SOUTHINGTON EDUCATION FOUNDATION, INC.
Instilling a love of learning.
Gail Duffy, Co-Chair
Gail is a lifelong Southington resident who graduated from Southington High School.
She is currently a Literacy/SRBI Coordinator in Plymouth, CT. She also taught elementary school for 14 years and served as a reading and math specialist for four years in Cheshire. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Albertus Magnus College, an elementary teaching certificate from University of Saint Joseph, and a Master’s degree from University of Scranton in Educational Leadership.
Gail formerly served as the secretary of the Saint Dominic School Board and is an active member of the Saint Dominic church community. She also is a member of the Connecticut Reading Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Presently, Gail resides in Southington with her husband and one of their three sons. Gail’s two older sons graduated from Southington High School and their youngest son currently attends Southington High School.
Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, Co-Chair
Michelle has been a Consultant for the State Education Resource Center (SERC) since 1999. She was a pioneer in the development and implementation of CT’s SRBI Framework in collaboration with the SDE. She facilitated the work of the SRBI Advisory Panel convened by the Commissioner of Education in 2006, was a contributing author for CT’s SRBI document published in 2008, and was recognized as a Lead Trainer for SRBI by the SDE in 2010. In this role, she partnered with the SPS to provide technical assistance at the middle and high school levels. Currently, Michelle coordinates CT’s State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) and is responsible for the provision of high quality professional development to over 75 schools, PreK-12, across the state as they strive to establish a multi-tiered system of academic and behavioral supports for all students.
Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in education and her master’s degree in special education from SCSU. As a product of Southington schools herself, Michelle plays an active role in her children’s education and extra-curricular activities. You may see her at various ball-fields throughout all three seasons as she and her husband strive to raise their daughter at the high school, oldest son at the middle school, and youngest son at the elementary level to be well-rounded, life-long learners.
Michelle lives by the quote, “Let your life speak.” As an altruistic leader, she has contributed her time and talent to the Southington community as a Big Sister for the Big Brother, Big Sister Program; as a Committee Member for Relay for Life; as a Religious Education Teacher and Confirmation Mentor for Saint Dominic’s Parish; as a Volunteer for Kristin’s Closet; as a Cast Member of Saint Thomas’ Passion Play; as an Outings Coordinator for Cub Scout Pack 72; and as an active supporter of STEPs. She believes strongly in SEFs mission to enrich the educational experiences offered by SPS and is honored and excited to serve on the Board of Directors.
George Fournier, Treasurer
George is a lifelong resident of Southington where resides there with his wife Maria. They have one son and grandson.
George has devoted his entire 50 Year career to manufacturing and is the Vice President of Engineering at Acme-Monaco Corporation in in New Britain, Connecticut.
George is on the Executive Boards of:
George serves on the following committees:
George’s Main interest is in promoting student Interest in Technical Programs for the future of manufacturing in the state of Connecticut.
Jerry Belanger, Executive Committee Member
Jerry has been an educational advocate for many years. He served two years as PTA president at North Center and from 1996 to 2003 he was involved with the Southington Parent-Teacher Council, serving as a member, Vice-President and President. During this period, he served as ex-officio member of the School System’s Redistricting committee, was a member of the advisory committee which interviewed candidates for the position of Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Learning, and served on the School Improvement Council at Southington High School.
Jerry is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Connecticut State PTA, where he was honored with both the Elaine Boulay Award for Outstanding Service as well as an Honorary Life Membership Award. He was also a member of the Nutmeg Statewide PTA, where he received the 11th Annual Distinguished Leadership Citation for Outstanding Service. While his daughters were part of the Southington Blue Knights Marching Band, he served as Publicity Coordinator and Webmaster for the Southington Band Backers. In addition, Jerry continues to serve as a judge for the Miss Hometown, Miss Nutmeg and Miss Watertown Pageants.
Jerry was a Southington Board of Education board member from 2003-07 and was also a member of the Plantsville/South End School Building Committee. He served on the Town of Southington Energy Committee and currently serves on the Southington Democratic Town Committee, and has served as a Board at Large member and Webmaster for the Southington Education Foundation since its inception.
A 1976 graduate of Watertown High School, Jerry and his wife Martha moved to Southington in 1989 and raised two daughters, Maegan and Jocelyn who both attended and graduated from Southington Public Schools. Jerry has been employed in various technology roles at Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare for the past 36 years, and is currently a senior web developer with the Web Strategy team. Jerry has also volunteered his time as a United Way coordinator at Hartford Hospital and in 2013 was honored as one of 16 finalists for “Employee of the Year”.
Paula Knight, Executive Committee Member
Paula Knight, BS Elementary Education, Preschool Concentration, MS, Art Education, Art Therapy Concentration
Working in the field of Education has been a life long passion for Paula. Dedicating thirty-seven years immersed in leading children through their own personal educational journey has been a privilege. Paula’s experiences range from preschool learners through the elementary grades. This tenure is complemented with regular classroom and the special area instruction.
Seven years of her career focused in the regular classroom concentrating in the personal and educational growth of children. The remaining twenty-eight years were focused on guiding learners from the ages of five to eleven years of age to challenge their critical and creative thinking to a depth and breadth commensurate with their accelerated learning capabilities.
Paula’s personal educational foundations start with a BS in Elementary Education, concentrating in Early Childhood Education from the Western Connecticut University, a Masters in Art Education concentrating in Art Therapy from Central Connecticut University. She continued postgraduate work in Gifted and Talented at University of Connecticut through the NEAG Education summer Confratute program, completing four summers of conference work.
Work in the area of Gifted and Talented continued outside the classroom as a guest speaker at parent seminars, teacher professional development, consulting for district professional development in New England and abroad.
The privilege of working with this unique learning population is an exhilarating adventure. Their nimble minds present an open pallet ready to be challenged and create pathways to new learning opportunities. The wonderment in learning is filled with possibilities.
Kelley Nolan-Maccione, Executive Committee Member
Kelley Nolan-Maccione is Vice President, Product Design and Execution, UnitedHealthcare Commercial Group. Kelley has been in the healthcare industry for over 14 years focusing on developing and managing products and services aimed at helping individuals live healthier lives. In this role, Kelley has responsibility for the clinical, pharmacy, incentive, consumer engagement, advocacy and behavioral products on a national basis.
Kelley joined UHC in 2004 and has held various product roles during her tenure. Prior to her position at UnitedHealthcare, she was Assistant Vice president, Strategy, Product and Marketing, at CIGNA Healthcare. She also held various positions at GE Capital. Kelley graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor's degree in English and Economics. She also received her Master's degree in Economics from the University of Connecticut.
Kelley is very involved in her community. She was an inaugural Executive Director of the Southington Education Foundation., where she previously served as secretary and led the fundraising activities including the creation of the Fan of the Foundation Gala. She is actively involved in Asthma and Allergy awareness as well as working to end hunger in her community. Kelley is an active supporter of Unified Theatre and Sports, the Special Olympics, and Southington Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS). Previous volunteer activity includes Kelley School PTO, Chairperson for Read Across America and more. She resides in Southington with her husband, Jason Maccione, and their 2 children.