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The Intercultural Montessori Language School Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance of the school.

The Board’s role is to focus on fiscal and strategic planning, policy, evaluating the Head of School, and institutional and organizational stability and sustainability. 

Among the Board as a whole, the Trustees Committee looks for members with experience that supports initiatives in the strategic plan, in addition to education administration or Montessori education, bilingual experience, strategy/strategic planning, business management, financial/accounting, marketing, fundraising, law/policy, human resources, communications, and site management or real estate development. Email board@interculturalmontessori.org if you would be interested in serving on a Board committee or considered for a Board position.

 

The Board currently has the following members:

(listed in alphabetical order by last name) 

Mr. Alexis Aguilú

Alexis Aguilú has served for over 17 years in different roles at Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund). As Director of Network Operations, he oversees daily operations, budget monitoring and internal infrastructures for the Educare Learning Network division to ensure that processes, procedures and policies are developed to maintain efficient project management, data management and communication systems. He has the primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the administrative staff activities for the division team and serves as the main liaison with Educare schools around the country. Alexis also oversees all network training and learning events logistics providing leadership and guidance to ensure high quality end-user experiences. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University.

Mr. Frank Bear 

Frank Bear is an in-house lawyer who represents the Walgreens pharmacy chain in all aspects of labor and employment law across the United States.  He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from DePaul University’s College of Law.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Bear worked as an Investigator at the Federal Defender Program.  He has volunteered at the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Center for Disability and Elder Law, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing. Mr. Bear is married to Angeles, and has three sons, who all attended Spanish immersion Montessori schools.  He is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

Ms. Imanni Wilkes Burg 

Imanni Wilkes Burg is the Social Impact Manager at Wash Cycle Laundry, a social enterprise that creates upwardly mobile careers for formerly incarcerated people, formerly homeless people, and those lifting themselves out of poverty. Imanni has 20 years of experience in fundraising, community organizing, and project management both in the US and in Moscow, Russia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in the history of science from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public health from Drexel University. Imanni‘s older child graduated from Intercultural’s Spanish immerson program on the Oak Park campus, and her younger child is in Oak Park’s Chinese immersion program.

Ms. Nicole Djukic

Nicole Djukic is the Accounting Manager for Ciorba Group, Inc., a civil engineering firm. She has 7 years previous experience in the private equity/hedge fund sector. She holds a Bachelors in Accounting from Loyola University Chicago. Nicole’s two children attend the Intercultural campus in Oak Park. 

Mr. Adam Drake 

Adam Drake is a Director of Financial Planning, Analysis, and Reporting with Shure Incorporated.  He is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and of Loyola University Chicago where he earned both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications.  He is the father of two Intercultural students.

Ms. Cheryl LaCost 

Cheryl LaCost served as Head of School for Brickton Montessori School from 2012-2020. In that capacity, she ensured the quality of Montessori programs and day-to-day school operations, working strategically with the Board of Directors. Prior to serving in that role, Cheryl was a Primary Directress for six years. She enjoys combining her love of the Montessori environment with her background in operational and financial management. Both of Cheryl’s daughters had the opportunity to attend Brickton Montessori from primary through 8th grade.   

In her interest to support Montessori advocacy,  Cheryl served as the President of the Association of Illinois Montessori Schools for 4 years and Treasurer for 4 years. Cheryl holds AMS Montessori primary and administrator credentials. In addition, she holds an MBA from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and a BS in Economics from Illinois State University.

Ms. Karen Lazar 

Karen Lazar moved to Chicago from Cleveland after retiring as Executive Director of an arts organization. Prior to her five-year tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Lazar was the Director of Development at Hudson Montessori School for 10 years.  During that time, she was responsible for several capital campaigns, the Annual Fund campaign, grant writing and developing a comprehensive grandparent/grandfriend program.  She and her husband are the proud grandparents of two former Intercultural students. 

Mr. Kevin Leong 

Kevin Leong is the President of Federal Specialized Services (FSS), a small business with 60 staff. FSS’s main business is to defend litigations filed against the U.S. government in Medicare institutional payments. Kevin Leong is a registered CPA and an Illinois licensed attorney. Kevin has two children attending Intercultural.

Ms. Corrine Nunley

Born and raised in Japan, Corrine came to the US to finish high school and attend Georgetown University. After graduation, Corrine worked at the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC as an interpreter. She recently retired after 42 years in the insurance industry, most recently as an underwriting director for a major insurance company. She has extensive experience underwriting Professional Liability and Property and Casualty Insurance. 

Corrine moved to Chicago a few years ago to be close to her son and daughter-in-law and is now a proud grandmother of two-year old Ruby, who she hopes to teach Japanese to and help become bilingual. Corrine currently works as a volunteer at Intercultural Montessori in the Japanese class and assists with special events.

Ms. Tatyana Sergeyeva

A communications and global product development leader, with experience in Fortune 100 companies, Tatyana Sergeyeva is also an accomplished educator, trainer, and localizer. Her unique career portfolio spans across a number of industries: from international consulting and financial services to e-learning, international publishing, and academia.

Tatyana has lived in five countries and speaks five languages. A firm believer in the power of global exchanges and language education, she also serves on the Board of Directors of WorldChicago and on the Advisory Council of Language Connects Foundation. She holds a Master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Middlebury College and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Spanish from Morningside College. Tatyana is a proud parent of a former Intercultural student.

Mr. Ryan White 

Ryan White is a Managing Director with a “Big 4” professional services firm, based in downtown Chicago, where he focuses on providing financial support for professional services engagements. Mr. White is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he obtained his B.A. in Economics and of Loyola University Chicago where he obtained his M.S. in Accountancy. He also holds a CPA license. He is the father of three Intercultural alumni at the Oak Park Campus, and has been actively involved in school volunteer activities since 2012.