Who We Are

The Melrose Education Foundation is a mission-driven non-profit organization made up of generous donors, volunteers, and a Board of Directors working closely and collaboratively with the Melrose Public Schools district.

The Foundation’s Board and supporting committees include city, school, and business leaders, as well as educators and parents of Melrose Public School students.

Board of Directors

Executive Officers


Kim LaFontana, President

Kim is an executive in healthcare, focusing on data and analytics. She has served on the board of a local non-profit and is an active volunteer in the public schools and community organizations.  Kim and her husband, who is an educator, are the parents of 2 young children in the Melrose Public Schools.  As Grants committee chair, Kim is passionate about the work of the Foundation as a way to bring new energy and funds to empower Melrose educators, and as a way for interested community members to understand and participate in the betterment of our schools.

Lisa Lewis, Clerk & Chair, Public Education and Policy Committee

Lisa is the parent of two children in the Melrose Public Schools and is an active school volunteer. She is a community leader on issues related to public education, founded an alliance of parents working to support the school system, and has served on the board of a local non-profit. Lisa believes that strong community involvement exemplifies the value placed on education, a critical message for educators, students, and parents. Her involvement in the Foundation stems from the idea that a little opportunity can help drive innovation and excellence. She believes that even small grants provided by an education foundation can support and encourage creativity, engagement, and excitement in teaching and learning – for both educators and students. In addition to chairing the Foundation’s Public Education and Policy committee, Lisa also sits on the Fundraising, Grants, and PR/Comms committees.

Martha Grover, Treasurer

Martha has served on the boards of several local non-profit organizations and PTOs, is an active community and school volunteer, and a parent of three children in the Melrose Public Schools. Martha serves as the City of Melrose Energy Efficiency Manager, leading the City’s efforts to promote renewables and energy efficiency.  She is thrilled be working on an effort to create stronger Melrose schools and students who are prepared for what’s ahead in their communities. Martha sits on the Foundation’s Public Education and Policy committee.


Karen Grant Blackburn, Fundraising Committee Co-Chair

Karen is a communications and fundraising professional with experience in non-profit organizations and state and national politics. She has been a board member, PTO officer, and school volunteer. Karen has two young children who attend Melrose Public Schools. As Fundraising committee chair, Karen is excited to be involved with an organization that empowers and encourages educators to bring collaboration, creativity, and innovation into the classroom, resulting in an education that will provide our children with a foundation for a lifetime of success.

Martin Cassavoy, Co-Chair, Grants Committee

Marty is a lifelong resident of Melrose who was educated in the Melrose public schools.  He is a lawyer whose practice focuses on areas of compliance with Federal health insurance guidelines. Marty is a graduate of Boston University and Suffolk University Law School. Marty has two children currently in the Melrose Public Schools (Horace Mann) and is thrilled to be able to offer his services to the organization. Marty sits on the Foundation’s Public Education and Policy, Grants, and PR/Outreach committees.

Erin Hobin-Audet, Fundraising Committee Co-Chair

Erin is a fundraising professional who has spent her entire career working in higher education and holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from Boston University. She is a past board member and current trustee of her church and is an active school and community volunteer. Erin has a son at the MVMMS and a daughter at the Hoover School. She is excited to work in support of our educators and students in their pursuit of excellence in academics and character development, as well to help provide them with opportunities for innovative and creative learning practices.

Brad Freeman

Brad is a government relations professional with extensive experience in higher education policy.  He has experience in federal and state government and political campaigns at the national and local level.  Brad has two young children, a son currently enrolled in kindergarten at Winthrop and a daughter who is future Winthrop Wildcat.  Brad is an active volunteer with the Melrose National Little League.  Brad is a passionate believer in the power of public education and looks forward to working for the continued betterment of the Melrose schools.

Jennifer Manning

Jennifer is a lifelong Melrose resident and the parent of two young children in the Melrose Public Schools. She is an active volunteer in the community and within the school system and sits on the Foundation’s Fundraising and PR/Outreach committees.  Her experience working in the higher education and global executive recruiting industries helped shape her strong belief in the value of a quality education. She believes in the Foundation’s mission and supports the initiatives it represents. Jennifer is excited to expand her role within the Foundation and to learn more about how she can utilize that role to help provide a positive and lasting impact on educational opportunities for Melrose students from preschool to high school.

Ex-Officio Directors

Jenny Corduck, Principal, Hoover School, and Board Liaison to Melrose Public Schools

Jenny began her career in Melrose working as a Title I Preschool Teacher at the Early Childhood Center in Melrose. Eventually, she became the director and helped relocate the early childhood classrooms from the Ripley and Roosevelt to open the Franklin School. All total, she has worked in Melrose for 17 years. Jenny is originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She comes from a family of educators and always knew that working in the field of education was where she belonged. Jenny feels inspired and motivated by the Foundation’s work and is proud to be part of something that will have a sustainable impact on teaching and learning in Melrose.

Jessica Dugan,  Melrose School Committee Member and Liaison to the Board

Jessica is a member of the Melrose School Committee and Program Director at Crossroads for Kids, a nonprofit youth development organization. Her goal as a member of the Melrose School Committee is to engage our community in a shared vision of success for our school district and to ensure policies and resources are structured and available to realize it.

Committee Members


  • Karen Grant Blackburn, Chairperson
  • Jill Batchelder
  • Kim Broberg
  • Cynthia Dodick Seyffert
  • Amy Drago
  • Laura Ettenberg
  • Erin Hobin-Audet
  • Lisa Lewis
  • Deb Martino
  • Jennifer Manning
  • Laura Plourde


  • Jen Grigoraitis & Marty Cassavoy, Co-Chairs
  • Brent Conway, Melrose  Veterans Memorial Middle School School Principal
  • John Maynard, Winthrop Elementary School Principal
  • Angela Singer, Humanities Department Chair, Melrose High School
  • Jennifer Clammer
  • Brad Freeman
  • Kim LaFontana
  • Lisa Lewis
  • Judy Pashoian
  • Page Wilkins

PR/Outreach Committee

  • Jen Manning , Chairperson
  • Jackie Lavender Bird
  • Elizabeth Christopher
  • Carrie Condon
  • Maribeth Darwin
  • Amy Kamosa
  • Allison Karthaus
  • Lauren Liecau
  • Jayshree Srinivasan
  • Lisa Trager
  • Laurie Woychick

Public Education and Policy

  • Lisa Lewis, Chairperson
  • Jill Batchelder
  • Jen Blesso
  • Ani Talarico Breay
  • Caroline O’Carroll
  • Marty Cassavoy
  • Jessica Dugan
  • Martha Grover
  • Florence Lee
  • Kate Lipper-Garabedian
  • Karolyn Ormond
  • K Pechulis
  • Ian Scott