Elisa Sumakeris is a veterinarian with Grace Park Animal Hospital, and has 3 children who are alumni of Sterling Montessori. Elisa served as president of the PFA during the 2009-2010 school year. She subsequently served on the LHU Board from June 2010-June 2016, including serving as Chair of the Board from January 2011-June 2015. After a 6 month hiatus, Elisa returned to the LHU Board in November of 2016. Elisa brings experience in small business management, community service, and non-profit Board leadership, as well as a valued historical perspective.
Vice President & Director, Policy Committee
Kathleen was born in Alaska but has spent a majority of her life in North Carolina. She grew up in the Triangle, having attended Duke School for Children, Ravenscroft and finally graduating from Cary Academy. After high school she received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she then went on to earn her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Kathleen works in the Advancement Department at Cary Academy as their Alumni and Giving Coordinator. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family. Kathleen and her husband Don live in Cary with their three children, two of whom are enrolled at Sterling.
Dhinesh Sadhwani grew up in North Carolina, where he attended high school, and went on to attend both NC State University and Duke University. Dhinesh has held positions in Technology, Consulting and Finance, most recently working at Oracle Corporation in Morrisville. Dhinesh is married and has three children, all of whom attend Sterling.
Hoda Memar graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a master’s degree in Engineering Management. Hoda worked as an IT Project Manager at Barclays Capital Investment Bank, in New York City for over 8 years. During this time, she completed her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Hoda currently works at a small web development start-up as a project manager and communications director. Hoda serves as the secretary of the LHU board and is also involved with the Technology Committee at Sterling Montessori.
Hoda is passionate about Montessori education and both of her older children attended a Montessori School since they were 17 months old. Hoda’s oldest son is currently a student at Sterling Montessori. Hoda, her husband, and their 3 kids live in Cary, NC.
When not working or volunteering, Hoda enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading, hiking, yoga, and traveling.
Chair, IT Committee
Chris Morton has served as the chair of the LHU Technology Committee since 2014. He works as a Senior IT Manager for Qualcomm in Raleigh, bringing to the board nearly 20 years of Information Technology and Leadership experience. He and his wife Candi are busy raising their five girls at home; three are current Sterling students and two are alumnae. In addition to spending time with his family, Chris enjoys hiking, running, yoga and reading.
Chair, Board Governance
Lily Phillips was born in Massachusetts, but has lived in North Carolina for 22 years. She finished her undergraduate degree at Harvard and has a master’s from Columbia and a doctorate from Duke. She has taught literature and writing as a university professor, has worked for two academic journals, was an admissions officer and program manager for a summer program in mathematics, and has worked for and served as president of a nonprofit for gifted education. In addition to working for the Board, she currently works for the state of NC as a grants manager, is starting a camp for profoundly gifted mathematics students this summer, and is in talks to start a new academic journal devoted to literary theory, African American studies, and international culture. She has two children, one in high school and one at Sterling and has enjoyed being part of the Sterling community for three years.
Chair, Building & Grounds
Shannon Macquarrie is a native of New England, and has been a resident of North Carolina since 1992. She has lived in several areas of the Triangle, the Sandhills and even spent a few years in Asheville. Her undergraduate focus was in the biological sciences, management and organizational development, she has an MS in Human Resources and is a certified Project Management Professional. Shannon works in the clinical research industry, where she leads a global project management team dedicated to oncology research. She has served as a member and Secretary of the Sterling Montessori PFA, and is currently serving as the LHU Buildings & Grounds committee chair. Her son started at in 2011 for Kindergarten. She and her family live in the central Cary area near Bond Lake, where they spend much of their time outside enjoying nature. When they are not swimming, playing soccer, reading, playing guitar, walking dogs or riding horses . . . they are probably cooking at home.
Julie Hughes was born in New York and grew up in Massachusetts. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College (Psychology, Education, Teaching Certification), a Masters from Harvard Graduate School of Education (Teaching & Learning), and National Board Certification. Julie moved to North Carolina in 1996, where she taught first grade in Wake County Public Schools. She also worked for 2 years as a coordinating teacher in Wake County’s Elementary Math Department. In addition to classroom responsibilities, Julie has presented and facilitated training programs at the county, state, and national levels, has served as a mentor to beginning teachers, and has worked as a cooperating teacher for Meredith College teacher certification candidates.
Julie and her husband Kevin have three young children. After observing her children thrive in their Montessori classrooms, Julie completed a Fundamentals of Montessori course through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and has plans to obtain full Montessori certification when her children are a bit older.
Julie loves tennis, Jazzercise, and reading. She loves to travel, and spends a few weeks each summer with her family on Cape Cod. Julie obtained Irish citizenship in 2006, and looks forward to returning to Ireland with her children some day, so they can gain a deeper understanding of their Irish heritage.
Director, Finance Committee
Kim Elliott is, first and foremost, a mom of three current Sterling students. She has been a part of the Sterling family since 2007 and has held different positions within the Parent Faculty Association since 2008. These days, when not serving as an LHU Director, she can be found contributing to the creation of the Sterling Yearbook and volunteering in the classroom whenever possible. Outside of Sterling, Kim works as a financial analyst, and when there is any time remaining, she runs, writes, and snaps photos!
Janet Weed has been an Educator and Administrator for over 15 years in a variety of roles and settings. A highlight of her career was creating and leading a Visual Literacy Program for HS students and teachers in Ghana, West Africa from 2005-2008. In 2006, Janet started her Montessori journey. She has since taught and volunteered at many Montessori schools in Boston, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest and Durham. She currently manages the Triangle Montessori Schools Association (TMSA), which provides professional development and collaboration to all of the Montessori schools in the area. Janet will begin her AMS Administrator credential program this summer at the Houston Montessori Center.
Janet went to NYU for both Undergrad and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration. Before she transitioned to education, she was a professional costume designer on Broadway and Primetime TV. She and her husband live in Cary and have three sons, two of whom attend Sterling. In her free time, Janet loves to read books on Montessori philosophy, attend Montessori classes and conferences and convince everyone she meets to bring Montessori into the home. She is also the Membership Chairperson for the PFA and a room parent for two classes.