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Crosland teachers and staff are truly what makes the experience individualized and unique. It is key to build relationships and establish trust. They encourage students to take risks in a safe, loving environment. Learn more about their individual skills, teaching accomplishments and passions below.
We have the following positions open for the 2023-24 school year:
We celebrate and embrace every child’s unique needs when it comes to education. We would love to speak with you more about your child and find out if the Crosland School is the right choice for you and your family!
Genevieve deLemos is an attorney who runs a research compliance consulting firm serving hospitals and physician practices across the country. She feels fortunate to be the parent of a now 5th grade Crosland student, and has seen the impact of the school and its mission on her daughter over the past five years. Genevieve enjoys spending her downtime running, reading historical non-fiction and traveling with her family.
Mike Adams is the Sr. Director of Corporate Security at Coca-Cola Consolidated and a retired Major with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He grew up in a family where his father was an educator and was fortunate to have teachers along the way who motivated him to succeed when learning was a challenge. His experience as a security professional provides an opportunity for him to utilize these skills to ensure the safety of staff and students attending the JCS. Mike grew up in Wake Forest, NC and enjoys running, family and traveling with his wife Carmen and two kids.
Tom received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UNC Charlotte, and his Masters of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. His 32 year career with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting has been focused on the design of schools, including many Independent schools in our region. With a focus on school design and successful student outcomes, his role serving for JCS allows me to learn more about education and have a very direct impact on student outcomes. Tom and his wife Sheri have been married for 34 years, have a 29 year old son who is a forester. Tom enjoys travel, the outdoors, fishing and is a novice banjo musician.
Dr. Luis Betancourt is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. He is a partner at Pediatric and Behavioral Health, where he’s been providing mental health care to children, adolescents and their families since 2014. He is devoted to providing evidence-based and compassionate care. He enjoys spending his free time golfing, fishing, or hiking with his family.
Robert Brega works for U.S. Bank on the corporate bond trading desk. Robert has been working in the securities industry for 18 years with positions in credit risk, credit research and fixed income trading – and the latter focusing on integrating technology into trading. Robert has attended several JSC Gallas over the years and was inspired to hear about the impact it was having in the community. He’s married to his wife Amber, has two boys, Greyson(7), Brooks(3), enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.
Kelly Cipriani is a stay-at-home mother of three children, Jordan, Megan, and Gavin. Megan attends and is thriving as a middle schooler at The John Crosland School. Prior to changing directions to stay at home to raise her children in 2008, Kelly was the Controller for Consolidated Theatres, a Charlotte based regional movie theater chain which was sold to Regal Entertainment. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University. Kelly is a member of the Board of Directors of Gift of Adoption of the Carolinas, which she and her husband, Jason, founded in 2012. Kelly’s other interests include tennis, travel, animals, and spending time with friends.
Leesa Clardy is a native Charlottean who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in nursing. For twenty years, she worked in operating rooms in NC, MD, AZ, CT, NY and did pro bono cleft lip and palate repair in Thailand, Peru and Honduras. In addition, she has been an active volunteer at Christ Episcopal Church, Children’s Theater of Charlotte and the Charlotte- Mecklenburg School System. She and her husband, Jim, have two children, Julia and James. James is a middle schooler who has thrived at John Crosland. It is an honor to serve the school that has been such a gift to our family.
Courtney Gentzel is a former marketing executive and brand consultant who spent 15 years at Marquee new york city-based agencies creating brand strategies and developing advertising for M&M’s, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Barbie, Kraft, Sony, among others. originally from charlotte, she is happy to have been back for 9 years with her husband brett and their three children – perry (9), scottie (4), and ridge (7), a crosland first-grader who has finally found his educational and social home. courtney is now a full-time mom and excited to put her past experience toward the future of the john crosland school.
Austin Grant Harper is the first alumnus (Class of 2015) Board member who was diagnosed with ADHD, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder and enrolled at Dore Academy in the 2nd grade. He has overcome his fear of failure and learned the importance of taking risk in one’s life. His passion/hobbies are to help motivate people who aspire to change themselves in various ways of their life through the importance of mental wellness and exercise. He fancies himself as an amateur lumberjack, who is a nerd of various things such as cars, comic books, video games, music of all genres. He is quite fond of Anime and Japanese/ Eypytian culture.
Kim Hurst is a Senior Vice President and Regional Practice Leader for Aon’s East Region. She works with clients on all areas of group welfare benefit programs, including design strategy, cost, plan management, and administration. Kim is an active member of Aon’s Health Solutions Executive Committee where she leads discussions on performance management, growth strategies, margin expansion and pipeline development. Prior to joining our firm, Kim was a senior consultant at KPMG and served as a Trial Clerk at the U.S. Tax Court. Kim has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary.
Laura Jackson graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and went on to graduate from Cumberland School of Law. From there, Laura worked in both the public and private sector of law, where she handled a wide variety of cases—from prosecuting and defending fraud to elder abuse. Five years ago, Laura decided to combine her background in criminal law, sociology, and psychology, with her passion for helping people to establish Ordinary Graces. Together, Laura and Ordinary Graces serve as a constant and fearless advocate for the elderly—ensuring that clients and their loved ones are safe, secure, cared for, and “as happy as they can possibly be.”
Jim Kelligrew joined U.S. Bank in 2009, focusing on fixed income and capital markets. He co-led the Corporate & Commercial Banking and his distinguished industry experience also included leadership roles at Wells Fargo Securities and Bank of America Securities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and sociology from the University of Michigan. He is a returning Board member after recently returning. His son attended Dore Academy years about and received a solid academic foundation as a spring board for future opportunities.
Bailey W. Patrick has spent more than 30 years in all facets of commercial real estate. His areas of specialty encompass all types of brokerage including land, office, industrial, and investment transactions in addition to suburban office and flex space development. Bailey shares overall responsibility for the success of MPV Properties. Bailey is extremely active in the Charlotte Community serving as Director on the Corporate Board of Cato Corporation and Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, while also serving as a Trustee for Queens University, serves on the Board of Visitors for UNC-Chapel Hill, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, his high school alma mater.
Kurt Powell has spent the last 22 years in the financial services industry, having served roles in both the investment and commercial bank, focused primarily on the healthcare sector. Along with a 14-year-old daughter, Kurt and his wife, Andrea, have a neurodiverse son who was fortunate to spend three years at JCS before successfully mainstreaming to public high school. Kurt is an avid cyclist and fly fisherman who enjoys spending time in any kind of mountain environment.
Laura Reed has spent over 20 years in independent schools as a special educator, Head of School, Professional Development Director and volunteer. Her passion has always been to work with students who learn differently, so she feels at “home” being on the Board of Directors and honored to be a part of a school that provides an environment where all students belong and are understood. Laura enjoys spending time with her family and sharing clean crafted wine with friends but most weekends you can find her on the soccer field watching her daughter.
Tina Rosensteel does Accounts Payable for a medical practice. Prior to that, she spent 16 year at Bank of America and 3 years at Carolinas Healthcare System in various Finance and Accounting positions. She feels very strongly about the impact that JCS makes on students who learn differently and is happy to be able to support that through being a board member. She currently has 2nd and 4th grade boys who attend JCS. She enjoys exercising, spending time with friends and traveling with family.
Rich Simons has spent over 23 years at Daimler Trucks North America serving as its first Chief Diversity Officer and now serves as the Head of Parts Sales and Marketing. As an advocate for inclusion and the growth of our children, Rich offers an array of assets to drive sustainable culture, governance, and vision for the school. Rich and his wife enjoy watching their daughter compete in USTA Jr. tennis tournaments when he is not on the golf course.
Madelyn Smith received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Spanish for the Legal Professions and Women and Gender Studies from UNC-CH. She works at the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, a nonprofit law firm serving low-income Mecklenburg County residents in a variety of areas. At CCLA, she serves on many committees, including Racial Equity Change Team, Outreach, and Education Team, and Party Planning Committee. Her entire life has revolved around community service and involvement; from volunteering at elementary and middle schools in a variety of roles (sports coach, dance chaperone, beautification, etc.), to taking care of children of all ages throughout my years as a camp counselor, to my current job where I am consistently in the community providing clinics and events to reach people in need in our communities and provide free legal services and education. She is passionate about Crosland, not only because of its great mission and purpose but because she wishes her brother, who has autism, would’ve had an experience like Croslnd as an option.
Cassandra Tydings holds a B.S. from Louisiana State University, a law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, and a Masters of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. Cassandra’s practice is focused on estate planning and tax law; special needs planning; estate administration; business succession planning; as well as corporate and tax work for nonprofit organizations. She assists families and individuals with a range of estate planning services – including wills, trusts, family limited liability companies and charitable and gifting opportunities – as they seek to balance personal and tax objectives. She often works with owners and management of closely held businesses to develop succession plans. Cassandra also represents nonprofit organizations in organization, governance and compliance matters.
Sylvia Yarbough has over thirty years of experience in various leadership roles within the financial service industry. Sylvia is currently leveraging her financial experience and knowledge as an independent consultant. Sylvia’s greatest asset is her decisive leadership with the required flexibility in responding to constantly changing organizational needs. Sylvia holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Meredith College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Barton College. Sylvia volunteers her time providing financial counseling on topics such as budgeting, general banking, credit, and investing to individuals, non-profits, and small businesses in underserved communities. Sylvia has two adult sons and resides in the Charlotte area with her husband and extended family.