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Manchester Proud brings on new members of Champion’s Council

Written by Lauren Boisvert, Community Communications Director

Manchester Proud is adding new members to our Champion’s Council to expand capacity and increase community representation.  Our Champion’s Council governs the mission and work of Manchester Proud and members also serve on various Work Groups. Several current Council members are nearing the end of their terms, making this the right time to solicit new members through an open community application process. Our Membership and Equity Work Group prepared an assessment of Council skills and needs to guide the review and selection of applicants.

Upon receipt of applications, candidates’ names were removed before distribution to the selection committee, making the process as fair and objective as possible. About the application and selection process, Kathleen Cook, Facilitator of the Membership Work Group describes, “It was inspiring to see how dedicated people are to the community, schools, and students”.

A vote of the Council took place in early April to elect the new members. New members have been notified of their acceptance. Now, new Council members will participate in an onboarding process to ensure they are fully aware of the mission, values, and operations of Manchester Proud.

Going forward, Manchester Proud intends to issue an annual request for potential new Council members’ applications. Kathleen Cook says, “Community involvement is needed and wanted, it’s about a balance of personal experiences and professional skill sets”.

We welcome Natalie Barney (Access Coordinator, New Hampshire GEAR UP Alliance), Antonio Feliciano (Director of Operations, Manchester Boys & Girls Club), Peter Gustafson (Deputy Director, SEE Science Center), Chau Ngo (ED.M Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education), Michael Quigley (Director Office of Youth Services, City of Manchester), David Rogers (Chief Development Officer, DEKA), Maria Severn (Child Intake Coordinator, Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester), Scott Spradling (Media & Communications Consultant), Steve Thiel (Assistant Vice President Community Impact, Southern NH University), and Jamanae White (New York Life Insurance) to the council!

These new members join Katie LaBranche (Title 1 Reading Supervisor, Manchester School District), Sandra Almonte (Owner, Don Quijote Restaurant), Donna Crook (Director of Accountability and Research, Southern NH University;  Data Analyst Manchester School District), Mike Delaney (Principal, McLane Middleton Law Firm), Robert Baines (Former Manchester Mayor and High School Principal), Kathy Cook (Former Director, Bean Foundation), Dr. Jennifer Gillis (Superintendent, Manchester School District), Heather McGrail (Chief Executive Officer, Greater Manchester Chamber), Mark Mulcahy (Principal, Keller Williams Realty), Pawn Nitichan (Executive Director, City Year New Hampshire), Donna Papanikolau (English Learner Teacher, Manchester School District), Tina Philibotte (Chief Equity Officer, Manchester School District), Tina Proulx (Middle School Curriculum Director, Manchester School District), and Andrew Toland (Chief of Staff, Manchester School District). 

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The power of building and tending to community partnerships is a multiplier, expanding our collective knowledge, expertise, experience, capacity, resources, opportunity, and commitment to our common goal of excellence and equity for all learners. The old saying that, “Two heads are better than one”, certainly applies to our work, and we are so very fortunate to have many, many heads contributing to the success of our District.