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About the Governing Board

REL Northeast & Islands is guided by a Governing Board whose membership includes the education commissioners and secretaries, or their designees, from all nine REL Northeast & Islands jurisdictions, along with representatives of diverse stakeholder groups from across the region, including higher education officials, district superintendents, principals, researchers, union members, professional association leaders, and nonprofit executives.

The Governing Board is charged with overseeing the programmatic work of REL Northeast & Islands. Board members help identify and prioritize the high-leverage education needs of the region; review research plans and training, coaching, and technical support products and activities; and assist with outreach and dissemination efforts. The Board provides strategic guidance to ensure REL Northeast & Islands carries out its activities with maximum effectiveness and efficiency and collaborates with other RELs and education organizations.

The REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board meets three times a year—one virtual meeting and two in-person meetings held in one of the region's nine jurisdictions.

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board

Members of the Governing Board

Board Chair: Dianna Wentzell, Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education

Board Vice Chair: Gladys I. Cruz, District Superintendent, Questar III BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), New York

Board Secretary: Celeste Bowler, Assistant Superintendent, East Providence School District, Rhode Island


Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, Connecticut
Also pictured: George Coleman and Robert Rader, regional and content advisors to the Board.

Connecticut

  • Dr. Dianna Wentzell, Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Charlene Russell-Tucker (commissioner's designee), Chief Operating Officer, Connecticut Department of Education
  • Marie Salazar Glowski, Assistant Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Schools
  • Deborah Richards, Director of Student Services, Capitol Region Education Council

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, Maine
Also pictured: Jerry White, regional advisor to the Board.

Maine

  • Robert Hasson, Jr. Commissioner, Maine Department of Education
  • Paul Hambleton (commissioner's designee), Chief Academic Officer, Maine Department of Education
  • Amy Johnson, Co-Director, Maine Education Policy Research Institute, University of Southern Maine
  • Barbara Moody, Chair, School of Education, Husson University

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, Massachusetts

Massachusetts

  • Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
  • Kendra Winner (commissioner’s designee), Research and Evaluation Coordinator, DESE
  • Ethan Cancell, Executive Director, Accountability, Technology & Student Data Research, Brockton Public Schools
  • Fernanda Kray, English Learner Professional Development & Curriculum Coordinator, Center for Instructional Support, Massachusetts DESE

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, New Hampshire
Also pictured: Gary MacDonald, regional advisor to the Board.

New Hampshire

  • Frank Edelblut, Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE)
  • Heather Gage (commissioner's designee), Director, Division of Educational Improvement, NHDOE
  • Bridey Bellemare, Principal, Thorntons Ferry Elementary School

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, New York

New York

  • MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner, New York State Education Department (NYSED)
  • Jhone Ebert (commissioner's designee), Senior Deputy Commissioner, NYSED
  • Gladys I. Cruz, Superintendent, Questar III BOCES
  • Jerome Steele, Professor, Education Leadership Doctoral Program, Sage Colleges, and Capital Area School Development Association Faculty Member, University at Albany East Campus

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, Puerto Rico
Also pictured: Nelson Colon, regional advisor to the Board.

Puerto Rico

  • Julia Keleher, Secretary of Education, Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE)
  • María Christian, Chief Academic Officer, PRDE (Secretary’s designee)
  • Orville Disdier, Deputy Director, Institute of Statistics
  • David Haddock, Vice President of Program and Administration, Community Foundation of Puerto Rico

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, Rhode Island

Rhode Island

  • Ken Wagner, Commissioner, Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE)
  • Mary Ann Snider (commissioner's designee), Deputy Commissioner for Teaching & Learning, RIDE
  • Celeste Bowler, Assistant Superintendent, East Providence School District
  • Colleen A. Callahan, Director of Professional Issues, Rhode Island Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, Vermont

Vermont

  • Daniel French, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Education (AOE)
  • Heather Bouchey (secretary’s designee), Deputy Secretary of Education, AOE
  • Jay Nichols, Executive Director, Vermont Principals’ Association
  • Elaine Pinckney, Superintendent, Champlain Valley School District

Members of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board, U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Sharon McCollum, Commissioner, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE)
  • Denise Gomes (commissioner’s designee), Program Manager, State Office of Curriculum and Instruction, VIDE
  • Dee Baecher-Brown, President, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
  • Terrence Joseph, Chair, Virgin Islands Board of Education

Governing Board Regional and Content Advisors

  • Mary Canole, former School Leadership Consultant, Council of Chief State School Officers
  • George A. Coleman, Early Childhood Consultant, Cooperative Educational Services
  • Nelson Colon, President & CEO, Puerto Rico Community Foundation
  • Gary L. MacDonald, Retired Superintendent, Maine SAD #72
  • Robert Rader, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)
  • Jerry White, Former Superintendent, Island Schools, Matinicus Island, Denniston, and Greenbush