Board of Directors

Meet the Board

Our Team


Linda Zankowsky, Ed.D., Board Chair

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.


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.


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.



Mason Falligant
Mason, one of our lead elementary teachers, is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. After working as a lead upper elementary teacher at a public charter Montessori school in Carbondale, Colorado, Mason joined Sussex Montessori School in the fall of 2020 to work as a lead teacher at Sussex Montessori School in its inaugural year. A former Montessori student himself, Mason is passionate about Montessori pedagogy, as he believes it offers all students the opportunity for social, emotional, and intellectual flourishing. Mason graduated from Auburn University in 2019 with a degree in secondary social sciences education, and he recently obtained his Montessori Elementary I & II teaching credential through the University of Delaware’s Montessori Teaching Residency program. Mason serves as the Teacher Representative on the SMS Board.


Sussex Montessori School’s Board of Directors holds monthly public meetings. During the current state of emergency these meetings are held on Zoom. Access instructions are available on each month’s agenda. Please visit the agenda and minutes page linked below.

Each month’s agenda and minutes will be posted on the Board of Director’s Agenda and Minutes page.

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