About

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 26 items.

  • Chair: Justin Terry

    Justin Terry is 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 currently attend JCDS. While most of his time is consumed professionally and supporting his children’s activities, he also enjoys travel, sports, and reading.
  • Vice Chair: Keri Morales

    Committee: Governance
    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, three of whom currently attend JCDS and one who is a recent graduate. Keri is active in the JCDS community and has a passion for serving the local community through her church, Christ Church East, PCA. Keri enjoys running on the beach, exploring, volunteering, and spending time with her family.  
  • Secretary: Amanda Baggett

    Committee: Chair, Governance
    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: Rajeeb K. Das

    Committee: Chair, Finance
    Rajeeb Das is the Deals Managing Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Professional Accountancy from the University of Texas at Austin. Rajeeb and his wife, Sher-Lu Pai, have two daughters who attend JCDS. In his free time, he enjoys travel and photography. Both he and his wife enjoy being active in the community and enjoy traveling a great deal. They both believe a child’s success starts with a solid education and a strong support group. 
  • Member at Large: Michael Abel

    Committee: Chair, Audit
    Committee: Finance
    Michael is the co-founder of Abel Bean Law PA. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. Michael’s wife Jill is a former JCDS teacher. They have two children who both attended JCDS: Hannah (‘06) and Aaron (‘10). Michael previously served on the Board of Trustees as the Development Committee Chair from 2005 to 2011. He is active in the community with the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville, and Congregation Etz Chaim. He enjoys running in his free time.
  • Member at Large: Peter T. Blumeyer

    Committee: 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: Bernice Davis

    Committee: Finance
    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 3rd-grade student at JCDS. In her free time, Bernice enjoys traveling with her family and scuba diving with her husband, Keith.
  • Member at Large: Jarret Dreicer

    Committee: Advancement

    Jarret Dreicer, FACHE, MHA, is the Vice President of Operations for both Baptist Medical Center South and Baptist Medical Center Beaches. Jarret has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and 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 currently serves on the board for Beaches Habitat for Humanity and DLC Nurse & Learn, two organizations that are close to his heart. He has three young children, the oldest is a third-grader at 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: Chair, 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: Steven Goodfriend

    Committee: Buildings, Grounds, and Technology
    Steven Goodfriend and his wife Heather have two children, Ellie and Kallan. Ellie graduated from JCDS in 2018 and Kallan is currently in third grade. Steven is a practicing Emergency Physician at Orange Park Medical Center and its affiliated Free Standing Emergency Departments. He also serves as the Emergency Department Medical Director at these sites. He is the Immediate Past Chief of Staff at Orange Park Medical Center. In addition, Steve is a System Medical Director for TeamHealth and supports several hospitals in the southeastern region of the United States.
     
  • Member at Large: Salem Hassan

    Committee: Advancement
    Salem is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and the Founder, President, and Board Member of Travelcamp RV and other related RV business brands with extensive experience in inventory management, advertising, and marketing, back-office operations, retail store management, store expansion, and technology development. Salem also has experience in location acquisition, accounting, and expertise in application development to streamline internal processes to support fast, large-scale, enterprise growth. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University. He is married to Alana Hassan and has two children at JCDS. Salem enjoys traveling in his RV with his family and making music in his spare time.
  • Member at Large: Maggie Hightower

    Committee: Advancement 
    Maggie is the Chief Philanthropy Officer at Nemours Children’s Health System. 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 in Kindergarten at JCDS. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
  • Member at Large: Kirsten Martino

    Committee: Governance
    Kirsten Martino is an owner of Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q and Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q which combines her passion for small business, local philanthropic involvement, and the culinary industry.  She graduated from Vanderbilt University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2002.  Kirsten has served on the Board of the St. Vincent’s Foundation, is a graduate of the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative and a member of the Women’s Giving Alliance.  She has served on the Board for Jacksonville Country Day School for four years.  Kirsten currently resides in Ponte Vedra Beach with her husband, Josh, and daughters, Ella, Chase, and Mae and their yellow lab, Rosie.
  • Member at Large: Elizabeth Misner

    Committee: Advancement
    Elizabeth Misner joined the Board in 2018 and has one son who currently attends 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 public and independent schools in San Francisco, New York City, and New York's Catskill Mountains, Elizabeth brings a broad perspective to building engagement within school communities to 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 Sales Representative with Graybar Electric and has been with Graybar for 22 years. Geoff is the current Vice President of 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 currently in 2nd grade at JCDS. In his free time, Geoff enjoys triathlons, ultramarathons, golfing and spending time with family.
  • 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: Carrie Saunders

    Committee: Buildings, Grounds, and Technology
    Carrie Saunders is the owner of Kids Designer Warehouse Sale. She holds a BA in Economics and Classical Studies from Cornell College, and a Juris Doctorate from Emory University College of Law and the University of Nebraska College of Law. She has two children who currently attend JCDS. In her free time, she enjoys running, swimming, biking, reading, and doing anything fun with her children.
  • Member at Large: Michael Schmidt

    Committee: 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, with one in 2nd grade 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 The 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 who attends second grade at JCDS, and another who is 4. Lauren enjoys traveling, going to the beach, reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.
  • Member at Large: 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 education 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 onward.
  • Member at Large: John Wright

    Committee: Finance
    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 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: 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.
  • Ex Officio Member: Daniel S. Yip, MD

    Dr. Daniel Yip joined the board in 2004 and served as president from 2009-2011. He was born and raised in southern California and moved to Jacksonville in 2001 from St. Louis to be director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at Mayo Clinic. He has two children who graduated from JCDS. His son was in the class of 2003 and his daughter was in the class of 2008. He earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MD from the American University of the Caribbean. He is married to Teresa Rodriguez-Yip.