Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Stacy Brehm Tate
Stacy Tate is an ordained Presbyterian Minister (PCUSA) who serves a United Church of Christ Congregation in Irvington, IL and is the President of Brehm Oil Company, a local oil production company. Stacy is the daughter of Carol Brehm, the founder of our school.

Stacy has served on the board in previous years and also is Vice-President of Opdyke Belle Rive District #5 Public School Board, serving as a member of that board for the past 20 years. Stacy comes to the board with extensive background in education and as activist for students with learning disabilities.


Gerry Schermerhorn, Ph.D.
Gerry Schermerhorn retired from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine where she worked for 18 years and served as the Associate Dean of Students. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University. Gerry served for several years as president of the board of directors for Montessori Children’s House of Springfield, a preschool and elementary school her three children attended. She has been a Brehm parent since 2007, and her two sons are presently enrolled in OPTIONS Transitions to Independence.


Rita Dodd
Rita O’Leary Dodd obtained Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Southern Illinois University in education and supervisory administration. She went on to serve as an educator and administrator in public and private school systems for 34 years. The last 19 of those years have been devoted to Brehm. Rita also belongs to several civic organizations and currently serves on the non-profit board Preservation and Appreciation of Structural Treasures (P.A.S.T.)


Daniel Maher
Daniel Maher is a Springfield, Illinois, attorney who has been practicing law since 1984 and has held a solo practice since 1993, concentrating in administrative law. He has served on the boards of several not-for-profit corporations, including the Springfield YMCA and the Pregnancy Care Center of Springfield. Mr. Maher graduated from Northwestern University in 1979 and from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1984. He and his wife, Sandy, have four children. Their youngest child, Jordan, attended Brehm for 4 1/2 years, graduating in 2008. Dan and Sandy substituted as dorm parents at Brehm while Dan was in law school and had the honor and privilege of knowing Carol Brehm.


Brian P. Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Brown has more than 25 years of experience working with students who have complex learning difficulties and other co-morbid related issues. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Brehm’s OPTIONS program, which helps adults with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder in their transition to college. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D in Educational Psychology in Counseling, is a Licensed Social Worker, and holds a School Social Work Certification. He serves on the Illinois North Central Association State Board and the NCA/AdvancED state board. Dr. Brown was previously an adjunct faculty member at Southern Illinois University School of Social Work and has received the SIU Alumnus of the Year Award from the School of Social Work. Dr. Brown is a recognized authority on LD, ADHD and the role of medication support in student success. Dr. Brown has devoted his life to helping those with learning differences reach their fullest potential, including his son, who has LD and ADHD related issues.


Paul Kosuth
Paul Kosuth received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in botany and mathematics. He has been a faculty member at Brehm since 1984 and has taught physical science, chemistry and mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and calculus. Prior to that position, he served as a nighttime tutor, tutor supervisor, and part-time aide for mathematics classes. He was the first faculty member on the Brehm Board of Trustees. Paul and his wife, Dawn, have a daughter, Sara, who is pursuing a career in dance.


Edward J. Blake, Jr.
Edward J. Blake, Jr., is the founding partner of Blake Law Group, P.C., a seven-attorney law firm in Belleville, and a former member of the Belleville Public School District #118 Board of Education. Edward holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from St. Louis University School of Business and Administration, a Master in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, a Juris Doctor from St. Louis University School of Law, and a Masters in Taxation Law from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Edward and his wife, Irene, have three grown children.


Craig Wielansky
Craig S. Wielansky is president of L3 Corporation, a company he founded in March 1998.  Craig specializes in tenant representation and property disposition.  His duties include representing a number of retailers on a national and international basis. Craig graduated from the University of Texas in 1982 with a B.B.A. in Accounting/ Honors Business. After completing undergraduate studies he successfully completed the certified public accounting exam.  He then went on to law school where he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas in 1984.

Craig formerly served on the Board of Directors of Organized Living and presently serves on the University of Texas Business School Honors Business Advisory Board and the Brehm Preparatory School Advisory Board. Craig also serves as a Co Vice-President of the Brehm Preparatory School Parent’s Association and is a member of the Brehm Fundraising Committee. Craig’s son is a sophomore at Brehm.  He participates on the soccer team, basketball team and is Vice President of the Brehm Student Government.  He graduated in 2012.


Sandra Maher


Frank M. Poremski
Frank M. Poremski is a seasoned financial executive with significant experience in large, small, domestic, and international operations in a wide range of positions. He is skilled at dealing with a variety of business scenarios, including growth, acquisition, divestiture, and bankruptcy. Frank is currently the Sr. V.P. & Chief Financial Officer of Children’s Home + Aid Society of Illinois, a 130-year-old social service agency which provides help, hope, and opportunities to children and families in poverty and/or abusive or neglectful situations. For the seven years prior to this position, he was Chief Financial Officer of SSP/BPI Group, a privately held human services firm that provides career coaching and counseling to job seekers. Over a 28-year period, he held positions ranging from accountant to Vice President of Finance at USG Corporation, a multi-billion-dollar building products company. Frank received his BA in Accounting and MBA in Finance from De Paul University in Chicago. He also holds a CPA certificate and is or has been a member in FENG, FEI, and FLA.


Charles Jacobs
Charles F. Jacobs is the Vice President and General Counsel of and a partner in The Cordish Company, a privately owned commercial real estate development, entertainment and gaming company that is headquartered in Baltimore City, Maryland. Charles has been with The Cordish Company since 1988. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his Juris Doctorate from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Charles is a member of the New York and Maryland Bars. He is currently a Board of Trustee for The Bryn Mawr School, which is located in Baltimore, Maryland. In the past, he has served on the Board of Trustees of The Lab School of Washington and the Ruxton Country School, in Owings Mills Maryland.


Matthew Marosek
Matthew Marosek is a Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Kansas and a Project Management Professional (PMP). He has served as a Civil Engineer for Black & Veatch Special Projects Corporation in the Federal Services Division for more than five years on both domestic and international projects. He received a M.S.M in Project Management in 2012 and prior to working for Black & Veatch; Matthew attended college at Marshall University where he achieved a B.S. in Geology and then at West Virginia University Institute of Technology where he achieved a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Matthew is also a Brehm Alumnus.


David Gibbs
David Gibbs is Chairman and co-founder of E|SPACES, Inc., the office as a service innovation for mobile, connected professionals in Nashville, TN (, 2010 – present; owner and former Vice Chairman of Alacrity Services LLC, a leading insurance claim services network provider ( and affiliates, 2002 – present. He is also the principal of consultancy The West Bridge Group, which provides business advisory and legal services in risk management, new venture initiation, business strategy, property casualty insurance and litigation strategy, 2002 – present.

From 1996 to 2002, David was Chief Executive Officer, Claim Services, Travelers Insurance Company. Before joining Travelers in 1996, he served as Senior Vice President of the Domestic Brokerage Group companies of American International Group, where he worked in a range of legal and executive positions from 1989 – 1996.

Before joining AIG, he practiced law in Washington, D. C. with Steele & Fornaciari, specializing in complex trial and appellate litigation and business transactions. He also served as Counsel for Sentry Insurance Group in its Atlanta, Georgia regional office, following several years of insurance defense trial practice with Bovis, Kyle & Burch in Atlanta.

David is a graduate of the University of Richmond and the Emory University School of Law. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brehm Foundation, which supports two comprehensive academic programs focused on children and young adults with complex learning disabilities located in Carbondale, IL. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation. He is past Chairman and member of the Board of Trustees of the Klingberg Family Centers, New Britain, Connecticut – a provider of educational and therapeutic services for at risk children and their families. He also served as a member of the Richmond Council of the University of Richmond.

David is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, Life Member of Safari Club International (2009 North American Major Award Recipient), Life Member of the National Rifle Association and member of Dallas Safari Club. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Tennessee.

David and his wife, Kaye LaFollette, have two adult children: Grant (25), currently on enlisted active duty the United States Marine Corps, and Rachel (21), a student at OPTIONS – Transitions to Independence in Carbondale, IL. David and Kaye are members of Franklin First United Methodist Church in Franklin, TN.


Advisory Members

John Bobell
John LV Bobell is a retired Professor Emeritus of Idaho State University who also taught at Southern Illinois University and spent 49 years as a high school industrial arts teacher and wrestling coach. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Humboldt State University in California and his doctorate from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He then pursued advanced studies at nine different universities. Dr. Bobell’s specialties are teacher/instructor traits, task analysis and curriculum design, assessment and evaluation, career development, cooperative occupational education, and grant writing. He is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Southern Illinois University, where he teaches physical fitness and conditioning.


Barbara Lawrence
Barbara Lawrence has been an instructor at Brehm Preparatory School since 1998 in the field of English, including reading and writing skills. She has also been involved in the development of improvements to Brehm’s academic curriculum and is excited to watch the school continue to grow.

Barbara received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Southern Illinois University in 1998.


Andy Marcec
Following a long tenure in medical administration at Southern Illinois Investitute, he switched careers and took on the newly created position of Executive Physician Recruiter for Southern Illinois Healthcare, a five-hospital regional system. Marcec holds two degrees from Southern Illinois University.


Joseph Milligan


Jack Parker
Jack Parker served as a faculty member at Southern Illinois University for almost 30 years and was Dean of the College of Science for his last decade there. His teaching and research were primarily in the field of genetics. Jack has a Bachelor of Arts from North Central College and a Ph.D. from Purdue University, both in biology. He has also done work at the University of Michigan, York University (Canada) and the University of Copenhagen.


Jennifer Purdon
Jennifer Purdon is an executive coach who works with a wide variety of individuals to help them achieve their vision and better understand their strengths. While working within major corporations such as The Coca Cola Company and AXA Financial Services, she remained committed to women’s career development and professional advancement. Previously, Jennifer was Vice President for Leadership Development at Merrill Lynch and Director of Leadership and Organization Development at Pitney Bowes. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Emory University, a Master of Science in Career Development from Georgia State University, and a coaching certification from the Coaches Training Institute. She serves on the board of Girls Inc. of Westchester, New York, an organization that helps adolescent girls become “strong, smart, and bold,” and she is also a certified bereavement counselor.


Sid Smith
Sid Smith has been an entrepreneur for the last 25 years with business interests in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and around the world. In 1984, Smith founded a very successful telecom infrastructure company that was named the 8th Fastest Growing Privately-Held Company in America by Inc. Magazine. He served as president of the company for 15 years. Prior to founding this company, Smith worked for six years as a telecom engineer and engineering manager at various locations throughout the United States. He graduated from Nova Scotia Institute of Technology in 1978, and he brings his experience as a solutions-oriented business leader to Brehm’s Board. Smith is also the father of a 2007 Brehm graduate.


Darla Wexstten
Darla Wexstten is a psychotherapist in private practice in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, where she has served children and families for more than two decades. She is an avid supporter of the “Brehm Way” and promotes the school to all who might benefit from its cutting-edge methods.

Darla received her Master of Social Work Degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1988, specializing in family therapy. She was a personal friend of Carol Brehm, founder of Brehm School, and remembers Carol’s passion and energy in the early days of Brehm’s conception.