Melissa Thomas, President
Melissa joined the board in 2013 as a board member and began her role as the board secretary in 2014. She and her husband Greg are the parents of one upper level student and one KMS alumni. Melissa has been a social studies teacher in Kenosha Unified for the past 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Wisconsin-Parkside, completed her teacher credentialing coursework through Concordia University, and earned a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Southern California (USC). Her connection with Kenosha Montessori School began at a young age when she attended KMS over 30 years ago and had Ms. Jo as her kindergarten teacher!
Tracy Gartner, Vice-President
Elected to the Board in 2018, Tracy and her husband, Dave, have one child in the upper level classroom. Tracy is a Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at Carthage College, and has a background in the development of long-term educational programming. She directed the Carthage Environmental Science Program for 12 years and helped establish EREN, a network of more than 300 science faculty at institutions across the country that emphasizes research and experiential learning in undergraduate education. Tracy’s classes have incorporated a considerable amount of hands-on service learning and partnerships with local schools and institutions, including KMS. Her PhD in Ecology is from the University of Connecticut.
Catherine McConnell, Treasurer
Catherine joined the Board in 2016. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked at the Allendale Association since 1998 where she is a licensed psychologist whose practice specializes in working with children and families. She and her husband, Jonathan Shailor, have one son who is in the upper level classroom.
Kendra Zannini, Secretary
Kendra joined the KMS Board in 2016. She and her husband Chris are the parents of two KMS students in the upper level classroom. Kendra has been a public school educator for 15 years and holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento in child development and a master's degree in reading from Benedictine University. As a college student, she had the honor of working as a preschool assistant at McKinley Montessori School in Sacramento, CA which started her love for the Montessori philosophy.
Heather Connolly, Member
Heather has been on the Board of Directors since 2008 as a member, vice-president, and in her first term as president. She is the principal of Frank Elementary School in Kenosha and is co-owner of Connolly Physical Therapy of Union Grove and Burlington. The Connolly family has been a part of KMS since 2002 and feel that volunteering for the Board of Directors and supporting the fundraising efforts is the least they can do for the opportunities this school have given to them and their children.
Sarah Gomez-Atilano, Member
Elected to the Board in 2016, Sarah and her husband, Francisco, have one child in the upper level classroom and a KMS alumni. Sarah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. She later returned to school and graduated from Quincy University with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Bilingual Education with a concentration in Science and English as a Second Language. Sarah currently teaches ESL at Bradford High School and strives to instill a passion for reading and the environment in her students as well as teaching them how to make informed decisions. Before teaching, she was a bilingual assistant for the school district and worked as a lead therapist for Wisconsin Early Autism Project.