President, Stephanie Griffiths, Ph.D.
My educational and occupational background partly explains my desire to support the exceptional educational environment of The Summerland Montessori School (SMS). I received a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Simon Fraser University and I have taught undergraduate and graduate Psychology courses for the past 15 years. My husband and I relocated to Penticton 10 years ago following completion of my clinical residency at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. We were welcomed into the SMS family four years ago, when our daughter started preschool with Ms. Chrissi. We have an amazing community of learning at SMS, but like anything amazing it takes a lot of work to keep it running smoothly. I volunteered for the Board of Directors to do my part to help maintain our school community. I feel privileged to be able to work with our outstanding teaching and support staff, as well as our remarkably committed parent volunteers.
Vice-President, Tania Snyders, NUA
My occupation as a Nursing Unit Assistant depends on multi-tasking and dealing with the stresses of the health care environment. I bring these skills to my position on the Board of Directors.
My association with the Summerland Montessori School began when I enrolled my son with the Prairie Valley Preschool in Jan 2013. My son’s journey continues to this day as he is enjoying elementary school. I was asked to join the board in 2015 and since then, I have taken on many volunteer duties throughout the school year including hot lunch coordinator, head of fundraising and event planning committee.
My vision is to make Summerland Montessori School an amazing place for students and families. I aspire for our school to be successful on all levels. “I love helping as much as I can, volunteering helps create community spirit”.
Secretary, Lara Rudniski
I have been a Journeyman Meter Technician for 21 years, and employed by the District of Summerland for 14 of those years. My husband and I researched independent schools with small class sizes when our daughter reached school age because we were strongly motivated to provide her with the best education we could. Our daughter began her adventure with the school when we enrolled her in the full day JJK class with Ms Jenny. I became a member of the Board of Directors in fall of 2014 because one of the advantages of the school is that it allows for direct parent involvement. I care very much about my daughter’s education and I want to be involved. Among other roles, I have been very active in fostering a sense of community through school events like wine evenings, pub nights, and beach socials.
Treasurer, Tamora Davy
Having grown up in Summerland, hearing all the wonder that is this school, I knew Summerland Montessori was where I wanted my son to attend. The care, attention, and fostering of young minds are the reasons I registered my son, but the welcoming community of families and staff is what convinced me to volunteer for the Board of Directors. I currently teach continuing studies courses at Okanagan College, including accounting and bookkeeping courses, so I look forward to the responsibilities as Treasurer for the SMS.
Director-at-Large, Kristi Tatebe, MCIP, RPP
Kristi grew up in Penticton, and her family moved to Summerland from Vancouver in August 2016, where her daughter started Kindergarten at SMS. Kristi is a self-employed community planning consultant with a focus on sustainable food systems planning. While in Vancouver, she served on the Board of the Vancouver Farmer’s Markets, and also co-facilitated a strategic planning process for her daughter’s non-profit daycare centre. She also managed a non-profit urban agriculture organization in North Vancouver. Locally, Kristi coordinates a Community-Supported Agriculture program in Summerland and also serves on the Board of the Incredible Edible Penticton Society as the membership coordinator. She has experience applying for grants and funding for non-profits. She looks forward to the opportunity to deepen her involvement in the school community as a Member at Large on the Board.
Director-at-Large, Janka Mengr, MBA, CPA, CGA
After completing an MBA in Slovakia, I received my certification as a professional accountant in Canada in 2014. I have worked in the field of accounting for 20 years. When our older son reached school age, we were looking for a school with small classes to facilitate his mastery of English and French. Now, both of our children currently attend the school. I joined the Board in 2012 and I served two terms as a Treasurer. I am excited to see the growth and development of positive spirit of our school community.
Director-at-Large, Robert Heard, MA, BCETS
I have been on the Summerland Board of Directors since fall of 2015. I am married, with two children, two grandchildren and a dog. I joined the Board to support my grandson’s education, as he is currently enrolled in the school. I began my career as the founder of Chimo Personal Distress Intervention Service in Richmond, B.C. and subsequently, was its first Executive Director. I have worked in Canada and overseas in a number of clinical positions that involved crisis intervention, addiction, suicide prevention, and therapeutic communities. My work has been both clinical and academic. Most recently, I worked for Act Professional Counseling as a therapist serving many regions including Mexico, Australia, Europe and Asia. I have also coached young people for 26 years in baseball and football.