Board Members

Our board is made up of very caring parents, community leaders, and dedicated supporters of City Garden Montessori. We’d like you to get to know them here.

Leslie Peters, Immediate Past Chair

Leslie Peters has been working in the not-for-profit sector for more than twenty five years.  She has served as a board member, development director, executive director and volunteer for many not-for-profit organizations in St. Louis. 

Leslie is currently the Chief Facilitator for Elements Partnership, a consulting practice that aligns people, purpose and action.  In that role, Leslie provides coaching, facilitates meetings and retreats, conducts workshops, analyzes information to make it useful for decisions, and partners with clients to create deep understanding and ownership of processes and decisions. 

In addition to St. Louis clients, Leslie serves as a consultant to a national foundation that has founded and supports schools all over the country and she serves as a trainer and meeting facilitator for NeighborWorks America.

Prior to returning to consulting in the fall of 2010, Leslie was the Assistant Head for Advancement at New City School, a private elementary school in St. Louis. 

Leslie has a bachelor’s degree in English and an MBA from Washington University, where she also serves as a member of the National Council for the Undergraduate Experience. 

Kristy Carstensen, Treasurer

Laura Jenks

Laura is a recent addition to the City Garden community, serving on the Governance Committee starting in 2013, and joining the school board in 2014. Laura currently works at Washington University, serving as the special assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration. In that role, she provides support and project management to a variety of administrative units, and participates in many of the community partnership and economic development efforts supported by the University.

Laura has a bachelor’s degree in African and Afro-American Studies and Sociology from Brandeis University. Following college she spent a year serving in City Year, a national service program that places young adults in public school classrooms to provide support, mentoring, and tutoring to help kids succeed. Laura has an MBA and a Masters in Social Work from Washington University.  

Joel Achtenberg - Emeritus

Joel has been with City Garden as a board member and volunteer since the creation of the original preschool, and has continued on the board of the charter school, having served terms as Vice President and Secretary.  He currently serves on the Academics and Governance committees and volunteers as a classroom "reading buddy".  

In the community, Joel has been an active volunteer with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics, Hostelling International, and others. Joel received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Washington University. He is in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in counseling for individuals living with chronic illness or disability. He is retired from a 35-year career in medical research data processing.

Liz Fathman


Anthony Beasley - Chair

 Anthony is the President of Human Management Services, a Human Resources consulting firm which assists small businesses and non-profits in recruiting and developing human capital. His 17 years of HR experience has helped him to serve his clients in the areas of recruiting strategies, policies and procedure development, writing effective job descriptions, on-boarding and developing employees.

 Passionate about children, Anthony’s volunteer activities centers on the development of urban youth. His service includes work with Mentor St. Louis, Urban Future, Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club and Cardinal Ritter Preparatory Academy. In addition, he serves as Director of Kilalo Rites of Passage, a Christian based program which assists middle school African-American youth in developing growth skills to counter issues of peer pressure and other negative forces they may face.

Patricia Hurst

Pat Hurst began a relationship with the CGMS Community four years ago as a member of the SLU evaluating team. After serving in this capacity for two years, she was invited to be on the board and accepted with pleasure. She has been with the board for almost two years.

As a Montessori Directress and Administrator, Pat has been a strong advocate for the work happening at City Garden. She has served on boards for Marygrove School, Chesterfield Day School and MOMTEP (Missouri Montessori Teacher Education Program). She currently serves on the board of Visitation Academy and also acts as Practicum Coordinator for HMEI (Hope Montessori Education Institute) performing the three required classroom evaluations for Montessori teacher interns in the 3-6 year old programs. In addition to performing the classroom evaluations for other institutions, she has collaborated with Dr. Evans, City Garden Principal, by ensuring the Montessori lens is present in our evaluations.  

Julien Couilloud

Since 2006, Julien Couilloud has been the Global Ocean Team Leader for Emerson. In this roleJulien is responsible for $65M in annual spending on Ocean Freight and manages Emerson’s ocean network across all of Emerson’s 85+ Business Units and 1,500 vendors across Asia, Europe and North-America.

Julien received his MBA with an emphasis in supply chain management from UMSLin 2004. His previous education took place in his home country of France, including a Master’s inMarketing Strategies from the University of Toulouse, and a Bachelor’s in Political Sciences,Business Management and Economics from the University of Lyon. Julien is also a City Garden Montessori parent.