Bradenton, FL (September 28, 2021) – Visible Men Academy (VMA), founded in 2012 to provide boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment, recently welcomed five new board directors to the fold during its quarterly meeting on September 16, 2021. VMA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the additions of Melissa Dunlap, Marilyn Kline, Victor McTeer, George Quarterman, and the Reverend Christian Wood.
“We’re delighted to add five accomplished professionals to our Board of Directors,” said Board Chair Mark Smith. “Each brings with them unique insights and skill sets that will help direct Visible Men Academy into a premier school with science and technology at its core.”
Dunlap has served as a board member with the Florida Center for Early Childhood in Sarasota since 2016. A professional urban planner, she devoted herself to a lifetime of service to children, starting with work with Big Brothers, Big Sisters in the 1990’s and continuing through to present day.
“I’m passionate about early childhood education, and so pleased to be joining the board of VMA,” said Dunlap. “The success of the mission and vision of VMA is of critical importance to the people of Manatee and Sarasota counties, and I’m looking forward to serving as a leader for the school.”
Kline is another new board member with extensive experience in education. She currently serves as an educational consultant with the Elam Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to equity in education. She recently completed more than a decade in leadership with the National Literacy Project.
“VMA is a place that speaks to me,” said Kline. “I share their values and want to do everything I can to put the ideas we have at Elam into practice at VMA. In so doing, we can lift up these boys in a way that makes a lifetime of impact.”
A legal giant in the American civil rights movement, McTeer handled hundreds of civil rights cases in Mississippi during a legal career that spanned four decades. In the process, he earned awards from the NAACP, the Mississippi Bar Association, and the Chief Justice Award from the Mississippi Supreme Court. He brings to VMA a lifetime of fighting for equity for people of color in some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
“After my wife and I retired to Sarasota, I learned about Visible Men Academy, and it’s mission to provide an elite education to less fortunate boys in our communities,” said McTeer. “When VMA approached me with an opportunity to serve, I immediately jumped at the chance. The need is so great, and the chance to make a difference so powerful, that I could hardly say no.”
Local businessman George Quarterman joins the board bringing a lifetime of service to education and the arts. A State Farm agent for more than three decades, Quarterman serves on the boards of both New College of Florida and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
“I’m ready to do all I can to support the work of the students, faculty and staff of Visible Men Academy,” Quarterman said. “I’m a big believer in the importance of primary education, and I know my work with VMA will truly make a difference not only for these students, but in the lives of their parents and families as well.”
The Reverend Christian Wood serves the parishioners of Sarasota’s Church of the Redeemer as the Assistant Rector, just one of many ways in which he leads a life of service. His first work in the Episcopal ministry involved youth and young adult ministry, an experience that led him to working with VMA today.
“As someone who was called to the ministry and to community service, I’m grateful for the opportunity to join the leadership team at VMA,” said Wood. “The work they do is of vital importance to the Suncoast, and I’m excited to be a part of a mission I support.”