Our Board of Directors


Lynn Valinetz, President


Lynn Valinetz spent her 36-year teaching career as a public Montessori teacher at IPS Rousseau McClellan School #91 and has now been retired for four years.  Lynn completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Indiana University, but she considers her Montessori Certification work at Xavier University as the highlight of her education.  She now spends her time tutoring children through the Orton-Gillingham method and supporting teachers who are going through Montessori certification training.



Kara Faris, Vice President


Kara began her Montessori journey in her mid-twenties when she started reading about the Montessori method of education.  She decided then that if she had children, she'd enroll them in a Montessori school.  Several years later she became mother to Elaine. Elaine was in the first class of Village Montessori students in the fall of 2009.  Elaine completed the three year cycle at Village as a result of that formative experience its staff and fellow families have become some of Elaine's and Kara's lifelong friends. It is now Kara's pleasure to serve as the vice president of the Village board.



Abby Frantz, Secretary


Ms. Frantz graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History (Magna Cum Laude and with Honors), and a minor in French from the University of New Hampshire in 2000.  She completed her Master of Arts in European History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003. Ms. Frantz and her husband, Ted, moved to Indianapolis in 2003 and have raised their two boys in Broad Ripple.  Her oldest son, Colin, was a member of Village Montessori's inaugural class in 2010 and her son Alex followed his education at Village Montessori to Rousseau McClellan Montessori School #91.  Ms. Frantz is employed by Village Capital Corporation as a developer of affordable housing.  She has worked at Pedcor since 2004 and also serves as Vice President, Assistant Secretary, and Senior Compliance Officer of Pedcor's two bank holding company structures.  In that role, Ms. Frantz is responsible for board meetings, board minutes and consents, and banking regulatory compliance for the holding companies. She is an active member of the School #91 MPTA and has served on the school's silent auction committee and as Treasurer.  She is excited to serve on Village Montessori's Board of Directors as the Secretary to help ensure Village stays true to the Montessori method and the spirit in which it was created in 2010



Rachel Wood Patten, Treasurer


Rachel received her undergraduate education at Auburn University where she studied Communication and Psychology.  She worked in a variety of corporate jobs until she listened to her inner voice, calling her to education.  She had realized her desire to work with children, but felt the traditional education system in the United States was overlooking some important components, like teaching social awareness, community building, and a worldly view.  She was also concerned about the traditional methods of teaching, and her own experiences with seeing how they did not work for many people.  She had a wonderful professor at Butler who listened to her concerns and introduced her to Montessori and IPS #91, where she found her home.  She student taught at Rouseeau McClellan IPS 91 with Lynn Valinetz, and had the honor of teaching 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade there for over a decade while getting a Master’s Degree in Montessori Education, which she treasures. 


Her husband, Justin, is an artist and art teacher.  Together they live in Zionsville, IN with their two boys, Lyle (10) and Troy (8), their cat, Buckman (18), their dog, Wrigley (2), and 5 chickens of various ages.  They enjoy baseball, soccer, and pretty much all sports and traveling and exploring the world. 


Her son, Troy, attended Village Montessori for kindergarten and had the most fantastic experience.  He still talks about his time there.  She feel grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board of this beautiful school.


Jeff Berebitsky


Jeff's son was a member of Village Montessori's inaugural class in 2010. Jeff's son spent three wonderful years at Village before matriculating on to kindergarten. Jeff has been a part of the Indianapolis community since 2010. Jeff serves as an Insurance Archaeologist for his company, Restorical Research, LLC. To learn more about Jeff and his family, feel free to pick up the book written by his late wife, Jenni Berebitsky, called "ALS Saved My Life" or rent her award winning short documentary, "Grateful:  The Jenni Berebitsky Story." Jeff is currently working on his next movie centered around building community, caregiving, physical well being and loss.

Katie Pawelczak


Katie Pawelczak is a graduate of Earlham College (BA-Biology, 2001) and Indiana University (PhD-Biochemistry, 2010), and is the Vice President of Research at NERx Biosciences in Indianapolis.  Katie and her husband, Josh Miller, have lived in Broad Ripple since 2005, and are thrilled to raise their two children, Theo (11) and Porter (6), in the heart of midtown.  Porter happily attended Village Montessori from 2018-2021 (including completing Kindergarten at Village) before he seamlessly transitioned to first grade at Butler Lab School 55.  Katie and Josh attribute Porter's love of reading, writing and outdoor adventure to the experiences and teachers he had at VMS, and Katie is excited to be able to give back to this beloved preschool in the capacity as board member.

David Alan Brown


David Alan Brown has been part of the Montessori community since his children began pre-K (many years ago). A graduate of New York University, David returned to Indiana to work in youth leadership development and non-profit management. David delivers training, facilitation, organizational development consulting and keynote presentations to organizations across the country. He has presented at several national conferences, including the International Association of Facilitators, the National Association of Teen Institutes and the Association for Humanistic Psychology and teaches leadership and facilitation to corporate executives as an affiliate of Interaction Associates. Recently he has developed and implemented programs to help progressive congregations welcome LGBTQ people into their space. Previously, David sponsored several of his own events, inviting the public to invest in developing a stronger self awareness of their personal potential. He is also the author of three books and several stage plays.

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