Tiller School Board of Directors

Tiller School has a Board of Directors which sets policy and governs the school. They are parents and people from the community who are interested in making Tiller School a wonderful experience for each child and their families.

The Board of Directors meets monthly, typically the third Tuesday of each month, in the administrative building. Agendas are posted 5 days prior to the meeting in the main office and are sent home in Friday folders with all students. All meetings are open to the public and begin at 6:30.

Members of the Board of Directors are selected from candidates who apply for these voluntary positions at our annual meeting. The Board of Director Members are elected for a 3 year term. If you are interested in learning more about the Board of Directors, or have questions or concerns, please contact the Executive Committee at tillerexecutivecommittee@gmail.com.

Rachael Carlyle, President

Elected term ends 2020

I am the Director of Operations at the North Carolina Coastal Federation in Ocean, where I manage the non-profit organization’s state and federal grant contracts, oversee facility and administrative operations and run the volunteer program. I hold a Master of Arts degree in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies from Gettysburg College. I have worked as an educator in multiple coastal education centers, as a marine research technician and as an AmeriCorps volunteer. I served on the N.C. Seafood Festival’s Board of Directors from 2005-2009, was the Chair-Elect in 2008 and the Chair in 2009. I enjoy gardening, knitting, photography and spending time with my family.

Nikki Bruhn


Allison Long

My name is Allison Long. I am married to Jonathan Long and we have twin sons who attend Tiller. I was born and raised in Carteret County. I enjoy boating and spending time with my family. I work at Carteret Health Care as a Clinical Analyst, Respiratory Therapist. I hope to bring a unique perspective to the school so that I can help excel Tiller.

Sam Williams

Elected term ends 2019

I am a semi-retired Clinical Psychologist with a long and connected history to both education and business. I have just finished a 3 year term as a Vestry member at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort, and during that tenure I served as the Chairman of the Outreach Committee, where I oversaw 18 different outreach ministries ranging from Domestic Violence, to Hispanic Farm Workers, to the Boys and Girls Club. Having just finished this tenure, I was looking for a place in the community where I might be able to serve and utilize my skills and experience. Education is in my bones. My mother was a school teacher. My wife was a teacher. I owe much of my success in life to superb elementary and high school education. In the course of my professional training, I attended one undergraduate and four post graduate educational institutions. I brought Sylvan Learning Centers to eastern North Carolina and built a multi-center franchise network. I was president of one of our state psychological organizations and served on the North Carolina Psychological Association Board of Directors. Clinically I have worked with school systems and school teachers. I have worked with untold numbers of children and families setting up academic motivational programs, and I have worked with the gamut of academic disciplinary problems. My ties to education and business run deep. I would delight in the opportunity to be of service to the Tiller School.

Mark Wise

Elected term ends 2019

Born and bred in Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated Case Western Reserve University in 1992 with a B.A. in Biology followed by an M.S. degree in Biology and Ecology in 1994. My former biological adventures took me to Massachusetts, the Florida Everglades, Beaufort, and Palau in the South Pacific. Ultimately I entered the physical therapy field and graduated Cleveland State University with my P.T. certificate in 1999 and began managing outpatient physical therapy centers locally in Cleveland/Akron. I first began visiting Carteret County in 1991 as a student, and in 1992 as a volunteer intern for the School for Field Studies and N.C. Maritime Museum programs at Cape Lookout (and actually slept in the old Coast Guard station for several months). I became a resident of Carteret County in 2006 when I took over Beaufort Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy clinic located “almost” across the street of Tiller school. I have enjoyed the outdoor life of Carteret County (boating, golf, fishing, and photography) and have great experiences volunteering as a Down East baseball and softball coach, recreation girls basketball coach, and recent Beaufort tee ball coach. I have served on local chapters of the American Physical Therapy Association as well as my HOA Board and continue to run my outpatient therapy clinic. I have been fortunate to know many graduates of Tiller School and am looking forward to having my son begin his Tiller School years.

Nicola Quick

Elected term ends 2019

I have lived in Carteret County for the past two years, but I am originally for the United Kingdom. I hold degrees in marine science and a PhD in Animal Behavior from St Andrews University, Scotland. I am currently a Research Scientist at Duke Marine Lab where I work on the effects of noise and behavior in marine mammals. I have two young daughters, the oldest of which is due to attend kindergarten at Tiller in the fall. I have spent the past two years on the board of my children’s pre-school, the Co Op Montessori in Morehead City, first as secretary and more recently as Administrative Officer. The pre-school is a parent run cooperative and I have been involved with state regulation, recruitment and fundraising, giving me a valuable insight into early childhood education in Carteret County. I have a range of experiences as an educator from university teaching, leading exhibits for K-12 school children at national science days, working as a field studies and adventure instructor at a children’s residential camp and leading activities aimed at inspiring girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Our family is excited by the positive approach to learning and social responsibility that sits at the heart of Tiller and we look forward to becoming part of the Tiller community.

Dave Cerino

Elected term ends 2018

I am the Coordinator of the Carteret Community College Aquaculture program. My job involves budget and personnel management, generating and delivering curriculum content, managing a facility and equipment, recruiting students, and developing the program towards long term and short-term goals. I want to be an integral part of the success and growth of this wonderful school. I enjoy providing input, insight, and ideas, as well as using sound judgment in making important decisions. Attending recent board meetings has me excited that the board is making great strides toward efficiency and seeking input and assistance from the entire Tiller family. This is something I would like to be a part of. My son Noah is a Kindergartner at Tiller, and I want the best for him and all the students. I will serve on the Tiller Board with the perspective of a Parent, Educator, and Community member. I believe that I will be able to learn a great deal by being a board member, and benefit personally as well as contribute to the betterment of the school.

Ryan Neve

Elected term ends 2019

My wife Shay and I have lived in Carteret County since 2004. We have been very happy with the education our sons Elliott and Emerson have received at Tiller School. I am an Electrical Engineer, developing equipment and instrumentation for marine science. In addition to maintaining Tiller’s high academic achievements, I hope to help strengthen Tiller’s community ties and ensure the school’s long term success.

Tom Stephenson

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Tom Samojedny

Elected term ends 2017

Originally, from New Jersey, me, my bride Jane (originally from MHC), boys T.J. and Chris, and hounds were finally able to “get home” 4 years ago.  T.J. speaks of his time at The Tiller School as the most educational, fun, and motivating scholastic and social experience he has ever had. Chris is enjoying the same enrichment today. I serve because I want to continue and further the goals of The Tiller School and its guidance of students in Social and Academic Excellence. Initially a Music Major (violin performance) at Rutgers, I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from N.J.I.T. with a focus in Aerospace Electronics. For 15 years, I was a Director of Business Development for some of the elite companies in U.S. aerospace.  A year ago I decided to stop traveling and start focusing on family and giving back to my home community. I am currently a practicing Realtor.

Rachel LoPiccolo

Elected term ends 2021

I have lived in Beaufort since 2001 with my husband and family. All four of our children attend or have attended Tiller since 2008. I have a strong interest in supporting education throughout our community. In addition to the Tiller Board, I serve on the advisory boards for Beaufort Middle School and the Town of Beaufort (Parks and Recreation), previously I served as Board Chair for the Carteret County Partnership for Children. I am the Program Coordinator of the PhD program at the Duke University Marine Lab Campus in Beaufort, where I continue working in my areas of interests in education, public outreach and marine science. I have a M.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Central Florida focusing on marine mammal behavior. I worked previously as the marine mammal stranding coordinator for NOAA and taught science at Carteret Community College. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Tiller community and look forward to being a part of the Board.