Governing Board



Responsibility for the overall well-being of the Tybee Island Maritime Academy and attainment of the goals outlined in our Charter resides with the Governing Board of Directors. Our non-profit Governing Board comprises of volunteer community members and parents of TIMA students.

These responsibilities include: ensuring that our focus remains on the children, that our educational goals are clear, and that there are appropriate means for measuring our progress; ensuring the financial stability of the school and its adherence to legal mandates; and ensuring the safety and appropriateness of our learning facility.

The Board meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm in the school gym. All Board meetings are open to the public for observation, and comply with the Georgia state statutes on open and public meetings.

Governing Board

Jason Buelterman - Educator and coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Program at Johnson High School in Savannah, Georgia (1999-present); Congressional Aide to Congressman Rob Portman (OH) (1997-1998); Mayor of Tybee Island, 2006-present; President, District 12, Georgia Municipal Association(2007-present); Tybee City Council (2002-2005).

Carolyn Jurick - Retired educator; elementary principal (1980-2004); principal of Addison Elementary School, the first charter school in Georgia, (1988-2004). Since her retirement: interim principal; Cobb County Leadership Academy(2004-2009); consultant in the research department at the University of Georgia(2004-2009); new principal mentor(2006-2009).

Brenda Marion - While landlocked in Kansas City, MO, Brenda and Tyler Marion were married on Tybee Island in May of 2003. The Marions moved to Tybee permanently in 2007 and planned to send their son Jack to school at St. Michael's when he turned 5. When St. Michael's closed and interest in starting a charter school arose, Brenda was quick to volunteer her time and energy. Brenda is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger.

Kay K. Fortner - Savannah Native; senior executive at H&R Block; worked with IRS and congress to develop electronic filing; consultant to Jackson Hewitt tax services; co-owner Jackson Hewitt Tax Services Franchise operating 58 offices with 400 seasonal employees and 20 year around employees; retired 8/24/2009.

Perb Fortner, CFO - Held several leadership and executive positions with H&R Block including responsibility for international franchise program, retired after 32 years (1969-2000). Executive Vice President Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (2000-2005). Retired in 2005. Business consultant 2006 -2010. Chairman of Leadership Tybee 2010-2013.

Christie Edwards- I would like to contribute to the school in a way that will help ensure its future and help continue to build on what others have done so far. I have experience in managing financial operations of a school, fundraising and a background in education, particularly program development, assessment and operations.  Currently, I am the executive director of a non-profit youth development program serving 200 students per year. 

Jason Ball—Tybee Island is my home town. I attended Tybee Elementary and St. Michael’s School. I am  a professional engineer serving clients in the maritime community. I am currently on the Governing Board for the Propeller Club – Port of Savannah and a member of the Savannah Maritime Association. Basing a school on maritime principles and understanding is a great platform for students to learn self-reliance at a young age and understanding how our country developed as a seafaring nation.  Access to the ocean and the coast also provides a benefit to understanding the basic concept of how we fit into nature and the ecosystem

Col. George Bowen-I work as a consultant in the fields of education and facilities management. Prior to entering the consulting business, I was the interim Superintendent of Schools for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. Was also the Deputy Superintendent for Support for four years. Served as the Director of Management Information Systems for the Rochester City School system prior to coming to Savannah. Retired from the United States Air Force after 34 years of service in 1999.

Duffield Smith

Sara Mitchell- Formerly a native of Chicago, Sara and her husband Rick relocated to Savannah in 2005 after visiting here several times and falling in love with Tybee and the surrounding areas. She spent most of her career in Chicago working for the steamship line industry. Due to her love of volunteering and children her and her husband started to foster children a year after moving to the Savannah area. With an extensive background in the transportation industry, working for freight forwarders, custom house brokers and trucking companies, it became apparent after several months of fostering children, working part time would be the only viable option. Throughout the years she served as a board member in various capacities for the Chatham County Foster Parent Association for 4 of the 6 years and fundraising was a huge part of it. Sara and Rick fostered 36 children in that relatively short period of a little over 6 years and still keep in touch
with several of them.

Heather Harvey











TIMA art -

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