Sunnybrook Montessori School is an independent, not-for-profit preschool (ages 3-7) in Lancaster, NH. For forty years Sunnybrook has been a vibrant community for children and their families. Sunnybrook began as a parent cooperative and then became a private business managed by Geradine Tobin for nearly 30 years. In 2006, Gerry’s daughter-in-law, Laura Tobin, purchased and managed Sunnybrook through the end of the 2008-2009 school year.
As of July 1, 2009, Sunnybrook, harking back to its roots, once again became a nonprofit organization run by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is made of parents, engaged community members, and alumni with ties to Sunnybrook’s long history.
The Board of Directors is the managing body of Sunnybrook Montessori School. The board is responsible for planning and program governance, policy management, financial management, personnel management, and public relations. Board members are available to answer questions, take suggestions and recommendations, and provide information about the school and the board.
You will find below a list of the current board members and minutes from the board meetings. The Board of Directors meets on the second Monday evening of each month in the Sunnybrook classroom. Meetings are open to the public.
Meet our 2017-2018 Sunnybrook Montessori School Board Members
PRESIDENT: Marissa Rexford
Marissa is thrilled to continue on her journey with Sunnybrook both as a parent of a 4-year-old who is starting his second year there and also as the President of the Board after a year as Vice President. Marissa and her husband knew from the beginning that they wanted their son to be enrolled in the Montessori program as they had heard great things first-hand from friends over the years who had children attending. The passion and commitment of the Directress and staff is evident. This instilled in her the confidence that her son would be immersed in a nurturing environment during these formative years. Marissa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Linguistics and works in the healthcare field in marketing and development. She looks forward to continuing on as a part of the Sunnybrook family.
VICE PRESIDENT: Courtney Vashaw
Courtney is thrilled to be serving on the Sunnybrook Board as vice president in 2017-2018 after her son’s fantastic experience at Sunnybrook the past two years. A Whitefield native, she has BAs in English and Sociology and an M.Ed. in Secondary Education, all from UNH, and a CAGS in Curriculum Administration from Plymouth State University. She spent eight years in the classroom in local public and private schools and another eight years as an administrator at Profile School. She is excited to increase her early childhood knowledge and watch her son develop through the Montessori experience.
TREASURER: Samantha Young
Samantha is a Certified Public Accountant with Crane & Bell CPAs here in Lancaster. A Groveton native, Samantha received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire in Mathematics Interdisciplinary Economics, followed up by a Master of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Southern New Hampshire University. Samantha is excited to bring her knowledge to the Treasurer position for the SunnyBrook board and get to not only experience SunnyBrook as a parent, but also to help the School continue to be the positive and illuminating environment for generations to come.
SECRETARY – Lindsey Foss
Lindsey views Sunnybrook Montessori School as an incredible resource for her family and a wonderful part of the growing community. She is the mother of two children, one current Sunnybrook student and one alumnus student. She and her husband both grew up in the community and are now living back in the area to raise their family here. She is a full-time mom and a part-time physician assistant. Health and wellness are of great importance to her and Sunnybrook plays an important role in working toward healthy balanced lives for her children. Not only as an important role in her children’s physical wellness, but also in their social, emotional, and intellectual development and well being. She is excited to be part of the board as Sunnybrook continues to be committed to the community by helping to develop healthy future community members.
This will be my third year on the Sunnybrook board, having started in the Fall of 2015. I quickly learned how powerful the Montessori Method is when my energetic three year old son started at Sunnybrook. Lyn and the other teachers are so amazing with him and the other children with their individual needs. I have a Masters of Physical Therapy from The University of New England and currently work locally. I am very excited to be more involved with the Sunnybrook Montessori Family
Jill is excited to be starting her third term on the Sunnybrook Board! With a degree in Elementary Education, she taught for a few years before making the decision to stay home and raise her family. Both her and her husband grew up in the area and Jill is excited to give back to the community that provided so many great opportunities for them while growing up. Being a part of the Sunnybrook board allows her to stay connected with children’s educational experiences and helps her grow as an educator! With two daughters who have attended Sunnybrook in the past, she couldn’t feel more honored to be a part of such an amazing program. She truly feels that Sunnybrook is the ideal place for children to build that solid foundation necessary for them to have success in future school involvements.
Zeanny is very excited to join the Sunnybrook Board in the 2016-2017 school year. She is a mother of 2 boys and a baby girl. She is a native of Costa Rica, former lawyer in her country but decided to follow her heart once she moved to the United States and TEACH. She has been teaching Spanish for the past 10 years. She now teaches Spanish programs and works part time for the UNH Cooperative Extension as a Nutrition Educator. She has been part of the Sunnybrook Family since 2010 teaching Spanish, substitute teaching, and volunteering during school hours. As a mom of 2 former students, she knows that the children in Sunnybrook are receiving the best foundations for their future education and for their practical life.
Gail is a native of Lancaster and a new employee of the Lancaster Elementary School where she will be teaching third grade. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Design. After 8 years of living and working in southern Maine, Gail and her husband Chris made the decision to move back to the community they had loved as children to raise their own family. She has had the privilege of staying home with her three young children for the last five years here in northern New Hampshire. She is now ready to jump back into the field of education and is excited to share her passion as a member of the Sunnybrook board. Gail’s youngest daughter will be attending as a three year old in the fall and she can’t wait for her to be involved in such a wonderful early childhood community and to grow as a young learner and explorer!
Stephanie Riff was born and raised in Whitefield, NH. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Occupational Therapy. She now lives in Lancaster with her husband and two children. Her daughter, Maren, graduated from kindergarten at Sunnybrook. Her son has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Consequently, she has a strong interest in special education and advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys flower arranging.
Kyle van der Laan
Kyle’s first 3 (and best) years of school took place long ago at Sunnybrook Montessori, in the yellow school house on Lost Nation Road. Kyle teaches writing and humanities classes at Lyndon State and Plymouth State University, and has an MFA in creative writing. He joined the Sunnybrook board as Vice President in 2013, followed by 3 years as board President.
Mother of two.
I’m passionate about children and their education. I value play and self-directed learning. I love Sunnybrook and I consider my children fortunate to spend their formative years at this wonderful place.