that I wanted to pour into these young ladies as I was poured into, so many years ago.  I believe that this generation is not given the right stimulus to excel in education from TV and music, so here at LMCJS, we can foster an environment here at school where our scholars aren't afraid to take educational risks and fail- all in the name of future success! The team we have here is so solid, and the support we receive from the EL staff to help us grow our school is phenominal in ensuring that everyone grows along with the school, professionally and personally.  

    RPCS did a great job in planning our school and selecting our academic operating system (Expeditionary Learning) wisely. As the first private school in the NATION to found a public Charter School, It was only fitting to play a role in this auspicious exdeavor.  To be a part of something this BIG, this ground-breaking...Is truly an honor. 

  • Carla Spawn-van Berkum

    Assistant Head of School for Academics at Roland Park Country School, has over 20 years’ experience teaching and leading at the middle school level and is responsible for bringing innovative programs to the middle school and K – 12 school. She is a facilitator with the All Kinds of Minds program.

  • Susan Strauss

    Campaign Director, Ben Cardin For Senate, has extensive experience in fundraising, having worked as Finance Director for Ben Cardin for Senate and Finance Director/Consultant for John Sarbanes for Congress. Her experience extends to work as an independent financial consultant and as a Campaign Associate for The Associated: the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

  • Kumasi Vines

    Is acting head of the Bureau of Water and Wastewater, which provides clean, safe water to 1.8 million people every day, as well as wastewater conveyance and treatment for 1.6 million people. Mr. Vines is a native of West Baltimore. In 2005, he co-founded The Leadership Institute, a Saturday-morning business and leadership development program for Baltimore-area high school students, which is housed on the campus of his alma mater, Gilman School. He worked for Credit Suisse Securities, LLC as an Assistant Vice President dealing with the financial management of the bank’s European real estate assets. He holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.B.A. from Columbia University, where he was a Robert F. Toigo Foundation Fellow.

  • Matthew Wernsdorfer

    Diplomas Now Field Director for City Year, has over 15 years of experience in public school teaching, administration, and reform, including being the founding principal of Civitas, a public transformation school.  He has been on a charter school governing board for over 7 years in Baltimore City.