Ben Williams, Chair 07/16
I am a Wyoming native and former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer. I now work as a strategist and business intelligence consultant having received a Global MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in December of 2014. Prior to leaving the military in early 2013, I served as the Army’s Operations Officer-in-Charge at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, the Department of Defense’s premier foreign language school. As third in command of this ~1,900-person organization, I oversaw all daily operations including training, strategic planning, budget, and modeling processes. While there, my team significantly optimized student retention and throughput while simultaneously reducing operational inefficiencies.
I possess over 10 years of operations and personnel management experience, as well as strategy execution expertise, and have worked with a variety of organizations throughout the Middle East to help improve the quality of our human resources, management practices, and physical infrastructure within numerous organizations. I have also traveled widely throughout Europe and Latin America. An avid writer, published author, and sought-after expert on Northern Iraq, my work, and interviews have been featured in numerous journals and publications.
Prior to entering military service, I graduated from both the University of Michigan and Princeton University, where I was a Civil Engineering and Operations Research Teaching Fellow and the recipient of the William Norton Prize for Outstanding Thesis Research.
Geoff Williams, Vice-Chair 07/16
I am honored to serve as a Director for our outstanding school. I believe that educating children is one of the most important endeavors in our society. As a Director, I promise to serve the parents of the school by making myself available to discuss any concerns and to exercise my duties in good faith and with diligence, attention, skill, and care.
My wife, Kristen, and I have all three of our children enrolled at DCS Montessori. Barrett is in Third Grade (Ms. Lynn), Kate is in Second Grade (Ms. Lisa) and Jordan is in her second year of Pre-School (Ms. Shannon). Our family enjoys spending time outdoors, especially Jordan. During winter, we enjoy skiing with other DCS Montessori families. In terms of work, for the past 15 years, I have practiced corporate/transactional law, focusing on public company securities matters, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general corporate matters. Most recently, I worked “in-house” for a publicly-traded company where I served as a member of the senior management team. As an attorney, I have had to build consensus in order to help clients and companies achieve their business objectives. I hope to use many of the skills that I have developed over the years to help DCS Montessori achieve its mission.
Jason Dozois, Secretary 07/15
Growing up, I lived in Oregon and attended Oregon State University then landed in Colorado for graduate school at Colorado State University. I have worked in Higher Education most of my career; currently, I work (remotely) for Oregon State University Extension coordinating Physical Activity programming statewide. Education is a family affair; my husband works in higher education and currently serves as the Dean of Community and Workforce Partnerships for Arapahoe Community College. Part of his role is leading the effort to create a new campus in Castle Rock in collaboration with CSU.
I look forward to engaging with the DCSM community and serving the board to ensure our school remains consistently focused on Montessori principles and evidence-based policies to keep students and staff engaged in work and play.
Faisal Salahuddin, Parent Member 07/17
My Montessori influence started early in life. My mother was a Montessori teacher when we were abroad and was quite passionate about Dr. Montessori’s philosophies. When I started in Montessori at a young age, I immediately took to it and enjoyed my time in Montessori immensely. I loved that the environment was conducive to exploring and learning. In later years, I transitioned to a traditional school setting and although I didn’t find it nearly as enjoyable, it did provide me with the opportunity to compare the two settings and truly appreciate all that the Montessori environment had to offer. Honestly, I couldn’t wait until I was able to offer the setting and environment that I loved to my own children. I have two children who attend DCSM with the older one having been here for over 5 years and truly love this school, the teachers, and the wonderful staff. I love to see the eagerness with which my children go to school each morning and the excitement with which they share with me what they learned and discovered at the end of the day. It really is a wonderful feeling.
I have been in corporate management for over two decades. Although I have been fortunate enough to be able to contribute in a number of ways, one ability in which I pride myself, is working together with others to achieve a common goal. Generally speaking, I believe each member of a team wishes to contribute, share their opinion and be heard. The idea of a team environment is to be able to have a variety of opinions and complementary strengths so that they can foster conversations and hopefully develop productive dialogue to solve an issue. I am honored to be chosen to be a member of the board and am looking forward to making my contribution in keeping DCSM successful.
Jessica Wood, Parent Member 07/17
The foundation of my education is Montessori-based having attended the Metro East Montessori School in Illinois through 6th grade. I believe my Montessori education provided me with a foundation built on self-reliance, ownership and community/world awareness.
I have two daughters, two and five, who will be part of the DCSM family for many years. This DCSM board position is my opportunity to help build our community and foster self-reliant, community-driven students with confidence and ownership of their decisions.
I have a decade of in-house and agency experience in public relations, brand development, and marketing for multinational companies. Within those roles, I identified consumer behavior, drove new product development and designed influencer outreach programs. I also hold a culinary arts degree which I later married with my marketing background to work a hybrid role of culinary specialist in the Kraft Foods Kitchens.
My interests include gardening, cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends. You will rarely find us at home. We love to explore the mountains, museums, and parks. We are on a mission to explore all of the National Parks of the West.
PM = Parent Member
CM = Community Member
Date after member’s name and title = end date of tenure