Magnolia Montessori is a public charter school, and we are looking for families to partner with who share our principles and attitudes about education.
Cory was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Florida and his Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law. Cory moved to Lakeland in 2005 after graduating from law school with honors. He accepted a position as an Assistant State Attorney here in Polk County. During his seven-year tenure as a prosecutor, Cory was a Division Chief and handled many high-profile cases while managing a division of three attorneys. Cory left the State Attorney’s Office in 2013 and began a career as a criminal defense attorney in private practice. He is Board Certified in criminal trial practice, he is a partner in the firm of Norgard, Norgard and Chastang and he currently serves as the President of the Polk County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Kristi Gregory is a certified teacher and Principal and currently works as an Education Consultant. She has lived in Lakeland for five years and prior to her move was a teacher and Principal in Kentucky. Currently, she serves many education roles as a consultant such as teaching college level education classes, supervising student teachers, consulting with administrators, and work focused around proven strategies to improve student achievement in schools. She has a BA in Elementary Education and an MA is School Administration from the University of Kentucky. She actively advocates improved education for low income students and students struggling to meet high achievement goals. Kristi and her husband Jarett live in Lakeland with their two boys. They enjoy Disney, traveling, and watching University of Kentucky basketball.
Doug Warrick is a retired CPA (Indiana) who endured 11 years plus years with the large public accounting firm, Price Waterhouse, in South Bend, IN after graduating from Manchester University in Math and Accounting. He moved on to head up corporate tax departments of generally public healthcare companies in Indianapolis, Harrisburg PA, Albuquerque, and Salt lake City. Retiring from his workaholic ways to Lakeland in 2016 with his wife Karen, to be near their two daughters’ families in Lakeland and south Florida. Historically involved in church finance committees, he also enjoys gardening, landscaping, and providing tax and investment advice. Two grandchildren (soon to be three) attend Magnolia and his wife is a reading tutor volunteer.
Katie Decker is a born and raised Lakelander. She graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in Business Adminstration. Katie has formally been serving in the Human Resources field since 2011 but her passion for helping people is lifelong. These days she is the HR Manager at Oakley Transportation Group in Lake Wales. They are the largest food-grade transportation company in the country. Katie has previously served as a board member for Pied Pipers Community Theatre – now Lakeland Community Theatre. She is currently serving as Public Relations & Social Media Chair for the board of Mid-Florida SHRM, Lakeland HR professional association. Katie has been married to the love of her life, Eric, for 15 years and they spend all their free time chasing their young toddler around.
Katie Decker is the Magnolia Montessori Academy staff liaison to the Board of Directors.
Eric Knaak is Owner and CFO at Orange Industrial Services located in Bartow Florida. OIS is Florida’s premier industrial cleaning company with over 70 highly skilled technicians and boasts the most extensive equipment fleet housed in the state of Florida. Over his 19 year tenure he has worked in every department of the business. He currently manages and oversees the organization’s financials, employee benefits, risk management and strategies for controlled growth ensuring the company’s short and long-term success. Learning by way of direct, hands-on experience he has developed in to an effective and diversified business leader. His unique skill set lends itself to financial responsibility, conservation and loss prevention. Eric, born in New York, has lived in Central Florida since he was a small child. He currently lives in Bartow with his wife, Cypress, and two young sons whom attend Magnolia Montessori Academy. He enjoys giving back to his community through acts of service. His free time is filled with his family, traveling, riding bikes, swimming, and exploring our beautiful state.
Dr. Michael Stratton is Owner of Lakeland’s Health & Family Chiropractic. LHFC is a wellness clinic which enables its clients to regain their health naturally without the use of medications. Dr. Stratton has been a wellness Doctor for over 15 years. He has spoken nationally on the subject of health, wellness and stress. Dr. Stratton is certified in the Webster Protocol for advanced perinatal care and helps many families. Dr. Stratton was the Wellness Champions “Doctor of the Year” in 2014. Dr. Stratton manages his clinic while seeing patients on a part-time schedule. He was born and raised in Bartow, FL and now resides in Lakeland along with his wife and four children who attend Magnolia Montessori Academy.
Parent Liaison to the Board of Directors
Jonathan is a parent of two children at MMA and is the parent liaison to Magnolia Montessori Academy’s Board of Directors.