Returning Member Bios

Cary Kerr
My wife Jennifer and I are both graduates from Purdue and have lived in West Lafayette since graduation in 1993.   We both completed graduate programs at Purdue and were fortunate to find employment in West Lafayette.  I worked for the Purdue Libraries until 2000 when I transferred to a position at Cook Biotech in the Purdue Research Park.  I am currently the Director of IT at Cook Biotech and work with a team of IT professionals to support the global efforts of Cook Medical, based in Bloomington.  I also serve as the Compliance Administrator for Cook Biotech and oversee the Ethics & Compliance Program.

Jennifer and I have two boys Nate and Zach.  Nate started at Montessori when he was 3 and continued through the 3rd grade.  Nate is currently in 7th grade at Central Catholic.  We were extremely pleased with Nate’s progress while at Montessori and believe his love of reading and kind, loving demeanor were developed during his years at MSGL.   Zach is currently finishing his 2nd year in the Elementary program.  Zach has a very easy-going personality with a desire to explore and be free.  He thrives on the mobility and freedom to choose activities for himself.   We feel the MSGL Elementary program has allowed Zach to grow and progress in his areas of interest, epecially math.  Jennifer and I have helped at work days, at book fairs, with classroom projects, and with the house committee.   I have served on the board the last two years and look forward to continuing this service.

Cindy Garwood
Both my daughters, Chloe and Taylor, have been students of MSGL through the Elementary I program and are alumnus of MSGL. I am a self-employed attorney in downtown Lafayette. I primarily practice in the areas of family and juvenile law (so I am somewhat of a social worker and therapist). I have passionately advocated on behalf of children in the le-gal system for over fifteen years and have thus learned much about child development and the influence of environment on that development. I believe that my experience can be of great benefit to the Board in serving all the children of our community, as well as my own children.

Donna Barket
My family and I have been part of the Lafayette community since 1996 and the Montessori community for the past ten and a half years. My husband, Dennis, and I have two very active and creative children who thrived or are thriving, in the MSGL environment. Aaron is an alumnus of Willow, the All Day Program and Elementary.  He is now in seventh grade at West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School.  Connor also went through Willow and the All Day Program and is completing his third and last year in Elementary.  Both of the boys love to investigate, research and learn new things; I credit this to their Montessori education.

Dennis and I moved to Indiana in 1996.  He started graduate school at Purdue and I began working for Eli Lilly and Company.  My work for Lilly has ranged from Molecular Virologist, Compliance Leader and as a Team Leader for the world wide Development group. Dennis finished his degree and started a company in the Purdue Research Park which has been very exciting and challenging for our family.  In February 2006, my group at Lilly relocated to Indianapolis and I took time off in order spend more time with my children and provide them with a less chaotic home life. This opportunity has also given me the chance to get more involved with the school, either through funding raising efforts, board work or classroom time. The Greater Lafayette community is fortunate to have such a wonderful school assisting us parents in teaching and guiding our children.  While I realize that the school is not perfect, I have seen many wonderful changes during our seven plus years here and I know that there are very large projects being planned to advance the school even further.  I look forward to being a part of MSGL’s growth by serving on the board again.

Erin Willis
I was born and raised in Lafayette and although I spent several years away in Florida, when my husband and I decided to have children, we wanted to move back to Lafayette to be close to family.  My husband and I have been married for 13 years and have two independent and rambunctious children, Toby, who attended MSGL through kindergarten and is now at Battle Ground Elementary and Sabrina who is currently in Red Oak.  Over the past 5 years at MSGL, I have witnessed both my son and daughter grow into very caring, compassionate and creative children, which I credit in part to our wonderful school.  Our community is very lucky to have such a supportive environment for our children to learn and grow.  As a parent run school, we have a lot of responsibility to ensure the success and growth of this organization for future generations and I am happy to do my part.

Mary McKay
I am a veterinarian by training (although not currently in practice) and have two MSGL daughters: Catherine (alumna 2002) and Susan (alumna 2005), who completed all the MSGL levels up to 3rd grade of Elementary I. I have served on the board since 1999, which I guess makes me an official “old person” as well as the token alumni-parent. I hope to use my experience and perspective to serve the school.


Board Member Ballot


Please find below the slate of candidates for Board membership for the 2013–2015 term.  Cary Kerr, Cindy Garwood, Donna Barket, Erin Willis, and Mary McKay have consented to another term and are seeking re-election. Alan Friedman, Elisabeth Franklin, Jane Kaplan, Katie Dewitt, Kelsey Deford, and Kristina Carlson are interested in becoming new Board members. Fay Mentzer, Ginette Roos and Mary Snyder have another year on their terms.  Amanda Morris, Daniel Mroczek, Heather Francis, Sarah Graham, and Jonelle Clark are retiring from the board, we wish to thank them for their service. 

You may submit your ballot online by filling out the form below or anonymously by printing out the ballot and returning it to the office.  You are allowed one ballot per child attending MSGL.

Board elections will be held at the Corporation meetings on May 10 and 15, 2013. Please note the time for your child’s Corporation meeting and Spring Program:

River Birch, Red Oak, Willow, & Globe Willow
Friday, May 10 at 5:45 P.M. at Morton Community Center

Catalpa, White Oak, Catalpa Pods, & Elementary
Wednesday, May 15 at 5:45 P.M. at Morton Community Center

Deadline for voting: Wednesday, May 15


Board Ballot

You may vote for the full slate or for individual candidates. Please submit your ballots at the meeting. Or, if you unable to attend, turn it in to the Office prior to the meeting. You have one vote per child enrolled at MSGL. For example, cast two votes if you have two children currently attending MSGL.

Please vote for the full slate, or individual candidates. You may also vote for a write-in candidate. There is no set number of openings on the Board, so you may vote for as many as you wish.

New Member Bios

Daniel Aliaga

I am a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University and very active in many academic and research endeavors. My wife, Varinia Barreto, and I have two wonderful and very active young boys: Sebastian (currently 7 years old, attending MSGL Elementary school) and Nicolas (currently 6 years old, attending MSGL morning and afternoon Kindergarten program). Our kids started attending MSGL when they were 2 years old.

I am originally from Peru and my wife from Ecuador. Both our kids were born in Lafayette. We believe very much in having our children see and experience the world we live in. Thus, they have spent already significant time traveling. They have been to several countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Caribbean, and North America.

We are well entrenched in the little paradise called the Greater Lafayette Area. While my wife and I grew up in big cities, we believe it beneficial for our boys to grow in a smaller community and to have the benefits of nature around them. We teach them the benefits of conservation, greenness, and to appreciate diversity and the space around them. Our kids are also very active in the community including using our city’s libraries, practicing various sports, participating in Cub Scouts, going camping and fishing, and partaking in other educational and recreational activities.

As a board member, I hope to better my understanding of the Montessori education process, to be more involved with our children’s education process, and when possible to positively contribute to the education and experiences of other young children at MSGL and in the area.