Board of Directors
The Circle School is governed by a parent volunteer Board of Directors including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Education Director, Enrollment Director and New Family Liaison, Co-op Coordinator, Communications Director, Director of Development, Director of Fundraising Events and two Buildings and Grounds Directors. The Board of Directors determines an annual operating budget, fees and tuition, is in charge of fundraising events, oversees school operations, maintenance and upkeep and oversees all personnel.
Maray McChesney, President
President Maray McChesney is mama to Arden (Dream Room) and wife to Matt. Maray works for her father’s architectural firm and is in charge of 3D renderings and interiors. Maray has been a member of the Co-op since 2011, when Arden was in the Moon Room. Fun fact: Maray’s siblings attended The Circle School in the 1970s and her mother was very involved with the school and is still good friends with some of the founding teachers. Prior to serving as Board President, Maray served as Communications Director & Director of Fundraising Events. She has designed graphics for branding, marketing and campaigns, has led multiple fundraising campaigns and her family has been active in the school snack programs.
Carrie Smith, Vice President
Vice President Carrie Smith is mama to Noah (Rainbow Room) and this is their third year at The Circle School. Carrie is also the Community Education Coordinator for NEISD. Carrie has served at the Enrichment Coordinator and Communications Director and is in her second year serving as the Vice President. Carrie and Noah enjoy riding bikes, going on adventures and playing with their dog, Marvin.
Ross Webb, Treasurer
Treasurer Ross Webb is dad to Ross (Dream Room) and husband to Eleida. Their family has been a member of the Co-op since March 2017. Ross has worked on tunnel construction projects for thirty years and has previously served on the board as Building and Grounds Director.
Layla Coleman, Secretary
Secretary Layla Coleman is mom to Thomas (Alum) and Leona. Thomas started in the Moon Room in August 2016 and Leona started in August 2018. Layla is married to David Yelacic, an archaeologist, and serves as a Recruitment and Training Coordinator for a non-profit that advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. Layla and her family enjoy outdoor activities, riding bikes, gardening, and tending to their 13 animals (8 chickens, 3 dogs, and 2 cats).
Rebecca Steele, Education Director
Education Director Rebecca Steele is mom to Michaela (Sky Room) and Lorraine, AKA Rainey (Star Room). She has been a Special Education Teacher for eleven years and is currently a Special Education Master Teacher at ALA at Fox Tech. She is married to Ben Steele, a Master Electrician. Their family has been members of the Co-op for four years. Together they have served as committee chairs for Circle Fest, International Food Fest, Coffee House, and Gardening. In their spare time, they enjoy having fun together, eating, drinking coffee (yes, even the kids) and gardening, which is why they enjoy giving their time to the school.
Dawn Handlin, Director of Fundraising Events
Director of Fundraising Events Dawn Handlin is mom to Judah (Peace Room), Nathan (Rainbow Room), and Grace (Dream Room). This is her family's second year at The Circle School. When not filling the role of mother, Dawn is a Flight Nurse. She has been a Registered Nurse for seventeen years now, eleven of which have been in the air. Dawn is looking forward to planning large events like CircleFest and International Food Festival as well as adding creative, smaller, fundraising events to the school's calendar.
Casara Northrup, Enrollment Director & New Family Liaison
Enrollment Director and New Family Liaison Casara Northrup is mom to Vada (Star Room) and wife to Ellery, a dental technician. This is the third year at the school for their family. Casara is a licensed massage therapist and works full time. Outside of work and the Circle School, she enjoys spending as much quality time with her family as possible.
Claire Trevino, Communications Director
Communications Director Claire Trevino is mom to Jojo (Sky Room) and Pepper (Moon Room). This is her family's second year at The Circle School and she loves being involved in this wonderful community of learning! Claire is married to Ric, who manages Pam's Patio Kitchen with the extended family, and she is a Registered Nurse at University Health System. The family loves going on adventures and being outside together.
Shannon Mariotti, Director of Fundraising Development
Director of Fundraising Development Shannon Mariotti is mom to Walter (Star Room) and is married to David Rando. This is their second year with The Circle School and their only regret is not discovering this unique community sooner. Shannon has served on several hiring committees, the Field Trips Committee, and the Grant Writing and Development committee. She also serves as the school's monthly air conditioner cleaner. Shannon is a professor of political philosophy at Southwestern University, a small liberal arts college near Austin, where her teaching and scholarship focuses on how we put democratic principles into practice in our everyday lives. Her family loves to read together, listen to music, go running and walking, and ride bikes.
Jen Morey, Co-Op Coordinator
Co-Op Coordinator Jen Morey is mom to Alice (Dream Room) and June (Star Room) as well as wife to Nathan Morey. In her first year at the school, Jen's largest accomplishment was starting the Wednesday Pizza Lunch fundraiser and looks forward to keeping this going next year. Now a stay at home mom managing AirBnB spaces, Jen's previous careers were in the financial services sector and as a certified Montessori guide. In her spare time, Jen enjoys playing soccer, spending time with family and friends, and watching her girls do anything sports-related.
Cesar Silva, Building & Grounds Director
Building and Grounds Director Cesar Silva is dad to Nico (alumni), Juliet (Star Room), and Sofia (Moon Room) and husband to Priscilla. He has been on the board for three years and enjoys the level of involvement and responsibility that comes with the job. He is a quiet voice that efficiently patches holes, screws stuff together and offers handy-man level advice. His love of coffee, his beard and power tools is only surpassed by his love for his three littles. Together with his powerhouse-of-a-wife (who is famous for her to-do lists), they run Facilities and Logistics committees for our fundraising events and school workdays.
Omar Velasco, Building & Grounds Director
Building and Grounds Director, Omar Velasco is dad to Paola (Star Room) and Valeria (Rainbow Room). His daughters started at The Circle School three years ago. Omar comes to this position with fifteen years of experience remodeling older houses, which is perfect for our Old Schoolhouse, and he's excited to give the building the attention and care it needs.