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 almost 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 4th year on the IB Foundation Board and her second year as President.
VICE PRESIDENT - Andee Holzman
Andee earned a B.S. degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has a M.A. degree in Public Relations from the University of Miami where she also holds the position of Assistant Director for the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Andee and her husband Steven currently have a daughter, Ellis, at Morikami and their son, Hayes, just started kindergarten. This is Andee's second year on the IB Foundation Board.
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 – Elsa Schack
Having two children already graduated from MPES and two currently enrolled, Elsa has truly embraced the "Morikami Way" tradition. She loves spending time with her husband, David, their four children and their extended families. Her hobbies include exercising to keep her sanity, learning about nutrition, skiing and hiking in the Rockies. Elsa has spent many years working on the IB Foundation Board managing the amazing classroom baskets that are included in the yearly Auction & Celebration.
ASSISTANT COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR - Jodi Spindel-Levinson
Jodi was born and raised in South Florida. She has served as an IB Basket Room Mom 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 third grade and Jake who is in kindergarten. This is Jodi’s first year on the board.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT - Melissa Levine-Tropp
Melissa was born and raised in NYC before moving to South FL 5 years ago. She has one son Brandon who just started kindergarten in Morikami. She graduated with a A.S.S. area of study in biology from CSI. She has been apart of the healthcare/ dental community for 19 years- and currently is practice management at a Boca Raton Cosmetic Office . She is affiliated with ADDOM and continues to thrive as a practice leader & patient advocate. When she isn’t at the office Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, making memories and enjoying everything sunny FL has to offer. Becoming a board member was a must, applauding the work they have done.This will be Melissa's first year on the board.
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 24 years ago when her daughter earned the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Linda was President of the IB Boosters which included every facet of IB Parent-Administration development. A former teacher, she now enjoys spending her retirement doting on her granddaughter who is a student at Morikami Park Elementary, cooking with her husband and enjoying the sunshine. Linda 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.