Members of the Parker Board of Trustees
Steven Roach - Chair
Mary-Wren VanderWilden - Vice Chair
Theresa Espinola - Treasurer
Laura Warner - Secretary
Todd Sumner - Principal
Christine Regan Davi
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School
Board of Trustee Meetings 2017-2018
Regularly scheduled meetings of the Parker Board of Trustees are held in Room 27 at the Parker School from 6:45 pm until 9:00 pm.
September 13, 2017
October 11, 2017
November 8, 2017
December 13, 2017
January 10, 2018
February 14, 2018
March 14, 2018
April 11, 2018
May 9, 2018
June 13, 2018
There will be a meeting of the Finance Committee immediately prior to each Board meeting at 5:45 in Room 33 at the Parker School.
As a public school, Parker is subject to the MA Open Meeting Laws. All of our Board of Trustee Meetings and Board Committee Meetings are open to the public and the minutes to these meetings are available here.
If you would like additional information for older meetings it is available and may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click the arrows below to learn more about our Board of Trustees members.
Julie is currently in her seventh year as a Trustee, having served on the Principal Evaluation and Support Committee, the recent Sizer Teacher Center Director Search and currently, the Development Committee. For over three decades, Julie has worked as a teacher, administrator, college faculty and school coach/consultant to schools across the country on the integration of innovative secondary school design and curricular practices that strengthen connections between schools and communities, promote shared leadership, and support a student-centered, personalized and relevant approach to teaching and learning. One of the models that made a significant impression on her work while studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education was Ted Sizer’s Essential School movement. Over the years, she has directed numerous school teams to Parker to witness the Essential School Common Principles in action.
Julie has been the recipient and collaborator in a number of school redesign initiatives including: a $500K foundation grant to embed public service and community-based learning into the high school curriculum; a fellowship at Tufts University to help create an Institute for School-Community Collaboration; a grant from the Walter Annenberg Foundation to strengthen rural schools across the country, serving as the New England Field Coordinator; a Pathways to Prosperity grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation; and most recently as a school coach at the Great Schools Partnership. She has also served on Nellie Mae’s Advisory Group for District Level Systemic Change Initiative.
Favorite pastimes include hiking and biking the trails of Bolton and Wellfleet with her husband, Noel, laughing and learning with her daughters and their children in Maine and California, and digging in her gardens!
This is Colin's first year as a Board Member for the Parker school and brings a wealth of experience from his position as Dean of Faculty and English teachers at Lawrence Academy. His is also soccer coach and a dorm parent at the school. Before arriving at Lawrence Academy, Colin taught and coached at Stratton Mountain School in Stratton, VT and Ayutthayanusorn High School in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Colin holds a B.A. in English from Wheaton College (MA), a M.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s University, and is pursuing a M.A. in English from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English. In his free time Colin enjoys playing and watching soccer, skiing, running, hiking, reading, writing, and travel. In the summer of 2013 Colin and his wife, Molly, traveled to twelve countries throughout Europe and Southeast Asia. Colin and Molly live on campus in Elm Tree Hall with their son, MacQuarrie, and their dog, Ellie.
Jeannie is in her first year as one of the two Parker teachers on the Board of Trustees. Jeannie has been teaching Spanish at Parker for the past three years and currently sits on the Governance Committee. She grew up in Connecticut and went to college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and completed a Master's and Ph.D. in Spanish literature at the University of Virginia. Before coming to Parker, Jeannie taught Spanish and advised at the University level, most recently at West Point. Transitioning from college to high school teaching, Jeannie felt reenergized as an educator the first time she read the 10 Common Principles. Her favorite is "less is more;" depth, over breadth is a daily teaching goal that she aspires to. Jeannie lives in Worcester and enjoys hiking, yoga, cooking, and travel.
Glenn Penna has over 25 years of experience developing managers, leaders and organizations. In his senior leadership positions, he has helped to plan, build and run transformational programs, and as a consultant, he has focused on building organizational effectiveness through management and leadership development, executive coaching and team building/facilitation.
Glenn resides in Lunenburg with his wife, Pamela, and their three sons. Two have graduated from Parker and one is in his senior year. Glenn is in his first year as a Trustee for Parker and he is excited to contribute to the school’s continued success through his involvement, focusing on expanding community outreach with a target goal of promoting greater diversity in faculty and students. Glenn is a passionate traveler who has visited six continents, with intentions of visiting all seven. He is an avid reader of history and biographies, while also enjoying cycling and outdoor activities.
Kayla, a Parker alumna from the Class of 2009, is currently serving her second term as a Trustee. She credits the Parker community with her passion for education reform and is honored to stay connected to the school in this way. She grew up in Shirley and currently lives in Cambridge. Kayla earned a BA in Sociology & Education and a Master's in Public Administration, both from Clark University. After working in community engagement at a non-profit in Boston for a year, she joined the Office of Career Services at Fisher College in the Back Bay of Boston where she worked as Assistant Director, managing the internship program and employer relations. Kayla now works at UMass Lowell in the Career & Co-op Center. Outside of work you will likely find her training for a running race, practicing yoga, spending time with her family (her older twin brothers are also Parker alums!), and watching/learning about Manchester United and the Premier League.
Christine has over 20 years of experience in communications and business development. She currently works as vice president of sales for Product Quest, where she helps clients develop better-for-you skin care products that use natural, sustainable, and globally conscious ingredients.
In her previous life as a reporter and editor for The Cape Codder and Solid State Technology, she covered topics as varied as semiconductor manufacturing in Taiwan, women’s health (including breast cancer research, the sex trade industry, and women’s prison conditions) and the wildlife conservation efforts of Mass Audubon. She holds a master’s degree in writing for children from Simmons College.
As a trustee for Parker since 2016, Christine chairs the governance committee, where she is honored to help Parker connect with the next generation of board talent who will lead the school into the future. Christine resides in Ashburnham with her husband, Blaise, and daughter, Jacqueline, a Parker student. She also has two curious granddaughters who believe almost anything can be made better with neon band-aids or a trusty pair of rainboots.
Christine continues to work on her middle-grade novel (a second draft) as well as other stories. When she’s not writing, she enjoys working in her studio on pottery, metalworking, and photography projects.
Steve Roach currently serves as president and ceo at UMass Memorial - Marlborough Hospital, a member hospital of UMass Memorial Health Care. He joined the 79 bed community hospital in the fall of 2013 when the hospital was faced with some serious financial issues. Through strict attention to expense management and by identifying growth opportunities. Steve led a turnaround of a $1.5 million loss in the first quarter to a gain of $2.0 million in operations by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. During fiscal year 2015, the hospital’s financial performance continued to improve with a gain of $5 million. In 2016, the hospital exceeded plan and closed with a gain of $7.6 million in operations which was a 50 percent increase.
Steve’s current focus is on developing and implementing a strategic plan through 2020 in collaboration with the hospital’s board of trustees, physicians, UMass Memorial senior leadership and Marlborough Hospital’s management team. The strategic plan emphasizes growth and expansion and for the hospital to strive to be recognized as a leader for community hospitals in terms of quality, care, patient satisfaction and value. Steve believes that Marlborough Hospital is “a strong community hospital under a strong system” and is a great fit for him because it allows him to work with the physicians and staff that he knows is firmly committed to exceptional care in their local community.
Previously, Steve served as president and CEO of Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Massachusetts for seven years. He began his career at Nashoba in 2003 as chief financial officer, and then progressed to chief operating officer, and when appointed chief executive officer, set to the successful turnaround of a financially struggling hospital. Steve’s leadership has brought him great respect and admiration from his colleagues in the Steward Health Care System, which owns Nashoba, and from other health care and business leaders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Throughout his experience in health care, Steve has shown a drive for operational excellence and a knack for strategic decision-making that pays off. He is also committed to drawing upon the skills and expertise of the caregivers at each of the organizations he has led.
Other leadership roles for Steve include serving as the chair of the board of trustees of the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School and he is a board trustee and chair of the audit committee of Main Street Bank.
Jennifer is serving her first term as a Trustee and is Chair of the Development Committee. Jennifer has worked in independent schools as both a Board and a staff member for most of the past 25 years and has worked in schools in Moscow, New York, Zurich, and now Concord, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and two children (one of whom is a Parker student). She grew up in Winter Park, Florida, received her B.A. in Soviet Studies from the University of Florida, and her M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Cindy, a parent of three past Parker students, is currently serving her second term as a Trustee. She credits the Parker community with her children’s love of learning and their passion for ‘getting involved’ in the things they enjoy in life. She currently lives in Acton. Cindy earned a BA in Economics from Fairfield University where she currently serves on the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. She is an experienced leadership coach with a history of working in the financial services, marketing, and manufacturing industries. Certified by the International Coaches Federation (ICF) she is interested in working with leaders to improve their personal performance. For fun, you’ll find Cindy in her garden or travelling to visit family with her husband Bern.
Todd Sumner is principal at Parker and an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. Todd first read Horace’s Compromise more than thirty years ago and has held the Ten Common Principles of Essential Schools close to his heart ever since. If challenged to pick a favorite among the common principles, he would choose the first: “…The school should focus on helping adolescents learn to use their minds well…” But a close second choice would be Common Principle #7: “…The tone of the school should explicitly and self-consciously stress values of un-anxious expectation…of trust (until abused) and of decency (the values of fairness, generosity and tolerance)…” Since coming to Parker in 2011, Todd has considered it an honor to serve a school and community so deeply faithful to the Ten Common Principles and so deeply committed to the integrity of each student’s individual journey. He is committed to strengthening the school and increasing its influence in Parker’s third decade.
Prior to coming to Parker, Todd served The Academy at Charlemont, an independent day school, as teacher, dean, trustee, and head of school. He and his husband, Mark, live in Groton and enjoy visiting Todd’s daughter, Rachel, in upstate New York. For fun Todd enjoys hiking, reading, gardening, cooking, and baseball.
Mary-Wren has been a Trustee at Parker for five years. Currently she is serving as the Vice Chair and is a member of the Development Committee. She was excited to re-engage with Parker after helping to write the original charter and teach there the first year in 1995-1996. She has been involved in education for 27 years doing everything from teaching math and even driver education to consulting. She taught at Pasadena High School, a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools and also worked for the Coalition at Brown University for a year. Mary-Wren grew up in Santa Barbara, California and went to college at Scripps College outside of Los Angeles where she studied International Relations. She fell in love with the East Coast after getting an MGA at University Pennsylvania and an MEd at Harvard University and has lived in Concord, Massachusetts ever since. Her three boys are grown and in college or working and she enjoys an active life with her husband, Philip and dog, Guinness.
One of two Parker teachers on the Board of Trustees, Laura has been teaching Wellness classes at Parker since 2003. Currently, she co-chairs the Diversity and Enrollment Committee, and sits on the Governance Committee. Laura lives in Ayer, and keeps busy with her family: John, a special ed teacher; Isabel, a 15 year old competitive swimmer, Simon, a fast-moving 5 year old; and a happy little girl, Georgie. She grew up in Upstate NY, graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in "Psychology, Gender and Society," and has her Ed.M in "Risk and Prevention Education" from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Committed to helping students learn to use their minds well and fostering a culture of trust and decency, Laura looks forward to highlighting the excellent teaching and learning at Parker!