BOARD & COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The School Board meets on the third Thursday of the month at 4 pm either on the school campus, on Zoom, or both. Sometimes the Board needs to call a special meeting to address a matter prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.
The School Board will provide notice of this at least 48 hours beforehand.

The regular meeting agenda will be linked here prior to the monthly meeting.

Standing Zoom Link

Governance Committee Zoom Meeting Link

ABOUT CLOSED SESSIONS:

It is always the intent of the LLCA School Board of Directors to be as transparent as possible with Raptor Families and members of the public. There are times, however, when school boards are permitted to adjourn to a closed session.

The mission of the Lake Lure Classical Academy Board is to provide oversight of school management, not to be a participant in it. We will focus our work on ensuring that the school accomplishes the student outcomes we were chartered to produce, and ensuring that the school operates at all times within all required parameters.

The board performs these duties through many oversight functions including, but not limited to, approving items such as budgets, calendars, policies, and programs, as well as through the operation of several board committees created to assist the board in its oversight of financial management, risk management, and other matters.

We welcome members of the public to attend all regular meetings. The meeting schedule is continuously updated on the school’s website, as well as regular meeting agendas and regular meeting minutes.

To sign up to speak during a meeting, please email the school office at

gyoungblood@llcharter.org or call 625-9292 and press 0.

QUICK LINKS:

Board Members:


Dr. Stephen Milito

Chairman of the Board of Directors: Dr. Stephen Milito was born and raised in the suburban Philadelphia area. He attended the University of Miami where he earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a Doctor of Medicine degree. Read more

He completed his residency training in Radiation Oncology at the nationally renowned Fox Chase Cancer Center before becoming an Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. He then moved to private practice in South Central Pennsylvania where he partnered with several local hospitals to provide clinical oncology services. Steve, and his wife Judy, retired to their home in Lake Lure. He is a strong proponent of lifelong learning and community service.

Dr. Kate Sloss

VICE CHAIR BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Dr. Katherine "Kate" Sloss. Kate Sloss grew up in Cleveland Ohio where she attended a public high school with an innovative curriculum developed by parents and teachers that fostered creativity, self-directed learning, and the curiosity to explore new ideas.

She attended the University of Colorado, Boulder for undergraduate studies and CWRU for medical school. She completed a three-year residency in Family Practice in Columbia Missouri.

Her summers were spent as a counselor at a Quaker summer camp in Vermont and participating in outdoor adventures. Read more

She eventually resettled to Western North Carolina residing in Henderson County and practiced as a primary care physician in Hickory Nut Gorge for over 30 years.

She and her husband Steve Crane, MD raised three children and she was a founding board member of The Mountain Community Charter School in Henderson County.

“ I am excited to reconnect with the learning community and to be part of the effort to educate and nurture the children of our area”

Randy Nelson

TREASURER: Randy Nelson and his wife, Nancy, bought their home in Lake Lure in 2014 and moved here permanently from West Tennessee in 2020. Randy retired from his consulting business in 2020. He has over 35 years of experience in planning and community development, working for cities, nonprofits, and for-profit businesses. Read more

Randy's education consists of a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in City/Regional Planning from the University of Tennessee. Randy has always had an interest in the relationship between public education and the quality of life and economic development of a community. He seeks to maximize these relationships for the benefit of the Town of Lake Lure and the Lake Lure Classical Academy. Randy and Nancy love their new home and are looking forward to retirement living in Lake Lure!

Crystal Morrison

SECRETARY: Crystal Morrison and her husband Buddy moved to Lake Lure in 2017. They moved to the community from Greenville, NC after Crystal's father moved to Charlotte. They wanted to be closer to him but not live in Charlotte. After looking at many communities, they fell in love with Lake Lure. They also have a condo at North Topsail Beach. Read more

Crystal is a lifelong North Carolinian who has made her way across the state and back. She was born in Gastonia and has lived in Fayetteville, Raleigh, and Greenville. She is a graduate of Meredith College with a double major in History and Political Studies.


During her early career, she worked in the Governor's Policy Office and then a non-profit in Raleigh. In 2000, she went to work for Centura Bank. She is currently a vice president and portfolio manager with PNC Bank, managing several project managers and their suite of projects for bank operations. Crystal services on the boards of the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation and the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge. They are also active in their local church.

Jack Barton

BOARD MEMBER: Jack Barton and his wife Karen moved to Lake Lure in August 2014 after purchasing a home in Rumbling Bald Resort in 2012. Neither are North Carolina natives, but having both graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill (BS Mathematical Sciences, BS Pharm.), they claim “Tar Heels born and bred” status. Read more

They raised two sons in Raleigh and Charlotte, and they now live with their families in Myrtle Beach, SC and Orlando, FL. The four grandchildren love visiting the “mountain house”. Karen retired as a Target Pharmacist in 2013, and Jack wrapped up a 41-year career in software development in 2015, mostly in financial services. Working from home in Lake Lure was a great way to finish.

Jack served as LLCa Board Treasurer from 2019-2021. He believes that supporting the school and its educational opportunities for the community can only make the Gorge a better place. And by helping deliver on the promise of LLCA, we can all support people and organizations that deliver positive change in Hickory Nut Gorge.

Kelli Bragdon

Board Member: Kelli Bragdon was born and raised on a cotton farm in West Texas. Her love for children and families led her to seek a Degree in English with a Secondary Teacher Certification from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, TX. She has worked alongside her husband at several camps across the US serving military families in Pennsylvania, churches and families in California, and now students and families in North Carolina. Kelli enjoyed classically homeschooling her 4 children for 8 years. Read more

During that time she taught a Classical Conversations Challenge A class for 7th graders for 3 years. Since moving to Lake Lure in 2018, where her husband is now the Director of Camp Lurecrest, her kids have been blessed to be a part of the LLCA community. Kelli served on the School Improvement Team for 2 years where she grew a deeper appreciation for the faculty and staff at LLCA. The Bragdons have 2 students currently enrolled at LLCA and 2 previous LLCA graduates. She is deeply invested in the success of each family represented at LLCA.


Beth Gordon

Board Member: Beth Gordon and her husband, Brian, moved to Lake Lure in March of 2019. Beth was raised in central Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma with a B.S. Degree in Health and Physical Education. She continued at UCO earning 30 hours of accounting credits to qualify to take the exam for Certified Public Accountancy. She became a CPA in 1989 and was licensed in Oklahoma. Read more

Beth owned and operated a veterinary clinic with her husband, for ten years in Oklahoma, before beginning her career in non-profit and private accounting for various organizations including St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, TX, and Communities In Schools in Charlotte, NC. Beth has spent time volunteering in schools for over 40 years while raising her 3 children in Oklahoma, Texas, and North Carolina. Beth is an avid reader and immediately upon moving to Lake Lure became involved with the local library and now serves on the board of the Friends of Mountains Branch Library. Meeting the wonderful people through the library has inspired her to become more involved in the community. She is passionate about education and firmly believes quality education should be accessible to all.

Mark Hamann

BOARD MEMBER: Mark Hamann was born and raised in Toledo OH. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo where he played varsity baseball and earned his Bachelor of Education degree. He earned his Master’s Degree in the Art of Education from Marygrove College in Detroit MI.

A history teacher for 32 years at the secondary level, Mark also was the head varsity girls’ fastpitch softball coach for two Toledo area high schools, earning a state championship with each. Read more

While with Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools, Mark was gratified to be named Junior High Teacher of the Year in 1994, the George Munger District Teacher of the Year in 1996, the Perrysburg Education Association Teacher of the Year in 2009, and a nominee for Ohio State Teacher of the Year in 2010.

Mark sincerely appreciates the opportunity here in Lake Lure to continue his career-long commitment to education. He hopes to contribute to our effort of creating, maintaining, and enhancing a community-based educational institution that offers an effective and challenging learning program for any and all students who attend.

Mark served as Chairman of the Board from 2019-August 2021.

Jackie Hampton

BOARD MEMBER: Jackie (Jacqueline) Hampton is a Rutherford County native, reared in Ellenboro, North Carolina. She currently lives in Forest City and attended Dunbar Elementary in Forest City, and George Washington Carver High School in Spindale. She graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a B.A. in English. Read more

She graduated from Western Carolina University with a M.A. in Middle Grades Reading and a M.A. in School Administration. She also has a M.A. in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Gardner-Webb University. She has two daughters. One teaches and the other one works in Social Services. She has two wonderful, fine grandsons.
She has dedicated her life to teaching children. She calls her students “hers” and “baby cakes.” She was in education for over 30 years. She was a teacher assistant for a brief time. She was a middle school teacher at New Hope middle school. She then became the assistant principal of RS Middle and the principal of Green Hill Elementary and named the first principal of Pinnacle Elementary in Gilkey. Her final position with Rutherford County Schools was Director of K-5 Curriculum. She wants the students in Rutherford County to achieve and know that they have loving, caring, dedicated professionals guiding them through their educational journey.

Joan Lange

BOARD MEMBER: Joan Lange, as an educator, has long been an advocate for school choice. Formally the National Schools Director for a charitable trust she identified and recommended grant support to start up charter schools and was paramount in creating a national network of charter schools. Her work has included researching and identifying communities in need of a high-quality charter school that offers a rigorous K-12 curriculum, including the Core Knowledge curriculum in grades K-8 and a college preparatory or STEM high school model. She has also served as a Board member on numerous charter schools. Ms. Lange’s work contributed to the support of over 200 charter schools in the nation and provided more than fifty million dollars in grants. Read More


Ms. Lange has written charter school applications in several states and has assisted in grant writing on behalf of schools. She assisted in the formation of school boards and implemented training that included long range planning, fiscal responsibility, and academic best practices (including school policy, procedures, and assessment). In addition, she developed and managed a leadership program that produced ten successful school leaders and schools.


Ms. Lange’s commitment continues as a consultant assisting schools with development and implementation of curriculum and professional development.

Art Montandon

BOARD MEMBER: Arther Montandon has a son and granddaughter who attend LLCA. He and his wife of 37 years, Lynn, are the parents of twelve children, a blended family, including step-children, adopted children, and biological children. He was an honor graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in business management and has a law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Read More


His law practice focused on the representation of local government. He was counsel for

numerous boards, commissions, and city councils. In that capacity, he drafted laws,

regulations, policies, resolutions, contracts, and represented these bodies in a wide

variety of litigation. He was on the original editorial board for the California Municipal

Law Handbook.