Leadership (Rudder)

The SMPO is led by a Board of Directors, also known as the Rudder Committee. All Rudder positions are up for election every year, with the exception of President and Business Manager. (The Vice President automatically assumes the President position, and the Business Manager in Training automatically assumes the Business Manager position.) All positions can be shared, except the Business Manager. LSDMC and ILT reps serve two-year terms. Positions are elected at the General Parent Meeting in April for the following school year.


The 2021–2022 Rudder Committee

Past Presidents: Joie Linser and Emily McNicholas

President: Heather Gerker sandsmontessoriparentorg@gmail.com

Vice President: Courtney Ryan

Executive Secretary: Dave Rolfes

Business Manager: Becky Economou businessmanager@sandsparents.org

Business Manager in Training: Michelle Durban

Parent at Large: Allyse Sonnega

Parent Liaison: Debbi McCoy

3–6 Teacher Representative: Caitlin Lavine

6-9 Co-Teacher Representative: Vanessa Barth

6-9 Co-Teacher Representative: Sarah Fullen

9-12 Teacher Representative: Lisa Bowden

Sands Extracurricular Program (SEP) Coordinator: Rachel Danhires

Volunteer Coordinator: Amy Hueneman

Fundraising Coordinator: Holly Fritz

Communications Coordinator: Brittany Able

Technology Coordinator: LeAnn Gardner and Jonathan Gardner

Athletics Coordinator: Chris Vockell vockell@fuse.net

LSDMC: Priya Rolfes; Sharice Wood; Richard Grosse; Michael Whiteman

ILT: Alissa Paasch; Kim Fulbright

Extracurricular Rudder Officer Duties

President: Presides at all meetings of the SMPO and Rudder. Establishes the agenda and goals for the current year. Represents the SMPO at school board meetings when deemed necessary by the Rudder.  

Vice President: Acts as an aide to the President and is considered “President-In-Training.” Becomes President the following year.

Business Manager: Receives all monies of the SMPO and serves as primary contact with the bank handling SMPO funds. Keeps records of receipts and expenditures.

Executive Secretary: Records the minutes of all Rudder meetings and maintains the official documents of the SMPO including the bylaws, correspondence, and minutes.

Parent-At-Large: Represents the general membership of the SMPO at Rudder meetings. Acts as hospitality coordinator for SMPO and school functions including teacher luncheons and Grandparents Day.

3–6 Team Coordinator: Meets with team teachers on a regular basis to discuss needs and concerns. Assists room parents in developing phone trees and class directories. Coordinates with the Vice-President and the other team representatives in developing a school-wide directory. Assists the Parent-At-Large in his/her hospitality duties.

6–9 Team Coordinator: Identical to 3–6 Team Coordinator, but for the 6–9 team.

9–12 Team Coordinator: Identical to 3–6 Team Coordinator, but for the 9–12 team.

Sands Extracurricular Program (SEP) Coordinator: Coordinates after-school extracurricular programs for students at Sands Montessori. Works closely with coordinators to set up these programs.

Reporter Publisher: Coordinates and compiles minutes, articles, and calendar information for publication in the Reporter.

Volunteer Coordinator: Recruits and deploys parents to perform scheduled and nonscheduled volunteer duties at SMPO and school functions. Serves as the main contact person for volunteer requests from the school and SMPO committees.

Fundraising Coordinator: Oversees fundraising events for the SMPO including, but not limited to, the fall carnival, silent auction and no-cost fundraising.

Technology Coordinator: Monitors maintenance and upgrading of classroom computers and SMPO website. Serves as the parent representative to the school’s technology committee.

Athletics Coordinator: Coordinates sports programs at the school, including coordinating with Cincinnati Recreation Commission. Recruits volunteer coaches for the after-school programs. Oversees the management of the soccer, basketball, volleyball, and baseball programs.