”The kids are always so excited to see their bags. It’s the first thing many of them ask about on Fridays.”
— Heather Cassidy, 3rd Grade Teacher

Cecilia Rawlins

Honorary Chair

Cecilia Rawlins worked from July1993 to December 2007 as the principal of Wiley International Magnet Elementary School. During that time she had the opportunity to work with many fantastic teachers, parents and students.  Upon retirement she was a consultant with Communities in Schools; spent 2.5 years as a principal in Osaka, Japan; moved with Dave to their vacation home in Hot Springs, NC; and then bought a new house and moved to Asheville, NC.

In Asheville, Cecilia is very involved with her church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville as the co-chair of the Annual Budget Drive for 2017-2018.  She is a Pastoral Visitor, a member of the Welcome Team, a member of the anti-racism social justice action group, and volunteers at a local food bank and with the Voter Engagement Coalition. 

She is an active volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages, a board member at Francine Delaney New School for Children, and a longtime board member of Hot Springs Community Learning Centers.    Cecilia loves to travel and misses her days at Wiley and is continually grateful to the CRF Board for their hard work.  She is the life-partner of Dave Penrose, owner of Penrose Consulting, and the mother of Ashley Lindsey, a choreographer-dancer based in New York City.


ILIna Ewen


Ilina writes at Dirt & Noise and Handmade NC. She is a seasoned marketer with over 25 years of marketing, brand strategy, communications, and writing experience. Her professional background includes creating brand awareness and promotional campaigns for companies such as American Express, Kimberly-Clark, and No Nonsense. Her experience on both the agency and client sides of marketing communications affords her a keen understanding of both perspectives. She has an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a BA in History from the University of Virginia. Along with serving the UN Foundation's Shot@Life program, Ilina works with her local food bank and serves on the board of SAFEchild to help eliminate child abuse.  Ilina also advocates for public education and serves on the North Carolina State Superintendent Parent Advisory Council and the Statewide Summative Assessment Task Force. She’s a doting mom to two sons.


Asit Sharma


Asit is a senior consumer goods and industrials stock analyst with the investment advisory service The Motley Fool. A certified public accountant and certified management accountant, Asit also advises closely held businesses on finance and strategy through his company, Finosus, LLC. His three sons (now in middle and high school) attended Wiley Elementary. Asit tries to keep in physical and mental shape by coaching a high school boys' recreational soccer team, as well as the Ligon Middle School chess club.


Amy madison


Amy has a long record of involvement and engagement with Wiley Elementary. A parent of two alums, she served as Wiley’s PTA president from 2003-2004, which allowed her to work closely with Cecilia Rawlins to see how much Rawlins did beyond her role as principal to ensure the needs of all students and their families were met. Madison’s continued involvement in her children’s schools led to her to serve as president of the Enloe High School PTSA from 2010-2011 and join the board of CONCERT, which provides after school tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment opportunities for students at four schools in east Raleigh. A longtime former resident of Cameron Park, Madison has sold residential real estate and is currently the executive assistant for one of the founders of SAS.


NICK Woomer-deters

Assistant Treasurer

Nick is the father of two, including a Wiley 2nd grader and kindergartener.  He is an attorney at the Office of the Appellate Defender in Durham, where he represents indigent criminal defendants who are appealing their convictions - mostly serious felonies - to North Carolina's two appellate courts. Nick has lived in Raleigh for almost 11 years. Nick grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor with a degree in philosophy in 2002 and attended law school at the University of Minnesota.


Melanie Bush

Assistant Secretary

Melanie has worked for more than 20 years on anti-poverty issues as an organizer, advocate, and as a policy and fiscal analyst.  She is currently Deputy Director at the North Carolina Medicaid program, but previously worked as a consultant, as a Fiscal Analyst for the NC General Assembly, and as Assistant Director of Policy for the North Carolina Medicaid program. Melanie has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Georgetown University and a Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. She has two sons who attend Wiley.



Teacher Liaison

Kathy is a literacy intervention teacher at Wiley Elementary.  She holds a Masters of Education and has taught for 13 years in both regular and special education settings.  She worked for several years as a Title I teacher as well. Kathy lives in Raleigh with her husband and two children.  She loves to bike and spend time with her family in her spare time.


SHeri Erhart

Events Chair

Sheri graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1996.

She is an Executive Vice President for CMC Hotels.  CMC Hotels specializes in the development, construction, and operations of upscale limited and full service hotels. Sheri is involved in operations, sales, and marketing for the company. She also oversees the procurement and design, managing all property improvement cycles, new build design and refurbishment projects.

Sheri has one child at Wiley (1st) and one alumni.  In addition to the Cecilia Rawlins Fund, Sheri is also a current Board Member for Arts Together and Cary Visual Arts.


Kathleen lowe

Backpack Buddies and Requests Liaison

Kathleen has spent her career making change through public policy analysis and advisement, advocacy and corporate and foundation relations. 

Kathleen currently consults with non-profits and public entities on advocacy initiatives and navigation.  She managed the successful campaigns of NC Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman and NC Representative Deborah Ross.  She has provided legislative analysis and policy advice for US Senator Carol Mosely-Braun, The ACLU-IL and Prevent Child Abuse America.  Before moving to Raleigh, Kathleen spent five years in London as the Human Rights Policy Advisor for the Law Society of England and Wales representing the views of UK lawyers to Members of Parliament. 

She holds a Masters of Social Work/Public Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned a Certificate of International Human Rights Law from the London School of Economics.  Kathleen is the Co-Chair of Deborah Ross for US Senate’s Women Trust Ross and has two sons, one attending Wiley (2nd) and one alumni.



Assistant Backpack Buddies and Requests Liaison

Claire has two children at Wiley Elementary (K/2nd).  Claire received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from North Carolina State University and worked at SAS in the Financial Services Sales group for 8 years.  After leaving SAS, Claire trained under several top image consultants and now owns her own image and wardrobe consulting business - Claire Roberts Style.  Claire and her husband Taylor, their two kids, and pet hedgehog (Julia Roberts) live in downtown Raleigh and are dedicated to a strong community in downtown Raleigh and at Wiley Elementary.  



Member at Large