Our leadership team is a diverse group of people who came together at LePort in the pursuit of a common goal: developing and delivering a great educational experience for children, one that teaches Knowledge for Life.

Our shared ideas about education motivate us to get up every morning excited about the day’s work ahead. These shared ideas form the foundation for a spirit of camaraderie, a culture of learning, and a joyful dedication to achievement that touches every aspect of LePort Schools. They are:

  • A deep conviction that a great education is crucially important in shaping a young person’s life, and that offering such an education is a noble and personally meaningful charge.
  • A commitment to a unique educational approach that doesn’t fall into the trap of teaching either content or method, but delivers on both—an approach that equips each child with Knowledge for Life, and prepares him in his whole being for the adventure that lies ahead.
  • Passionate Professionalism in our work—a dedication to becoming the best we can be, as people and as professionals. We live the mastery mindset we want to instill in our students. We love asking why, over and over again, until we get answers. And we love being challenged, by each other and by our community of students and parents, to always improve.

Peter LePort, MD

Chairman of the Board

Dr. LePort is a general surgeon in private practice in Orange County, California. He received his M.D. degree and surgical training in Brooklyn, New York at Downstate Medical College, where he was an Assistant Professor of Surgery for two years prior to moving to California. He is a member of the Faculty of the American College of Surgeons, and the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons. While in medical school, Dr. LePort became interested in childhood education. He studied the writings of Dr. Maria Montessori and educated his children by the Montessori Method until they completed fourth grade. He helped develop an Upper Elementary Program for his children through the rest of their education.

LePort Schools is the culmination of Dr. LePort’s efforts to provide children with a superior education, one in which they develop strong basic skills, master challenging content, and learn to think independently. From a small homeschool with three students, LePort Schools has grown to 23 locations across California, New York, and Virginia, with more to come. Dr. LePort’s dedicated team of administrators, teachers, and educational experts have worked together to develop and deliver an exceptional curriculum in a stimulating, nurturing environment, earning LePort Schools its reputation as a superior place of learning.

Carl Barney

Chief Executive Officer

Carl Barney is an experienced, skilled manager with a passion for education. He has three decades of experience managing educational institutions. From one private college in 1996, he has built a network of 18 successful private colleges. Upon retiring from the role of CEO for these colleges, he now serves as the chairman of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, (CEHE), a not-for-profit institution which consists of these colleges - Stevens-Henager Colleges, CollegeAmerica, California College San Diego, and Independence University. The colleges serve almost 12,000 students in six western states - Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, and California. The colleges offer exclusively degree programs - associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees primarily in healthcare fields such as Respiratory Therapy and Nursing, as well as programs in Business, Accounting, Graphic Arts, and Information Technology.

Mr. Barney was born and raised in post World War II England when the country was devastated physically, economically, and emotionally. In 1959, he travelled across Europe, Asia, and India; in 1960, he arrived in Australia where he spent five years before coming to America.

When Mr. Barney arrived in America, he had about $100--just enough to purchase a Greyhound bus ticket from Miami to Clinton, Tennessee where his sister lived. Given the freedom and opportunities available in America, he has been able to move up significantly from this meager financial position to live what he views as an amazing American Dream.

For over 30 years, Mr. Barney has studied and applied philosophy to his business pursuits. He describes his leadership style as philosophy-based management. For many years, Mr. Barney has supported organizations that advance the ideas that led to the founding of America and supported organizations that equipped young people with the knowledge they need to flourish in life. Like Dr. Montessori in her time, he believes that a better culture will arise through educating children in a better way.


Wendy Fisher

Vice President of Education

Wendy Fisher received her BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland, her MEd from Loyola University in Maryland, and is an EdD candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. Wendy holds AMI primary and elementary diplomas and studied Montessori adolescent pedagogy with the North American Montessori Teacher's Association. She taught for 10 years at the Primary, Elementary, and Junior High levels before serving for 12 years as Head of School at Mountaintop Montessori, a 250+ toddler-8th grade Montessori school in Charlottesville, VA.

As Vice President of Education, Wendy is in charge of ensuring that each one of our schools delivers a consistently high quality Montessori experience to each child. Together with her team, Wendy provides support and guidance to our Heads of School, develops program standards, assesses program quality, and ensures our teachers are well supported so they can focus on offering their best to their students.

Wendy’s work passion is in developing great pedagogy and promoting exceptional school communities, but in her free time she enjoys running, hiking, and eating, especially with her five Montessori-educated and much-loved children.

Helen Greenwood

Curriculum Coordinator

Hailing from Australia and originally working as a high school music and English teacher, Helen has always been interested in the Montessori Method. When AMI offered their inaugural Elementary Diploma in Australia in 2003, Helen jumped at the chance to retrain and work in Montessori schools in Sydney. She has worked in the lower and upper elementary levels, and also in the role of Additional Needs Coordinator, working with children with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, and other learning difficulties within a Montessori setting. Helen has a keen interest in the arts, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art, playing piano and leading bands and choirs for many years. Since relocating to California with her family, Helen has enjoyed exploring all of the wonderful things California has to offer--in particular the spectacular State and National Parks.

Elizabeth Strong

Montessori Systems Coordinator

Ms. Elizabeth Strong was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She received a BA in History from Reed College, an AMI teaching diploma from Montessori Institute Northwest and a M.Ed. from Loyola University. Prior to joining LePort, Ms. Strong worked as the Lead Guide of a bilingual primary classroom in Portland, Oregon. She was first introduced to Montessori while studying history and was particularly drawn to the theory behind the teaching method. One of Ms. Strong's main teaching goals is to support each individual child toward becoming an independent person, alive with curiosity and self-confidence. She finds joy and satisfaction through her work with children. In her free time, Ms. Strong enjoys cooking, sewing and hiking.

Fatima Asghar

School Leadership Advisor

Mrs. Asghar has been working in Montessori classrooms in some capacity since 1989. She was immediately drawn to Maria Montessori’s ideas after she first observed a Montessori environment-she was amazed at the level of concentration and independent work displayed by the children. Mrs Asghar quickly came to appreciate the uniqueness of the Montessori Method, and to believe deeply in the difference that it can make in the lives of children. In 1997, Mrs. Asghar received her AMI Diploma in her then hometown of Hyderabad, India. After moving to the United States, she taught for two years in a Montessori school in College Station, Texas. She then moved to California in 2000 to join LePort’s Huntington Beach campus team as a Head Primary Teacher. In 2008, Mrs. Asghar was promoted to the position of Montessori liaison. While continuing to teach a full class, in her new capacity she also took on the role of offering teachers both administrative and academic support. Over time, her quiet leadership and genuine dedication to students and staff earned her the deep respect of teachers, parents and management. In 2010, Mrs. Asghar was offered, and heartfully accepted, the position of Head of School at LePort School Huntington Harbor. As the Head of School, Mrs. Asghar oversees all operations, and ensures that each student at the school receives the highest quality Montessori education. In her spare time, Mrs. Asghar enjoys playing basketball and tennis with her family, cooking, sewing, and decorating.

Jean Peters

Montessori Coordinator

Jean Peters received her BA in Philosophy from University of Minnesota and her M.Ed. from Loyola University in Maryland. Jean holds an AMI primary degree from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota and an elementary diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. Her experience includes almost a decade of teaching at the Primary level. She then started an elementary program for White Bear Montessori School in Minnesota. Following a successful implementation, she moved to Charlottesville Virginia to take a position in an Upper Elementary classroom at Mountaintop Montessori where she taught for seven years. During her time at Mountaintop Montessori, she added Elementary Coordinator responsibilities to her teaching role. Jean has presented at both regional and national conferences and been published in the North American Montessori Teachers (NAMTA) journal. For the past nine years, she’s has acted as a mentor for Montessori Model United Nations and has been an international leader in both Rome and Dubai MMUN conferences. In 2015, Jean took on a new role and currently serves as the president of the Virginia Montessori Association.

As Montessori Coordinator, Jean is responsible for bringing best practices to life. She’s working with teachers at primary and elementary to raise the excellence within their classroom environments.

Growing up as a Montessori child, Jean knew early on she wanted to share the love of learning that Montessori instills with both her own children as well as others. She is currently a proud Montessori parent of two children.

Letty Rising

Montessori Coordinator

Ms. Letty Rising has been working with children and families throughout most of her adult life. She began her work with children several years ago as a Recreation Leader, then a Director of Afterschool Programs. Even then, she was impressed by the state of “flow” that children would attain when absorbed in work that was inspired by their interests. It was around this time she decided to take a college course on alternative educational environments, and visited a Montessori school. She was deeply struck by the way in which children worked freely and with purpose, and how the class navigated the environment independently and with ease, and she knew she had stumbled upon something special.

Ms. Rising moved on from informal learning environments, made her way into the classroom, and eventually stepped into administration. She came into her first administrative role because she wanted a Montessori school for her daughters and there were none in existence where she lived, so she started one! She has held positions as a Homeschool Education Specialist, Montessori Elementary Teacher, School Director, Principal and Consultant with several different Montessori communities over the years.

Ms. Rising earned her B.A. in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She went on to obtain her State Teaching Credential through the California State University, San Marcos. Ms. Rising participated in AMS Montessori training for ages 6-9, and later continued forth to earn her AMI elementary diploma for ages 6-12 and M.Ed from Loyola University in Maryland.

Ms. Rising has a deep understanding of the developmental needs of students from infancy through high school. She cares deeply about building strong, personal relationships with both her students and their families, and has learned over the years that it is the quality of the connections between individuals that allows a school to thrive.

When Ms. Rising is not working hard to facilitate a quality education for LePort students, she can be found reading, dancing, singing, writing, painting, spending time in nature, and connecting with friends and family. Her proudest accomplishment is being the parent of two lovely daughters who are now young adults!

Leslie Craig

Assistant to the Vice President of Education

Leslie Craig has a B.A. in English Literature from Wilmington College and a diverse and exciting career in the non-profit world that has allowed her to combine her deeply analytical thought process and critical thinking skills with her creative and empathetic spirit. She thrives in mission-driven environments that require an intelligent, analytical mind to organize people, programs, or data in a conscientious and caring manner. In her free time, Leslie surrounds herself with books and music and light and laughter. Her three children constantly surprise and challenge her to consider new perspectives and learn new things--like the preferred habitat for the Western Gorilla, the latest happenings at the Large Hadron Collider, or the current research on feathered dinosaurs. She loves watching children's interests and passions grow and develop, both in her own children and in the Montessori community as a whole.

Human Resources

Chelsea Phebus

Director of Human Resources

Chelsea Phebus found her way to HR leadership through positions of increasing responsibility in public and private institutions. Her diverse career is tied together by her passion for helping people live better lives, by using her analytical and personal abilities to support mission-driven organizations.

Ms. Phebus earned her B.A. in Political Science from California State University. She completed one year of study at the California Western School for law, but realized quickly that while she enjoyed the research aspect of law, trying cases was not her thing. She switched tracks, and completed her graduate education by earning an M.A. in International Relations, in the process picking up a working knowledge of Japanese.

During her Master’s program, she began working for the Fresno Housing Authority, where she quickly progressed from caseworker to a role in Human Resources. Her decade plus HR career also took her to a Superior Court and, most recently, to a private post-secondary college, the Institute of Technology. Her years at the college provide her with a good grounding for leading LePort’s Human Resources efforts: she has experience in managing the recruiting, talent management and development needs of a network of distributed schools, has handled the integration of HR systems, and is passionate about creating a supportive work environment for educators, so they can, in turn, do their best to help students flourish.

Ms. Phebus is motivated by LePort’s mission of equipping children with the knowledge they need to flourish in life. She has four children of her own, and outside of work, she greatly enjoys spending time with her husband and children as they explore the outdoors.

Jacquelyn Shwam

Senior Talent Specialist

Originally from Ohio, Ms. Jacquelyn Shwam has spent most of her career in the Montessori world. She worked for several years with the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA), a Montessori teachers’ organization dedicated to continuing education for Montessori teachers and providing media resources about Montessori for both parents and teachers. With NAMTA, Ms. Shwam planned national conferences and events for Montessori teachers. She also coordinated the travel and display of a touring exhibit, showcasing 100 years of Montessori education around the world. More recently before joining LePort Schools, Ms. Shwam worked for four years as the Administrator of the Montessori Institute of San Diego, both in the Institute’s AMI-affiliated Teacher Training Center, and in its model Children’s House. Ms. Shwam brings to LePort a wealth of knowledge and experience, both about the Montessori method and about school administration. She earned her B.S. in Journalism Ohio University.

Tracey Walker Hall

Leadership Resourcing Partner

Ms. Hall completed her B.A. in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Accounting through California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, later earning an AMI Primary Diploma from Montessori Northwest, and a M. Ed. from Loyola University in Maryland. Although much of her professional life has been centered in business and accounting, she found her life’s calling through her work in relief and development in Southeast Asia, where she came across the teachings of Maria Montessori, and began to pursue a path in early childhood education. All three of Ms. Hall’s children attended AMI Montessori schools in early childhood.

Ms. Hall endeavors to apply Montessori principles to all aspects of her life. She most recently served as a Regional Operations Manager for a large US accounting firm, and has chaired and served on numerous committees and boards. She is looking forward to combining her business skills with her unique perspective as a Montessori guide and parent to support LePort’s San Francisco based schools. Additionally, she hopes to play a key role in the opening of new LePort schools in the Bay Area, while further developing LePort’s operational structure and procedures. Ms. Hall is passionate about educational reform in the U.S. and is excited at the opportunity to contribute toward bringing the benefits of Montessori education to more children worldwide.

Since their marriage in 1996, Ms. Hall and her husband Darren have jointly advocated for oppressed children in Southeast Asia. In addition to her relief work, she enjoys being a “soccer” and “lacrosse” mom to sons, Jake and Matt. She also enjoys cooking and baking with her daughter, Simone, entertaining dear friends, celebrating all of the arts, and spending time with her family and friends while exploring the beauty of nature.

Ana Amiguet

Talent Specialist

Ms. Ana Amiguet is a former Montessori student from early childhood in her native Puerto Rico. She has since worked as a lead teacher in Primary classrooms in California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina and at nonprofits both working with and advocating for children in foster care. She has a BA in English Literature from Brown University, an MA in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Maryland, and an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. With a young daughter just starting her Montessori journey, Ana has enjoyed seeing Montessori from both the inside and out!

Brooke Bernard

Human Resources Generalist

Brooke Bernard is a southern California native who attends California State University, Fullerton. Early into college, Brooke discovered her passion for problem solving and helping others. This inspired her to pursue a career in Human Resources. In her free time, Brooke enjoys reading, spending time with her two dogs, and attending concerts. She is excited to be part of the LePort Schools team!

Lindsay Bolla

Human Resources Assistant

Ms. Lindsay Bolla received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2015. During her college years, Ms. Lindsay was actively involved in student government, health services, and many philanthropic activities. She worked for a non-profit organization in San Luis Obispo, helping families in need while utilizing her business management skills. Ms. Lindsay continues to broaden her knowledge, continuously taking courses in Early Childhood Education since graduating from Cal Poly. Born and raised in Orange County, Ms. Lindsay is extremely excited to be back after enjoying her time on the Central Coast. She is grateful to be working with the professionals at LePort who share her dedication and compassion for others.

In her free time, Ms. Lindsay enjoys soccer, hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with family.


Heike Larson

Vice President of Outreach

Ms. Larson holds an undergraduate degree in business from the Koblenz School of Corporate Management in Germany, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, the international management consulting firm, and held senior positions in Marketing and Sales for two airplane manufacturers.

Ms. Larson discovered Maria Montessori’s ideas while in college, and decided back then to have her children attend Montessori schools. Over the years, as she learned more, her interest in the Montessori method only deepened. When her daughter started attending preschool, her discussions with other parents led her to discover that few others shared her appreciation of Montessori’s value–even at a Montessori School! As a result, she developed a deep passion for educating parents about the tremendous benefits that a proper Montessori education offers to young children.

In early 2010, Ms. Larson’s interest in education led her to discover LePort Schools, and she was impressed with the consistently high quality of their Montessori programs. When the opportunity arose, she took on the project of guiding the organization’s development of its new website. In the process, she became fascinated by LePort’s innovative approach to elementary education and pedagogy.

Today, Ms. Larson is responsible for overseeing and coordinating LePort’s parent education, outreach, and development programs. She is excited to help LePort share the value of its quality educational programs with a broader audience, in Orange County and beyond.

Katie Noone

Director of Sales

Katie Noone is originally from Irvine, California and has been lucky to call Southern California home for most of her life. As a history student at Cal State Fullerton, Katie joined an SAT teacher training program at The Princeton Review and was immediately hooked on helping students. That training was the start of a nearly twenty year adventure with The Princeton Review. Throughout her tenure there, Katie held a variety of roles and leadership positions, with a particular focus on consultative sales and marketing. Most recently, Katie was The Princeton Review’'s Executive Director, overseeing Orange County, Long Beach, and the Inland Empire. Since having children herself, Katie has been diving deeper into the science of learning and the state of education in the United States. She is thrilled to be at LePort where she can combine these interests with her management and sales skills.

Shula Vakil

Director of Marketing

Shula Vakil holds an MBA in Marketing from UCLA and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining LePort, Shula worked in a variety of brand management and marketing roles for large companies, in a range of industries from toys to organic foods. Most recently, Shula ran her own successful brand management consulting practice, where she helped small companies launch a number of innovative products for children. Her passion for promoting brands that help kids and families thrive is what makes her marketing for LePort so rewarding.

Mrs. Vakil discovered LePort Schools during a private school search for her two young daughters. After touring LePort and learning about our exceptional curriculum and unique teaching approach, Shula was convinced she had found the ideal school. Shula is committed to spreading the word about LePort to other parents so they too, can have the opportunity to provide LePort’s topnotch education to their children. Shula and her family reside in Orange County, where they enjoy walking to local shops, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.

Richard Unten

Art Director and Web Developer

Richard Unten holds a B.A. in English, with minors in Computer Science, Digital Arts, and Education, from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining LePort Schools, Richard worked as a Senior IT Manager at a financial cooperative, and as a Web Developer at the University of California, Irvine School of Education. In the early 2000s, he built and managed a successful media design company with web and print campaigns for clients across the nation.

Shortly after his first child was born, Richard became fascinated by the educational approach of Dr. Maria Montessori while researching various pedagogical activities. Despite settling his family down in one of the nation’s top public school districts, Richard sought out the best, most authentic Montessori program for his son. His search concluded with LePort Schools. Now known as a “Montessori Dad” among his peers, Richard is passionate about spreading the word about the school that he chose for his own two children.

Yuen Liang

Outreach Consultant, Mandarin Immersion

Ms. Yuen Liang received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan in Honors Economics and Philosophy and her Master’s Degree in Management from the Australian National University. During her studies at ANU, she began to learn about Dr. Montessori's pedagogy and has been studying her educational principles ever since. While living in Japan, she received a diploma from the North American Montessori Center and worked for two years at a Montessori school in Okinawa. She continues to be actively involved with the Montessori programs her children attended in Taiwan and Japan. She is really excited to be making an impact in LePort’'s unique immersion program.
Kelly Yi

Kelly Yi

Marketing Coordinator

Kelly Yi received her B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the Outreach team at LePort Schools, she held various roles in accounting and corporate communications. Having three younger siblings and currently serving as a children's bible study teacher at her church, children have always been an important presence in her life. She is therefore thrilled to integrate her passion for children with her professional career, and after learning more about LePort and its educational approach, she is all the more excited to join the team in helping to bring this opportunity to many families. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys running, hiking, and pursuing a new-found hobby in photography.

Franci Ramynke

Outreach Manager: California South

Franci Ramynke received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at California State University, Fullerton and is currently pursuing her MBA. Irvine, California holds a special place for Franci as her childhood hometown, and attended Irvine High School. Prior to joining LePort Schools, Franci held marketing positions in fashion retail and for the last five years in post-secondary education. Her experience in post-secondary education led her to pursue a more comprehensive understanding of the impact early education had on students, which led her to the benefits of the Montessori philosophy.

Franci lives in Orange with her husband Tony, a local psychotherapist, and her teenage daughter Ashley. In her free time, Franci enjoys running, reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. If the family cannot be found during the weekend at the neighborhood organic coffee house, they can be seen exploring the record stores and art galleries of Los Angeles.

Courtney Zollinger

Outreach Manager: California North

Pittsburgh native, Courtney Zollinger, holds a B.A. in English and Public Relations from West Virginia University. As a former member of the 'Pride of West Virginia' Marching Band, she plays the alto saxophone and piano.

Courtney started her professional career as brand manager for a motocross enthusiast publication before becoming the marketing director for the premiere professional motocross racing series. After successfully growing the motocross brand, Courtney moved to California to begin a small digital marketing firm servicing a variety of clients ranging from academic institutions to the most-funded Kickstarter campaign of all time. Courtney is thrilled to apply her marketing and outreach background to spread the LePort Schools curriculum and educational experience.

In her free time, Courtney enjoys practicing yoga, staying active through hiking and jogging along the beach, learning new recipes and cooking techniques as well as spending time with her family and Himalayan cat, Sherpa.

James Rice

Outreach Manager: East Coast

James Rice is a native of Northern Virginia and began his career in early childhood education shortly after graduating from Radford University. It was during his first visit to a Montessori School that he discovered many benefits of the Montessori classroom environment--the love of learning displayed by the children, their grace towards one another and their independence to explore and learn at their own natural pace. Those first impressions helped guide James to an administrative role in his first Montessori school. Since then, James has spent many successful years as an Admissions Director and Head of School across the LePort community of schools in Northern Virginia.

As the Head of School of LePort Montessori Broadlands, James is excited to ensure his school is a warm, welcoming place for families, a supportive professional community for staff, and an example of what great Montessori can and should provide to the children under our care. James is very passionate about creating a vibrant school environment where children, families and staff feel like school is "home away from home." He looks forward to welcoming your family into the community and working together as the school grows.

In his free time, James enjoys spending time with his family, photography, making art, listening to music and following the local DC sports scene.

Michele Novy

Outreach Coordinator: East Coast

Michele Novy earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Maryland and spent several years working in both radio and television news. After the birth of her two children, Michele decided to make a career change - she received her Early Childhood Education certification and began teaching preschool. But it was only after moving to Northern Virginia from Maryland that Michele discovered and fell in love with Montessori education on a search for an educational model that mirrored her own convictions and beliefs. Before joining LePort, Michele worked as an administrator for two Montessori schools.

Michele is deeply committed to educating families about the benefits of Montessori education and loves connecting with both children and adults. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and especially loves being outdoors whether it be hiking, biking, or camping.

Operations and Development

Greg Marick

Vice President of Operations and Development

Greg Marick is an accomplished education executive with 20+ years of business experience and more than ten years of senior leadership experience. As president of NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego and, previously, The Art Institute of California campuses in Hollywood and Orange County, Greg drove strong enrollment growth and financial performance; strengthened student outcomes; and energized the culture to drive high employee engagement and workplace satisfaction.

In addition to his experience in post-secondary education, Greg worked with elementary school-aged children and families to help them develop a life-long love of learning. His passion for keeping students at the center is infectious; in all that he does, Greg seeks to work collaboratively with others to provide inspiring and engaging educational experiences that prepare students for the challenges of the future.

A Southern California native, Greg earned his MBA from the University of Southern California and his BBA from Loyola Marymount University. He lives in Brea with his wife, Christine, and two children, Chloe (11) and Oliver (6). In his free time, Greg enjoys sailing, surfing, and spending time with his family. In fact, all four of them practice the martial art of Tae Kwon Do and earned their black belts together in 2014.

Peter Mali

Business Operations Manager

Before joining LePort Schools, Peter worked for a national restaurant company as an Operations and Marketing Administrator. His education and background is in business, but he admires the Montessori philosophy. When not working, Peter enjoys spending time with his wife, trying new restaurants or watching movies. He also loves playing and watching sports with his childhood friends. Peter is honored to be working with LePort Schools.

Sarah Sherlock

Operations Manager

Sarah Sherlock is a native southern Californian with vast experience in education, project management, compliance and social services. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Forensic Sciences. Prior to joining LePort, Ms. Sherlock worked extensively in higher education as both an administrator and a faculty member. While the start of her career was primarily in social service and government compliance, her most rewarding work has been in education. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching British television, and spending time with friends and family. She is thrilled and honored to bring her talent and experience to LePort!

John King

Facilities Manager

John King has been working in facilities and building maintenance throughout his entire adult life. Prior to joining LePort, he owned a cleaning and maintenance company for over 25 years! John serviced companies such as: Hughes Aircraft, over 750,000 square feet of buildings, for 15 years, Wickes Furniture, 9 stores at over 100,000 square feet per store, for 25 years, City of Beverly Hills for 5 years, and many high rise and banking institutions.

John is a native Southern Californian and is a proud father to two sons. Outside of work, John enjoys gardening, motorcycle touring with his fiancé on the weekends and country dancing.


Jennifer Iarossi

Vice President of Finance

Ms. Iarossi graduated with honors from Northwestern University. She worked for nearly a decade as a strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies, preparing detailed forecasts, conducting market assessments, and advising on profitable growth platforms. Along the way she discovered the works of Maria Montessori. Jennifer pursued the training courses at all levels — completing her AMI infant and toddler training, MCI primary training, and AMI elementary training. Ms. Iarossi then went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Loyola University Maryland. In addition to her passion for Montessori education, she brings a strong background in financial analysis and will oversee our investor communications. Ms. Iarossi traveled across the country to join us in 2013 and she is proud to have her young children attend LePort Schools.

Rebekah Lee

Director of Accounting

Rebekah Lee earned her BA in Business Administration from California State University Fullerton, with a focus in Accounting, in 2003. After graduation, Rebekah went on to work for the 5th largest public accounting firm in the US, and spent her time auditing and providing technical assistance to clients in a variety of industries. After earning her CPA license and leaving public accounting, Rebekah served in various accounting roles, including a start-up company providing English immersion courses to Spanish speaking adults seeking college degrees.

Rebekah is excited to use her experience to develop the accounting department and assist with the growth of LePort Schools across the country. Outside of work, Rebekah loves to spend time with her daughter and husband. Additionally, she enjoys pushing herself through workouts at her local Cross fit gym, and watching her husband compete in jiu jitsu tournaments.

Darshee Shah

Director of Payroll and Tax

Ms. Darshee Shah joined LePort Schools with over eight years of experience in public accounting, specializing in taxation and audit. In 2001, Darshee received her B.A. from the University of Mumbai, India with a dual-major in taxation and accounting. She stayed in India for her initial professional experience, then later moved to California, where she earned her CPA license, and continued to expand her range of expertise in taxation and other areas of accounting.

When Ms. Shah decided to make a career change to private accounting, she was thrilled to discover LePort Schools. Here, she is able to apply the full range of her skills in providing critical financial services and guidance to an incredible network of schools.

When away from work, Darshee loves spending time with friends and family, cooking, and traveling with her husband, Vishal, a Manager at Deloitte Consulting.

Brad Barragar

Staff Accountant

Brad Barragar graduated from California State University, Fullerton where he earned his BS in Business with an emphasis in accounting and finance. Prior to joining the LePort team, he worked in banking and accounting. Brad was very impressed by the Montessori philosophy and its promotion of independence, coupled with the individualized learning strategy. Due to Brad’s background in collegiate athletics, he’s sees the value in teaching our youth to think critically and take initiative. Brad is very excited about being on a team that is making such a positive impact on the community.

Jackie Demyers


Jacqueline Demyers has worked in the Early Childhood field for the past 27 years. She has her AA degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Infant/Toddler Care from Santa Ana College. She has worked as a Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Director, and Director. She went on to earn her BS degree in Business Accounting from the University of Phoenix in 2003. Ms. Demyers' love for being around children and watching them develop is one of the things that lead her to LePort. During her spare time she loves to sew, quilt, knit and crochet as well as teach. She also enjoys spending time with her three daughters and granddaughter.

Elizabeth Birrueta


Elizabeth joined LePort Schools in 2016 as a Bookkeeper and comes to LePort with 9+ years of experience in accounting. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is very excited to join the finance team at LePort Schools.

Jean Chung

Corporate Counsel

Jean Chung received her B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara and J.D. from Whittier Law School in Orange County. After becoming an attorney, Jean worked for several law firms based in Southern California, where she gained considerable experience in employment and immigration law. Before joining LePort Schools, she was Of-Counsel at Kinaga Law Firm, where she represented clients in litigation and administrative proceedings, drafted legal documents, and advised clients in general business law and immigration law.

Jean lives in Irvine with her husband, her son, and two dogs. In her free time, Jean enjoys reading, dancing, sewing, and knitting.


Howard Sun

Project Manager

Howard Sun earned a BA in Sociology from UCLA before joining Accenture on its technical architecture teams, working with some of the world's foremost media, entertainment, and communications companies. More recently, as an IT Project Manager and IT Governance and Compliance Manager, Howard was responsible for a global portfolio of projects, developing policy, and integrating technology with the business.

In his free time, Howard enjoys cooking, photography, and cheering on his beloved Bruins.

Alex Momeni

Information Technology Manager

Originally from Sweden, Alex has been delivering creative solutions for complex technical and business problems internationally for over 17 years. Prior to LePort, Alex was in the financial sector for 12 years, working with the largest hedge funds, banks and institutions on Wall Street and in Europe, South America and APAC, where he headed the Information Technology Infrastructure Team. As the Head of Technology, he managed the business integrations and the IT infrastructure between leading global financial exchanges to provide independent, flexible and transparent high-frequency trading and execution services to clients worldwide. Alex is customer, business and strategy-focused, valued for superior communications skills and building high performance cross-functional/cultural teams, with a proven record of successfully leading IT organizations in various industries.

Today Alex is bringing his passion and experience for technology and education together, and advises LePort Schools on its technology needs to deliver high-quality education to each individual child.