Marcia Brooks is the executive director of Lakewood Avenue Children’s School (est. 1986), a child-centered, project-based preschool inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. She was a CPSC parent for nine years. Her son started as a first grader in the school’s first year, and her daughter graduated from CPSC elementary school in 2012. Marcia has served on the boards of the Durham Arts Council, and The Scrap Exchange. She has earned a BFA in drawing (UNH), the NC K-12 Art Education License, NC Early Childhood Teaching and Admin Credentials, and an MID from NSCU College of Design, where she studied environmental design for young children.
Chanel Carrell, M.Ed., MSA, is a distinguished educational leader with a robust background in school administration, program coordination, and curriculum development. Chanel has dedicated her career to enhancing educational experiences for students, faculty, and staff through innovative programs, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Chanel embarked on her professional journey after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. Her passion for education and leadership propelled her to further her studies, obtaining a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Mathematics and a Master of School Administration (MSA) from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, Chanel has acquired various certifications, including Project Management (PMI), Mindful Teacher from Mindful Schools, and Academically and Intellectually Gifted Education (AIG) from Duke University.
Her teaching career began as a third-grade teacher and grade-level chair at Central Park School for Children. All four of her children attended CPSC and graduated during her time at CPSC. At North Carolina State University, Chanel has made remarkable contributions as a University Program Coordinator for the Data Science Academy. In this role, she has successfully managed and secured sponsorships for programming, collaborated with multiple colleges, and hosted career expo events, significantly enhancing the academy’s offerings and student engagement.
Chanel Carrell’s career is a testament to her unwavering commitment to educational excellence, leadership, and the empowerment of students and educators alike. Her work continues to impact the field of education, shaping the future of learning in North Carolina and beyond.
Bob Chapman is a new urbanist developer who builds walkable mixed-use neighborhoods. His urban infill projects include Trinity Heights in Durham and the Village at Hendrix in Conway, AR. He has served on the boards of Preservation Durham, the North Carolina Smart Growth Alliance, Durham Central Park, Duke School for Children, the Carolina Theater, St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Friends of the Duke University Art Museum, the Research Triangle Regional Film Commission, the Trading Path Association and the NC Art Society. Bob is presently lead developer for the South Elm Street project in downtown Greensboro.
Joe Fitzsimons is an architect specializing in adaptive reuse of historic buildings and has participated in many of Durham’s recent major renovation projects, including American Tobacco, Golden Belt, and American Underground at Main Street. He has worked on every phase of the Central Park School for Children’s expansion, dating back to the original conversion of 724 Foster Street in 2002. Joe also serves on the Durham Historic Preservation Commission.
Bryan Gilmer is the director of communications at NC School of Science and Mathematics. He helps the school tell stories of the transformative power of NCSSM on people, communities, and the state to inspire alumni, donors, prospective students and families, and governmental partners. Previously, Bryan served as director of marketing and development for Urban Ministries of Durham, the main homeless shelter and emergency services provider in downtown Durham. Bryan earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and began his career as a newspaper reporter, first for The Greenville News in South Carolina, and then at Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times. After relocating to Durham in 2003, Bryan worked for a decade as a communications consultant serving many units of Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill as well as corporate clients including Netflix and The Streets at Southpoint. He has also taught newswriting at UNC-Chapel Hill as an adjunct, and has published three crime thriller novels. Bryan and his wife, Jennifer Nolan, an N.C. State English professor, live with their three children in Old East Durham.
Richard Hart is an award-winning journalist who has lived and worked in Durham for more than 25 years. He has been a reporter and editor at newspapers and news services in his hometown of New Orleans, New York City, Jackson MS, Madrid (Spain), and Miami FL, and was the Durham editor of The (Raleigh) News & Observer and the editor of the Independent Weekly. He came to love and appreciate CPSC’s child-centered focus and when his son was in the school’s first kindergarten class, the first class to finish a complete K-5 education. He serves on the board to advance his conviction that Central Park School for Children has an obligation as a charter school to pass its insights and experience with project-based learning on to the rest of the Durham Public Schools system.
Vicky Patton served as an assistant to President Terry Sanford at Duke University and led the effort to relocate the American Dance Festival from Connecticut to Durham. She was a founding Board member, then president of the Duke School for Children and managed the creation of their campus on Hull Avenue. Just before committing all her time to the creation of CPSC, Vicky was the Executive Director of The Governors Center at the Sanford Institute for Public Policy where she taught management to executives in state government.
Dr. Tauchiana Williams is a clinical associate professor and director of the Advanced Standing MSW Program of UNC Chapel Hill. She is the coordinator of the N. C. School Social Work License program. Her research areas include Black parent engagement and involvement with a focus on barriers and facilitators that impact student success. Tauchiana serves as the Lead Interventionist for the Substance Use Prevention and Education Research (SUPER) program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She is a licensed clinical social worker whose practice areas include child and adolescent mental health, school social work, substance use, and trauma. She was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to serve on the N. C. Social Work Certification and Licensure Board where she holds the office of secretary/treasurer. The best honor is being mother to an amazing son at CPSC.