Board of Trustees, 2017-2018
Amy Davis- New Jersey Department of the Treasury, President
Meryl Rothenberg - Rothenberg and Associates, LLC, Co-Vice President
Rick Smith - Lawrence Township Public Schools, Retired, Co-Vice President
Linda Nowicki - Church & Dwight, Communications Chair
Dan Wakeman - ETS, Grants Chair
Vessy Dusichka - The Pew Charitable Trusts, Treasurer
Shirlene Barrett- ETS
Pat Devlin - Lawrence Township Public Schools, Retired
Lynette Glenn - Berkshire Bank
Karen Haskin- Princeton University
Carol Katz Connelly- Katz Government Affairs
Shawn Maxam - Princeton University
Dawn Monsport- Keller Williams Realty
Carolyn Sienicki- TCNJ
Maria-Carolina Simao- Rutgers University
Drue Stapleton - Rider University
Saba Sugunavel - Accenture
Jennifer Szwalek - The Lawrenceville School
Karen Faiman- Lawrence Township Education Foundation
Jo Ann Groeger - Lawrence Township Board of Education
Kevin Nerwinski - Township of Lawrence
Stephen Murray - The Lawrenceville School
Rita Nini - Educational Testing Service
Mary Pancoast - Lawrence Township Public Schools
Andrew Zuckerman- Lawrence Township Public Schools
Shirlene Barrett started working for ETS in 2011. Before joining ETS, she had over 20 years in various leadership roles in the area of system architecture and development for a number of Telecommunication companies including Verizon, AT&T, and Bell Communications Research as well as designing a HealthCare Dashboard for the Department of Health. Shirlene currently serves as the President of the Howard University Alumni Club of Metropolitan Trenton. Shirlene holds a BS in Computer Science from Hofstra University and an MS in Computer Engineering from Howard University.
Amy joined the LTEF board in 2014. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey where she majored in Law and Justice. Amy also received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School-Camden. She is currently an Assistant Director with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Purchase and Property, where she oversees its General Services Unit. She and her husband, John Boccanfuso, have lived in Lawrence since 1998 and they have two children who attend the public schools. Amy is a past PTO vice president and has been an active volunteer in the schools and other local community organizations for many years. She looks forward to enriching Lawrence Public School education by working tirelessly to raise valuable funds to expand programs and opportunities in our schools beyond the district's limited budget. She believes one of the best investments we can make for our families and for Lawrence is in the education of our children.
Pat Devlin joined the LTEF board in 2018, a year after retiring from 38 years in Lawrence Township Public Schools. Both she and her husband, Pete, are graduates of Lawrence High, as well as their two daughters. She has lived in Lawrence the majority of her life. Pat taught grades 2 and 3 at Ben Franklin Elementary School, as well as grades 4,5, and 6 at Lawrence Intermediate. She was also an Academic Support Instructor (ASI) at LIS. She has received numerous LTEF grants at both schools. Pat is looking forward to helping teachers enrich their classroom routines by applying for grants that enable both the teachers and the students to go beyond the daily classroom experiences. She hopes to encourage peer collaboration and brainstorming.
Vessy has served on the board of various foundations through the years. She enjoys giving back to her community. Vessy is the Manager of Accounting at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Vessy has two daughters who attend the Lawrence Township Public Schools. She looks forward to giving back to the community with LTEF- a mission that is very close to her heart.
Lynette is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at Berkshire Bank. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Whitehead Road office and five employees. She participates with the Boys and Girls Club and United Way. Lynette is a graduate of Lawrence High School and resided in Lawrence for all of her childhood and most of her adult life. Her two daughters are also Lawrence graduates. Lynette is excited for her role as an LTEF trustee.
Karen Haskin and her husband Andy Rosenau have lived in Lawrenceville since 1998. Their two children graduated from Lawrence High School. Karen joined LTEF to make a contribution to our excellent public schools and our wonderfully diverse community. Karen is an associate dean at Princeton University. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and earned a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University, where she studied the implementation of school reform in Chicago public schools. She joined LTEF in 2016.
Carol Katz Connelly
Carol Katz Connelly is the principal of Katz Government Affairs, a professional lobbying firm in Trenton. Carol and her husband Mark Connelly have lived since 1992 in Lawrence Township, where they have enjoyed watching their two children grow from kindergarten through high school in the public schools. Carol supports public schools because she believes they play a vital role in bringing students and parents from richly varied backgrounds together as citizens, neighbors and friends, and because of the fine education they provide. She received a BA in history from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard University.
Shawn Maxam joined the LTEF board in 2018. As the product of a public school education, Shawn is very passionate about LTEF’s mission to support excellence in education in the Lawrence Township Public Schools. Shawn and his fiancée Angela are new Lawrenceville residents and are excited to be members of a wonderfully diverse community. Shawn serves as Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion at Princeton University. He received his BFA from Long Island University and two Masters degrees from Bryn Mawr College in Social Service and Law & Social Policy.
Dawn has been a lifelong resident of Lawrenceville, attending Lawrence High School then graduating from the Hun School in Princeton. Dawn has a Bachelor’s degree from Rollins College. She became a real estate agent in Lawrenceville in 2001 and obtained the status as one of Mercer County’s top producing realtors. She is a past President of the Women’s Club of Lawrenceville and currently a member of their scholarship committee. She has held positions on the Board of Lawrenceville Main Street, Lawrence school PTOs and booster clubs. In 2016 Dawn ignited a Township wide discussion that examined the validity of Lawrence Township school rankings online and the inaccurate perceptions that these rankings create. Dawn lives in Lawrenceville with her husband and two sons.
Linda joined the LTEF board in 2010 and currently serves as the Communications Chair. She is a passionate supporter of public school education and believes LTEF plays an important role in fundraising for educational programs that promote excellence, creativity and achievement. She currently works for Church & Dwight in the Women's Health and Wellbeing marketing group as Senior Assoc Product Manager. Linda also actively volunteers in the schools, the community and her parish. She has two daughters thriving in the Lawrence Township Public Schools.
Meryl Rothenberg joined the LTEF board in 2012. She attended SUNY Binghamton and received her Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School. She and her husband Rob have lived in Lawrence Township since 1987. Their four children have all benefited greatly from public education in the Lawrence Township Public Schools. She looks forward to helping to fund programs that will enrich the public education in Lawrence Township.
Carolyn Sienicki has lived in Lawrenceville with her husband Jim since 2005. Their two daughters attend Lawrence Township Public Schools, and Jim has served as a volunteer firefighter for Company 23. Carolyn is currently an adjunct faculty member at The College of New Jersey, in the School of Arts & Communication. She is also a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, and a published writer in the field of design. She has previously worked as an art director and communications strategist in educational publishing, interactive design, consumer and pharmaceutical advertising. She has an undergraduate degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s degree from Syracuse University. She is looking forward to contributing her passion for education and communications to the board.
Maria-Carolina Simao joined the LTEF Board in 2018. She holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University. As a researcher, Carolina enjoyed volunteering in activities to help connect science with non-scientists, such as doing demonstrations for kids at the Detroit Zoo, mentoring high school and undergraduate students in lab and field research, and presenting emerging science to members of local garden groups. Carolina works as a Project Coordinator with Rutgers, coordinating pollinator research projects between 15 faculty members and helping with the data and communication pieces of the research. Carolina grew up in Mercer County and benefitted greatly from an excellent public school system, and she is passionate about helping other students have access to high quality education. Carolina and her husband settled down in Lawrence in 2017.
George (Rick) Smith taught in Lawrence Township Public Schools for 36 years and has received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education and was the 1996 Lawrence Teacher of the Year. He and his wife, Kathie, live in Ewing, where Rick is a member of the Ewing Cable Advisory Board. In addition to teaching, Rick coached basketball for 20 years at both the High School and the Middle School. He has been the recipient of several generous grants from the LTEF. Rick looks forward to serving as a trustee and working to find ways to make our wonderful district even better. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Mercer County Federal Teachers Credit Union.
Drue Stapleton joined the LTEF Board in 2018, after relocating to Lawrenceville from West Virginia with his wife, Phoebe, and their two children in 2016. He is the product of public school education, earning his doctorate from West Virginia University, Master’s degree from Salisbury University, and Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, with each step of his academic preparation focused on education at various levels. A certified athletic trainer, he has held faculty and clinical appointments at WV Wesleyan College, Waynesburg University, and is currently a member of the faculty at Rider University. He has previously served as the Secretary, and later President, of the WV Athletic Trainer’s Association. He looks forward to giving back to the community which he and his family call home.
Saba works for Accenture as a consultant in the area of digitization and analytics. In his role, he implements leading edge solutions helping clients to increase the value of their information assets. Prior to this, Saba held leadership positions in many organizations such as IBM and Oracle. Saba and his family immigrated to the USA from India. They have been living in Lawrenceville since 2002 and proud to call it their permanent home. They have lovingly watched their only child grow and get a quality education from Lawrence schools. Saba is an avid runner and a casual golfer.
Jennifer Szwalek joined the LTEF board in 2011. Jennifer Szwalek has worked at The Lawrenceville School since 2006 and in 2013 became the Director of Communications and Public Affairs. Under her direction, the Communications Department manages internal and external communications through the development and dissemination of content locally, nationally, and globally. Szwalek holds a B.A. from the University of Hartford and a Master of Arts degree in Public Relations from Rowan University. She is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America. Jennifer and her husband live in Pennsylvania and have two daughters.
As Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Daniel S. Wakeman is responsible for ETS’s long-term technology vision and roadmap, driving technology-enabled business innovation, exploring emerging technologies and trends, ensuring information security, and leading advanced technology incubations. Previously, he served for over 10 years as the VP & CIO for ETS. Prior to joining ETS, Wakeman was the co-founder and CTO for ElastomerSolutions.com, a business-to-business exchange for the elastomers industry. Before that, he was the Director of e-business for DuPont Dow Elastomers. During his career, Wakeman has held a number of information systems-related and business positions with Dow Chemical, IBM, D&N Bank and the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Wakeman graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Michigan Technological University and received a Master’s in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. He is also a member of the Wharton Fellows Program. Dan lives in Lawrenceville, NJ and is married with two children.
Ex-Officio Board Members
Karen Faiman joined the Foundation as Executive Director in May, 2017. A former Spanish teacher, Karen worked previously for the Mercer County Wildlife Center Friends and Womanspace, in addition to non-profits in Maine, where she grew up. Karen earned a B.A. in Spanish from Colby College, and a Masters of Public Policy and Non-Profit Management from the University of Southern Maine. She is a former PTO president at Ben Franklin Elementary School. Karen and her husband are Lawrence Township residents; their two children attend Lawrence Township Public Schools.
Jo Ann Groeger has been a Lawrence resident since 1976. She has two sons and a daughter that have graduated from the Lawrence school district. Jo Ann's husband is the former Superintendent of Recreation for Lawrence Township, so fitness and activity are a priority to her! She has an undergraduate degree and two Masters Degrees in education. Jo Ann is a retired Lawrence Township Public School teacher and currently is serving on Lawrence's Board of Education. While teaching, she received three LTEF grants and experienced first-hand how a grant can open up possibilities and make them realities in a classroom.
Kevin Nerwinski is the Township Manager. He is the chief executive and chief administrative officer of the Lawrence Township government. His responsibilities include oversight of Township personnel, supervision of all departments of the Township government, negotiation of contracts, preparation of the budget, management of municipal property and coordination of departmental activities.
Stephen is the Head Master of The Lawrenceville School. He assumed that position on July 1, 2015. Prior to arriving at The Lawrenceville School, he had extensive private school leadership experience. Most recently he was the Head Master of University School in Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley, Ohio.
Mary Pancoast is the Acting Director of Instructional Services for the Lawrence Township Public Schools. She is responsible for enhancing and improving curriculum and instruction, providing quality professional development and training for teachers and striving to put Lawrence Township Public Schools on the map as the number one public school in the nation. Mary lives with her husband and stepdaughter in Burlington County.
Dr. Zuckerman is the Acting Superintendent for Lawrence Township Public Schools. Dr. Zuckerman began his career in Lawrence Township in 2004 as an assistant principal and was promoted to middle school principal in 2005, where he worked until he became the Director of Instructional Services in 2011. Prior to his work in Lawrence Township, he was a Supervisor in Parsippany-Troy Hills and a teacher in West Windsor Plainsboro, where he taught for 8 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Education from Hofstra University, his Master's degree in Educational Administration from Rider University and his Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southern Universiy. Andrew lives with his wife and three children in Pennsylvania.