Advisory Committee

Breakthrough Manchester operates under the legal and fiduciary umbrella of The Derryfield School, a 501c3 non-profit school governed by a Board of Trustees.  The Breakthrough Middle School Program is hosted on the Derryfield School campus while the College-Bound High School Program is hosted by, and fully supported through, Southern New Hampshire University.  A Memorandum of Understanding governs the relationships between Breakthrough, Derryfield and SNHU.

The Breakthrough Manchester Advisory Committee consists of 10 members who support the dual mission of Breakthrough Manchester and are committed to its programmatic and financial success and sustainability.  In accordance with the MOU, the Advisory Committee consists of three members from or appointed by The Derryfield School, three members from or appointed by Southern NH University, and three members appointed by the Executive Director of Breakthrough Manchester.  The Executive Director is the tenth non-voting member.

Advisory Committee members cultivate effective relationships with stakeholder groups, maintain a singular focus on the program’s mission and serve as Breakthrough ambassadors to the education, business, philanthropic and client communities.  Advisory Committee members are expected to contribute financial support to the program on an annual basis to the best of their ability, and to encourage others to do the same.


2017-2018 Advisory Committee Members

Bill Gillett
Bill and his wife Kathy are long-time supporters of the program; two of their children have experienced Breakthrough Manchester as a Summer Teaching Fellow. In addition, they have served as a homestay family for out-of-town teachers and have offered social events for Breakthrough teachers for many summers. Bill currently serves as the Papoutsy Distinguished Chair in Ethics and Social Responsibility at SNHU and is the Board Chair of the International Institute of New England. Previously, Bill has served as the Dean of the SNHU School of Business, Director of the New Hampshire High Technology Council and the President of RiverStone Resources, LLC. As the parent of an alumna and current student at Derryfield, Bill brings a unique triple perspective to the Committee – Southern New Hampshire University, The Derryfield School and Breakthrough Manchester.

Carolyn Leary
Carolyn is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Programs for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Carolyn is the lead strategist for all GMCC events and programs is responsible for creating strategic partnerships with key organizations that can help the Chamber advance its mission of improving the region’s business climate. Carolyn is passionate about the Manchester community and the many opportunities the city has to offer. Carolyn graduated from Derryfield in 2005 and was a Breakthrough (then Summerbridge) teacher with the Saturday and School-After-School programs. Carolyn’s husband, Mike, is now an Upper School Latin teacher at Derryfield and they live in Manchester.

Colleen Ives

Colleen Ives is a Vice President of Operations at Rockport Mortgage Corporation, a leading FHA lender for affordable housing in the country. Prior to joining Rockport, Colleen provided strategic planning and change management consulting services throughout New England assisting executive leadership to expand and strengthen their operations through the development of organizational systems and human resource capacity. Colleen has a Ph.D. in Human & Organizational Development from the Fielding Graduate University and a M.A. degree in Counseling from Assumption College. She and her husband live in Manchester, NH and have served as Breakthrough homestay families for two Breakthrough teachers. Their youngest daughter Margaret graduated from The Derryfield School in 2016.

Helen Davies
Helen moved to New Hampshire from Oxford, England to work as the Special Assistant to SNHU President Paul LeBlanc in 2013. Currently, as Southern New Hampshire University’s Director of Community Relations, Helen’s work at the university is centered on directing and facilitating positive relationships and strategic collaborations between the university and its local, state, and regional community. She acts, in many ways, as the university’s ambassador to the community, representing and communicating SNHU’s mission to external stakeholders, and serving as a liaison for potential corporate and community partnerships. Helen is passionate about advancing high-quality, affordable, and accessible pathways to higher education by creating more opportunities for students, and young people, within (and outside of) the greater Manchester community. With a Master’s degree in Theology from Yale, Helen also serves as an adjunct faculty member at SNHU, teaching philosophy and religion.

Irv Richardson
Irv has served as the Coordinator for Public Education and School Support for NEA-New Hampshire for the past eight years. A long-time educator, Irv worked in Tilton, New Hampshire and the Freeport Public Schools as a teacher, director of the gifted and talented program and principal. After serving as the Associate Executive Director with Staff Development for Educators, Irv consulted extensively with states on Teacher Quality Enhancement grants, educator induction, and leadership standards, among other projects. In addition to his current work with NEA-New Hampshire, Irv also consults on a variety of national projects and teaches in the doctoral program on school leadership at the University of Southern New Hampshire. Irv holds a BA from Dartmouth College, a Masters in School Administration from the University of Southern Maine and a Doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Teacher Education and School Improvement. He was Maine’s Teacher of the Year in 1988 and received a Milken Educator Award in 1993. Irv has two grown children and lives with his wife, Katie, in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Joan Izen
Joan’s son, Ethan Schwelling, taught at Breakthrough Manchester for five summers, and the family served as a homestay for out-of-town teachers for many years. She founded and continues to direct the statewide Preschool Technical Assistance Network (PTAN) based at the Southeastern Regional Education Service Center (SERESC.) Joan has an advanced degree in Organizational Development. Joan and her husband Joel Schwelling have been long-time supporters of Breakthrough, and Joel was instrumental in the production of a video for BTM’s 25th Anniversary which focused on the teacher development side of the program’s mission.

Jonathan Ross

Jon was the Chair of the Derryfield Board of Trustees when Breakthrough (then Summerbridge) was first founded at the school in 1991. Working closely with Head of School Marc Hurlbut at the time, Jon helped to set the original vision for the program, and he and his wife Kathy continue to champion and support Breakthrough in the community. In addition to providing financial support, Jon and Kathy have maintained a decades-long tradition of hosting the college-age teaching faculty at their home in Dover for a much-appreciated weekend beach and lobster day. Jon is an attorney working in Manchester and on the seacoast.

Lyonel B. Tracy
Lyonel is a lifelong educator. Currently working as a regional and national education consultant, Lyonel is also teaching in Southern NH University’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership. A former Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire, school superintendent, principal and teacher, Lyonel is well versed in all aspects of teaching, learning and administration in the state. Lyonel has also worked with the National Center on Education and the Economy, a policy and technical assistance organization. After earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Maine, Lyonel earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from George Washington University.

Margaret Tatro
Meg is a long-time champion of Breakthrough and currently serves on the Derryfield Board of Trustees. Meg first learned about the Breakthrough program through her daughter’s experience as a teacher at the Breakthrough site in Pittsburgh, and she and her husband Phil appreciate the transformative power of the program for emerging teachers and students alike. Their son Philip graduated from Derryfield in 2016.

Susan Grodman, Ex-Officio 
Susan is the Assistant Head of External Affairs at The Derryfield School. A consistent supporter of Breakthrough Manchester, Susan has been a frequent summer homestay provider for our out-of-town teachers. Susan will serve as Breakthrough’s administrative liaison to The Derryfield School.

Becky Berk
, Executive Director