Board of Directors

Meet the Board

Our Team


Linda Zankowsky, Ed.D., Board ChairLinda

Linda S. Zankowsky, Ed.D., is the Director of the University of Delaware Montessori Teacher Residency in Professional and Continuing Studies. Recently Linda served as the Interim Director of the Early Learning Center at the University of Delaware and Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development, Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Linda has 33 years of experience as a reading specialist, classroom teacher, school principal and Head of School at Wilmington Montessori School. Linda’s focus has been on literacy and assessment, social curriculum, and building professional learning communities. She has served as an adjunct instructor at the University, consulted with schools and presented nationally on literacy assessment.   Linda serves on various state committees focused on early childhood education and curriculum development.





Christine Carrino Gorowara, Ph.D., Co-Vice Chair

Dr. Gorowara is the Senior Associate Director of the Delaware Center for Teacher Education at the University of Delaware. She was previously a vice president at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and at the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Her children attended Elementary Workshop Montessori School. Her experience with certification and accreditation will ensure that SMS has well-qualified Montessori certified teachers.



Headshot Trish Hermance, Board Co-Vice Chairperson


Trish Hermance, Co-Vice Chair

Trish has worked in Delaware public schools for more than 20 years as both a teacher and school leader. She is currently the Director of the Delaware Teachers Institute at the University of Delaware. Her previous work has been in district schools, charter schools and a national nonprofit focused on providing non-traditional, high-quality educational programming. Her experience in charter school administration brings strength to our founding board in the charter application process and charter school operations.




E. McCrae Harrison, Secretary
McCrae, former director and teacher at the Elementary Workshop Montessori School, now oversees the Montessori Academy at Christina, Delaware’s first public Montessori program. McCrae is the chair of the School Accreditation Commission for the  American Montessori Society  and a member of the board of both AMS and the Montessori Teachers Association of Delaware.  She is also on the advisory board of First State Montessori Academy. McCrae is Montessori certified at the Lower Elementary level.




Sean Steward

Sean is a licensed Realtor with Home Team Realty and co-owner of lnfiniti Transportation LLC in Bridgeville. He serves as a board member of the Sussex County Association of Realtors and is past director of Delaware Association of Realtors.  Sean is also a graduate of Leadership Delaware and was born and raised in Seaford, Delaware.




Jessica Crampton Bradley
A native Delawarean with a Masters in Elementary Education, Bradley was born in Lewes, grew up in Centreville, and has resided in western Sussex County for over 20 years, where she raised her two sons.  Now back in Lewes, her southern Delaware roots run deep as her mother and father were, respectively, from Roxana and Dagsboro and many members of her family are still scattered throughout the county. Currently she works as a full time realtor for Jack Lingo, but maintains a strong community focus, particularly regarding children in Sussex.




Lauren Connelly

Mrs. Connelly contributes to marketing, management and business development at family-owned business O.A. Newton, which includes Lindenmere Home & Gift Market. A Leadership Delaware alum, Mrs. Connelly brings experience with marketing through social media and online engagement. She chairs the Community Engagement Committee for Sussex Montessori School.




Board member Penny Short



Penny Short

Penny is the President of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.  She has over 35 years of history with the hospital overseeing daily operations, proving strategic goals, and is involved in construction oversight.  Penny serves on the Sussex Montessori School Facility Committee and will take a lead role to monitor the construction process.




Mark Conces

Mr. Conces is a senior vice president at Santander Bank and former treasurer of the board of Wilmington Montessori School, which his children attended. Mr. Conces has had senior management roles in Finance, Marketing and General Management at a number of large companies, including JP Morgan Chase, Honeywell and Citizens Bank.




Jesse ReevesJesse

Jesse Reeves serves as Director of Legal Recruiting at Barnes & Thornburg, where he oversees the recruiting of lateral partners, of counsel, associates, staff attorneys, and patent agents. He provides leadership and vision in the development and implementation of recruiting priorities and strategies. With more than 25 years of legal recruiting experience, Mr. Reeves works to enhance the firm’s lateral recruiting initiatives by attracting talented partners, associates and other legal professionals to the firm. He works with firm leadership and office managing partners in firm-wide recruiting and retention efforts to support our focus on client needs and strategic national growth. Active in the community, Mr. Reeves is a board member of Montessori Works and is the board president of SmartDrive, which focuses on prevention of teen driving accidents. Mr. Reeves is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he earned a B.A. in 1987.  Jesse’s daughter also attended the Elementary Workshop Montessori School, both his son and daughter attended the Montessori Learning Centre and his son attended First State Montessori Academy, Delaware’s first public Montessori School.


Photo of Toby Hurley, Board Member


Toby Hurley

Toby brings national experience in grant development and grant writing for charter schools.  Her work includes strategic planning, clarifying the goals of grants, logic modeling, budget development, and compliance monitoring of large federal grants.  Toby resides in the Seaford area where she lives with her husband and young son.





Chantel Janiszewski, Ed.D

Dr. Janiszewski, a lifelong resident of western Sussex County, is an Education Associate at the Delaware Department of Education, where she directs the development, implementation, and evaluation of the statewide school accountability system. Chantel has over 20 years of experience in K-12 public education as a high school science teacher, a professional development leader at the district, state and higher education levels, and as a district curriculum supervisor. Chantel holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Delaware, a Master of Science degree in Biology Education from Delaware State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Salisbury University.


Sussex Montessori School’s Board of Directors looks forward to holding monthly public meetings in Sussex County beginning in July 2020.

Agendas and meeting minutes will be posted to this page at that time.

If you have questions or comments about the school please reach out to  Board specific questions can be addressed to