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Leadership



Amy Davis

Elementary and Middle School Principal

Education:
Syracuse University, B.A., Psychology and minor in Special Education
Boston College, M.A., Counseling Psychology
Cambridge College, C.A.G.S., Counseling Psychology

adavis@learningprep.org  |  ext. 407

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When I’m not working . . .

“I love spending time with family and friends; I have run the Boston Marathon 10 times; I love to cook; I love reading at the beach in the summer; my family enjoys rock climbing, camping, and skiing together; my favorite place is the Cape.”

Why Learning Prep?

“I love my job (not everyone can say that). I love what I do, who I work with, and the students’ and families’ lives that I affect. What I value most about Learning Prep is the incredibly dedicated, intelligent, and caring teaching staff. Learning Prep is a wonderful community of families and professionals all working together and caring about the same things.

At Learning Prep there is an incredible team that understands that it has been a potentially hard path to get yourself to LPS and that we understand that it hasn't been an easy road for you or your student to make it here. We take on the responsibility at that point of teaching your child. We understand it is our responsibility to teach your student how to be a learner and then teach them to learn. Something that makes such a difference is hearing a parent say 'my child has a friend for the first time,' everyone needs a friend and kids make friends here."



Jennifer Thorell, LICSW

High School Principal

Education:
SUNY Albany, MSW
Regents College, UK
University of New Hampshire, B.A., Psychology

jthorell@learningprep.org  |  ext. 300

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When I’m not working . . .

“I love spending time with my family and friends and enjoy traveling, reading, camping, cooking, and the beach.”

Why Learning Prep?

“I came to Learning Prep because I wanted to work in a school environment and instantly realized that I had found my niche. I truly love being part of a dedicated, caring community of faculty, families and students, all working to achieve each student’s maximum potential. To witness our students facing learning challenges on a daily basis with such perseverance is a humbling, yet inspiring experience and one I feel honored to be a part of.”



Dave Morrissette

Chief Financial Officer

Education:
Accountancy, Bentley College, B. S.

dmorrissette@learningprep.org  |  ext. 210

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When I’m not working . . .

“I’m a member of CFO Roundtable, Treasurers’ Club of Boston, and Bentley Executive Club”

Why Learning Prep?

“I am very impressed with the level of professionalism and dedication of the faculty and staff to provide a safe and secure classroom environment.”




Gretchen Petersen

Chief Operating Officer

Education:
Simmons College School of Social Work, MSW
Framingham State University, B.A.

gpetersen@learningprep.org  |  ext. 310

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When I’m not working . . .

“I enjoy traveling and photography.”

Why Learning Prep?

“I have been at Learning Prep for 16 years. The supportive, accepting and caring environment is why I chose and continue to choose to be a part of this community. You can’t find a better group of staff, students and parents to work with.”



Susan S. Powers, MACP

Elementary/Middle School Dean of Students 

Education:
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Clinical Counseling Specialty
Massachusetts Licensed School Adjustment Counselor
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, B.S., Psychology

spowers@learningprep.org  |  ext. 406

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When I’m not working . . .

“I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. We enjoy nature and the outdoors (walking, hiking, camping, gardening), going to the movies, hanging out with my extensive family (I have 10 brothers and sisters!) and especially ‘Friday Family Movie Night’ at home.”

Why Learning Prep?

“When I started working here as a counselor in 1992 I knew I was in a special place. It is strange to think I would ever go anywhere else. I’ve always believed that students do well socially, behaviorally and academically if they can. I feel that I’ve found my niche in helping our students to feel safe so they can be productive, responsible and effective learners. I have a strong commitment to our core values of providing a safe learning environment and ‘This is important, you can do it, I will help you’. I feel lucky to be working in such a caring community with such dedicated staff.”



Korina Martin

Director of Admissions & Marketing

Education
University of New Hampshire, B.A., Psychology

kmartin@learningprep.org  |  ext. 226

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When I’m not working . . .

“I love to explore new places, try new restaurants and spend time with family and friends. I also plan/coordinate weddings occasionally, so I love to keep busy!

Why Learning Prep?


“I came to Learning Prep because I could tell the staff loved being here and it was magnetic. Any group of people who love what they do that much is hard to ignore. Once here I could see even more the power of what happens every day, and I love hearing new families report successes (often immediately) saying their child is a different kid because of LPS and it has made their family happier as a whole.”



Barry A. Burlingham

Director of Advancement

Education:
Harvard University, Ed.M., Administration, Planning & Social Policy
University of Lancaster (UK), A. B., English Literature

bburlingham@learningprep.org  | ext. 262

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When I’m not working . . .

“I enjoy photography, horseback riding, sailing, skiing, woodworking, travel, reading non-fiction and volunteering for political candidates who make a difference.”

Why Learning Prep?

“What attracted me to Learning Prep was the dedication of the faculty and the energy of the administrative team. The positive impact of the teachers and counselors on the growth of our students is more dramatic here than at any school for which I have worked in over thirty years in the development field. I want to do everything possible to see LPS thrive.”




Board of directors


Ted Sharp, M.Ed., Interim Executive Director

Ted served as Interim Head of Beijing City International School for the past two years. Previously, Ted served as Superintendent of Schools in Gorham, Maine for eleven years. He earned an A.B. from Gettysburg College, majoring in American and Chinese History and earned his M.Ed. at Bridgewater State University in History and Educational Leadership. Ted engaged in advanced graduate study at Harvard University and had a Fellowship at Oxford University in the U.K.

Ted has been a Professor in the International Master’s Degree Program at Framingham State University for 18 years. He has served as Headmaster of two independent schools, two international schools and was also Superintendent of the Falmouth, Maine Public Schools. One of his independent schools, The Craig School, located in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, has a mission and educational program similar to that of LPS. Ted has also served as Assistant Dean of the School of Education at Boston University.

He served on the senior staff of former U.S. Secretary of Education, William Bennett as Executive Assistant, Deputy Undersecretary for Intergovernmental & Interagency Affairs during the Reagan Administration. He served as a consultant for the New England Association of Schools & College in the U.S. and Europe, focusing on the status of accredited schools. Presently, he serves on the Board of Trustees of North Yarmouth Academy (Maine) and the Maine Humanities Council.

Ted and his wife Sharon reside in Cumberland Foreside, Maine. They have three children and four grandchildren. Sharon has taught in public, independent and international school settings. Ted enjoys reading history and biographies, travel, and a variety of sports.


Karen Kames, Board Chair

Karen currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Boston Medical Center.  In addition to her board work at the BMC, Karen has been an active volunteer involved with the Autism Clinic, patient communications programs at the ICU, early literacy at the SPARK Center, and resume and tutoring support at the Refugee Center.  Karen previously worked as an elementary and high school teacher and as a textbook editor at Houghton Mifflin.  Karen graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and Spanish from Connecticut College and earned a M.A. from Lesley College.  Karen is a parent of a 2017 LPS graduate.


Andrew Bartolini

Andrew is the Managing Partner and Chief Research Officer of Ardent Partners, a boutique research and advisory firm that specializes in supply management.  Prior to founding Ardent in 2010, Andrew spent a decade working in the supply management industry for a variety of companies including Ariba and the Aberdeen Group.  Andrew has also worked in investment banking and management consulting.  Andrew began his professional career working at a homeless family shelter in Los Angeles as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  Andrew holds a B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross and an M.B.A from Indiana University.  Andrew is married with two children, including one current student at LPS.


Christina Bergeron

Christina practices law at Ropes & Gray LLP, where she assists hospitals and universities in the Boston area with health care compliance and transactional matters.  Prior to practicing law at Ropes & Gray, she clerked for a Federal judge in Chicago, Illinois, where she worked predominantly on contract and employment disputes.  Christina began her career at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston as the paralegal for the $14.6 billion Boston "Big Dig" investigation.  She has volunteered at various non-profit organizations, including the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation, and enjoys representing pro bono clients at Ropes & Gray on cases involving government sponsored housing and immigration issues.  Christina has a B.S. in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law.


Christopher Busby

Chris is a Partner at Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm.  He is responsible for originating and executing investment opportunities in the business and technology-enabled services sectors.  Prior to joining Great Hill in 2000, Chris was an analyst in the Investment Banking Division of JP Morgan and an associate at GCC Investments.  Chris received a BA in Political Science and History from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Chris is married and has three daughters.


 Dr. Jeffrey Drayer

Jeff is a Licensed Psychologist and a practicing developmental neuropsychologist with his own practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Prior to operating his own practice, Jeff worked as a neuropsychologist for several years at a group practice in the Boston Metro area.  Jeff completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship working with children and adolescents with a variety of profiles and disabilities.  Within his own practice, he sees a variety of individuals generally between four years of age through young adulthood.  Jeff obtained his bachelor's degree in Behavioral Sciences from Concordia College - Bronxville in New York and his master's degree at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  He received his doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.  Jeff is originally from Maryland and has resided in Massachusetts for over ten years with his wife and three young children.


Mark Farrell

Mark has worked for Koch Membrane Systems since 2000 and today serves the company as their Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to joining KMS Mark held number of engineering & technology leadership roles with engineering and constructions companies in South Africa and Canada.  Since 2007, he has also served as Managing Director and Chairman of the board for KMS GmbH.  After serving in the Navy, Mark received his NH in Civil Engineering  in 1991 and his NHD in Water & Waste Water Civil Engineering in 1992 from the Port Elizabeth Technikon.  As the VP/COO at KMS, Mark is responsible for all company operations including design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, accounting, information technology, project management, as well as the global sales organization and P&L responsibility for the global Water and Wastewater markets.  Mark is a parent of a current LPS student.


Carol Kinlan

Carol is the Director of Admissions and Enrollment at the Perkins School for the Blind, where she directs all on-campus marketing and recruitment efforts. She also oversees the school’s independent diagnostic evaluations for students of families seeking an in-depth understanding of their child’s learning and medical profile, as it relates to their visual impairment. Carol has also been an educational consultant, guiding numerous families through the process of applying to college or independent schools for students with complex learning profiles. Carol was Director of Learning Resources for the Middle School at the Shady Hill School, Learning Services Coordinator at the Dedham Country Day School and did an observership in admissions at the Landmark School in Beverly, Massachusetts. For our population, Carol brings to the Board extensive experience with students with language-based or nonverbal learning disorders. Carol has also served schools and Boston area hospitals in administering neuropsychological assessments and evaluations for students. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a B.A in Journalism, Ms. Kinlan received her M.B.A. in Marketing/Marketing Research from Boston University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Jennifer Motta

Jenn is the Chief Operations Officer of New England for Cigna Corporation. She also has dyslexia and knows “firsthand the struggles and benefits of having a brain that ‘operates’ differently.”  With a strong background in strategic planning and project management, Jenn has developed a career drawing on experience from the health care and financial services industries. Prior to her current position, she was the Vice President for Strategy and Business Implementation for the Individual and Family Plans and has held keys roles in marketing and new business development with Cigna. Though a resident of South Windsor, CT, she comes to Newton regularly, learned about Learning Prep, and was inspired by the mission of the school. As a member of the Board she hopes to “show students that are dyslexic or have complex learning disabilities that it is not a barrier to a happy and successful life.” Ms. Motta received a B.A. in Politics and Government from the University of Hartford and interned as a Research Assistant in Health and Human Services through the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, D.C.



Alan Pisano

Alan is a Partner and C.P.A. at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, where he has worked with Financial Services companies for the past 15 years.  Alan has performed financial statement audits for some of the largest Asset Management firms in Boston, and has worked with clients on a variety of complex accounting issues.  At PwC, Alan leads several initiatives related to business development, and services on key industry councils.  He also helped lead several community service initiatives at PwC, including the Boston Office's involvement with the Pan-Mass Challenge.  Alan earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics at Boston College, and a Master's Degree in Accounting at Bentley University.  Alan and his family live in Needham.


Faith D. Segal

An experienced civil litigation attorney and skilled negotiator, Faith has a unique background in special education.  As past Chapter 766 Coordinator for Kennedy Memorial Hospital for Children (now Franciscan Hospital for Children), Faith was a member of the multidisciplinary team evaluating children and adolescents presenting language and learning challenges, emotional/behavioral challenges, traumatic head injury and/or brain disease.  Representing the hospital at IEP meetings, mediations and hearings, as well as working with child advocates, led to Faith's decision to become a lawyer.  Faith began her career as a reading specialist evaluating and providing therapy to inpatients, outpatients and students at the Kennedy Day School.  She holds a B. S. from Cornell University, a M.S. in Reading Education from Syracuse University and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.


James S. Wilbur

Jim recently retired after 25 years as the Director of the Threshold Program at Lesley University.  During his tenure all four Threshold buildings were gutted and retrofitted to become accessible to all.  The residential Wilbur House received a preservation award from the City of Cambridge.  Jim started his career as an undergraduate volunteering at a program for special needs adults in central Massachusetts, becoming Assistant Director after graduation.  After moving to Boston he continued his volunteer work at the Walnut Center in Somerville until he joined Communities for People overseeing the treatment programs for thirty special needs adolescents, one of whom attended LPS before coming to Threshold.  Jim earned a BSBA from Nichols College and M.Ed. from Cambridge College.  He and his partner Tim live in Cambridge.


Learning Prep School provides an individualized language-based program to students with complex learning profiles, including dyslexia, expressive/receptive language issues, autism spectrum disorder, and social communication disorder.

1507 Washington Street  |  West Newton, MA 02465  |  (617) 965-0764  |  contact  |  © 2017 Learning Prep School

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