Board Members

Pine Lake Preparatory Board of Directors

 Sarah Phillips

Sarah Phillips 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law – J.D. with Highest Honors

Davidson College – B.A., Magna Cum Laude

Mrs. Phillips is Vice President and General Counsel at Davidson College.  She specializes in education law and has prior experience as a litigator focusing on commercial matters.  Mrs. Phillips and her husband, Chad, live in Davidson with their three children.  Their youngest children – twin sons – are in kindergarten at PLP. 



sara thomas 
Sara Thomas Secretary

George Washington University - Masters Certificate in Program Management, Project Management Institute - Project Management Professional Certification University at Albany - Bachelor of Arts: Fine Art

Mrs. Thomas was the Director of Project Management at Time Warner Cable Media with 18 years of experience implementing business strategy resulting in revenue generation, cost savings and improved quality.

She is passionate about Pine Lake Preparatory, STEM education and the empowerment of women.  As PLP Foundation Chairman, Mrs. Thomas led two capital campaigns and three annual fund drives. In total, her efforts generated over $2 million in donations for funding the Fine Arts building, Gymnasium, Athletic Field Complex and the S.T.E.M. Building and Auditorium.  Since 2009, she has volunteered with Time Warner Cable’s philanthropic initiative, Connect a Million Minds, that challenged parents, mentors and others to connect over one million students to after-school STEM activities to address the “inspiration gap”. To date, TWC has not only connected over 1 million students to STEM, they have invested over $100 million in STEM related programs.  She has also served as a volunteer with Women in Cable Telecommunications since 2007 and was the recipient of the WICT Red Circle Mentor of the Year Award in 2012 and Excellence Award in 2014. 

Her two children attend school at PLP; one in upper and one in middle.

bill aull

Bill Aull

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill  – B.S. Business Administration, Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business - M.B.A., Edward Tuck Scholar

Mr. Aull is a parent of three children at Pine Lake, one in 3rd grade, one in 2nd grade and one in Kindergarten.  Mr. Aull has been active in the local community, being a Board member and Planning Chair at the Alexander Youth Network and supporting the Foundation of the Carolinas and the Positivity Project.  Since graduating with an MBA from Tuck (Darthmouth) he was worked in Management Consulting at McKinsey & Company where he is a partner, leading the Charlotte location, and focused on the Consumer/Retail sector.  Previously, Mr. Aull worked in Corporate Finance at IBM.

emily fowler

Emily Fowler

Meredith College - Bachelor of Arts, English Literature


Emily serves as Executive Director and Chief Revenue Officer for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization with the mission of funding new, less toxic therapies for childhood cancers. She has extensive experience leading fundraising campaigns for donors of all levels – from grassroots activation to major gifts. Her passion is building custom fundraising strategies that inspire donors, create community, and have measurable impact. Beyond her day job, Emily is a passionate supporter of her alma mater, Meredith College, with special focus on the school’s study abroad programs.


Emily lives in Cornelius with her husband Shaun and their two sons, Cam (PLP ’23) and Tate (PLP ’26).   

brendan kelly
Brendan Kelly

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Bachelor of Arts, English Literature
Wake Forest University - Master of Business Administration

Brendan works at Bank of America, supporting Enterprise Initiative Planning in the Global Technology and Operations organization. He has extensive experience leading organizations through all phases of technology transformations from strategic planning, through testing and deployment, to end-user adoption and process sustainment. He is an active volunteer both for the UNC General Alumni Association, as well as various diversity/inclusion, and affinity groups at Bank of America.

Brendan lives in Davidson with his wife, Andrea Tacy, and their two sons. Both his sons attend Pine Lake; one in the upper school and one in the middle school.  


Winston Salem State University- B.S. – Business Administration
University of Phoenix- B.S.- Business Management
University of Phoenix- Masters of Management/Human Resources
Mrs. Shirley is an experienced Senior Technology Project Manager at Wells Fargo Corporation.  She has over 15 years of experience as a Project Manager and 25 years of experience in the financial industry.  At Wells Fargo, Mrs. Shirley manages some of the bank's largest Technology project efforts.  She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, a community service organization, where she currently serves on the Executive Board of the Nominating Committee as Co-Chairman and on the Strategic Planning committee.  In this organization, Mrs. Shirley mentors young ladies at Davidson College, volunteers at local homeless shelters, nursing home facilities and helps with voter registration events. She also served on the Pine Lake Preparatory Kaleidoscope Foundation Committee for several years. Mrs. Shirley has 2 sons at PLP, one in lower school and one in middle school.

jeremy shook

Jeremy Shook, PE

Villanova University, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Mr. Shook is currently a Senior Instrumentation and Controls Engineer with Burns & McDonnell, a leading engineering firm in the United States.  He started his career serving as a Submarine Officer in the U.S. Navy.  Since then he has worked for various firms as an Engineer, Engineering Manager, and Project Manager in the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of power generation facilities.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He has previously volunteered for the Villanova University Navy ROTC Adopt-A-School program, Literacy Volunteers for America in Saratoga Springs, NY, and Loaves and Fishes in Charlotte.  

Mr. Shook lives in Huntersville with his wife, Mary, and their three children.  Their daughter attended Pine Lake last year, and their two sons started at Pine Lake this fall.

 marianne u

Marianne Umphlett

Appalachian State University,  Bachelor of Science, Communication Sciences and Disorders

 The University of South Carolina – Columbia, Masters of Speech Language Pathology

Ms. Umphlett has two children and has been involved with supporting Pine Lake Preparatory since its inception in 2007.  Her daughter Sarah is a senior this year and her son Will is a freshman.  Marianne has been active in the community over the years in previous roles of leadership and service.  She has been a member of the staff parish board at her church Davidson United Methodist Church and past President of the Davidson United Preschool Board as well as Sunday school teacher, and confirmation leader.  Marianne has also been a past president, secretary and currently the treasurer of her neighborhood’s home owners association. 

As a speech language pathologist she has worked for hospitals and rehabilitation companies over the course of her 30 year career.  She has supervised and trained many therapists along the way and served in roles such as corporate compliance, education and program development, management and business development. 

Marianne began her private practice, LKN Speech Language Pathology in 2009 which serves children and students of all ages in the Lake Norman and surrounding areas,  Her goal in working with families and children is to help them be able to achieve their highest level of potential when a speech, language, or cognitive disorder or delay may be hindering their performance academically and socially.

Jason Yanni

Wake Forest University - B.S. Business

University of North Carolina at Charlotte– Master of Health Administration

Mr. Yanni is currently a Sourcing Manager at Novant Health with responsibility to lead vendor strategy development and negotiation processes for a portfolio of clinical products and services. During his tenure at Novant Health, he has had several roles in operational finance, strategic planning and the supply chain where he has been responsible for cultivating and communicating operational and capital budgets, financial performance, market share position, project recommendations and strategic plans. Prior to his work in the healthcare administration, Jason spent several years in the auto finance industry.

Jason and his wife Allyson live in Concord with their two daughters and son. All three children attend PLP in the lower and middle schools.

Board Meetings are generally scheduled for the 4th Wednesday each month in the Upper School Seminar Room (125). Please see our Board News page for details on upcoming meetings.

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