The Morikami Park IB Foundation was organized in 2005 by a group of parents, in order to amplify their impact through shared resources and common causes. Since its inception, the Morikami Park IB Foundation has amassed an archive of tangible results, contributing over $500,000 towards various projects that have enhanced the education environment at the school. The foundation is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors, which is accountable to the donors and sponsors. Most importantly, the foundation is supported by parents and local businesses. It is this support that helps the foundation be successful in its mission to support programs that enhance the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) at the Morikami Park Elementary school.
PRESIDENT- Mandy Stein Friedlander
After being born and raised in the Chicago area, Mandy moved to South Florida over 10 years ago. She worked as a prosecutor in both Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale for over 6 years and is currently an attorney in Boca Raton. Mandy was very involved in the parent organization for her children’s pre-school and is continuing her involvement at Morikami Park Elementary. She resides in Boynton Beach with her husband David and their children, Elizabeth and Brady, both of whom are Morikami Moonbears. Mandy is starting her 5th year on the IB Foundation Board and her third year as President.
VICE PRESIDENT - Andee Holzman
Andee received a B.S. from the University of Florida and a M.A. from the University of Miami, where she's worked for the past 17 years and is the Assistant Director of the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Originally from Arkansas, Andee and her husband, Steven, live in Boca Raton with their daughter, Ellis, and son, Hayes, who both attend Morikami. This is Andee's third year on the IB Foundation Board. She is excited for another fun year raising money for MPES IB initiatives!
SECRETARY – Rhyan Dildine
Rhyan grew up in Martin County, Florida before attending Emory University where she met her best friend and husband TJ. The Dildines live in Delray Beach, FL and are the proud parents of Flossy, age 5, and Foxworth, age 18 months. The couple owns and runs their family’s 43-year-old pharmacy, Delray Shores Pharmacy & Soda Fountain, in downtown Delray Beach. Although Rhyan has enjoyed a 10-year career as a family law attorney in Palm Beach County, she recently took a hiatus from legal practice to focus her attention on The Foxworth Fountain, where she serves as head chef and manager to the pharmacy’s newly-added, old-fashion soda fountain and restaurant. This school year marks the beginning of Flossy’s school career, and Rhyan’s first year on the IB Foundation Board.
TREASURER - Robyn Taylor
Robyn was born and raised in South Florida and graduated from UF. She works as a pharmaceutical representative and currently lives in Boynton Beach with her husband, Chris and daughter, Emily. Emily will be entering 2nd grade at MPES.
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR - Elyse Gastwirth
Elyse has about 15 years of experience working as a corporate event and meeting planner. She now focuses mostly on being a mom to her son who is in first grade at Morikami and her two year old daughter as well as working part time as a Personal Trainer and Event Management Consultant. In her spare time, Elyse enjoys spending time at the beach, traveling, snowboarding and spending time with her family.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR - Jodi Spindel-Levinson
Jodi was born and raised in South Florida. She has served as an IB Basket Room Mom for the last three years and has a strong passion for philanthropy. Jodi works full time as a pharmaceutical sales representative and has two children at Morikami, Samantha who is in fourth grade and Jake who is in first grade . This is Jodi’s 2nd year on the board.
ASSISTANT COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR - Antonietta Benavides
Antonietta Benavides was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Boca Raton, FL at the young age of 9. She works as an office manager for her families tile and marble company that has been in business for 27 years. She graduated from the Florida College of Natural Health in Paramedical Skincare. She has been working as a makeup artist for 18 years and has worked for skincare companies as a counter manager as well as their traveling makeup artist. She says her greatest achievement of all are her beautiful children who attend Morikami Park Elementary. Luca, who is in first grade, and twins Marco and Giuliana who are in kindergarten. , She is excited to join the IB Foundation Board and hopes to have an amazing first year.
MPES PYP IB MAGNET COORDINATOR - Amy Mercier
Amy Mercier is a Florida native and graduated from FAU. She has been working at Morikami Park Elementary School for 19 years. She taught 3rd grade, 5th grade, and is currently the IB Magnet Coordinator. She loves being a part of the Morikami family! She has also attended the IB Academy to become a PYP workshop leader. This allows her to travel across the country to work with and train other IB teachers and administrators. In her spare time she enjoys time with her husband Dan, their two boys Brian & David, their dog, two cats, and fourteen chickens!
IB COMMITTEE LEADERS
Website Coordinator - Linda Porter
Linda has spent many years as a volunteer with a concentration on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. She first became involved with the program over 25 years ago when her daughter, Julie Warriner, earned the International Baccalaureate Diploma. As President of the IB Boosters for 5 years, Linda's duties included every facet of IB Parent-Administration development. A strong advocate for education, Linda enjoys spending her retirement doting on her granddaughter, a recent Morikami Park Elementary graduate who is now attending BAK Middle School of the Arts. She has served as the MPIBF website coordinator since 2015.
The Morikami Park IB Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds that support, strengthen and enrich the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) at Morikami Park Elementary school.