Board of Directors
The MMS Board is comprised of volunteer leaders from varied backgrounds who are passionate about Montessori education, dedicated to the mission of MMS and who advocate on behalf of the school, its programs and faculty.
2021-22 MMS Board of Directors
Clifton Clark, Board President
Clifton Clark attended MMS as an elementary student, going on to graduate from Capital High School, the University of Virginia (B.A., Economics), West Virginia University College of Law, (J.D.) and West Virginia University College of Business and Economics (M.B.A.) Clifton spends his work days helping others with their finances as a Trust Officer and Vice President at Summit Community Bank, having previously served as a Wealth Advisor and Wealth Lending Strategy Manager during his 15+ years at BB&T. In addition to his service at MMS and at Summit Community Bank, Clifton is actively involved in the Charleston community and serves as Treasurer of Taste of All, a committee of FestivALL Charleston, as Vice President of the East End Community Association, and as a Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America, Buckskin Council. Clifton currently lives in Charleston’s East End neighborhood with his wife, Katherine “Katie” Clark, and their two young children, both of whom attend MMS.
Jennifer Preston, Board Vice President
Jennifer is a project manager for Job Squad Inc., a non-profit organization that provides employment support to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. A graduate of Virginia Tech with degrees in urban planning and political science, she has spent most of her career focusing on facility planning and programming. Jennifer worked on the Detroit Public Schools Capital Improvement Program, which built seven new schools and provided eight major school renovations, totaling over $500 million. Jennifer and her husband, Aaron, live in South Hills with their three children, two of whom are MMS students. She enjoys yoga, reading, writing and traveling.
Samantha Hicks, Board Secretary
Samantha is the mother of two MMS students, and works as an administrative assistant for Eagle Research Corporation. She holds a B.A. in theater, with a minor in speech and communications. “Our family stumbled into this community three years ago and we are continually surprised and delighted by it. I believe in this method, this staff, and this community, and look forward to an opportunity to help further the vision and move our school and community toward its EPIC future!”
Joseph Jenkins, Board Treasurer
Joseph is from Shady Spring in southern West Virginia. He graduated from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia before attending the University of Oregon to obtain his law degree. He is general counsel for an oil and gas business. A member of the Charleston City Council, Joseph has volunteered with several organizations including Friends of the Clay Center (past-president), Charleston Main Streets, Foam at the Dome (currently on the steering committee) and the Charleston Police Department, currently as a Neighborhood Assistance Officer. He lives in Fort Hill. Joe and his wife, Susana Duarte, are the parents of two MMS students.
Jennifer Carriger, Director
Jennifer, now in her eleventh year at MMS, brings extensive experience as a teacher in public and independent school settings, educational leadership and non-profit management to her position as our school director. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Jennifer leads our Student Support Team as our learning consultant.
Jennifer received a B.A. in international studies, a B.S. in secondary education and a M.S. in special education from West Virginia University and has pursued additional graduate studies in education at Marshall University and the University of Virginia. She holds permanent WV certification endorsement for students ages 5-12 in social studies, learning disabilities, mental impairment and behavior disorders. Her Montessori training is through the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies, and she recently completed NAMTA Montessori Whole School Management (Level I) training.
Jennifer received her AMS Montessori Administrator credential at the Center for Montessori Education in New York (a two-year program) and is the only educator in WV to hold this level of certification. Jennifer co-founded the Appalachian Reading Center in 2004 and is certified in the Wilson Reading System with additional training in Handwriting Without Tears. Jennifer is also a past president of the West Virginia Learning Disabilities Association. She taught in the public school system for nine years at the elementary, middle and high school levels in Madison County, Va., and Boone County, W.Va. In 2014, Jennifer was honored as West Virginia Teacher of the Year by the WVLDA. She and her husband, David, are the parents of two Mountaineer Montessori students. Jennifer enjoys hiking, camping, reading and home renovation projects.
Salma is the mother of two children, including an MMS Lower Elementary student. She is originally from Syria, having lived in Charleston for five years. She holds a master’s degree in leadership studies from Northeastern University with a concentration in human resources management, and a BA in French studies and literature.
Brad is a proud husband and father of two sons, ages 2 and 8. He earned a computer science degree from WVU Tech in 2005 and started his career doing contract work in artificial intelligence and decision support systems for the Department of Defense. He moved to the Charleston area in 2008 to be close to family and to start a career in the energy sector at IBM. Brad currently works as a leader within Gas Measurement Technology and Analytics at TC Energy. Brad is a technology enthusiast, a lifelong learner, and is eager for the opportunity to serve MMS.
Molly is a native of North Carolina, but her career has been in public service to the people of West Virginia. She currently works at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and previously worked for the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts and the United States Senate. She earned a BA in public policy and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before making her way to Charleston, where she lives with her husband, Lee, and their two children.
Enybe is the mother of three children at MMS in lower elementary and primary. She works in economic development in West Virginia as an international trade manager. She is originally from Mexico where she studied international business. She and her husband Brandon currently live in Charleston.
Emily is the mother of two MMS students. She holds a BA in government from Campbell University and is currently pursuing an MPAP at American University. She worked at the WV Legislature before joining Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin’s administration as the City of Charleston’s first CARE Director in January 2020. She has a passion for performing arts and teaches ballet for the River City Youth Ballet Ensemble. Emily resides in the Edgewood area with her daughters.
Carolyn is a parent of two MMS students. She and her husband, Luke, enjoy family adventures like hiking and exploring the world through travel. They recently welcomed two cats that joined their pet snake and fish. Carolyn is a licensed clinical social worker and has devoted her career to homeless services in both community-based organizations and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She has fund raising experience as a previous executive director for a non-profit organization and currently serves as a regional coordinator with the National Homeless Programs Office with Veterans Affairs Central Office. Carolyn is honored for the opportunity to support Mountaineer Montessori School as a board member.
Brad is the regional sales director at Compass Group for the state of West Virginia with more than 12 years of sales, marketing and relationship building experience. A graduate of West Virginia State University with an emphasis in business and education, Brad is very involved in the sports community, coaching and consulting for many local teams in the South Charleston area. Brad and his wife, Anna, are the parents of an Upper Elementary student. He says his family has “fallen in love” with our school. “My intention as a board member is to contribute to the school’s continued growth, and promote MMS and the difference it’s made for our family.”
Blaire has lived in West Virginia for over a decade and has been a part of the Mountaineer Montessori family for six years. She and her husband, Rob Bastress, have two children, Arlo who is in Lower Elementary, and Della who is in kindergarten at Weberwood. Blaire is a special education attorney at Mountain State Justice where she helps families obtain the educational services along with seeking systemic change in the education system for students with disabilities. Prior to working at Mountain State Justice, she spent eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney and prosecuted a wide range of crimes including complex mail and wire fraud schemes, environmental crimes, mine safety violations, and violent crimes. In her free time she enjoy running, doing yoga, reading, and having dance parties with her family. She holds a BA from Tufts University and JD from Harvard Law School.
Ashley is the plant manager and integrated operations leader at The Chemours Company, a global chemistry company. In her current role, Ashley oversees manufacturing, safety, regulatory compliance, and supply chain for the Chemical Solutions business. In 2003, she earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from West Virginia University. Over the last 18 years, her diverse career in operations, technology, environmental/safety/health, project management, and senior leadership have shaped her substantially. Leading the organization through significant business transformation during the last several years, she has achieved mastery in flexibility and adaptability. With a passion for empowering positive change and investing in the growth of her team, Ashley looks forward to a long career in manufacturing. She is happiest with her husband Terry raising their two sons Blake and Mason in her home state of West Virginia.
Erica is a graduate of Marshall University, where she earned a BA in journalism & mass communications and a MS in adult & technical education. She has spent most of her career in retail and telecommunications management. Her daughter, Amaya, currently attends the MMS Primary program. “I knew I wanted a different education path for my daughter that included independence and promotion of her creativity. MMS has provided everything I envisioned for my daughter and more.”
JoEllen has been mad for Mountaineer Montessori since enrolling her daughter, Elizabeth, as a primary student in 2007. JoEllen was formerly the senior vice president for the Charleston Area Alliance. Before moving with her husband, Ben, to his hometown of Charleston in 2005, she was senior director of strategic communication for the American Bar Association in Chicago. In addition to MMS, she serves on the board of the West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities and YWCA of Charleston Nominating Committee. She is past president of the West Virginia Symphony League, and has served on the boards of West Virginia Advocates, Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Girl Scouts of Chicago , Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation and Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum Women’s Board (founding member). She earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and J.D. from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.