Board Members

Board Meeting Schedule
Julie Chickillo
Julie ChickilloPresident
An information security, risk and compliance professional with over 15 years’ experience in Information Security Governance, Risk and Compliance, Threat & Vulnerability, IT Audit, Privacy, DevSecOps and Legal. Proven leadership, presentation and communication skills.
Julie currently serves as the VP, Information Security at Guild Education where she is responsible for the complete development of security and privacy program meeting compliance with GDPR, CCPA, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53. Overseeing a team made of risk, audit, compliance, privacy, DevSecOps, threat and vulnerability management specialists.
Trisha Slevens
Trisha SlevensTreasurer
Tricia is currently a Director on the Corporate Strategy team at Envision Healthcare, where she takes on large operations, finance, and HR transformation projects that have positive bottom line impacts. Previously, Tricia spent 10 years at Deloitte Consulting, traveling to clients across the globe. While not working, she spends time with her 2 children, currently enrolled in First Steps at Monarch, and husband. Tricia holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in Information Systems and a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain and Operations from Indiana University.
Christina Williams
Christina WilliamsSecretary
Christina Williams is currently a Special Education Teacher in an AP for all High school. In this role, Ms. Williams provides academic support to students with Individualized Education Plans, facilitates team meetings, and works closely with General Education Teachers to scaffold and differentiate assignments while fulfilling the grade level standards expected for each lesson. Ms. Williams earned a Masters’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis on General Studies for ages 5-21. Ms. Williams works full-time as a published author with her company MIE Readers. She is the President and Representative of the Black Excellence Committee at Monarch Montessori. She is most proud of being a mom to her three children and a wife to her husband. Through her earned Bachelor’s Degree in Writing and Directing, Ms. Williams combined her educational background and her professional writing background to author five published books. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Higher Education.
Emily Aldeen Poddar
Emily Aldeen PoddarBoard Member
Emily Aldeen Poddar has a long history in the Montessori world: She attended Montessori schools as a child; is trained in the Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary levels; worked for ten years as a Lower Elementary teacher at a Jefferson County Montessori charter school; and has had both her children enrolled in First Steps and Charter. Emily particularly likes the intersection of Montessori and public education; using the theory and practices of Maria Montessori while applying state curriculum standards. Emily has been involved with Monarch in a variety of ways since 2013– volunteering to read with students, working as a co-teacher, helping the PTO– and now she is excited to lend her time to the Board of Directors.
Carolina Franco
Carolina FrancoBoard Member
Carolina is currently dedicating her full attention to the development and growth of her two kind and brilliant sons. She went to UCD to study Political Science and had dedicated the last two decades to work for the Financial and Banking industry as a Risk Manager, Legal Analyst and also as a Compliance Officer for Financial Crimes. In this field she was able to work abroad in different countries; from the wilderness of Australia to the glamorous life of Milan, Italy, plus traveled in 42 states within the United States auditing money service businesses for domestic and federal laws and regulations.
Carolina and her husband attended universities in Colombia where they are originally from and feel very proud to extend their pride about their ancestors to their kids. Her family loves exploring different cultures, and she is convinced that her children are citizens of a pluralist world that will be able to develop a deep understanding of our diverse human race, celebrate individualism, and honor equality.
Chris Herter
Chris HerterBoard Member
Chris Herter, an experienced educator, proud Monarch parent, and certified Montessori teacher, brings a unique combination of expertise to the Monarch board. With a background spanning managerial roles in hospitality, a Master of Arts in Elementary Education, and a Montessori credential, Chris’ skill set is exceptionally versatile and well-suited for supporting the board’s goals. His experience teaching across lower and upper elementary grades enables him to advocate for the needs of students and teachers at all grade levels. Furthermore, his experience in operations management lends a business-savvy approach to nonprofit operations, bolstering the board’s strategic vision.
Alesandra Rodriguez
Alesandra RodriguezBoard Member
Alesandra Rodriguez has over ten years of Montessori education in early childhood, lower elementary, and dual language. Alesandra is an avid Montessorian and serves as a field consultant for MECR, and is a former employee of Monarch. She has a Master’s Degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education with an endorsement in Special Education. She is passionate, dedicated, and committed to advocating for the identification and programming of gifted and talented students in underrepresented populations and with multiple exceptionalities. She is active in the community participating and presenting in Gifted and Talented conferences and is also a board member of the Colorado Academy for Educators of the Gifted, Talented, and Creative.
Dana PodellBoard Member

Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Board Meetings typically take place on the fourth Thursday of each month. The exceptions are a first Thursday in December to cover November and December and a July retreat. All meetings are “Open Meetings” and comply with Colorado’s Sunshine Laws. This means the public is welcome to attend the meetings and can make comments during the public comment period. The Monarch Board is unique in the fact that board members serve dual roles to provide governance to 2 separate non-profit organizations – Monarch Montessori of Denver (dba First Steps at Monarch Montessori) & Monarch Montessori of Denver Charter School.

Click here to see up-to-date agendas and minutes

Click here for the December 2021 Board Meeting Agenda