Board of Directors

Board Meetings

Excelsior Classical Academy CFA’s Board meets at 6:00 every third Thursday from August through May, unless otherwise noted on our event calendar. Regular meetings are held at the school at 4100 N Roxboro Street in Durham. In the summer, the Board holds a day-long retreat for planning, team-building, and training.

Board Retreat: June 27, 2020, from 8:30 am to 3 pm.

Request for Public Comment

It is a fiduciary responsibility and the intent of ECA’s Board of Directors to conduct meetings in an efficient and professional manner. Therefore, as the Board of Directors conducts business at its monthly meeting, it must refrain from engaging in discussion with the audience. However, the Board welcomes public input and any individual may request to be included in the Public Comment segment of the agenda.

To be included in the agenda, a speaker must fill out a public comment form at least 48 hours in advance. All information in the form will be used in the minutes of the meeting and becomes part of the public record under open meeting laws. The Board may also use the information for follow-up with the speaker.

In order to be able to finish all required business at meetings, the Board limits the amount of public comment time for each speaker to two minutes. Comments must be limited to the topic listed on the public comment form. Individuals shall not yield minutes to other individuals.

All public comments are subject to ECA’s rules of decorum. The use of profanity, personal insults, or hate speech will result in the immediate cessation of the speaker’s time. Please note that it is a violation of law to discuss personnel and private matters in a public meeting. It is also a violation of law to make slanderous remarks or to cast false accusations in a public meeting


Archived Minutes

Board Service

To express interest in serving on Excelsior’s Board of Directors, please fill out the following form:
The Board of Directors of Excelsior Classical Academy has various committees mandated to carry out specified functions, programs, or projects of the Board. Some committees are standing and others are ad hoc. Each committee is chaired by a member of the Board of Directors. The Board is recruiting members for the following standing committees:

Board Development and Governance – Interim Chair – Tia Barnes (

Facilities – Chair: Rob Klinedinst ( co-chair: Monica Gainey (

Finance – Chair: Vicki Gunto (

Personnel – Chair: John Colclough (  co-Chair – Vicki Gunto (

Please contact the chair by email if you are interested in serving on a committee.

Board Standing Policies Manual

To view the Board’s approved Board Policies, open the following document.

Board Members

John Colclough, President

John has been an educator most of his llife He taught at the middle and high school levels and was principal of two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in Durham Public Schools. He brings many years of experience in education along with a strong reputation of doing what is right for students, teachers, and the school community. He is retired and is excited to be a part of Excelsior.

John loves the warm learning environment at Excelsior. He believes in the mission of the school, and the words in the mission statement, “knowledge,” “reason,” “eloquence,” and “virtue” ring true to him as being what every person needs to be truly educated.


TiTia Barnes (3)a Barnes, Vice President

Tia Barnes is the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at the Duke University School of Law. She is experienced in academic compliance and accreditation as well as student services such as academic support programming, access to education for diverse populations, creating a healthy and safe learning environment, and a supportive environment for students with disabilities. Tia is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke Law School, a licensed attorney, and a triathlete.

Tia understands the processes by which academic programs are implemented, the evolution of education best practices, and the work involved with developing a school program around the scaffolding of accreditation standards. She supports the tenets of Excelsior Classical Academy and believes that the school fulfills an important need in the Durham community.

Dr. Vicki Tibbs Gunto, Treasurer

Vicki Gunto is the US Head of Regulatory Affairs R&D – Pipeline at Chiesi USA, Inc., an Italian pharmaceutical company. She is a firm believer in the value of education. Taking the lessons her mother instilled in her through a poem entitled “Don’t Quit,” Vicki achieved educational success as a graduate of Northwestern University, where she earned both her Bachelor’s and PhD in pharmacology.

Vicki is a strong adherent to the classical model. She’s ready and equipped to help us continue establishing our strong foundation and help guide us as we grow into the future.


Rob Klinedinst, At-large

Rob Klinedinst earned his Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and his Master of Business Administration in Management and Organization at Pennsylvania State University. As an architect with twenty-eight years of professional experience designing educational facilities, Rob has a broad understanding of the best school planning, design, and construction practices. HIs K-12 school planning, design, and construction experience has involved both renovations and new construction and includes thirteen elementary schools, eight middle schools, and fourteen high schools. He brings the expertise needed to guide the development of comprehensive short-term and long-term facilities plans to address the needs of our growing school.

He believes in the mission of Excelsior Classical Academy and has supported the school in various ways as a volunteer since its opening.

Thomas Harding

Thomas Harding – At Large

Thomas Harding earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages and Literature from Columbia University and his J.D. from Benjamin N.Cardozo School of Law/Yeshiva University. He has experience in various areas of law, including contract law, employment law, civil rights, and civil procedure.

Thomas is excited to have a classical school in the Durham area and looks forward to contributing to the fulfillment of Excelsior’s mission and vision.

Crystal Scillitani (2)

Crystal Scillitani – TeamCFA Rep

Crystal spent the last 25 years working in North Carolina schools and universities – serving in multiple roles from teacher to Principal to course instructor of Elementary Education at North Carolina State University. In 2017 she founded LeadingUp Consulting, a consulting firm based in North Carolina focused on advancing student achievement by strengthening teachers and school leaders.

As the first member of her family graduate high school and attend college, Crystal is a firm believer that education is the pathway to success. She hopes to bring her personal and professional experiences to the Excelsior School Board in order to support the school in continued growth and success.

In her free time, Crystal volunteers with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving and Compassion International. In addition she loves to read, travel, and exercise. Prior to her career in education, Crystal also served in the United States Air Force alongside her husband. Crystal resides in Raleigh.