Our Board

Our Board members are a diverse group of people from all walks of life in the Durango community. We have educators, business owners, and lawyers, many of whom are parents themselves. All members share a common interest in education and a special focus on the health and future of Durango Montessori. Each member has been vetted by other DMS Board members and/or associates of the school. Members serve for a three-year period; some members choose to serve longer. Our school director is responsible for reporting to the Board, and Board meetings are held monthly.

Current Board Members:

Heather Otter, President

Heather arrived in Durango almost thirty years ago to attend Fort Lewis College. She has been involved in school communities in a variety of ways: teaching in public high schools, working in academic programming and standardized testing, owning and running a business, managing employee training and development for companies, providing board governance training and consulting for charter schools and supporting the phases of her son’s K-12 education. Heather and her husband Steve were proud to choose Durango Montessori School for their son Mack who is currently a high school sophomore. Heather holds a Bachelor’s of Psychology from Fort Lewis College and a Master’s of Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She currently works as the Project Manager for Region 9 Economic Development, serving Southwest Colorado.

Joe Pecorino, Vice President

Joe Pecorino has been an educator for the past 20 years, as a social studies teacher and school administrator in both private and public schools. Currently, he is working as a field coach and manager for the Southwest Colorado Teacher Residency Program. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Social Science at Providence College and his Master’s degree in Administrative Policy and Leadership Studies through the University of Colorado, Denver. Joe has been a DMS parent since 2019. 

Chandler Strange, Treasurer

Chandler Strange spent 20 years working in fashion, art, and business administration in New York City. Eight years ago, she moved to a yurt on Rainbow Springs Trout Farm outside Durango and started a family with her husband, Patrick. Both their children attend Durango Montessori School. Chandler has a Bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and currently works as an artist and small business owner, and volunteers with other creative non-profits in the Durango community. 

Jeff Kane

Jeff Kane joined the DMS board in 2018, the same year his son began attending DMS. Jeff is the principal attorney for Southwest Water and Property Law LLC. When he is not in the office, you can find Jeff on camping adventures with his family or playing his upright bass. Jeff is extremely grateful to be part of the DMS community of students, teachers, and parents and also that his boys get to grow up in amazing southwest Colorado.