Board of Trustees

Meet Our Board of Trustees

Jacksonville Country Day School, like many other private elementary schools, is governed by its exceptional and volunteer Board of Trustees. The following individuals have donated their time and expertise to help make JCDS one of the best private elementary schools in Jacksonville, Florida.

List of 24 items.

  • Chair: Keri Morales

    Keri L. Morales is the former Vice President of Compliance at Goldman Sachs, where she worked in the New York City office of the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Division managing a global team. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Keri and her husband Ed have five children, two of whom currently attend JCDS and 3 recent graduates. Keri is active in the JCDS community and has a passion for serving the local community through her church. Keri enjoys running on the beach, exploring, serving the local community, and spending time with her family.
  • Vice Chair: Amanda Baggett

    Amanda Baggett is an attorney at Baggett Law, a personal injury law firm owned by Amanda and her husband, Matt. Amanda grew up outside of Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia, where she earned a degree in advertising in 2000. From there she earned her law degree at Mercer University in 2003. Amanda and Matt have four children at JCDS. As a family, they enjoy traveling, fishing, and exploring the area’s beaches and parks.
  • Treasurer: Bhavin Shah

    Committee: Finance
    Bhavin Shah is an entrepreneur who owns and manages several businesses across a myriad of industries in the Jacksonville area as well as across the nation. He is currently the Head of Business Development and CFO for International Tea Importers. Bhavin holds a dual degree in Business Management and Industrial Psychology from The College of New Jersey and earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Bhavin has an extensive background working with educational institutions. He currently serves as the Co-Chair for the Tea Advisory Board at the University of California Davis School and previously served on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of North Florida as well as the College of New Jersey. Bhavin’s wife is Dr. Shilpa Amin-Shah, Director of Emergency Medicine at Orange Park Medical Center. Together they have three children who have all attended Jacksonville Country Day School from Pre-K!
  • Secretary: Bernice Davis

    Committee: Governance
    Bernice joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2009. Currently, she is in Wealth Management (WM) Operations as a Business Operations Manager. Bernice is actively involved within the WM Operations Diversity & Inclusion Council and with African Village International, Inc. She also works with the Jacksonville Country Day School administration to facilitate the JCDS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Bernice holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Central Florida and an MBA in Business Management from Nova Southeastern University. She is also FINRA 7 and 66 licensed. Her son is a current 4th grade student at JCDS. In her free time, Bernice enjoys traveling with her family and scuba diving with her husband, Keith.
  • Member at Large: Kimberly Alula

    Committee: Finance
    Kimberly is a Senior Vice President in Merchandising at Fanatics, where she leads the Apparel & Jersey Buying and Integrated Merchandise Marketing teams for Major League Sports, Sporting Events, and emerging businesses for the North American Ecommerce division. In prior roles, she was VP of Global Inclusion for Fanatics, as well as a variety of strategic roles in her career in Brand Management at companies such as IMG and Macy's. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Spelman College and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Kimberly and her husband Yared have three children, two of whom currently attend JCDS and one who is a future Shark. Kimberly is active in the JCDS community and enjoys spending time with family on the weekends.
  • Member at Large: Peter T. Blumeyer

    Committee: Chair, Audit
    Peter, who is a JCDS alum from the class of 2002, is an Attorney at Holland & Knight LLP. He holds a BA in Political Science, summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and a JD from Vanderbilt University Law School. Peter also serves on the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida Advisory Board and the Episcopal School of Jacksonville Alumni Board. He is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association and the Florida Bar, Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section. Peter was named a Volunteer Florida “30 Under 30” in 2017. His hobbies and interests include travel/food tourism, running, and scary movies.
  • Member at Large: Jarret Dreicer

    Committee: Finance
    Jarret Dreicer, MHA, MS, FACHE is the President of Baptist Medical Center Beaches and Transitional Care. Jarret has a Master’s degree in Information Age Marketing from Bentley College in Waltham, MA as well as a Master's degree in Health Care Administration from the University of North Florida. He is also certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Most impressively, Jarret is a JCDS alumnus (Class of 1992)!
    Jarret is active in our community, serving as a board member for the Beaches Division of the JAX Chamber, Baptist Home Health by Bayada and (of course) Jacksonville Country Day School. He is also a member of the University of North Florida Health Administration Advisory Board, was a founding member of the University of North Florida Healthcare Administration department and was presented the 2021 University of North Florida Administration Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni award. Jarret was previously Chair for Beaches Habitat for Humanity, an organization that’s close to his heart. Dreicer is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2018 and was named to The Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list in 2017.
    He and his wife have three children, all of whom currently attend JCDS.
  • Member at Large: Rick Friedman

    Committee: Audit
    Rick Friedman is a past member of the JCDS Board of Trustees (2008-2017). He and his wife, Beverly, have one child, Amanda, a 2013 graduate of JCDS. Rick is a partner in Paradigm Commercial Capital, LLC, a private commercial real estate lender and development company. His outside interests include golf, fitness, and spending quality time with his family, especially traveling to new places.
  • Member at Large: Rebecca Goldwasser

    Committee: Advancement
    Rebecca Goldwasser is a nurse anesthetist at Borland-Groover. She holds a BSN and MSN from Vanderbilt University. She has 2 daughters that are JCDS graduates. Mara ('14) attends Florida State University and Addi ('19) attends Episcopal. She serves on many committees at Episcopal and has been active in the JCDS community for the past 14 years. She and her husband, Steve, enjoy traveling, exercising, and attending various sporting events.
  • Member at Large: Maggie Hightower

    Committee: Chair, Advancement 
    Maggie is the Assistant Vice President of the Grateful Patient Program at Nemours. She holds a BA from the University of North Florida and is currently pursuing a master's at the University of Central Florida, and is active with Leadership Florida and Leadership Jacksonville. Maggie and her husband Parker have a daughter at JCDS. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
  • Member at Large: Jusleen Kendhari

    Committee: Advancement
    Jusleen Kendhari, MD is a Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with Baptist Behavioral Health in Jacksonville. Dr. Kendhari trained at the University of Louisville where she served as a Fellow and Chief Resident. In addition to her medical practice, Jusleen serves on the Baptist Health Schwartz Round Committee and recently completed a three-year term as a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Committee. Jusleen is fluent in English, French, and Punjabi. In her free time, she enjoys spending time traveling, cooking, and SCUBA diving with her family that includes her husband and their daughter who attends JCDS.
  • Member at Large: Elizabeth Misner

    Committee: Advancement
    Elizabeth Misner joined the Board in 2018 and has one son who is a graduate of JCDS. She holds a BA in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has spent her career in roles ranging from transportation planning, project management, and strategic negotiation to social enterprise and nonprofit communications. As an active parent in her son's schools in San Francisco, New York City, and New York's Catskill Mountains, Elizabeth brings a broad perspective to building engagement from the community to her work at JCDS. She enjoys travel, hiking, kayaking, gardening, interior design, and exploring the outdoors with her son.
  • Member at Large: Geoff Neilson

    Committee: Buildings, Grounds, and Technology
    Geoff Neilson is a Senior Outside Sales Representative with Graybar Electric and has been with Graybar for more than 20 years. Geoff is the current President of the Board of Directors with Dreams Come True (DCT). He has chaired multiple committees for DCT, is an integral part of their fundraising drives, and is helping to implement changes to reach their future vision. Geoff and his wife, Krista, both attended the University of Florida. They have one child who is in the Upper Elementary grades at JCDS. In his free time, Geoff enjoys triathlons, ultramarathons, golfing, and spending time with his family.
  • Member at Large: Chuck Pearce

    Committee: Buildings, Grounds & Technology
    Chuck Pearce was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in Management Information Systems. He is currently the General Manager of the family business, High Tech Commercial Cleaning, and has worked in software development of workflow systems for over 15 years. Chuck has engaged with various industries to bring systematic order to organic processes through software development. Chuck and his wife Shannon have two boys, one a recent graduate of JCDS and another entering 3rd grade. In his free time, Chuck enjoys spending time with his family on the water.
  • Member at Large: Mark C. Preston

    Committee: Finance  
    Mark holds a BA from the University of Tampa in Government and World Affairs. He serves the community through involvement with Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville and the Ronald McDonald House. Mark and his wife Leah have a son at JCDS. He enjoys spending time with family, fishing, reading, traveling, and beach time.
  • Member at Large: Michael Schmidt

    Committee: Chair, Buildings, Grounds, and Technology
    Michael, a JCDS alum from the class of 1990 (6th grade), is the owner of The Bearded Pig. He is also the owner of Tomo Development, which is involved in real estate development, focusing on multi-family. He holds a BA in History and German from Hampden-Sydney College and a Master of Architecture from the University of Florida. Michael and his wife Mishayla have three children, all are currently enrolled at JCDS. Michael and his business partner are starting a non-profit to service hospitality industry workers. His hobbies include golf, travel, and cooking.
  • Member at Large: Lauren Setzer

    Committee: Advancement
    Lauren is originally from Baltimore, MD, and moved to Jacksonville in 2009. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Dickinson College and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from George Washington University. She has served as a Development professional in the non-profit sector for many years. Previously, she worked at the University of Maryland Medical System Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of North Florida. Currently, she is an active volunteer with the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, JFCS, and PJ Library. She and her husband Michael have two sons: one currently attends JCDS. Lauren enjoys traveling, going to the beach, reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.
  • Member at Large: Justin Terry

    Committee: Advancement
    Justin Terry is the Area Senior Vice President of Harden, a Gallagher Company.  He previously served as President and member of the Board of Directors of Harden until they merged with Gallagher. Justin holds a BBA in Risk Management & Insurance from the University of Georgia. He has served the community and the insurance industry on numerous boards and trade associations. Justin and his wife, Paige, have two children who both attended JCDS and are now in Middle School. While most of his time is consumed professionally and supporting his children’s activities, he also enjoys travel, sports, and reading.
  • Member at Large: Brian Wolfburg

    Committee: Advancement
    Brian Wolfburg currently serves as the President/CEO of VyStar Credit Union. Prior to joining VyStar in 2017, Mr. Wolfburg was the Chief Operations Officer for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union based in Anchorage, Alaska. Brian believes in being very involved in the communities in which he lives and works, in hopes of making each a robust, diverse, and inclusive environment. Since moving to Jacksonville with his family, he has served on numerous boards including the Jacksonville Chamber, JaxUSA partnership, UNF's Entrepreneurial Center Advisory Board as a Chair of JASMYN's Coming Out Breakfast Host Committee. Brian and his husband Jake have a son who attends JCDS. In his free time, Brian is an avid runner and he enjoys spending time with his family swimming, getting out on the water and traveling.
  • Member at Large: John Wright

    Committee: Buildings, Grounds, and Technology
    John Wright is the former Chief Operating Officer and current Board Member for Southeastern Aluminum Products, a national manufacturer of shower enclosures. John and his wife Angie have two daughters, Sara (27) and Olivia (13), and a beautiful granddaughter, Marlee (3). John is a graduate of Jacksonville Country Day School, along with his youngest daughter Olivia, and enjoys boating, fishing, and spending time with his girls.
  • Ex Officio Member: Patricia S. Blanchard

    Pat Blanchard began on the Board of JCDS as the president of the Parents' Association in 1995. After that allotted one year term, she was invited to “officially” join the Board. Mrs. Blanchard’s two sons, both JCDS alums, started in the Pre-K program. She served as the corresponding secretary plus co-chaired the Capital Campaign with Bill Bond for the 4th Grade Wing. After 10 years, Mrs. Blanchard was voted the school’s first honorary board member. She continues to serve JCDS on the Buildings and Grounds committee. Blanchard has been the Director of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) since 2009, which advances the success of women entrepreneurs at every stage of business development. The JWBC is a program of the JAX Chamber Foundation and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Her passion is gardening, and she has been instrumental in planning and planting much of the campus landscaping.
  • Ex Officio Member : David Kight

  • Ex Officio Member: Dennis M. Smith, Jr. MD

    Committee: Advancement
    Dr. Dennis Smith, MD joined the board in 2006. He and his wife, Julie, have a daughter, who graduated from JCDS in 2008 and later graduated from The Bolles School. Dr. Smith enjoys fly-fishing, wine tasting, and creative writing in his free time. He is the president of Smith Management Consulting Services.
  • Ex Officio Member: Greg Wong

    Greg Wong is the former Executive Vice President at Web.com. He holds a BS from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Finance from the George Washington University. Mr. Wong and his wife, Amy, have two sons. One is a 2016 graduate of JCDS and the other graduated in 2020. A former U.S. Navy officer and investment banker, Mr. Wong grew up in Southern California and lived in Northern Virginia for 17 years before moving to Jacksonville in 2008. He was elected by the public to be a trustee of Ponte Vedra Municipal Service District twice. He enjoys traveling, golf, and sailing in his spare time.