Board of Directors

Board of Directors, 2016-2017

Please feel free to contact any of the Board Members with questions about their domains of responsibility. Click their name for email or use the listed telephone number.

Jessie Knadler
Jessie Knadler, President, Current Parent

Jessie is a writer/reporter and the author of two books. She contributes audio reporting to NPR affiliates in Virginia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Hunter College in New York City. A native of Montana, she’s lived in Lexington with her husband, Jake Wilson, since 2005. They have two daughters: June, 7, a WCM alum, and Katie, 3, currently enrolled in the Primary II classroom.

Julie Phillips Brown
Julie Phillips Brown, Vice President, Current Parent

Julie Phillips Brown is an Assistant Professor of English in the Department of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies at Virginia Military Institute. After earning an M.F.A in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Cornell University, she served as the N.E.H. Postdoctoral Fellow in Poetics at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. Julie lives in Lexington with her husband, David Toomey, and their son, Aiden, who is currently enrolled in the Pre-Toddler program at Woods Creek.

Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl
Valentina Dimitrova, Secretary, Community Member

Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and Business at the Virginia Military Institute. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2006. She also holds a Master’s degree from UMD and a Bachelor’s Degree from Wittenberg University. She was previously an Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Policy at the Central European University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington and Lee University’s Economics Department.

Atin Basu
Atin Basu, Treasurer, Alumni Parent
Atin Basu is the Roberts Professor of Free Enterprise Economics at the Virginia Military Institute. He is married with two children. Both his children are WCM alums. Professor Basu is a great believer in the Montessori system of education.

Gavin Fox
Gavin Fox, Buildings & Grounds, Current Parent

Gavin Fox is an Associate Professor of Business in the Williams School at Washington and Lee University. He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Florida State University and served as a Quartermaster officer in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Gavin grew up in Virginia Beach and met his wife Mollie as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech. They moved to Lexington from Lubbock, TX in 2014 and have three sons: Cooper (attending Waddell), Gibson (Primary at Woods Creek), and Sawyer (Pre-Toddler at Woods Creek).

Ned Norland
Ned Norland, Fundraising and Communications, Current Parent

Ned Norland is a member of the IT staff at Washington and Lee University. He grew up in central New Jersey and after completing his B.S. in Computer Science at Rutgers University he ventured south to Chapel Hill, NC. A chance online meeting with W&L faculty member Mary Abdoney first brought him to Lexington in 2008 and three years later he moved to Lexington permanently. Their son Emmett in the Toddler classroom at Woods Creek.

Susan Evans
Susan Evans
, Finance, Community Member

Susan retired from teaching in 2006 after 31 years of teaching at Waddell Elementary School. During her tenure at Waddell she taught special education, extension classes, and second, third, and fifth grades. She has a BA in Education, and a MA in Administration and Leadership from the University of Virginia. After retiring, Susan pursued her growing interest in yoga and earned her 500-hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification. Most recently, Susan organized other local yoga teachers and founded Rockbridge Community Yoga, which offers donation-based Saturday classes to benefit local charities. Today, you can find Susan teaching yoga at various locations in Lexington, golfing, gardening, walking or biking.

Jan Kaufman
Jan Kaufman
, Alumni Parent

Jan is Director of Health Promotion at Washington and Lee University. She has a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a specialty in Health and Human Behavior. Jan has been involved with WCM since her early years in Lexington and is the proud parent of two early graduates, Allyson who is now 29 and Ben, 27. Jan’s husband, Art Goldsmith was instrumental in the initial renovation of the Schillington House and served on the board for many years. Jan is thrilled to serve on the WCM board, to see the school thrive and continue to be an educational resource for so many families in Rockbridge County.

WCM Board Position Descriptions
WCM Board Nomination Instructions
Sample Statements of Interest