Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers from the parent community at Casa, as well as from the local business community.  Each board member serves on a committee, which helps the board to accomplish its objectives. 

KhanAwamary Khan, also known as Mary, Chairperson,  is a parent to three Casa students; an eighth grader, a fourth grader, and a third grader. She has been involved with the Casa Board since 2012. Professionally, she is the EVP, Chief Financial + Operating Officer for Carolina Small Business Development Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution in Raleigh, North Carolina, managing a social impact investment portfolio of over $40M. She has over 20 years of working in the nonprofit and innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem. She also co-founded PointClick Technologies, LLC; an IT cloud hosting and dedicated managed services company. She is the influencer behind Black Entrepreneurship Week, and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center – a partnership with Shaw University, to serve as an Innovation ecosystem that serves as a catalyst for minorities in the community. She most recently co-led a workshop at Harvard University – JF Kennedy School of Government’s Urban Innovation class discussing unlocking capital and community, and was the closing keynote speaker for the 2016 Innovative Women’s Conference, at North Carolina State University. In 2015, she was nominated for Woman of the Year by Spectacular Magazine and in 2017, she won the award for the Triangle Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity award.  Prior, she worked for the American Red Cross, Triangle Area Chapter, as their Regional Finance Executive, and as the Chief Financial Officer for Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Her experience includes leveraging technology and valued partnerships to increase efficiencies and impact, preparing and overseeing strategic plans, growth strategies, and financial statements. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Reinvestment Partners in Durham, ATHENA of the triangle, and as an Advisory Board Member to Innovate Raleigh. She is a member of the Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders, and Leadership Raleigh. She also has a Certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University, an Executive Program Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and is a Certified Community Development Finance professional. She received her MBA from Upper Iowa University and her Bachelor of Science from Shaw University.  Term ending: November 2018.

Cindy Appleby, Secretary, is an educator with over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of settings including inner city, public, private, charter, magnet, and international schools. She was a NC Teaching Fellow and has an undergraduate degree from UNC-Asheville (’94) in Psychology and Elementary Education and a Masters in K-12 Literacy (’08) from the University of NC-Chapel Hill. She currently teaches for Stevenson University’s Masters of Arts in Teaching program as an online adjunct professor. She developed the courses to support teachers in their integration of literacy into STEM focused classrooms. Cindy is a native North Carolinian married to an Englishman. She has twin daughters who attend Broughton High School and are due to graduate in 2019. Cindy is a passionate supporter of teachers and public education.  Term ending: June 2019

Alice Ward, Treasurer, is new to the Casa family this year as she joins the Board. She comes to Casa as a big fan of the Montessori method and 5 year Montessori Mom.  She and her husband, Charlie, are empty nesters living in Cary, Their daughter Molly works at MSNBC in New York City.  The recent exciting news for the family is that Molly’s team has been nominated for 2 news Emmys!  Alice has previously volunteered at Raleigh Little Theatre, University of Notre Dame Women alumnae and Moore Square Middle School. Her “day job” is being and IT Manager at NetApp in RTP.  Alice is honored and excited to be joining the Casa Board this year as it allows her to support two things she is passionate about…..children and diversity.  Term ending: June 2020

Dr. Allen L. Cannedy, Member at Large, is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He earned an Associate degree in Arts and Science from Germanna Community College, Bachelor of Science from Virginia State University and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. He did a Rotating Large Animal Internship at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and a Ruminant Production Medicine Residency at North Carolina State University- College of Veterinary Medicine (NCSU-CVM).  Dr. Cannedy was a ruminant group faculty member at NCSU-CVM as a Clinical Assistant Professor from 1997 to 2000 until became the Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs for the College of Veterinary Medicine. His primary duty as the veterinary college diversity director is to promote veterinary professional careers to underrepresented minority groups.  Dr. Cannedy also owns and operates the small ruminant and camelid mobile veterinary private practice that specializes in care for Llamas, Alpacas, Goats and Sheep.  He is the recipient of various professional awards, and was invited in 2015 to serve on a panel of experts representing the veterinary profession at the White House.  Term ending: June 2020

Daniel Chilton, Member at Large, joined the Board in May 2018, filling a vacancy.  Term ending: June 2020

Kristina Sims, Member at Large, known as Krisy, joined the Casa Esperanza Board of Directors in the spring of 2015.  She has lived in the Raleigh area for 30 years after moving down from her hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Krisy has been involved within the Charter School Community for over 15 years, including while her children attended both Magellan Charter School and Raleigh Charter High School.  She co-chaired the capital campaign at The Magellan Charter School in 2007 and 2008, raising over $750,000.  Professionally, Krisy is currently owner of Extended Family, a non-medical service provider for seniors.  In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband and three children, catching up with old friends, and visiting her extended family in New England.  Krisy’s favorite thing about Casa is its diversity, and commitment to education.  Term ending: June 2018

Mike Slipsky, Member at Large, is a corporate lawyer whose practice is focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and privacy and cybersecurity law.  He has practiced with Poyner Spruill LLP since moving to Raleigh in 2005.  Prior to that, he practiced with a large law firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Utah and received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.  He spent the majority of his youth as an Air Force brat, with stints in Georgia, California, Alabama, the United Kingdom, North Carolina and Utah.  As such, he became familiar with a variety of approaches to education and believes that Casa’s methods closely resemble his experience in British primary school, which was by far the most rewarding.  He and his wife Sarah have three children, all of whom are currently enrolled at Casa.  Mike is an avid fan of Utah football, Carolina basketball and Liverpool FC soccer–he welcomes any and all conversation regarding these topics, even if it involves friendly trash-talking.  Term ending: June 2020

Mechelle McKenney, Member at Large, joined the Board in May 2018, filling a vacancy.  Term ending: June 2020

Monica Perry,  Member at Large, joined the Board in May 2018, filling a vacancy.  Term ending: June 2020

Monique Taylor, Vice Chairperson, has been a part of the Casa family since 2012.  She and her family have lived in North Carolina since 2005, after moving from the Washington, D.C. area.  Professionally, she has spent more than a decade managing communities and working with boards.  In matters close to her heart, Monique enjoys silly stories, dance parties, trying new foods, and volunteering with her husband and three children.  She counts it a privilege to be able to support the Casa community in this capacity, because she cherishes the children and enjoys the wonderful teachers and staff.  Casa provides a unique, international experience in a close-knit environment.  Term ending: June 2020


Seth Wood, Member at Large, is the fortunate father of two Casa students and a living-in-the-moment three year old.  He’s excited to be a part of the Board at such a dynamic and welcoming school.  Seth, Catherine, and their then-four-month-old daughter moved to Raleigh in 2010 from Washington, DC.  He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia School of Law and practices law in Raleigh.  His hobbies include playing the piano and retro video games.  Term ending: June 2020

Traci Cortez, Member at Large, is a Casa parent and board member. She comes to Casa with a background in the non-profit sector with almost 20 years of experience in development and fundraising. She and her two boys and husband live in Raleigh. When not volunteering,you can find Traci cheering her boys on at the soccer field, running, reading or at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake where she proudly serves as the Director of Special Events.  Term ending: June 2018


Contact the Board:
 The board may be reached at  To reach individual members, the format uses the first letter of the member’s first name, followed by their last name:  The school’s business address is the primary mailing address that may be used for board members.