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.
Jessica Brody
Jessica BrodyVice President
Jessica Brody is an Assistant City Attorney within the Denver City Attorney’s Office. She specializes in environmental law, representing the City in environmental and litigation matters and advising City agencies on environmental laws. Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, she was an associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado where she was a member of the firm’s environmental and litigation practice groups. Ms. Brody graduated from Yale Law School in 2003. Ms. Brody is also a parent of two Monarch students.
Carolina Franco
Carolina FrancoTreasurer
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.
Emily Aldeen Poddar
Emily Aldeen PoddarSecretary
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.
Selina Ramos
Selina RamosBoard Member
Selina enjoys serving on the board to support all of Monarch’s students, and really enjoys seeing students grow academically while the Montessori approach also fosters their individuality and helps them become active seekers of knowledge. Selina has worked in the field of education for 13 years in many capacities. She started as a family liaison at Jeffco Public Schools, then worked as a Data Analyst supporting various departments such as Multicultural Student Services, the Title I Department and the Migrant Education program. Currently, Selina works at Aurora Public Schools, managing budgets for the Division of Equity in Learning. She received her BS in Finance and Computer Information Systems from the Metropolitan State University. Selina and her family enjoy bike riding, spending time outdoors and enjoying the Colorado mountains. Selina also has two school age children who have attended Monarch Montessori for several years.
Lisa Armao
Lisa ArmaoBoard Member
Lisa Armao has been in Montessori leadership and the Early Childhood field for over 30 years. Lisa studied Human Development and Family Studies at CSU, before discovering Montessori and pursuing her Montessori Administrator Credential and Director qualifications for the state of Colorado. A lifelong learner, Lisa has continued her education over the years, including her recent study of Intergenerational Programming and Montessori for Ageing and Dementia. Lisa currently works as an Early Childhood Program Manager for a Denver based non-profit that amplifies the power of older adults to strengthen our communities. Lisa focuses on the early childhood community. This project allows Lisa to work with two of her favorite populations, older adults and our youngest citizens! After 26 years working as a Head of School with both nonprofit and charter school Boards, Lisa will bring a unique perspective to the Monarch Board and is excited to use her years of Montessori training and experience again. Both of Lisa’s children attended public Montessori through 6 grade. Now that they are adults she sees the benefits of that early Montessori education show up in wonderful ways in their lives and she is excited to support Monarch Montessori as they work to create the leaders of tomorrow.

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