BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Judith Jones, Chair

JUDITH JONES has a B.A. from Middlebury College, a M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She began her career in International Relations and worked for the US Agency for International Development and the State Department. Following her passion for education, Judith switched careers and became program analyst for the NJ Department of Education when community colleges were initiated and teachers colleges were transformed into liberal arts programs. While living in Washington DC, she became involved with the emerging “Six School Complex” and documented this innovative public school choice program in her 1987 book, Six School Complex: A Successful Innovation in Washington, D.C.’s Public Schools. This led to a dozen years of working with the DC Public School system in a variety of facility planning, education planning, and policy positions. 

She became involved with the early efforts to create “public autonomous schools” in DC, leading to the passage of enabling legislation for public charter schools by the DC Council in 1994 and by Congress in 1995. As co-founder of FOCUS, she worked with founders, authorizers, and others to develop a high-quality charter school movement in DC, now serving 44% of all public school children.

In 1998, Judith’s personal focus shifted to the state of Maine, where she and her husband Bill retired. At the time, Maine was one of the 10 states without an enabling charter school law. Judith quickly began working to bring public charter schools to Maine, leading a group in forming the non-profit corporation Maine Association for Charter Schools in June of 2000. “MACS” was instrumental in finally convincing Maine legislators to enact enabling charter school legislation in June 2011.
In Judith’s words…

“Access to good education is an avenue out of poverty, but the existing American system denies this access to many children.  It gives school districts almost complete control over taxpayer dollars and resources.  Personal experience has persuaded me that better education outcomes will come only with basic structural changes, including allowing parents to choose schools that meet the needs of their children, with the money following the child, not the political winds of the day.”

Cheryl Clukey, Secretary

CHERYL DAWSON CLUKEY, B.S., M.Ed. is a 27-year veteran of public education: principal of two schools, special education teacher, gifted and talented director and teacher of computer technology.
Achievements include: founder of “Capitol Area Gifted and Talented Program, which included 5 area high schools and newly created master classes in art, music, literature and writing; creator of day-long middle school gifted and talented conferences; creator/teacher of workshops and semester courses for teachers on how to specifically teach reading to dyslexic and learning disabled students; developer of after-school tutoring and arts programs; creator of “Kid’s Saturday Workshops; and recipient of the Governor’s award for “Excellence in Education” for innovative reading programs.

In Cheryl’s words…
“While I have always been a strong supporter of public education, I have increasingly been concerned about the amount of smart, skilled students who drop out of school each year. When students leave public schools, Maine loses their skills and assets. Fifteen years ago, I became involved in the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Maine. I worked with the school leaders to help get the law passed which allowed the school to exist. I worked as a regional admission counselor for the first two years. I was very proud to be part of this pioneer effort that offered a rigorous curriculum to Maine students, who, for a variety of reasons, just didn’t fit nor succeed in their local schools. Since that time, I have broadened my interest in public charter schools as a means to offer more options for students to educationally succeed and reach their potential.”

Wes Richardson, Treasurer

WESLEY RICHARDSON received his B.S. degree from Northeastern University. He has lived in Warren, Maine for more than 30 years. He recently served as the Interim Town Manager for Waldoboro and is the retired president of the Waldoboro Bank, FSB.

Wes has served four terms in the Maine House, serving all 4 four terms on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee, and a half term on the Marine Resource Committee.

Currently, he is a Maine Court mediator, and a member of the Supervisory Committee for Mid-Coast Federal Credit Union. He is active in the community, having served on the MSAD #40 School Board and the Knox County Budget Committee.

Wes has two adult sons and several grandchildren who live in Maine. He enjoys fishing, hunting, boating, and skiing.

Tonya Arnold

Tonya Arnold currently serves as the Superintendent for RSU 2 in Hallowell.  She has also been Superintendent on the islands of Monhegan and Vinalhaven, serving their small rural island schools and pursuing her passion for the rural living, learning and service to community that is prevalent in many such small towns.

Tonya served as Head of School for Maine Academy of Natural Sciences during the 4 years that it grew from a small startup with about 60 students to its size of nearly 210 through the development of its home visiting Threshold program and expansion of its agricultural, community service oriented project based learning, and teacher leadership components.  She has served as a district and school leader for 7 years, building level admin for 5 years, and taught for 13 years from pre-k through middle school.  She is passionate about innovation, social emotional learning, project based learning, and brain science while collaborating with others through her work in education.

She has served on Boards that support career and technical training, address hunger and poverty, and work to expand universal access to pre-k for the young families of Maine.  On weekends and vacations, she spends as much time as she can with family and friends enjoying outdoor activities or projects.

WE NEED YOU!

Education Action Forum of Maine is actively looking to expand its board of directors. We are seeking enthusiastic individuals with a passion for education reform. Skill sets such as marketing, fundraising, legal, finance, and/or nonprofit governance would be helpful. If interested, please contact Board Chair, Judith Jones for a personal interview. – CONTACT JUDITH

STAFF

John Mullaney, Executive Director

John Mullaney served as Executive Director of a private family foundation in Ohio for more than 21 years. In that time, the foundation was nationally recognized as one of the most effective family foundations in the country.

The foundation’s success stemmed from the strong, twelve-member board of directors John developed, guided by an interest in the art of “trusted listening to, and learning from, the communities they serve”.

John managed the education portfolio for the foundation which maintained a philosophy of funding excellent schools, be they public, private or charter. The foundation supported funding for charter schools in Cleveland, Ohio, Denver, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts.

For years, John guided a variety of foundations, nonprofits and government agencies in addressing the larger and often more complex policy issues that impact a syncopation between public and private dollars, striving to have highest sustainable impact on communities.

Prior to his tenure in philanthropy, John served in both the education and non-profit sectors in the U.S, Latin America, Europe and Africa. He was Executive Director of a Boston-based non-profit organization that used satellite and emerging Internet technologies to provide peer-reviewed medical literature to medical schools and rural clinics in developing countries.

Over a span of eleven years John was Program and Research Manager at “Institute for International Development” and Program Director for the “Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities”, both at Harvard University. In these positions, he had the opportunity to work directly with university officials, public officials, and corporate foundations in Latin America, Europe and Africa.

John has served on numerous boards serving both local and state-wide constituents. He completed his undergraduate education at Boston College and a Master’s degree at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

John and his wife, Barbara Sawhill, have summered at a camp on Sebago Lake for many years and they now live in Woolwich.  Barbara teaches at Bowdoin College and they are both 3rd grade “reading buddies” at a Brunswick elementary school.

EMAIL JOHN

Roger Brainerd, Assistant Director

Roger Brainerd has a BA in Anthropology from Oberlin College and Masters Degrees from the University of Maine, in Science Education and in Educational Administration. Prior to his work as a public educator, Roger restored and captained an historic 82’ schooner, operating her as a school ship in a marine environmental education program for schools and colleges in Maine and New England in collaboration with the University of Maine Cooperative Education Service.

As a Maine certified Principal, K-12 Teacher, and District Technology Coordinator, Roger has been an active leader of school improvement efforts at the classroom, school, and district levels. Roger has led efforts to bring innovative, autonomous, and accountable charter schools to Maine since 1993. From 2009 to 2019, he represented Maine on the State Leaders Council of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools based in Washington, D.C.

Roger’s non-profit experience includes nine years as a board member of The Housing Foundation in Orono, four years as President. He also served as a board member of the Orono Land Trust. His community involvement includes service as a scoutmaster, 4-H leader, and town planning board chair.

On retiring from public education, Roger and his wife Laura restored an historic 1786 farmhouse on Seven Tree Pond in Union which they operated as a bed & breakfast. In 2016, they moved to Rockland where they provide office space for Education Action Forum of Maine overlooking Lake Chickawaukie.

EMAIL ROGER

Betty Ingraham, Administrative Assistant

Betty spent much of her adult years in Orono, Maine where she and her husband raised five children.  She worked for much of that time in the College of Engineering, University of Maine and while there, completed Masters Degrees in Food Science and Nutrition and Science Education.  On taking an early retirement from the University, Betty moved with her husband Thom to midcoast Maine where they planted heirloom fruit trees, berries, and a large garden.

She and Thom enjoy tending their “farmden” and also, especially – spending time with their children and grandchildren.  Betty is a long-time supporter of school choice and has worked as administrative assistant since 2016.

EMAIL BETTY