About » Board of Directors

Board of Directors

About the TES Board of Directors

As a charter school, The Expedition School is governed by its own Board of Directors, a local, volunteer group comprised of education professionals, business leaders, former K-12 teachers, parents, and community members. They share a passion for K-12 education and a deep commitment to seeing TES succeed to its highest potential. The board of director’s primary responsibilities are:

  • Assure the school follows the mission as written in the charter
  • Assure financial accountability and financial stability of the school
  • Make spending choices and set salaries
  • Hire and Evaluate the Director of Education and Curriculum
  • Create and revise school and board policies
  • Fundraise and develop partnerships for the school

Please note the board is not responsible for the day to day operations of the school. Please address classroom and operational issues with your child’s teacher, administration, or other appropriate school personnel.

Click here to review the TES Board's Strategic Goals for 2020-2025.

Board Meetings

Board Meetings are usually scheduled every third Thursday at 6:00 PM.  If  the third Thursday falls on a holiday, then the board meeting will be the Thursday before. Due to COVID-19, the TES Board currently holds its meetings via Zoom. Please use THIS ZOOM LINK to access the meetings. Public comments can be submitted here, and must be received 24 hours before the meeting.


Committee Meetings are held regularly throughout each month. Please refer to this link for the schedule and meeting links.


The TES board of directors will be reviewing the requirements for CIPA and internet safety at it's board meeting at 6 PM on March 16th, 2023.

Meet the TES Board

Cheryl Schall (Chair) | Durham, NC

Cheryl Schall is a first generation immigrant and an Emmy Award winning ABC News producer. She has received national recognition as an Edward R. Murrow Award recipient. Her production work is focused on planned and breaking live news events. She has worked on the 2004 and 2008 election cycles including primaries, conventions, debates, election nights, and inaugurations. She has covered breaking news events including the deaths of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Pope John Paul, Ted Kennedy, Michael Jackson, and the massacres at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook. Cheryl passionately believes in community building and supports public education. She lives in an intentional cohousing neighborhood in Durham with her husband, a current TES student, a future TES student, and an old man corgi named Deacon.

L. Blue Dean | Hillsborough, NC


Blue Dean currently serves as the Executive Director for Library Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Blue’s fundraising career spans 20 years and includes non-profit work as well as academic fundraising. Prior to working at UNC- Chapel Hill, Blue served as Executive Director of Development of Major and Leadership giving at Duke Health from 2011- 2019, first overseeing the Duke Heart Center and then managing the development team for the Department of Medicine. Before moving to North Carolina, Blue worked at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from 2006 – 2011 first serving as the director of development of the University Libraries and then serving as the director of development for the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Prior to her time with the University of Tennessee, Blue served as the Director of Development of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Additional non-profit work includes the Knoxville Museum of Art where Blue served as the Director of Volunteer and Visitor Service. Blue holds a B.A. in English from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she has completed advanced training in philanthropy and fundraising from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Philanthropy Institute and leadership training from Duke University. Blue is active in the community having served as the President of the Duke Faculty Club Board of Governors and the founding chair of the Duke Faculty Club Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Blue also served as the Fundraising Co-Chair for The Expedition School Community Association, was a member of the fundraising committee at Duke School, and is currently a neighborhood coordinator for PORCH. Blue and her husband, Robb, have two children – Ava, age 19 and Max, age 13. They moved from Knoxville, Tennessee in 2011 and reside in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Gavin Jocius (Treasurer) | Durham, NC

Gavin Jocius is an executive with over two decades of experience in information technology, operations, strategy and eCommerce marketing. His most recent prior role was as the Executive Vice President of Art for Circle Graphics, a leading online retailer of custom and licensed works of art that employed over 200 staff members and generated over $80 million in annual revenue. Gavin was the Director of Information Technology and Web Services at Duke University Alumni Affairs and the Global Marketing Director at lulu.com, an online publisher in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Gavin holds a Master of Arts and MBA from Duke University. As the father of an EC child at TES, he is passionate about promoting and supporting neurodiversity.

Keethan Kleiner | Hillsborough, NC

Keethan Kleiner is a leader in technology and education policy, currently serving as an Instructor of Computer Science at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) in Durham. In this role, Keethan has served in leadership roles within NCSSM as well as in the University of North Carolina System. He has been a member of a variety of committees tasked with decision-making responsibilities, including contributing to creating an artificial intelligence program with a focus on ethics, planning the academic program at the second campus in Morganton, and expanding benefits for system employees. He has also presented his work at professional conferences. Keethan has completed multiple fellowships on equity, diversity, and inclusion and on education policy. He has won multiple awards for his work improving EDI in computer science, including research conducted at NC State. Keethan has additionally completed a fellowship in political leadership, currently serves on the NCSSM Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is an active volunteer with Better Ballot NC. Prior to working at NCSSM, Keethan worked as a Software Engineer at the startup Automated Insights. He earned both his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from UNC-Chapel Hill, specializing in artificial intelligence. Keethan resides in Hillsborough with his partner and her two children who attend The Expedition School.

Gary Kuebler (Vice Chair)  | Hillsborough, NC


Gary Kueber grew up in New Orleans and came to North Carolina in 1988 to attend Duke University. After graduation, he returned to Louisiana for medical school, returning to the Triangle for good in 1997. Gary practiced Internal Medicine until 2004, when he returned to school to complete Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Regional Planning (MRP) degrees from the UNC-Chapel Hill as well as training in Preventive Medicine at UNC Hospitals. After working in research on urban planning and physical health, he joined real estate firm Scientific Properties in 2007, where he became Chief Executive Officer, overseeing and implementing the redevelopment of multiple properties in downtown Durham, including Golden Belt and Venable Center. Gary has served on the Board of Directors for Preservation Durham, Downtown Durham, Inc., and Habitat for Humanity, worked on neighborhood organization efforts for communities in Durham, and is the author and developer of Open Durham (www.opendurham.org), a community history / architectural history web platform, which he donated to Preservation Durham in 2016. Gary currently works as a career and life coach, focused on career transitions, and maintains real estate and general contracting licenses. Gary and his wife moved to West Hillsborough in 2015. He enjoys gardening, woodworking, photography, hiking as well as playing Legos and making up stories with their 5 year old.
Amber Bickford (Secretary)  | Hillsborough, NC
Amber was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, just 2.5 hrs north of Hillsborough, NC and has spent her professional career in pharma-biotech clinical research working in Cambridge, MA and Research Triangle Park, NC. Amber graduated with an undergraduate from Virginia Tech and a master's degree from Appalachian State in Exercise Science, with a concentration in Cardiac Physiology. Amber traveled all over the US, Canada and parts of Europe working to execute best in class clinical trial operations in alignment with local regulatory agencies and competent authorities in therapeutic areas of Cardiology, Neurology and Genetically Defined Diseases. Her most important professional work has been the focus of the patient voice and advocacy of the diverse, high unmet need patient populations suffering from hemolytic anemias. Amber values The Expedition School's implementation of responsive classrooms, the real-world concepts of project-based learning, and the outstanding teachers and staff that make it possible each day. In her free time, Amber spends time with her family in their vegetable and pollinator garden, caring for several apiaries, or in Western NC enjoying the outdoors. She lives in Hillsborough, NC with her TES student, spouse, Caviler King Charles Spaniel, and several tens of thousands of bees.
Kiersten Fitzgerald | Hillsborough, NC


Twenty-three years ago after graduating from Clarkson University with a Bachelors of Science, Kiersten left her home in upstate NY to pursue a career in the aluminum industry here in North Carolina. After starting her career in operations management, she eventually became one of the owners of the company, Permatech. In this new role, she expanded her focus to managing all aspects of sales and business development, P&L management, and mergers and acquisitions. She and her business partner sold the company to Vesuvius where she is now a Global Product Director.  With her experience in the STEM field she is able to bring her background in finance and business to the Board. She, her two daughters (both students at TES) and their dog live in Hillsborough.  The whole family is often found hiking the MTS trails throughout the community or on the soccer field whenever possible.  
Lisa Bakale-Wise | Hillsborough, NC


Lisa Bakale-Wise is an attorney who has spent the past fifteen years representing death-sentenced indigent defendants throughout the South. This work has informed her perspective on how the educational system interacts with children facing trauma, poverty, and other adverse childhood experiences. Prior to moving to Hillsborough, she lived in New Orleans where she was a founding board member of a trauma-informed charter school for at-risk children. She earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. in sociology and political science from the University of Michigan. She lives in Hillsborough with her husband and two children. 
Ryan Nilsen | Hillsborough, NC
Ryan Nilsen is an educator working in community engagement at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he advises project-based fellowships and scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students and teaches courses through the Department of Public Policy and the School of Education. Ryan also works as a facilitator with Outward Bound Professional programs through the North Carolina Outward Bound School and served as a founding board member of the Holler Creek School of Appalachian Ecology. He grew up in the Triangle and graduated from NCSU with a double major in English and international studies and a minor in mathematics before completing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Duke University and a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership through the UNC School of Social Work. Ryan, his partner, and their daughter keep a lively flock of chickens at their home in Hillsborough and spend much of their free time hiking, hunting mushrooms, paddling, and playing along the Eno River.

Board Committees

TES Board Committees are small and instrumental working groups with a board member that serves as chair, as well as a second (and sometimes third) board member as a participant. Internal and external community members with expertise in the committee’s area of focus are at times recruited to serve on Board committees. 

Contact the Board

To contact the board of directors, e-mail [email protected]

Recent Board Communication

Trust, credibility, transparency, and communication are key to the health of a school community, and the Board is eager to ensure the TES community feels informed and connected to the decisions being considered and made. In addition to the availability of Board meeting minutes, updates from the TES Board are sent several times each year. For previous Board communication, click below.

Board Communications 2022

Board Communications 2021

Board Communications 2020

Board Communications 2019

 Board Agendas & Meeting Minutes

If you are unable to access any of the files below or would like to request additional information, please contact [email protected]. (Please note that since minutes cannot be posted until they are approved by the Board at the following month’s meeting, there is a four week lapse between minutes being taken, officially approved and then posted.)

4/20/23 Board Meeting Minutes

3/16/23 Board Meeting Minutes

2/16/23 Board Meeting Minutes

1/19/23 Board Meeting Minutes

CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2022.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2021.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2020.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2019.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2018.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2017.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2016.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2015.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2014.
CLICK HERE to access board minutes from 2013.


Board Policies

Click HERE for a list of TES Policies (approved by the TES Board.)


TES Bylaws (Revised and Approved 10/21/22)


Click HERE to view our Diversity in Hiring Effort.