Board of Governors
The St. Columba's Nursery School Board of Governors is empowered by the Vestry of St. Columba's Church to oversee the business of the Nursery School and to safeguard the School's mission. The Board is composed of up to fifteen voting and four ex officio members including the Rector, Warden, and the Head of School. To contact the BoG directly, email [email protected]
Meet our 2022-2023 Board of Governors
Alice Goodman, Chair "As a member of St. Columba's parish for more than three decades and as a member of the BOG for three years, I see the Nursery School as an intimate connection, and a huge asset, to the parish and community. For over 60 years, St. Columba’s Nursery School has lived up to its mission - and more. The approach to play-based learning and development, outside activities, inclusion of children with challenges, the level of parent engagement and the quality staff make the Nursery School unique. As a member of the BOG, I enjoy supporting Kate Murphy, the teaching team and staff, the clergy, and my fellow BOG members, as we continue to innovate and grapple with the challenge of education in a Covid/post-Covid environment. Every week brings new issues but also fresh and novel solutions and answers. I feel honored to work with such a creative and dedicated team."
Reid Figel, Vice Chair "St. Columba's provided our son with a supportive learning environment that few, if any, other nursery schools could offer. This included extra support, patience, and compassion, combined with early exposure to chickens, a school dog, and the joy of playing outside.
Equally important, St. Columba's helped us as new parents navigate an unfamiliar and unexpectedly difficult journey through childhood development and educational issues in a supportive community of kind and skilled teachers and other wonderful families.
I serve on the Board to help ensure that other families can have the wonderful experience that we did at St. Columba's."
Sam Le Blanc, Treasurer "I serve on the Board for two reasons. More than twenty years ago, at a very difficult time for me, my family started attending St. Columba’s. We found a warm, nurturing community that accepted us. Through many family changes, St. Columba’s served as an anchor for our family. The community, the spirit, and the physical space have all been instrumental in our lives. I want to make give back to the community and ensure those elements are actively available for new members. Secondly, my children benefited from attending invigorating and caring pre-schools. I strongly value and advocate for schools with the educational approach and mission of SCNS. As much as possible, I want to contribute to the continuation and good stewardship of SCNS so that it will serve our community for a long time."
Caroline Handorf, Co-Secretary "St. Columba's is a uniquely nurturing place. As students, my children spent each day deeply engaged in the meaningful "work" of childhood - play - with adults who appreciated and celebrated their individual gifts. The loving teachers are deeply attuned to the needs and abilities of each wondrous being in their care and provide the support and opportunities to help each one grow to be their best self. Every time I step foot on the playground or in the school, I think, "THIS is what childhood should be." Messy, colorful, friend-filled, secure, joyful, caring: every child should be so blessed to be here. I'm grateful that my children had the opportunity to attend SCNS and that is why I serve on the Board."
Eakta Agrawal, Co-Secretary "I chose St. Columba's Nursery School for the magical moments it gave my children -- feeding the chickens, jumping in puddles, digging for treasure, and making friendships as well as for its inclusivity and diversity. Being at St. Columba's helped me find my place as a parent and gave our family our community. Whether cutting vegetables on soup day, swapping toddler stories over coffee, doing service work, beautifying the grounds, or conferring with experienced and supportive teachers, opportunities to engage with the community and truly celebrate this stage of life are what made St. Columba’s a beloved foundation for our family. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve this special school and look forward to working with the board."
Anne Murphy “St. Columba's has a great nursery school, thanks to the smart and caring people responsible for running it. As a new member of the Board, I look forward to working with this terrific group to see how we can make the school even better.”
Blair Farr "As a local pediatrician (who was born & raised in DC), I’m excited to join the board of a school that prioritizes child development and that offers services to children who need a little extra help catching up."
Brooks Hundley is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Washington who is in his sixteenth year serving as school chaplain at St. Albans School for Boys. Brooks received his BA in Psychology from Skidmore College, his MDIV from Union Theological Seminary, and his post-graduate diploma in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary. Rev. Hundley is also an assisting cleric at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church. He is married to Courtney Hutchinson Hundley, a middle school English and Mindfulness teacher and staff member at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church. Brooks and Courtney are the parents of James, and Caroline, who both attended St. Columba’s Nursery School.
Carol Graves "When my own daughter was born, my husband and I researched preschools in New York, where we lived at the time, until we found one that focused on the whole child, rather than a rigid pre-academic curriculum. That nursery school (and a subsequent pre-school kindergarten that Erika attended later) taught through loving care, nature study, field trips, play, and experiential learning activities. Parental participation was encouraged, and I was often in the classroom and very involved in the parent teacher associations and fund-raising activities. The philosophy of these two schools appears to be similar to that of the St. Columba nursery school, which increases my interest in serving on the nursery school board."
Josh Wilson is a member of the vestry at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, and serves as Vestry Liaison to the Nursery School’s Board of Governors. He holds a JD from Northwestern University School of Law and works as an environmental lawyer for the United States Department of Justice. Josh and his wife Becky are longtime St. Columba’s parishioners and their son and daughter attended the Nursery School from 2012-2016.
Kay Tatum, Former Chair "Both of my sons attended Saint Columba’s Nursery School in the 1990’s. They loved going to school every day and continued to love school throughout their educations. Today they are both in careers that require life-long learning. I believe Saint Columba’s contributed as much or more than any other school they attended to their love of learning. I also learned very helpful information about childhood development and early childhood education from the school’s educational programs for parents. We are still close friends with families we met at the school. I am very grateful for Saint Columba’s significant contributions to our family and I feel that serving on the BOG is a small gesture to express that gratitude."
Ex officio: Rev. Ledlie I Laughlin, Rector; the Senior and Junior Wardens of the Vestry, and Head of School, Kate Murphy.