Board

Mary Bennett

Mary Bennett

President – Chair, Development Committee - Term Expires June 2018

Mary has a background in wealth management, and currently works at 44 North Financial Partners in Portland. Mary is originally from South Dakota where she was born and educated, and has made Portland her home since 1992. Mary, with the help of others, founded the Portland Education Foundation in 2009. Her children, Madeline and Ben, attended Portland Public Schools from kindergarten through high school. Both graduated from Casco Bay High School (2009 and 2016).

Ed Bryan

Ed Bryan

Vice President - Chair, Governance Committee – Term Expires June 2018

Ed has been self-employed since 2005 and offers consulting and IT development services to municipalities and school districts across the country. He attended Bowdoin College and has lived in Portland since 1987. Ed served one term on the Portland Board of Public Education and has been on the Portland Education Foundation Board since 2013. Ed lives on Portland’s West End with his wife and two children, who attended Reiche Elementary, King Middle, and Portland High School (classes of 2018 and 2017).

Josh Rent

Josh Rent

Treasurer – Term Expires June 2017

Josh owns and operates a Financial Planning Practice of Ameriprise Financial in Falmouth, ME. He grew up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and graduated from the local public schools. He went to Gettysburg College where he received degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies Policy. His sons attend King Middle School, Ocean Ave Elementary, and pre-school at the JCA. Josh was a member of the Budget & Revenue Advisory Task Force, and the Education Foundation Steering Committee.

Erin Macey

Erin Macey

Secretary - Term Expires September 2017

Erin has been working in the field of educational fundraising for nearly 20 years. In Maine she has worked for Saint Joseph’s College, the University of Southern Maine and The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges. Erin currently serves as Campaign Director for Waynflete.
Erin and her husband moved to Maine in 2002. They have two children in Portland Public Schools – Addie, a 6th grader at King Middle School and Elias, a 4th grader at Ocean Avenue Elementary School.

Mike Bove

Mike Bove

Chair, Teacher Grants Committee – Term Expires June 2016

Mike was born and raised in Portland where he still lives with his wife and two boys, both of whom attend Portland Public Schools. He is a member of the English Department faculty at Southern Maine Community College and performs in a local cover band, The ProfTones, with other professors. He has served on the PEF board since 2010.

Jess Burton

Jess Burton

Term Expires June 2016

Jessica Burton is the Executive Director of the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative. She lives on Peaks Island and has a daughter in 5th grade at the Peaks Island Elementary School, and a 9th grade daughter at Portland High School.

Robert Ruesch

Robert Ruesch

Term Expires June 2017

Robert Ruesch is a partner at the law firm of Verrill Dana, LLP where he is Vice Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department and Chair of the Construction Law Group. Rob lives in Portland with his wife, Julie Finn. They have two daughters, both graduates of Portland High School. In addition to work and family time, Rob is an avid albeit mediocre runner and golfer. Rob has completed twelve half-marathons and six marathons, including Maine (2004), New York (2005), Manchester City (2012) and Boston (2004, 2014 and 2015). In addition to serving on the PEF Board, Rob is a board member at St. Lawrence Arts in Portland.

Jeanne Crocker

Jeanne Crocker

Superintendent – Ex Officio Member

Jeanne Crocker is the Interim Superintendent of Schools for Portland Public Schools. She has also served as the Director of School Management for Portland Public Schools, the Assistant Executive Director of the Maine Principals Association, the Principal of South Portland High School, and was a high school French and Spanish teacher. Jeanne and her husband have two twenty-something children who both work for the federal government.

Sue Olafsen

Sue Olafsen

PEA Representative – Term Expires June 2018

Sue is the president of the Portland Education Association which is the teachers union for Portland Public Schools. Previously, she taught social studies at Portland High School where she coached the Mock Trial Team, and was advisor to the Student Council. Sue later transferred to the district‘s central office to work on professional development for teachers. Sue’s sons graduated from Portland and Deering High Schools.

Ira Waltz

Ira Waltz

PAA Representative – Term Expires June 2016

Ira Waltz is in his sixth year as principal at Deering High in Portland and has been in public education for thirty one years. In his career, he has been a special education teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, an assistant superintendent and an acting superintendent in two districts. He takes great joy in working with young people. He has been a resident of Portland for the past twenty-three years. When he is not working, he enjoys international travel, reading, walking and spending time with his family.

Lorie Dana

Lorie Dana

Lorie has lived in Portland since 1992. She and her husband, Tod, own and manage Asia West (a home furnishings business) in Portland, and El Rayo Mexican restaurants. Lorie and Tod have two children who both attended Reiche Elementary School and are currently at King Middle School. Lorie is a strong supporter of Portland Public Schools and has been an active member of the Reiche PTO and King’s Parent Advisory Board.

Pam Cummings

Pam Cummings

Pam was born and raised in Portland where she attended and graduated from Portland Public Schools. She also holds a Bachelors Degree in Business and is the proud mother to two adult children, a son who resides in San Diego and a Daughter in Boston. She currently serves as The President of the Board of Directors and Co-Director of Educational Programs at The Abyssinian Meeting House. She works overseeing Chinese exchange students attending Cheverus High School and manages her rental properties in Ocean Park and Little Sebego. Pam comes with over 15 years of expertise in identifying and cultivating partnerships with local business leaders, fundraising, and event planning.

Staff

Kate Snyder

Kate Snyder

Executive Director

Kate Snyder has been the Executive Director of the Portland Education Foundation since August, 2016. Prior to serving as ED to the PEF, Kate worked as a consultant for Portland Public Schools in response to the work of the Budget & Revenue Advisory Task Force, whose central recommendation was the establishment of nonprofit educational foundation. Kate served on the Portland Board of Public Education from 2007 through 2013, and has a Master’s in Public Policy from USM’s Muskie School. Kate believes that Portland’s public schools are amazing; and that the time for meaningful private investment is now! Kate has lived in Portland since 1995. She has three children who all attended Portland Public Schools.