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.

2020-21 Advisory Committee Members

Margaret I. Ford, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for the School of Education and Director of the Ed. D in Educational Leadership program, Southern New Hampshire University

Sally Green

Sally currently serves on the Derryfield Board of Trustees and serves as the liaison between the Advisory Committee and the school’s Trustees. Sally has 3 children, two of whom are Derryfield School graduates: Mitch in 2013 and Cat in 2015. Her daughter Cat taught in the Breakthrough school-year program.

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.

Carolyn Leary

Founder, Carolyn Leary Events, LLC. Carolyn was formerly 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 with their two children.

Dan Regan

Dan and his wife Rhenea are long-time supporters of Breakthrough Manchester as well as long-standing members of the Derryfield community. All three of their children attended The Derryfield School, and their oldest son Nicholas was a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow in the summer of 2018. Rhenea has volunteered in the Breakthrough program and helps with needs throughout the community. After a successful career in business, Dan has made a transition into teaching and now works at both SNHU and UNH as an adjunct professor. He is a 1988 graduate of UMass with a BA in Economics as well as a 2017 graduate of SNHU with an MBA in Finance. Dan brings a unique triple perspective to the Committee – Southern New Hampshire University, The Derryfield School and Breakthrough Manchester.

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.

John Rist

Former Manchester School District High School Principal, Former Trustee at University System of New Hampshire

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.

Stephen Thiel

Steve serves as the Assistant Vice President of Social Impact and Community Relations for Southern New Hampshire University. A seasoned partnership professional, Steve focuses on bringing the resources of the University to bear for the benefit of the communities in which it resides both domestically and internationally. Steve also leads a team at the SNHU Center for New Americans, an educational program for New American youth and families, hosted in partnership with YWCA New Hampshire. Steve has a brother with autism, whom he credits with fueling his passion for community relations. Assistant Vice President, Social Impact & Community Relations, Southern New Hampshire University

Susan Grodman, Ex-Officio 

Susan is the Associate Head of School 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.

Deb McLoud
, Executive Director

Breakthrough Collaborative

180 Grand Ave #1225, Oakland, CA 94612, USA