EDies Board Members

Collette Flanders, Co-Chair Collette is currently an educator in the Bow School District. Prior to making her move to teaching kindergarten in Bow for the 2021-2022 school year, she spent the first 13 years of her career working alongside countless talented and passionate educators at Thorntons Ferry School in Merrimack, recognized as the 2016 New Hampshire Elementary School of Excellence. Collette is passionate about helping students develop their love of learning while fostering positive relationships. Collette values her time collaborating with and learning from fellow members of the EDies board, specifically the time she is able to spend visiting elementary schools across the state as a member of the Elementary School of Excellence selection committee. Collette is certified in both elementary and early childhood education; she graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Durham with her BS Family Studies and her M.Ed in Elementary Education. 
Angel Littlefield, Co-Chair– Angel is a recovering English teacher; after 18 years in the classroom at Kearsarge Regional High School and Bow High School, she transitioned to a role as the Academic Coordinator for Teaching and Learning in Laconia. Working with teachers in grades 6-12, she facilitated professional development, a transition to personalized-competency based learning, and curriculum development. Currently, she is the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Mascoma Valley Regional School District in Enfield. She attended PSU where she completed her CAGS in 2015. 
Paul Yergeau, Vice Chair– Paul has recently retired as the principal of the Deerfield Community School. Previous to being an administrator there, he was an elementary school teacher and middle school science teacher. Currently, he is supervising interns at UNH. Retirement is also allowing him to do more volunteer work, throughout New England as well as internationally, for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. He holds a BA in Biology Education from UNH, a MBA in Information Technology from SNHU, and a CAGS degree in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University.
Kerstin Dumas, Secretary – Kerstin is the Literacy Specialist at Highland Goffe’s Falls and loves helping students with reading and writing through small group intervention and facilitating a love of reading through school wide leadership. She has spent most of her career teaching at all elementary levels, including children with Autism, gaining experiences in the foundations of reading and writing. While this is her primary job function by day, Kerstin also enjoys participating in coaching the robotics team and supporting community engagement. In 2022, Kerstin was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Teaching Excellence award by Manchester School District and was a Teacher of the Year Nominee. In addition, she was honored to be a part of the Highland Goffe’s Falls Elementary staff, which was awarded The NH School of Excellence Award for 2022. She strives to elevate student achievement and collegial relationships within the community. 
David Sutherland, Treasurer David has been living in New Hampshire since 2007 after moving to New England from Illinois in 1996. He completed his BS in Computer Information Systems and Management from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He used to work in the computer field as a Quality Assurance Manager. After discovering his true passion, he returned to earn is M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA as he entered the teaching field. He has taught various grades in both charter and public schools with the majority of his time as a 6th grade teacher in Bedford, NH. After earning his Principal Certification from Rivier University, he transitioned into administration and is now an Assistant Principal at the Londonderry Middle School. He has continued his life-long learning as he has earned a CAGS in Competency Based Education from SNHU.
Stacey MacStravic, Event Manager Stacey is the Recognition and Award Programs Coordinator for the NH Department of Education. One of her primary responsibilities is coordinating the Teacher of the Year program. Prior to joining NHED, Stacey spent six years at the Department of Justice. She also worked for Community Bridges and Granite State College. She spent the first 20 years of her career working for Brookstone. Stacey has her BS in Business Management from Granite State College. Stacey brings not only her business experience, but also many years of event planning experience to NH Excellence in Education. In addition to spending time with her family, Stacey loves to read and scrapbook in her spare time.
Bryan Belanger– Bryan is a New Hampshire native, who graduated from Granite State College with a BS in Information Systems and Administration. He also holds an MS. Ed in Educational Leadership, CAGS in Inclusion Education and a CAGS in Literacy K-12 from the University of New England. He started his career supporting educational technology for SAU 21 in Hampton prior to starting as the assistant principal of curriculum and integration for Seabrook Middle School (Middle School of the Year in 2013).  He has also served as principal at Lamprey River Elementary School and Parker-Varney, and also as the Director of State Certification and Licensure at Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Education. Bryan is currently an adjunct instructor at SNHHU and the principal of Seabrook Elementary School.
Fred Bramante– Fred is the Father of the EDies. Fred, a former middle school science teacher, came up with the idea as a new member of the NH State Board of Education (early 90s) when he was asked to participate with the NH Teachers of the Year organization to help select the next Teacher of the Year. In the process, he asked about the ceremony and learned that it was to be held at a restaurant in Manchester or Concord with 50-60 attendees. Using his own company’s (Daddy’s Junky Music) annual awards event as a model, Fred asked the group to envision a huge gala event with hundreds of attendees and awards for all aspects of education. The group liked the idea, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, Fred heads the non-profit National Center for Competency-Based Learning.
http:wp-content/upoadsJacqueline Coe– Jackie is a New Hampshire native, who went to Colby-Sawyer for her B.A. in American Studies and Dartmouth for her M.A.L.S, with a concentration in writing. She taught high school Social Studies and English before becoming Academic Dean at Bow High School.  As a member of the first doctoral cohort at New England College, Jackie completed her dissertation on the impact of blended learning on student engagement. She has facilitated professional development on blended learning, performance assessments, rigor and depth of knowledge, creativity, and mentoring.  Jackie is especially interested in opportunities to rethink the structures of school.  Currently, Jackie serves as Superintendent at SAU 24 (serving Henniker, John Stark, Stoddard & Weare).
Ken Darsney Ken is in his first year as Learning Management Systems Administrator for the NH Department of Education (NHED). In that role, he supports the use of the Instructure Canvas Learning Management System and Zoom Communication to promote NHED sponsored professional development activities and organizational support for various NHED Boards and Committees. He is the former Principal at Franklin Middle School, a grades 4-8 school of 360 students in Franklin, and is in his 26th year in education with 16 years serving as school administrator throughout NH. In addition to his work at NHED, Ken has served for over 20 years on the Board of NH Excellence in Education as past Treasurer and Chair and currently directs the K-8 School of Excellence Selection Committee. He has also served on the NH Council for Teacher Education and the PSU Holmes Center Council for Professional Development Partnerships. Ken holds a BA from Boston College with M.Ed. and CAGS degrees from PSU.
Dorene Decibus– Dorene is an educator in the Monadnock Region in the ConVal School District. She teaches science at South Meadow School in Peterborough and has been an educator in New Hampshire for the past 36 years. South Meadow School has been chosen as Middle School of the Year twice (2005 and again in 2012). Dorene enjoys her time on the EDies board, especially visiting schools in our state as a member of the Middle School Selection committee and learning about the great things NH educators are doing in the classroom. She has served on the board for the past nine years, serving as secretary and Middle School Selection committee chair. Dorene graduated from Lyndon State College in Vermont with a BS in Elementary Education and earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Keene State College. Dorene resides in Keene with her husband Bob.
Ellen Hume-Howard– Ellen has served as NHLI’s executive director since 2017.  In this role, she leads NHLI to assist New Hampshire schools and districts to deepen their innovative practices in education and improve learning for all students. Ellen leads several projects at NHLI that support teacher leaders as well as supporting innovative districts in the state. Ellen was recognized by the NHSAA, with an Outstanding Service Award in 2012. Before joining NHLI, Ellen worked as the director of curriculum for the Sanborn Regional School District, and guided the district’s research, design, and implementation of a nationally recognized K-12 competency-based learning system. Ellen received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in Education and a CAGS in Educational Leadership.
Lori Kincaid– Lori has a strong commitment to education in New Hampshire. She worked for the NH Department of Education for 28 years, most recently as the communications officer and is now retired. Lori coordinated the teacher of the year program for the state and enjoys visiting schools throughout New Hampshire. She has volunteered on the Excellence in Education Awards Board for the past 20+ years and served on the Elementary School of Excellence selection committee in 2019 and 2021. Lori has two daughters that she enjoys spending time with and is a new grandmother (hence the retirement).
Ivy Leavitt-Carlson– Ivy has been a Life Science instructor at Laconia High School and a BioMedical Technology instructor at the Huot Technical Center since 2007. She has taught a wide range of classes, including Biology, AP and general Environmental Science, Forensic Science, Anatomy and Physiology, and a hybrid English/Science class called “Surviving the Apocalypse.” Prior to joining the Laconia High School Faculty, Ivy volunteered in South Africa with the US Peace Corps and started her teaching career at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro. Ivy lives in Tuftonboro with her husband and small children.
Dave Levesque– David is currently the principal at Franklin High School. Prior to transitioning to FHS, David worked in the Laconia School District for 22 years as a school counselor, the high school assistant principal, and the principal at Pleasant Street Elementary School. While at PSS, the school was named a “2017 NH School of Excellence” by the NH Excellence in Education board. In 2018, David was selected as the NH Elementary Principal of the Year. Currently, David is the President Elect for the NH Association of School Principals and is a member of the Granite State Leadership Academy.
John MacArthur– John has spent all but three of his twenty-one years as an educator here in New Hampshire. He began his career as a general music teacher and band director at North Andover Middle School in North Andover, MA. He jumped the border and came back home to New Hampshire where he was the Director of Instrumental Music/General Music Teacher at Milford Middle School for seven years prior to becoming an administrator. John started his administrative career as the Assistant Principal of Weare Middle School followed by two years as principal of Boynton Middle School in New Ipswich, NH. Currently, John is in his fifth year of serving as the principal of Alton Central School. He feels extremely fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful “Community of Critical Thinkers Who Persevere” at ACS!  Alton Central School was recognized as the 2018 New Hampshire K-8 School of Excellence. John holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Rivier College. He is currently pursuing his Ed. D. in Educational Leadership at Southern New Hampshire University. John enjoys spending time with his wife Gina and also chasing and/or carting around their 12-year-old son, Jonah, to whatever travel baseball, flag football, golf, or other sport that he plays.  
Sue Matthews– Sue is a principal in Manchester and has been an educator in New Hampshire schools for 22 years. She has been in two schools that were recipients of the Elementary School of Excellence Award. As principal of Highland-Goffe’s Falls School, Sue proudly accepted the award in May of 2022. The first award was received at Mastricola Elementary School in 2011 where she spent her time as the language arts coordinator. In both instances, she was honored to have worked alongside dedicated and talented educators. Sue has a M. Ed in Reading and Writing from Rivier, and a CAGS in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University.  
William McGowan – Bill is currently the principal at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, NH. This is Bill’s 20th year at Winnacunnet, 13th year as principal.  Prior to joining Winnacunnet, Bill was at Lowell High School for eight years, where he taught math and served as an Instructional Specialist.  Bill is also a rowing coach, having coached crew at Great Bay Rowing, Lowell High School, and UMASS Lowell. Before entering the field of education, Bill was an electrical engineer working for Science Applications and Data General. Bill lives in Durham, NH where his family runs an equestrian facility, offering boarding and lesson programs.
Daniel Mitchell– has held teaching positions in both private and public schools. He is currently in his third year as Principal of Griffin Memorial School in Litchfield. Formerly, he was the Assistant Principal at Peter Woodbury School in Bedford, for 7 years. Prior to that, he was Assistant Principal at Adeline C. Marston School in Hampton, NH where they received the 2012 Elementary School of Excellence Award. Dan holds a B.S.  in Elementary Education from St. Joseph’s College in Maine and an M. Ed in Educational Administration from UNH. This is Dan’s 11th year on the Edies Board, having served as Co-Chair and Treasurer.
Stephanie Parzick Stephanie is in her first year as principal at the Southwick School in Northfield. Previously, she was the Assistant Principal at the Henniker Community School for four years, where they received the 2022 K-8 School of Excellence Award. Stephanie has been an educator for over 17 years. She has worked as a special educator and as an elementary classroom teacher in New Hampshire public schools. Stephanie holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an MS. Ed. in Special Needs from Simmons University, Boston, MA.
Dr. Mike Whaland– Dr. Whaland is the Superintendent of Schools for SAU 13, serving the communities of Freedom, Madison, and Tamworth. Mike is also a Teaching Lecturer for Plymouth State University’s Education Department. Prior to serving as a Superintendent, Mike was a District Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Assistant Principal, and School Counselor. He is a lifelong New Hampshire native, graduated from Bow High School in 2001 and completed his undergraduate, masters, and CAGS at Plymouth State University in 2006, 2008, and 2013 respectively. Mike also received his Doctorate from Plymouth State in Learning Leadership and Community in 2020. He has presented at the local and national level on his dissertation, “Why Rural Teachers Stay: Examining Teacher Retention and Attrition in New Hampshire’s Rural Schools.” Mike serves on a number of boards to include NHASCD, Plymouth State University Alumni Association, Rural Education Leadership Network, and the Holmes Center for School Partnerships and Educator Preparation Advisory Council. He was awarded the 2017 Role Model Award by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals and part of the Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty, Class of 2021. Above all else, Mike is most proud of being part of Lancaster Elementary School’s 2016 K-8 School of Excellence recognition.

Becky Wilson– Becky currently serves as the Director of Governmental Relations for the New Hampshire School Boards Association (NHSBA) after serving in New Hampshire as a district level Special Education Director/Director of Student Services for 21 years. Prior to administration, Becky worked as a special education teacher in Goffstown, NH, and as a teacher/administrator in a residential treatment program for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders and Autism. Becky was a part of the administrative team at Mountain View Middle School in Goffstown in 2001, where they received the 2001 Middle School of Excellence Award, and has been a part of two other school finalist teams.  

Becky received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education/General Special Education at Keene State College, her Master of Education in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders from Rivier University and holds a CAGS in Educational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to being a guest member on the NH EDies board, Becky also serves on the board of Leave No Girl Behind International, a girls’ empowerment organization based in South Africa which provides leadership training to girls ages 12-18 and is a member of the International Association of Special Education (IASE) which provides support and resources to address the identification of special educational needs in developing countries.  
Ron Kew, Guest Director- Ron has been a NH educator for 35 years, currently serving his 12th year as the principal of Swasey Central School in Brentwood, NH in SAU 16.   Swasey was the 2023 NH EDies Elementary School of Excellence. Through his career, Ron has enjoyed embedding his love of guitar, technology and The Beatles into his work as a teacher and administrator in several communities, including Hillsboro-Deering, Bow and Manchester. Ron received his BS in Education from St. Joseph’s College in Windham, ME and his MA in Administration and Supervision from UNH.  
Beth Piroso, Guest Director- Beth is an accomplished educator and lifelong learner. With a passion for fostering growth and knowledge, she has made a lasting impact on both her family and her school community by working in the Merrimack Valley School district for nearly 40 years. Her innovative teaching methodologies have transformed her classroom into vibrant centers of learning. Along with her colleagues, she is proud of the expertise and dedication to student growth and success that have set the stage for Merrimack Valley students to reach new heights of academic achievement. Mrs. Piroso’s journey exemplifies the remarkable influence one can have through a life devoted to learning, teaching, and contributing to the betterment of society.