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School Board



Cara Dowling is your Lincoln Charter School Board President for the 2023-2024 school year. This is her fifth year on the board. She has always been actively engaged in the school by finding various ways to volunteer. This includes serving as the PTO president for 2 years and leading the planning for 3 Denver Track Attacks, raising nearly $270K for the school. Her commitment to Lincoln Charter is directly linked to believing that our greatest assets are our staff and students. She also wants to show girls that they have now and, in the future, a strong voice and a seat at the table.

By profession, Cara has over 20 years of experience in financial services and currently leads a team of product managers in the digital banking space. She served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 6 years where her job was a crew chief and aviation electrician. Later, she reenlisted and served 2 years with the Army National Guard as a UH-60 helicopter repair technician. Cara is also the proud spouse of a 24-year military veteran.

Cara holds an MBA and Master of Science in Systems Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Resources Management from Troy University. The Montgomery GI Bill paid for 90% of her education, and she is a major advocate for military service as a way to serve our nation while making college goals a reality.

Most important is her family. She lives in the Mountain Island area with her husband, David, and their two firecracker daughters, who are Lincoln Charter students. When not working, you will likely find Cara driving her mom's taxi up and down HWY 16 for sports and music. For fun, she loves to travel and take advantage of any break from school to head out of town and often Disney.


Tom currently serves the LCS community by participating on the School Board and serving on the Facilities Committee (Chair) and Student Conduct Committee (Chair). He has previously served as a school board member (2013-2019) and PTO President for the LCS Lincolnton campus. He and his wife, Amber, have 4 children at the Lincolnton campus and have been a part of the LCS Family since 2012, when their oldest started Kindergarten with LCS. He is currently employed with Wells Fargo as an engineering manager responsible for managing multiple development teams and applications.

Tom states, "I believe that all children should be equipped to succeed in their goals and dreams, and the LCS community has successfully equipped the children for success. We must serve our communities to strengthen them and give back to what we have received."

Tom has been an owner/operator of a technology service business for over 20 years, specializing in supporting other small businesses in and around the Charlotte Metro area. His experience in the Information Technology industry working with multiple Top 100 Corporations (AT&T, IBM, Wachovia, Wells Fargo) is an asset to assist the school with technological and business needs.


Chris Wrenn has been a member of the Lincoln Charter community for 8 years. He is currently serving his fourth year on the LCS board as Treasurer. Chris has a Master’s degree with a concentration in Finance and is the Chief Financial Officer for Industrial Timber LLC, located in Charlotte. Chris and his wife, Jennifer, have one child who graduated from the Denver campus and two current students at the Denver campus. Their oldest daughter graduated LCS in 2020 and is currently a student at UNC Chapel Hill. Their son is currently in the 12th grade, and their youngest daughter is in 8th grade. Chris states, "I am serving on the board and wish to continue to serve, to give back to a community that has given so much to my family. I want to help ensure that the school continues to be the best it can be. I am unafraid to ask the tough questions and advocate for the whole LCS community. During my service on the board, I have actively sought input from our community. I believe it is important to gather information from teachers, parents, students, and administrators regarding challenges they see at the school or changes that they wish to make at the school. I have taken this approach because we are a large and diverse community with many different viewpoints and experiences. I take all of this information, coupled with my experience in the corporate world, and the input of other board members to guide my actions on the board.I would be honored to serve another term on the board and continue to help guide the school to new heights."

Alli Moody

Alli is committed to caring for people who are in the most vulnerable moments of their lives. She has been a Trauma ICU nurse, flight nurse, and ECMO nurse in our community for 18 years. Currently, she serves as the Chief Nursing Officer for a local hospital and has led a successful response to the global pandemic for her facility. She is dedicated to her profession, family, and her faith. Alli completed her BSN at UNCC in 2004 and earned her Master of Science in nursing in 2013. She demonstrates a pattern of success in managing high-stress, critical, and life-threatening situations. Her tenacious personality and natural leadership skills have served her well in my professional journey. Her family joined Lincoln Charter in 2013, and she has three daughters at the Denver campus. In her first year at LCS, she immediately jumped into service, filling the role of secretary on the PTO board. Her service to the PTO board continued for 4 years, assisting in all the events sponsored by the PTO. Her leadership mantra comes from the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” As a parent with a vested interest in the school's success, she will always fight for what will serve the LCS community best.

Jonathan Austin

Dr. Jonathan Austin is a Lincoln County native and a 2004 graduate of West Lincoln High School. After West Lincoln, he then attended Appalachian State University, during which time he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After four years and two Marine Corps deployments, Dr Austin returned to Appalachian State University, where he completed his degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. He then obtained his Doctoral of Dental Medicine degree from East Carolina School of Dentistry. Dr. Austin and his wife, Kelly, are the proud parents of three children, ages 4, 7, and a newborn. They are actively involved in many Lincoln County community organizations, charities, and events. He is also a board member of the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center, Lincoln Cultural Center, and the North Carolina Services for Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He currently owns and operates a practice in Lincolnton.

Dr. Austin has been honored to be a part of the LCS community and be able to serve on the School Board. He firmly believes that students should be in-person in the classroom as much as possible and has been amazed by the wonderful folks serving on the Board with him these past years, which was difficult during the pandemic. He looks forward to many more years of service in the LCS community.


Tammy Buckshi is serving her first term on the Lincoln Charter School Board. Her goal throughout life has been to support the development of our youth, and she hopes to continue that in this new role. In her professional life, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Spanish, and Education and a Master’s in Mathematics Education from Boston University. Tammy has been an educator for twenty-three years, during which she has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as working as a math specialist in the curriculum office of one of the highest performing school districts in the U.S. Throughout the last 20 years, Tammy has also worked as an educational consultant, writing and publishing Pre-AP curriculum and professional learning experiences. Tammy facilitates workshops for teachers and administrators in schools worldwide, supporting fellow educators with delivering high-quality instruction and providing access and equity for all students. Additionally, Tammy has coached school athletics and multiple youth sports, has been an active member of the PTO, and has created and run various clubs. In her personal life, she enjoys playing all sports, playing the piano, painting, hiking, biking, and all things nature, and most importantly, doing it all with her family!


Steve believes that parent involvement is incredibly important at Lincoln Charter School. His desire to be involved at LCS is why he serves on the school board. He currently has two students attending LCS and one who graduated in 2019. He has made an effort to volunteer and be involved at our school since his daughter started LCS in 2007. Steve believes it takes a village to raise a child and can’t imagine a better village than LCS. He believes in our school, our teachers, our administrators, and our mission. He currently works as an airline captain at JetBlue Airways, which allows him to have had the honor of serving on our school board for 3 consecutive terms previously, and to continue to serve currently, so he understands firsthand the importance of his position.


Peter Lohri serves the LCS community to promote the best interests of Lincoln Charter School as a rigorous academic institution that emphasizes lifelong values of honesty, respect, empathy, responsibility, service and preparedness. Mr. Lohri believes that we must continue to invest in our people and our community including students, faculty, administration and staff. LCS should be an employer of choice that competes for top talent and rewards its employees on the basis of the academic achievement of our students.

Pete has served as Chief Operating Officer for Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions, Inc. and has a career spanning 25+ years in the financial services operations and management consulting. He has an extensive operational, process re-engineering, product management and compliance background, and he has led multiple teams in line, implementation, transformation and business readiness and adoption roles. 

Pete has been a resident of Gaston County for 18 years, and is married to Cambria, his wife of 22 years. He is the father of 3 LCS Lifers, Emma (Alumna), Bella (10th), Jack (7th) and is a USMC Veteran. 


Ryan has two daughters and has lived in Lincoln County since 1994, both in Lincolnton and Denver. He graduated from East Lincoln High School and NC State University with a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Finance and the UNC-Chapel Hill - NC School of Banking and Louisiana State University's Graduate School of Banking.

Ryan has worked in the banking industry for 19 years, specifically in business and commercial lending, and for 16 years at Peoples Bank with his current role as Sr. Vice President, Area Executive, where he serves the community around Lake Norman and the Charlotte Metro. Internally, he has served on the bank’s Finance Committee since 2019.

Ryan has served on the LCS Finance Committee since 2017 and worked on the team for restructuring the debt and funding the latest expansion at the Lincolnton Campus. He has also been involved in budget planning, forecasting, and making recommendations to the school board. Other positions in the community include serving as the Treasurer of the Lake Norman Homebuilders Association for 8 years, and previously serving as Vice President. He is a member of the Rotary Club and served as Treasurer from 2008-2012. He currently is a member of Lincolnton Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Lincoln participant, Golf Committee Chair, a member of the Mooresville Chamber of Commerce, and a Leadership MSI participant. He is also a current member of Lake Norman Economic Development Corp., Iredell Co. Economic Development Corp.

Non-voting Board Members


Hunter Dodson is a former Lincoln Charter graduate who has experience as an internal auditor in the automotive retail sales industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Carson-Newman University where he also played collegiate baseball for four years. 

His professional experience has helped him develop the following skills:

  • Lead- manage and collaborate with teammates to identify the best strategies for reaching project goals
  • Problem-Solving- identifying the root cause of an internal process and executing a plan to correct it
  • Exposure to processes across the operational and financial departments of a Fortune 500 company
  • Questioning- examine situations and ask specific questions to get the most relevant information 

He believes these skills coupled with the firsthand experience of being a student who has walked the halls, sat in the classrooms, and competed on the field/court would bring a unique perspective and be an asset to the board.

His family has a long legacy in the LCS community, and they all care deeply about LCS and only want to see the school succeed.

During his time at LCS, he believes what separated LCS from other schools in the area was the college prep agenda and the dedicated staff. The administration and teachers challenged him and his classmates to care/plan for their futures and held them accountable to do so. 

He would like to serve on the board to give his time, energy, and effort back to the school that laid the foundation for his professional and personal success. By doing so, he can ensure that the next generation has the same experiences he did so they will also have bright futures. 



Leslie Riley has been a part of Lincoln Charter School since 2021. She is currently the English II teacher at the Lincolnton Campus. This is her first year serving on the School Board. She currently has over 30 years of teaching experience. She comes not only with Language Arts experience but also experience with working with Exceptional Children. She has a passion for building relationships with students and faculty which enables her to connect to and inspire her students while meeting their educational goals.





Leina Polson is a Sophomore Student at Lincoln Charter. She is an All-Honor Student, President of S.T.E.M. Club, and a part of the Eagle Advisory Council. Involved in multiple cultures, she herself is Hispanic and loves to express the importance of Diversity. She has been a part of the School Board since September of 2023 by the Ex-Officio Representative Policy. Her favorite things to do are spend time with family and friends, read, and be an avid participant in her community!



McKenna is currently in her Junior year at Lincoln Charter School. She has been here for the past 6 years throughout all middle school and soon high school. She loves to travel and be outdoors specifically skiing and snowboarding. She loves eating out and exploring new places. She has been a part of the Eagle Advisory Council and Wingspan Committee. McKenna is very active in volunteering with Lincoln Charter and mentoring her Little Eagle having more than 100 hours helping the school and community out. Outside of school she plays competitive soccer while also playing on the school’s high school soccer team! This is her first year on the School Board and she is super excited to offer the student perspective!