Board of Directors

Learn about the function of Académie Lafayette’s Board.

Académie Lafayette is governed by an independent Board of Directors that oversees the operations of the school and makes sure it is financially sound and follows the law. The Board also helps to create the vision for how the school should operate and develops the strategic plan.

There are two types of Board members, appointed and parent-elected. Appointed Board members serve three-year terms that can be renewed. Parent-elected Board members are elected by the parents to serve two-year terms. All Board members must pass background checks prior to their election on the Board. Below, get to know our Board members, and learn how to speak at a Board meeting.

Our Board Members

Chad Phillips, President

Chad Phillips has served on the Académie Lafayette Board since 2009, first as a parent-elected Board member and then as an appointed member. He was elected president in 2014. Chad received his juris doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University and bachelor’s in computer information systems from Tarleton State University. He is currently employed with the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Chad’s son Seth and daughter Wren are graduates of Académie Lafayette and attend Lincoln College Prep Academy. In addition to serving on the Board at Académie Lafayette, Chad has volunteered at many other school activities, such as Evening in Paris and the first robotics club.

Jon Otto, Vice President

Jon is an associate attorney at Polsinelli and works in the law firm’s financial services practice group, focusing on commercial real estate transactions, capital markets, and commercial lending. Prior to joining Polsinelli Shughart, Jon worked with the Volunteer Attorney Project at Legal Aid of Western Missouri in the low-income taxpayer clinic. Before becoming an attorney, he worked as an actuarial analyst at General Electric Insurance Solutions (later Swiss Reinsurance Corporation) and as an IT project manager at General Electric Capital Corporation.

Jon received his juris doctorate from the University of Missouri–Kansas City and his bachelor’s in mathematics from Clark Atlanta University. He was appointed to serve on the Académie Lafayette Board in 2010 and chairs the governance committees. He is married and has four children, all of whom attend Académie Lafayette.

Sheila Dougherty, Secretary

Sheila Dougherty was elected to the Board in 2015 for a two-year term as a parent-elected representative. She is the parent to Isabella, an Académie Lafayette 2017 graduate. Since joining the school community, Sheila has been heavily involved in multiple volunteer roles, including serving as a room parent, PTSO fundraising chair, raffle location coordinator, EIP bartender, and intern host-parent. On the professional side, Sheila is marketing director for Kansas City Southern, responsible for marketing in the U.S. and in Mexico.

Sheila has over 25 years of professional experience in relationship development and management, marketing and advertising, and strategic communications in the U.S. and Latin America, including an expatriate assignment in Mexico City where she led all marketing efforts for Citibank/Citigroup. After Citibank, she held marketing leadership positions with Lopez Negrete Communications (a Hispanic advertising agency), H&R Block, and Hallmark Cards.

Pam Anderson Gard

Pam Anderson Gard has been an advocate for public education in Kansas City for many years. She is a founding parent of Académie Lafayette and was appointed to serve on the Board in 2003. Currently, she serves on the human resources and governance committees.

Pam graduated from Graceland University and spent six years as a social worker for the Division of Family Services. She is currently a real estate sales executive specializing in the sale of historic Midtown properties. An active member of the Kansas City Athenaeum, she has served as vice president and president of the Board of Managers and is currently vice president of the Athenaeum Club House Company Board. Pam and her husband Jeff reside in a 127-year-old Victorian house in Hyde Park where they raised two daughters, Libby and Molly (Académie Lafayette 2002 graduate).

Crissy Dastrup

Crissy Dastrup and her family have lived in Kansas City for 9 years, during which she has engaged in many civic and volunteer activities. At Académie Lafayette, she served as the marketing chair for Evening in Paris for 2 years and is currently serving as a parent-elected member of the Board of Directors.

Crissy received her education in science and health care, with a master’s in medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is the principal of Dastrup Creative Group, a small consulting firm, and works from home while raising four children, ranging from 2- to 11-years-old. Crissy also currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and KCMO’s Smart City Advisory Board. Her past civic service includes positions as the executive vice president for the Friends of Fort Sill, the marketing chair for the KC Downtowners, and the publicity chair for the Kansas City Ballet Guild.

Tracey Lewis

Tracey is an institutional services relationship manager for The Commerce Trust Company. He markets proprietary fixed income investment management capabilities and consultative and investment advisory services. Previously, Tracey worked with Waddell & Reed Asset Management. As vice president of marketing with the institutional asset group at Waddell & Reed, Tracey spent five years servicing clients whose portfolios ranged from $10 to $500 million. His responsibilities included a role in product development, preparation of requests for proposals, consultant relations, and communicating asset allocation strategies to clients. Tracey earned his bachelor’s in marketing and communications from Babson College and his master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Tracey is married, and his three children attend Académie Lafayette. He was appointed to the Board in 2014.

Marvin Lyman

Marvin Lyman has served on the Académie Lafayette Board since 2013, first as a parent-elected Board member. In 2015, he was appointed to serve on the Board. Marvin graduated from Kansas City Public Schools and later earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University. He has served as a Governor’s Fellow at Ferris State University in Michigan and a congressional intern for the Senate Republican Conference. Marvin is a former high school and middle school teacher and a serial entrepreneur with vast restaurant experience as the former owner of Papa Lew’s Restaurant.

Marvin is the proud father of Madison and Morgan Lyman, both Académie Lafayette students. In addition to serving on the Board at Académie Lafayette, Marvin serves on the Truman Medical Center Board of Directors with governance duties on the fiscal responsibility committee and the audit committee. Likewise, he serves on the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. He is the treasurer for the Sly James for Mayor campaign and a committed community servant.

Harriett Plowman

Harriett Plowman was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2012. She currently serves as the chair of the finance committee. Harriett’s involvement in the school goes back to the late ‘90s. She and her husband, Ed Rucker, were the school founders. The original charter was written at the dining room table in their Hyde Park home. All three of Harriett’s children, Mary (2002), Barnett (2006), and Ben (2009) are graduates of Académie Lafayette.

Harriett has a bachelor’s in finance from Drake University and a master’s from Rockhurst University. Harriett is also a real estate agent with Reece & Nichols, and she serves as the chair of the Board at the Ward Parkway Preschool in Kansas City.

Speak at a Board meeting

Board meetings are open meetings and are typically held on the second Monday of each month at the Oak campus, 6 p.m., in the music room. If there is a change in location, date, or time, it will be posted.

The beginning of each meeting is reserved for public comment. A maximum of five (5) speakers total per public comments period, per a single regular business meeting, is allowed. The slots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

To speak at a Board meeting you must sign up no less than one business day before the regular monthly Board meeting (normally the second Monday of the month). Contact Carlos McClain or call 816.361.7735.

Please include:

  1. Name
  2. Contact information
  3. Specific topic you would like to address
  4. Number of handouts (if any) to send to the Board

Once you are confirmed to speak, it is suggested that you arrive no later than 5:50 p.m. the day of the Board meeting.

During your commentary, the following rules are in effect:

  • Each speaker is limited to three (3) minutes of commentary.
  • Commentary must be acceptable for a business and family friendly environment.
  • No inappropriate references or personal attacks will be tolerated.

Please note that the Board generally will not respond to questions or comments. The Board views this part of the agenda as a listening period. Contact Carlos McClain to send a message to the Board.

Board agendas/minutes

Please note that minutes are not posted until after they are approved at the next meeting.

March 20, 2017
February 13, 2017
January 9, 2017
January 28, 2017 — Board Retreat Agenda