Head of School & Leadership

NNM's Executive Team

Head of School

Brian Corley

Hello, everyone. I’m Brian Corley, Head of School here at Near North. It is my privilege to welcome you to the school year.

Not only am I Head of School, but I am also a parent at Near North. I have three wonderful children, two of whom will be in school this fall.

I am so excited to welcome all our parents, teachers, and staff back to the school year – but I’m especially excited to welcome Hannah Richardson, our new Associate Head of School. Hannah joins our Executive Leadership team, which also includes Robert Hart, our Operations and Finance Director, and me. She will also be a Near North parent this year with a child in our Elementary program.

Now all of our parents will have already heard from Hannah and our coaches about our new model for the levels and the work to align Near North so that we feel more like a single school. 

Brian Corley, Near North Montessori Head of School, sits outside of the school building

This charge for Hannah is the culmination of listening to parents, teachers, and staff and a great deal of collaborative planning throughout the 21-22 school year. During my first year as Head of School, I learned about the coaching model and the exciting possibilities that were just out of reach due to structure and capacity here at the school. As we searched for a capable Assistant Head of School, Hannah, an expert in the coaching model in Montessori contexts, rose to the surface as the perfect fit to sustain these changes – in a way that maintains the integrity of our classrooms and our Montessori commitments.

The work of school persisted over the summer and continues into the fall as we engage with our strategic plan, which is guided by four pillars: 

  • DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  • Elevate and Evolve Near North Montessori School (Academics and Curriculum)
  • Diversified Financial Sustainability
  • Community Engagement (Parent School/ Community/School Partnership)

So as Hannah focuses her efforts, expertise, and passion on the academic and curricular work, this allows me to engage deeply into our other pillars. That means partnering on work with key leaders in our school, including teachers, administrators, and many of you who are reading this right now. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself meeting with me soon.

Friends, I am so excited about the work ahead. Standing on the foundation of our culture of care, we are now stepping out together as a community of practice. 

Now, as we work together towards our collective strengths and common goals, we commit to asking ourselves and each other this core question in the practice of Montessori: “What is best for the child?” Parents and educators – this is the question and work that unites us and welcomes us all into the 22-23 school year.

Thank you for your partnership.

Associate Head of School

Hannah Richardson

Photo of Hannah Richardson, Associate Head of School

Finance & Operations

Robert Hart

Robert Hart, Operations and Finance Director

Updates from our Head of School

Brian and Onyx

How often do you get a chance to think about how many different hats you wear in a day?

As I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many of you, I would guess that some of your hats might look like mine: parent to your children, partner to your significant other, friend, coworker, leader, listener – truly, our hats would stack to the sky if we named them all. 

So again, you might relate, but it’s not always clear which hat I have to wear and when. And sometimes I have to wear many hats at once.

As Head of School and a parent here at Near North, this tricky balance is always front and center for me.

Brian Corley, Head of School

I believe in Montessori education. I believe in Maria Montessori’s philosophy and her commitment to educating the whole child. Montessori education is timeless, adapting and evolving to meet the needs of all students regardless of their gender identity, race, social-economic status, or ability.

But what makes Near North Montessori unique from other Montessori schools? I think if you were to randomly ask students and staff in the hallway or parents in a carpool line, they would likely say, “the community.” 

The last 18 months have challenged and frayed our community in ways that few could have imagined. Yet, today I sense a special quality in our fabric that is still holding us together.

The 22-23 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of twelve to eighteen NNM parents. The Head of School, Director of Finance and Facilities, and two staff members also serve on the board as non-voting members.

Near North's Board of Directors provides guidance and direction for the school, oversees budgeting to ensure financial stability and ensures that the school maintains its focus on its educational mission.

Our Board Members

A collection of headshots from the Board of Directors


George Aye
Sarah Berghorst
Frédéric Boyer
Lee Clark
Gary Cloudman
Bhumika Gashti
Ali Khan
Caroline Ko
Sachin Master
Kim Nemirow
Erik Nordby
Pilar Ortega
Puja Singh Patel
Rina Patel
Lesley Pinckney
Mary Rudnick
Tony Sutton
Matt Zweifel


Ali Khan, President
Matt Zweifel, Vice President
Lee Clark, Treasurer
Rina Patel, Secretary

Administrative Representative

Brian Corley, Ex-Officio
(Non-voting member)

Administrative Support

Robert Hart, Finance & Operations Director
Marcela Gomez Sixto, Advisor
April Jean-Baptiste, Advisor

Standing Committees


Annual Committees

TSA Investment
Strategic Plan

Stories from our Board Members

Lee Clark, NNM parent

In college during my training as a resident advisor, I had a coordinator who always encouraged us to leave a place better than we found it. Being a member of the board allows me the opportunity to help make the school better for future NNM families. Realizing that we’re here for only a short time, we could be considered stewards of NNM, taking care of it for today’s students and the families to come.