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: Monica Gainey (, Co-chair: Rob Klinedinst (

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

TiTia Barnes (3)a Barnes, 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.

monica-gainey (2)Monica Gainey, At-large

Monica Gainey is a Construction Project Manager at Resolute Building Company. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Duke University.

Monica has had two children at Excelsior since its doors opened in 2015. She has watched the school grow and flourish and she is thrilled to see it become a vital part of the Durham community. She has volunteered at the school in numerous ways over the years and has served on the Facilities Committee for some time.  Her expertise will be valuable as Excelsior continues to expand on its way to being a K-12 school..

CAPpressScott Sipe, At-large

Scott Sipe is the Associate Publisher of Carolina Academic Press, where he has a particular focus on educational software. After growing up in Durham, Scott earned degrees in history and computer science from Duke University and a masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Spending a few years working in Washington D.C., Scott quickly decided that North Carolina was more his pace, and he has enjoyed watching the many changes and developments in Durham ever since.

Thanks to an influential and transformative middle school Latin teacher, Scott is a strong believer in the values of classical education and knows firsthand how one teacher can make a huge impact in students’ lives. He is very excited about the Excelsior mission, and looks forward to supporting the school’s continued growth and success.

guy_jennifer_GAA_CH3A8385-600x600-r-150x150Jennifer Guy, At-large

Jennifer Guy earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Public Policy Analysis and Minor in Spanish for the Professions (with a Business Concentration). She was awarded a Master of Public Administration (with an Organizational Leadership Concentration) from North Carolina State University. She is the Coordinator of Alumni Reunions and Special Events for the University of North Carolina General Alumni Association.

Jennifer is passionate about providing a state-of-the-art education to all students, regardless of their background. She feels strongly that a robust education that gives students the best opportunities available should not be accessible only to those who can pay for it.


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.

John Colclough head shot (2)John Colclough, At-large

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.

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.