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Leadership

2017-18 Executive Board

President Dominic Benford

dominicbenford

  • Father to twins Audrey and Harrison, who are rising seventh graders
  • Over the course of six years at BMES and one year at CJMS, he has enjoyed many volunteering opportunities in the classroom and with students outside of school.
  • For the past several years, he and his wife Trudi have led the Bells Mill and then Cabin John Odyssey of the Mind program, and coached a team that has been to World Finals three times.
  • Dominic was one of the Vice Presidents of the 2016-17 CJMS PTSA.
  • Dominic’s professional background is as an astrophysicist for NASA.
  • He and his family are looking forward to continuing and expanding their role in the CJMS community.

1st Vice President Simona Alfonsi

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She lived for several years abroad, she earned the Associate in Business and Spanish in Cambridge (UK), and lived in Spain for one year to study Spanish as an interpreter, and deepen her studies in literature, and business. She taught for several years in the Elementary Schools in Rome (Italy) where she earned her Master in Education.

She travelled a lot, has a significant International experience, married Max De Angelis in 2005. They then moved to the USA in 2009. Mother of three boys: Giovanni “Gio” 6th grader at CJMS, Pietro 4th grader, and Emanuele 1st grader at Cold Spring ES.

Since she arrived in USA, she enjoyed volunteering in the Montgomery County Schools…she is full of energy, and initiative, she is a great cook.

Currently working as interpreter, and substitute teaching assistant for Montgomery County Public Schools.

“A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.” (Cicero)

2nd Vice President Ira Gluck

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  • Grew up in a family of educators (mother used to teach math at CJMS, father adjunct professor, sister teacher at Pyle)
  • Father of three children that are/have/do attend CJMS (graduate of Churchill, 10th grader at Mclean, 7th grader at CJMS)
  • Spent 9+ years coaching his children’s various basketball teams and now back on the ice coaching hockey.
  • After working in the educational sector and spending past 20+ years focused on digital product development, started his own edtech business because he is passionate about improving educational outcomes.
  • Believes STEM is critical — volunteered as a judge for area FLL tournament and hope to see plethora of STEM based activities @CJMS
  • Issue of children with Learning differences is personal to him and another focus area
  • Spent the last year as a VP and member of the CJMS PTSA board.

Treasurer Cecilia Maggi

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Hello Cabin John community! My name is Cecilia Maggi and I am the new PTSA Treasurer.

I was born in Buenos Aires / Argentina where I also met my husband. Together we have travelled quite a bit as my husband’s career took us to different countries in Europe. We are parents to three very active boys, all of them attending schools in the Wootton cluster. I enjoy getting involved in the school’s life and over the past six years I have contributed in different positions as PTA treasurer, parent coordinator of green programs, fundraiser, and room parent. And…yes, you are right, I never get bored!

Professionally, I am an independent financial and environmental consultant. I worked for different global banks financing private and public projects in Latin America. My academic background includes CPA and post graduate studies in environmental sciences.

I am honored to be part of the Cabin John PTSA board as the treasurer. Our main goal is to support you, students, teachers, and parents as much as we can, so please help us have a great year! We need you and, of course, we want to hear about you…EVERY voice is important and ALWAYS makes the difference. See you all around! Go COUGARS!

Secretary Elizabeth Whitman

My husband and I have lived in the Cabin John attendance area for more than 15 years. Our son is a 7th grader at CJMS, having attended both Bells Mill and Cold Spring Elementary Schools, and his older sister attended Bells Mill and is a graduate of Wootton High School and University of Maryland—College Park.

In to being Secretary of the CJMS PTSA, I also am Secretary and a six-year Board member of Inverness Recreation Club, as well as a Certified Official for Montgomery County Swim League. In my “day job” I am a corporate and commercial real estate attorney.

Some little-known facts about me:

  • I met my husband in a third-grade gifted classroom, and we were co-valedictorians of our high school class
  • In addition to my JD and LL.M. law degrees, I have a BFA in violin performance
  • I have worked as a violin teacher, free-lance musician, administrative law judge, and night newspaper production assistant
  • Education is in our family’s blood – I am the daughter, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law of public school teachers

With this background, my particular interests are gifted education and music education. However, I also firmly believe that a goal of public education should be to help all children explore and discover their individual gifts and to support development of those gifts to that every child can thrive.

2017-18 MCCPTA Delegates

2017-18 Committees

COMMITTEE
CHAIR(S) or POSITION
DESCRIPTION of committee or position
After School Activities
Urvashi Shivdasani
Plan, organize, market special after school programs
Book Fair
Susie Bock
Organize school-wide book sale
Box Tops Chair
Gustavo De Rosa,
Cecilia Maggi
Promote and collect Box Tops for Education
Bylaws Chair
Not needed until 2018-2019
PTSA bylaws are up for revision in spring 2018
8th Grade Career Lunches
*OPEN*
Organize Career Day, showcasing career options for students
Community Service Days
*OPEN*
Organize community service days for CJMS students, staff and families
Cougar Clips and Cougar Calendar
G. “Venki” Venkatesan

Coordinate all announcements and post them to the PTSA website through an in intuitive WordPress editor. All posts will get disseminated automatically as a weekly email to subscribers. Maintains the events listings on the PTSA website calendar. Web skills NOT necessary. Training provided if requested.
Directory
Winnie Gao
Coordinate production of Student Directory
Direct Donations Chair
*OPEN*
Help us secure direct donations from the community
Gardening/Beautification Committee
Jill Pearlman and Lisa Friedman
GT Liaison
Mandy Lemar
Advocate for GT issues.
Grocery Card Fundraising
Ashley Finke
Coordinate the promotion and maintenance of online fundraising efforts such as Giant, Target, Harris Teeter, etc.
International Night
Debbie Oblon, Urvashi Shivdasani, Audre Park
Coordinate annual event that celebrates the cultural diversity of our school community by managing volunteers who present ethnic food tastings, cultural performances, activities and artifacts from all around the world
NAACP Liaison
Tamara Bishop
Nominating Committee
*OPEN*, *OPEN*, *OPEN*
3 volunteers to help vet a board for the upcoming year
Odyssey of the Mind school coordinator
Dominic Benford
Liaison between Odyssey of the Mind and school, coordinating teacher(s), students and materials for competition
Membership Campaign
*OPEN*
Organize membership campaign (starts Aug)
PTSA Membership Liaison
Winnie Gao
Organize membership campaign (starts Aug). Keep parents/students informed via flyers and electronic communication. Maintain an accurate list of all PTSA memberships.
PTSA Window Box Design and Maintenance
Katina Megas
Design and maintain the PTSA window box. Best suited for an “artsy” volunteer.
Reflections Art Contest
Greer Bautz
Promote, oversee and coordinate Reflections Art program
Restaurant Night Spirit Night
Karyl Chong
Organize, promote and run 2-3 local restaurant spirit nights
Safety Chair
*OPEN*
School Store and Spirit Wear Chair
Amy Pogorelc
Manage store inventory (including school spirit merchandise) and coordinate volunteers
Social Media Chair
Rebecca Rutberg
Help post upcoming events and articles of interest to our community on the CJMS FB page
Speaker Chair
*OPEN*
Arrange for speakers for the PTSA meetings
Special Community Liaison
*OPEN*
Work with counseling office to coordinate school supply drives, coat drives, etc.
Special Needs Liaison
*OPEN*
Keep PTSA members informed of important items for our Special Needs community
Staff Appreciation Week
Amy PogorelcLinda Bedingfield
Coordinate and run Teacher Appreciation Week for CJMS staff in May
Staff Breakfast for Back to School
Amy PogorelcLinda Bedingfield
Coordinate and run event the day before school starts
Staff/Teacher cookie buffet
Jana Safra
Plan and organize event for teachers and staff
SGA Coordinator
*OPEN*
Liaison between SGA and PTSA
Volunteer Coordinator
Kavitha Gnanasekhar
Keep list of and reach out to members of the community who can help with events
Website
Bess Siegal
Maintain and update the CJMS PTSA website
Welcome to Middle School Picnic
Reem Najaar, Lisa Mathews
Organize back to school event
Wootton Coordinator
Sab Shad
8th Grade Year End Gift
Reem Najaar