Board and Staff
The Newton Schools Foundation consists of a board of directors with one staff member.
Diane Greer, Program Director
Board of Directors
The Board meets approximately six times during the academic year, and operates through committees including: Executive, Fundraising, Communications, and Investment.
Board of Directors:
Marcia Tabenken, President
Carmen Pancerella, Clerk
Bruce McVittie, Treasurer
Founding President: Richard Hamermesh
Amelia Angella is executive director of Harvard Business School Community Action Partners. She has extensive experience in both the non-profit and financial services sectors. She began her career at the non-profit research and strategy organization Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. While there she worked to research and promote the competitive advantages of businesses located in the inner city. After earning an MBA at Harvard Business School she transitioned to the financial services industry at John Hancock, first as a bond analyst in the consumer and industrial products sector and then as an investor in middle-market private equity funds. She served on the Board of Directors of the Hattie B. Cooper Community Center in Roxbury, MA and the Women’s Council of the Pine Street Inn and has volunteered her time with many other Boston area non-profits. She and her family live in West Newton.
Shawna Giggey-Mashal moved to Newton 1997. She is married with two children who attended the Newton Public Schools. Her volunteer involvement has included Newton Free Library Spring Fling Committee, Newton PTSO's, All Newton Music School Board Emeritus, New Rep Theatre Gala Committee, Junior League Of Boston Past President, JLB Garden Club, Newton History Museum Council Member and Board member, West Suburban YMCA Board, Citizens School, American Cancer Society, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Make a Wish Foundation in Baltimore and Boston Public Library.
Jan Gilpin, J.D. has had a career specializing in writing and analyzing research on policy and professional development in the fields of early education and school age care. Her work has included managing training projects and writing legislation, policy briefs, grants and newsletters. She has been an independent consultant and has held positions at state agencies, non-profit organizations and a research institute. More recently she has been spending her time doing volunteer work, creative writing, and providing administrative support for her husband’s IT consulting business. Her three sons attend Newton North, Bigelow and Lincoln-Eliot. She has served as editor of Lincoln-Eliot’s PTO Newsletter and two 5th Grade Yearbooks.
Liz Hiser and her family have lived in Newton for over 20 years. A former marketing, sales and public relations professional in the publishing industry, she has been Chair of the Board of the New Art Center, PTO Co-President at MasonRice and PTO Treasurer at Brown. She has also been on the Board of The Second Church Nursery School in W. Newton and was on the Board of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. She is currently a member of the Newton South School Council and the Advisory Board of The Second Step in Newton. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Wellesley and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern. Her three children are now at Brown, Newton South and in college.
Bruce McVittie practiced for four years as a chemical engineer before obtaining an MSM from the Hult International Business School. He obtained his CPA license while studying at Bentley University for an MST degree which he completed with Highest Distinction. He has worked for himself and for an international management consulting firm doing strategy, market research, financial analysis and operations improvement assignments in several industries, launched a business for a client, and most recently started his own business, McVittie Tax Advisors, to serve individuals and the businesses they own. He has been involved with Newton’s Ligerbots robotics team for the last six years, most recently helping them develop a student managed purchasing process. In 1994 Bruce and his wife Elizabeth moved to Newton, where her father grew up. They have three daughters, two of whom have graduated from Newton South High School and are now studying in Canada. The youngest, a sophomore at Newton South, is already researching her options for undergraduate studies. Bruce would like to see that Newton students continue to be as well-prepared for their next step as his daughters have been.
Rosemarie Mullin has been involved in advocating for children and the Newton Public Schools for many years. In addition to working on political campaigns, locally and nationally, she was an active member of the Brown Middle School Environmental Management Team and previously was the Countryside School representative on the Elementary Equity Committee. Professionally she is an attorney and previously was a daily newspaper reporter. Ms. Mullin holds a B.A. from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and a J.D. from Boston University. She and her husband have lived in Newton for 29 years and have a son who is a senior in college.
Carmen Pancerella has served on the School Council at Franklin Elementary and has been an active Franklin PTO member, serving on the Creative Arts and Sciences Committee for 7 years, as well as leading fund-raising activities. Carmen has been a Girl Scout Troop leader in Newton for 6 years, and is a First Lego League Coach, and is very interested in engaging kids in math and science. Professionally, Carmen is a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, where she has telecommuted for 13 years, and is also a managing editor of the International Journal in Chemical Kinetics. Carmen holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. She and her husband, Tim Strayer, have two daughters –an 8th grader at F.A. Day Middle School and a 10th grader at Newton North High School.
Dr. Jennifer Price just completed her first year as Superintendent of Schools in North Andover, MA. Prior to becoming a Superintendent, Jen spent nine years as Principal of Newton North High School. During her tenure at this large, comprehensive high school, she focused much of her work on narrowing racial and socio-economic achievement gaps and supporting innovative approaches and ideas. Jen began her career as a History teacher at Maynard High School before serving as a Housemaster at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. She received her Doctorate in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2012, her Masters in Educational Administration from Boston College in 1999 and her Bachelors in Public Policy from Princeton in 1994. She co-authored a chapter with Dan Koretz on assessment literacy in Datawise. Her dissertation, Sharing Student Background: Does it Make A Difference?, focused on interventions to support students from low-income families.
Liz and her family have lived Newton since 1991. All three children are graduates of the Newton Public Schools. Over the last 20 years she has been involved with supporting the schools either by being a PTO president at Countryside Elementary or Newton South High School, by serving on various school councils and advisory groups and by helping to run many local candidate and override campaigns. She currently serves as NSF Board president, is an advisory board member for Understanding our Differences and is a board member of W2O, a woman’s advocacy nonprofit supporting ocean conservation. Her work experience includes healthcare quality consulting, healthcare administration and working as a clinical speech pathologist specializing in neurogenic communication disorders with a specialty in head injury management. She has a MA in Speech Pathology/Audiology from Michigan State University and a BA in Speech Pathology/Psychology from Ithaca College.
Claire Sokoloff was elected to the Newton School Committee in 2005 and served for 8 years; she was vice-Chair in 2008 and Chair from 2009-13. Earlier, she served in a variety of school leadership roles, including Bowen and Oak Hill PTO President and Newton South School Council Chair. Professionally, Claire has spent many years as an organizational change consultant. She was Partner from 1987-2001 at Synectics, Inc. an international consulting firm specializing in creative problem solving and innovation. While at Synectics, Claire worked on several of the firm’s longer-term culture change projects and she taught clients how to facilitate innovative outcomes using Synectics’ creative problem-solving process. Before joining Synectics, Claire was an Organizational Development consultant with the Westinghouse Institute for Resource Development. Earlier in her career, she was Criminal Justice Project Manager at the International City Management Association in Washington, DC. She has been a Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Boston University. Claire currently is serving on the Steering Committee of Newton Cares, and the Board of Directors of Wellfleet’s Preservation Hall. Claire received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Organizational Behavior from the Yale School of Organization and Management. She received her B.A. magna cum laude with honors in Psychology from Brown University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.
Elaine Sterzin is the Grants Coordinator for the Newton Public Schools, overseeing fiscal and programmatic management of federal, state, and private grants totaling more than $12 million. She collaborates in strategic planning and research to secure grant funds in support of school district initiatives, and participates in collaborative partnerships with community, state and federal agencies. Before coming to Newton, she was the Assistant Director for Finance and Administration for the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, Massachusetts Department of Public Health where she oversaw the design and procurement of a range of substance abuse prevention and treatment services, and secured funding from federal competitive grants for statewide pilot programs. For twelve years she served as the Director of Grants and Development for the Lexington Public Schools. Previously, as the Assistant Director of the Foundation for Children with AIDS, she designed and developed community based services for families with children with developmental challenges including HIV infection and substance exposure in Boston, securing funding for these innovative programs from federal and foundation source. She has a Masters in Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work.
Marcia Tabenken is a vocal advocate for public education with a background in communications. She co-chaired Building Newton’s Future, the campaign committee that secured the passage of a Proposition 2-1/2 override package of $11.4 for Newton’s schools and other programs and projects. A former PTO Council president, she is a founding member of Stand for Children’s Newton Chapter, co-founder of the PTO at the Newton Early Childhood Program, past president of the Horace Mann Elementary School PTO. Prior to becoming a full-time volunteer, Marcia managed public relations and communications for health care and non-profit organizations, most recently, the Massachusetts Medical Society. She is a graduate of Wellesley College with a B.A. in political science. She and her husband, Jeff Kolodney, have a son and daughter at Newton North High School and Day Middle School, respectively.
Josh, his wife Maryanne, and their three children have been part of Newton Public Schools for fifteen years. Josh is an electrical engineer with thirty years of computer and communications industry experience following BSEE and MSCS degrees from the University of Delaware and Boston University. He is a successful entrepreneur having been founder of multiple high-tech start-up companies. He was most recently CEO of Nauticus Networks which was acquired by SUN Microsystems. Prior to Nauticus he founded Prominet Corporation which was acquired by Lucent Technologies. He was a finalist for the Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year. Josh has been Co-president of the Zervas and Oak Hill PTOs and is a member of the PTO Council. In addition to Newton Schools Foundation, he is on the board of Newton at Home and is a trustee at Temple Shalom in Newton.
Diane Greer, Program Director, email@example.com
Diane and her husband Chip have lived in Newton for 23 years. She has two graduates of Newton South. She has been a volunteer in the Newton Public Schools since 2001, having served as PTO president at Angier, the Newton PTO Council and Newton South’s South Stage Parents Committee and co-president of the Newton South Booster Club. Professionally, Diane has 25 years of public relations and marketing experience in a variety of industries including travel, consumer goods, non-profit, and banking. Throughout her career she has gained expertise in project management, written communication, special events, operational logistics and database management.