About Us

Board of Directors

Board of Directors Biographies

Cedar River Montessori School (CRMS) is governed by a board of directors that is responsible for guiding and assessing the effective implementation of the CRMS mission:
Cedar River Montessori School fosters the innate curiosity of the child, presenting learning experiences that cultivate independent, creative thinkers who continuously build their understanding of themselves and the world around them.

The Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and fiscal stability of Cedar River Montessori School.

Tasks of the board include: engage in the strategic planning process, network within the broader community for advancement opportunities, and hire and evaluate the Head of School. The Board of Directors is made up of no fewer than five members who serve three year terms.

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  • Board Directors, 2020

    Sephy Elizai
    Originally from Texas, Sephy made his way to the Northwest by attending Seattle University after his four-year US Air Force tour of duty. He became an educator working with the Ministry of Education in Tel Aviv, Israel. Sephy has been a language teacher also in Watsonville, Aptos and Santa Cruz, California. In 2018-2019, Sephy worked as the Spanish Language Specialist at Cedar River Montessori School, and he is excited to remain connected to the school by serving on the Board. Sephy is presently a Spanish Teacher at Washington Preparatory School in Bothell.

    Crystal Goodwin
    Crystal is a multilingual educator fluent in both English, Spanish and Sign Language. She is also a certificated teacher with experience in teaching in elementary, middle and high school. She has her TEFL Certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and is also certified to teach in the state of Washington as well as Florida. She contracted a position with The Ministry of Education as an English Teacher in Colombia. Once there, she received supplementary training from UNICA (La Institución Universitaria Colombo Americana) as a foreign language teacher. In the states, she received a Masters in Education in Instructional Design. While working for the Seattle School District, Crystal served as a member of the Race and Equity team and the Leader of the Ethnic Studies subcommittee. While working for the Renton School District, she worked as a program manager of their afterschool program. Currently, Crystal is working as a bilingual educator for the Kent School District.

    Noah Prince
    Noah Prince is a top-tier, recognized talent in helping business and organizational leaders consider culture, relationships and personal growth with a focus on equity and inclusion. He brings a consultative approach that focuses on engaging people in an impactful way. Noah has 15+ years of experience as a leader in equity, inclusion and leadership development work. Noah works with Fortune 500 companies, tech start-ups, education groups, non-profits and individual clients. He holds a BA in Black Feminist Thought from Evergreen State College, Tacoma and a M.Ed. from Temple University.

    Staci VanderPol
    Staci VanderPol is a Renton native. She received a Bachelors in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from Washington State University and a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law. She is a licensed attorney working for a biotech in Seattle. Mrs. VanderPol also sits on the Human Services Advisory Committee for the City of Renton. In her spare time, she enjoys taking trips to the beach with her husband.
  • Board Officers, 2020

    Tom Darlow, President
    Tom Darlow lives in Seattle with his wife, a scientist, and two school aged children. He loves walking, kayaking and reading. Tom has been an educator since 1996 first teaching in his home country of England and then moving to the USA in 2000. He has worked in a variety of private schools both large and small, dual language, all-girls and gifted to name a few. His roles have included Head of Lower School, Technology Director and of course Classroom Teacher. Presently, Tom is Head of Lower School at Seattle Country Day School.

    Paige Baublitz-Watkins, Vice President
    Paige Baublitz-Watkins spent over twenty years in Cleveland, Ohio where she was a principal with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She moved to the Seattle area in 2018 to take on her current role as Upper Elementary Division Head at Epiphany School. Paige holds a B.S. in special education from Edinboro University as well as a M.Ed. in both gifted education and school administration from Cleveland State University. She has taught at the college level and was a contributing author for the text, Educating Gifted Students in the Middle. Paige is passionate about creative teaching approaches and their connection to current brain science.

    Barbara Chattin-McNichols, Secretary
    Barbara Chattin-McNichols holds her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Child Development and Early Education from Stanford University. Barbara is a passionate Montessorian who has been an assistant teacher in Montessori early childhood classrooms, a lead teacher in a Montessori lower elementary classroom, and the director of a Montessori childcare center at the University of Washington. She has also been a consultant working with family childcare providers and childcare center providers in general early childhood education, and she had her own puzzle repair business repairing and creating Montessori map puzzles.

Are you passionate about Montessori education and the importance of connecting to the natural world?

Are you looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity where your time and expertise will be respected and harnessed to create real, positive change in children’s lives, our communities, and in our ecosystem? If so, our board development committee would love to talk with you!
We are always interested in meeting with people who share our passions and would like to learn more about serving on our Board of Directors! Individuals from all cultures and communities are encouraged to apply. Please click below to read our Board of Directors job description (PDF), and to begin the application process by completing a brief contact form. The board development committee will be in touch with you shortly – thank you!