Board of Trustees
Mark Lucas, Chair
His work led to him to Nantucket working at the Nantucket Golf Club while the course was under construction, and he is currently the golf course manager at the club. Mark is proud of the club’s successes; its reputation world-wide as a premier golf club, the club’s strong environmental record and programs, and the Nantucket Golf Club Foundation that supports so many youth programs for children on Nantucket.
Mark is active in community programs and activities including: coaching Little League and T-ball; being a director for the Partnership for Harrier Habitat Preservation (PHHP); being a member of the Naushop Architectural Review Committee (ARC); being a member of the Nantucket Board of Health’s Fertilizer Advisory Board; and having been a member of the Town’s Article 68 Workgroup, which revolutionized how fertilizers are appropriately applied and regulated on Nantucket.
Mark and his wife, Sarah Holton-Roth, met on the island and both feel fortunate to be raising their three children on Nantucket. Their children (Colby, Sammy, and Aleah) attend NLS, and all have had wonderful and great experiences. Providing their children with an education that is developmentally appropriate and respects the pace of childhood is very important to both Mark and Sarah, and they are so pleased to have found that in the Nantucket Lighthouse School.
Kitty Pochman, Vice Chair and Secretary
Neil Marttila, Treasurer
Neil graduated from the University of New Hampshire and moved to the island in 1991. He is the Market Executive at Nantucket Bank, a division of Blue Hills Bank. Nonprofit organizations have a supporter and advocate in Neil. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Nantucket Film Foundation, a Board Member of the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, and a Board Member of The Community Foundation of Nantucket. Neil previously served on the Board of Directors Access Nantucket and the Town of Nantucket’s Real Estate Advisory Board. Neil is member of the NLS Finance Committee. He is married to Lauren Marttila.
Joni Amaral, Faculty Representative
Working closely with children fills her heart with great joy and challenges her to find new and different ways to present information and concepts. She is passionate about using the Arts to enhance and enrich educational experiences for diverse learning styles and abilities, and she is inspired by these ever-varied experiences as her own love of learning continues.
Joni joined the Lighthouse School family as both an Upper Primary teacher, and as a parent, in 2017. Her interests include playing on the beach, being out on the water, or exploring different parts of the island with her husband Pedro and their children, Sawyer and Luciana.
Lizbet Carroll Fuller, Trustee Emerita
Lizbet co-founded Lighthouse School with Elizabeth Sundell in 1999 where she has served as the Director of Education, Trustee, classroom teacher and faculty advisor. She has worked with young children for over 25 years in pre-school and elementary school classrooms. She moved to Nantucket in 1991 to teach at NES before leaving and creating her own pre-school turned Kindergarten program, which evolved into the Lighthouse Small School and primary program."We set out to create a school that honors the magic of childhood while creatively introducing children to the ideas, information, and tools they will need to construct meaningful and rewarding lives. In turn, the school has generated a wonderful and caring community of teachers, staff members, families, and friends." Lizbet's philosophy of education is inspired and informed by the work of Rudolf Steiner (founder of Waldorf Education), the Integrated Day approach of the Antioch New England Graduate School, the social curriculum and philosophy of the Mead School, her practical experience in the classroom and the talented staff she has worked with. As a Trustee Emerita, she currently serves in an unofficial advisory role.
Serena Wilkie Gifford
She enjoys being part of the senior leadership team at the school almost as much as she likes spending time on the playground with the children and dressing up on occasion for Lower School assemblies. A longtime educator, Serena began her teaching career over thirty years ago at independent schools in New York City. She is a graduate of Brown University and received a Masters degree from Bank Street College of Education.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Serena was lucky to be invited to spend time on Nantucket in the 1980s and she has returned regularly ever since. She shares a love and appreciation of the island and its natural beauty with her husband, Porter Gifford, and their two children, Suzannah & Abbott, all three of whom learned to swim and sail in Nantucket waters.
She founded an independent middle school for girls in the South Bronx and founded two not for profit organizations built around the goal of sustainability: NYC Outward Bound and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. She currently has a selective consulting and coaching practice that includes law firms, educational administrators and executive directors of not for profit organizations. She is the Co-Founder of Makers Point -- a newly organized (2016) non-profit which seeks to identify national models of replicable local economic development that can benefit NYC’s Hunts Point community, where she has been working since 2002. Maryann founded St. Ignatius Middle School for Girls in 2003 and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children in 2007. Prior to her work in Hunts Point Maryann taught at Columbia Business School and Boston College Graduate School of Theology. In 1990 she was named the Director of the Institute for Not for Profit Management and Associate Dean of Executive Programs at Columbia Business School. Her areas of expertise include: Leadership Development, Strategic Planning and Influencing Skills. A graduate of St. Johns University, Saint Mary’s College, Columbia Business School and Boston College Graduate School of Theology, Maryann is currently working on a book titled Beauty In Hiding: Contemplations on Children and Poverty.
Prior to moving full time to the island he now calls home, Jim spent the better part of a decade working in marketing, communications and management for three professional soccer teams. He currently works as a real estate broker and is a partner in a small real estate development company.
Jim is married to Alix Carroll Houghton and has two children, Anna (NLS Alumna) and James (NLS class of 2023). In his free time, Jim serves on the Board of the Nantucket Soccer Club and volunteers as a coach for his son’s soccer team. Jim was drawn to Nantucket Lighthouse School by the wisdom of its philosophy, the quality of its curriculum, and the commitment of its educators to cultivate the whole child.
Carol has worked for Nantucket Glass and Mirror for the past seven year. He is the youngest of six children, but the chosen one to share his father's name. Carol first came to Nantucket to work seasonally as a waiter at the Chanticleer over twenty years ago. He and his wife, Andrea, have one son, Ethan, who has happily been a student at Nantucket Lighthouse School for the past six years.
Forward thinking and hardworking, Carol values the island community and feels compelled to contribute and give back however he is able. He enthusiastically supports Nantucket Lighthouse School and is eager to contribute as a parent and now Trustee.
He retired in 2014 and now makes his home year round on the island. Early in his career he was an executive in NY with Colgate-Palmolive. Later he became a Partner and Vice President of Booz Allen & Hamilton — management consultants. After that he worked for he Nielsen Company for more than twenty years where he managed their international media measurement businesses in more than fifty countries. He is formerly a Board member of the University of South Florida and continues advising several private companies. He and his wife Mary have four children and three grandchildren one of whom attends the Lighthouse School.
Charity Grace Mofsen
This kinship brought her to become a full time resident in 2015. She now serves as Associate Director of Nantucket Operations at the Museum of African American History where she shares the fascinating and rich history of the African Americans that helped shape Nantucket. An advocate for the empowerment of youth, Charity Grace is intimately involved with social issues affecting the people of Nantucket including the role that race historically and currently plays in our culture. With a degree in Sustainable Residential Design and Development from Maharishi University of Management, she serves as a trustee of Nantucket's Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Her experience in a consciousness-based learning environment allows her to bring a holistic approach to education that enlivens one’s creativity and encourages the development of full human potential. For fun, Charity Grace sings in a local band with her husband Michael.
Rachael Freeman Slosek
In 2003, after completing her graduate studies, she decided to move here year-round for a job at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. Currently she is the Environmental Coordinator at the Nantucket Land Bank and is married to Sam Slosek, who co-owns Moors End Farm with his family. Together they have 3 children, Sophia, Ben and Eli, all of whom attend the Lighthouse School.
Both Rachael and Sam are pleased to have the opportunity for their children to attend a school that is educating them both academically and emotionally. They feel strongly that the Lighthouse School, is teaching their children to be confident thinkers, learners and problem solvers. What an amazing foundation for life!
Mary Taaffe came "around the point" in 1986 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She fell in love with the stark beauty of the island's pristine beaches, open moorlands, and life in a special coastal community with a rich maritime history. Determined to experience life abroad, she lived in Japan teaching English conversation and sailed in the Caribbean on a charter sailboat and then chose the island as her full time home in 1989. She has been active in the Nantucket real estate market full time since 1992. Beginning as a real estate appraiser, she successfully transitioned into real estate sales and rentals to become a top producer. Mary is knowledgeable and well versed in land sales, residential sales, and new home construction. She and her husband, James, have constructed three custom homes on island. Mary recently joined Maury People Sotheby's International Realty on Main Street to begin her 24th year of real estate. Mary and James have two children, Abigail and James, who attended Nantucket Lighthouse School. Downtime on the island includes boating, biking and sailing during the summer months and dinner parties and long walks along the beaches and moors with their three yellow labs during the winter months.
Candice became a Nantucket Lighthouse School supporter shortly after her daughter Clementine was born in 2008. In 2010, Candice founded 30 miles out productions, inspired to continue the production work she loves. It would come to support NLS's communication campaign in the future. In 2013, Clementine joined the NLS kinder class, and Candice joined the NLS Communication and Garden Festival committees. More recently, her time working for Fairwinds Counseling Nantucket, in a School and Court Liaison role, offered her insight which reinforced her dedication in supporting NLS, and its extraordinary integrated curriculum, designed to honor the whole child - head, heart, hand.
The school's philosophy of addressing a child's mind, body and individual spirit, while teaching and supporting skills for critical thinking, creative problem solving, and the navigation of one's social-emotional life, has allowed her daughter Clementine to thrive in her academic experience. "We couldn't have asked for a better school for our daughter, anywhere, let alone on this little island! We love our Nantucket Lighthouse School Community."