Board of Directors
Board Chairman, Fine Stationery Solutions, Inc.
Paul Herdman, Ed.D.
Rodel Foundation of Delaware
Blue Skies Properties
Richard Carter, Ed.D.
Talley Middle School
Center of Excellence
in Leadership of Learning
Stephanie Clark Fitzgerald
New Leaders for New Schools and Perspectives Charter Schools
Sylvia M. Flowers
Landmark Consulting Group
The Mind Trust
Charles S. McDowell, Esq.
Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
21 Century School Consultant
Board of Directors
After working in New York and Los Angeles, Mr. Swanson moved to Delaware and joined his wife in launching Fine Stationery Solutions, Inc. and its website FineStationery.com in 1999. As a pioneer in Internet strategy and technology innovation, FineStationery.com has revolutionized the consumer experience, communications and overall reach of the stationery industry. One of the fastest growing companies in the region, FineStationery.com has become the leading provider of fine stationery on the Internet and one of the largest custom printing retailers in the country. Mr. Swanson was honored as a finalist of the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award in 2003.
Beyond business, Mr. Swanson has been passionate about driving innovation and entrepreneurism in education and the Delaware economy. Since 2004, he has served as a founding Board Member and Vice-Chair of Layton Preparatory School, the region’s first college preparatory high school designed specifically for students with learning differences. Since 2003, he has also served on the board of First State Innovation, a Delaware nonprofit economic development initiative led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and chartered with improving the entrepreneurial landscape in Delaware. Mr. Swanson received his BS degree from the University of Vermont and his MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Paul Herdman, Ed.D.
Prior to joining the Rodel Foundation of Delaware in 2004, Paul was a senior manager at New American Schools, a national nonprofit, where he provided support to states, districts, and charter schools. He also conducted research for organizations such as the Brookings Institution, RAND, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and The World Bank.
Paul began his career in the 1980s as an educator working in various U.S. cities, South Africa, and Australia, serving students from kindergarten through high school. He co-founded a highly successful school-within-a-school based on an Outward Bound model in one of the largest high schools in New York City. His work served as a beta site for Expeditionary Learning, a comprehensive school reform model that is now in 140 schools across the United States.
In the 1990s, Paul served in the Secretary of Education’s office for two governors in Massachusetts, a state that is now the nation’s top performer, during the wholesale redesign of the state’s policies on standards, choice, and finance.
Paul received his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Delaware and his master's degree and doctorate in education administration and planning from Harvard University. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Dana and their three children.
Martha Manning founded the Delaware Charter Schools Network, which is a membership association of all of Delaware’s charter schools. She served as Executive Director until her retirement in 2006. Prior to that time, Martha’s career included teaching elementary school in the Red Clay Consolidated School district and running a small non-profit called Focus on the Kids. That organization focused on public education reform.
Before returning to work full-time in the non-profit world, Martha volunteered in the schools her four children attended and helped the Cab Calloway School of the Arts become a reality. She was a member of the CCSA Board for eleven years. Martha is also a founding board member of the Red Clay Education Foundation and is the Secretary of the Foundation. She also served on the board of the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association (WYRA).
Craig Schroeder is the general manager of Blue Skies Properties, a residential real estate company. Prior to starting this business, he worked for 16 years at MBNA (now part of Bank of America). His early career included experience in the key areas of consumer banking, including lending, customer satisfaction, collection, and quality assurance. He was promoted to senior executive vice president in 1996, and served the company in this role for nearly ten years. As Senior EVP, he was responsible for managing various corporate operations, including education, administration, purchasing, communications, employment and personnel programs, and international expansion strategy. He also served for several years as executive director of the MBNA Foundation, responsible for all of the company’s community donations, volunteer programs, employment programs for people with disabilities, scholarships, and school grants.
Mr. Schroeder is a member of Robin Hood Ventures, a Philadelphia-based early stage investment partnership. He is a member of the board of directors of Innovative Schools, a non-profit organization that provides resources to enable outstanding student achievement in Delaware’s public schools, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Sanford School. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology, and a master’s degree in computer and information technology, both from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Wagner, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Finance, began working with Buccini/Pollin in December 1999. Mr. Wagner is responsible for overseeing the acquisitions, development, and financing of non-hospitality properties. Mr. Wagner primarily focuses on commercial and residential projects including acquisitions (both income producing and non-income producing), ground-up development, redevelopment, and historic tax credit investments. Prior to joining Buccini/Pollin, Mr. Wagner worked for the public accounting firm Simon, Master and Sidlow, P.A. Mr. Wagner received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware.
Richard Carter, Ed.D.
Richard S. Carter, Ed.D. has served as an educator, in a variety of capacities, for over 20 years. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he worked as an intern at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, which has had a major impact on his work. A key component of the Center’s mission is to revitalize West Philadelphia through the creation of university-assisted community-focused schools, as reflected in the elements of John Dewey’s theory of democratic education and the Chicago Hull-House tradition as pioneered by Jane Addams.
Richard began his teaching career as a middle school Social Studies and English-Language Arts teacher at the JP Turner Middle School. Turner is located in the Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood where Richard grew up and where he spend some time as an intern at the Netter Center. Following his work at Turner, Richard returned to Penn to complete doctoral studies in educational leadership. His dissertation focused on the Center’s emergent collaboration with the Mayer Sulzberger Middle School.
In addition to his teaching experience, Richard has served as an assistant professor of education at Rider University, program administrator [for a pre-college preparatory program, for low SES status students] for the Program in Teacher Preparation at Princeton University, as a vice principal, and as 1 of 4 assistant directors of school improvement at an interim elementary school in the Trenton Public School District.
Currently, Richard is proud to serve the students of the Brandywine School District as Principal of Talley Middle School. He began his work in the district in April of 2006. Talley achieved AYP status after the Spring 2009 Delaware State Testing Program (DSTP) administration. This accomplishment was a first for the school. Richard attributes Talley’s progress to a growing faculty commitment to distributive leadership, evidenced based decision making, and school practices responsive to the realities of adolescent development.
Richard and his talented and lovely wife Marla have been blessed with 2 dynamic children: a son, Jordan (11), and daughter, Hannah (6).
David Dresslar is the Executive Director of the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, an Indiana organization similar to Innovative Schools. A lifelong educator with more than 40 years of experience, Dresslar became executive director of the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning in 2008. He previously served as a senior fellow for CELL with primary responsibility for high school innovation and model school development. Before joining CELL in 2004, he was superintendent of schools in Jenison, Michigan, for 17 years and, prior to that, served in a variety of teaching and administrative positions, including assistant superintendent for the M.S.D. of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis. He also writes and speaks on school transformation and the future of educational practices.
Stephanie Clark Fitzgerald
Stephanie Clark Fitzgerald is a Curriculum Consultant for the New York-based New Leaders for New Schools and a Curriculum Dissemination Project Manager for Perspectives Charter Schools. She is the immediate past President and CEO of the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Delaware. Stephanie began her career as a middle school social studies and language arts teacher in Chicago. As a small public school founder and independent school principal, she focused on creating learning communities in which children, families, faculty and staff, and the community all thrive. As an education consultant, Stephanie assisted in opening two schools in Washington, D.C. for the Edison Project; provided school-level accountability development for Perspectives Charter School in Chicago, Illinois; and with KPMG Consulting, conducted performance reviews for districts and states and assisted in developing and marketing an education data warehouse. She received her BA from Harvard University, MA in Education Leadership and Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and MA in Economic Education and Entrepreneurship from the University of Delaware.
Sylvia M. Flowers
In 2004, Sylvia Flowers decided to leave Corporate America to pursue her personal passion by joining the Broad Residency in Urban Education, a management training program for emerging executives seeking to ultimately become leaders in education reform.
In January 2007, she joined Chicago Public Schools as Project Manager of Chicago TAP, a pilot program designed to drive recruitment, development and retention of quality staff in 40 high-need schools through implementation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP). The Teacher Advancement Program accomplishes this by offering teachers and administrators sustained opportunities for career advancement, ongoing school-based professional development, instructionally focused accountability and performance incentives. The project was the first of its kind in Chicago Public Schools to link teacher compensation rewards to improving student achievement. The Chicago Public School system is the nation’s third-largest, with an annual operating budget of $4.7 billion. It includes more than 600 schools and serves about 415,000 students.
Today Sylvia Flowers is Director of Technical Assistance for Tennessee SCORE — the State Collective on Reforming Education founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. In her current role, she directs SCORE’s technical work with state government and local school systems.
She began her work in education in the Christina School District in Wilmington, Delaware as the Director of Training and Development. In this role, she brought experience in quality management and process design to create and in some cases, restructure for professional development for all staff, leadership development for administrators, and induction and mentoring of new teachers. She later assumed responsibility for Federal and State Grants, as well as competitive grants for the District. She served as Program Manager for Title I and Title V programs, with specific oversight of Supplemental Education Services for students at underperforming schools and services for non-public school students.
She began her career as a Chemical Engineer with Monsanto Chemical Company in St. Louis, Missouri. She later worked as a Senior Buyer at Solutia Inc, a spin-off chemical company, in the Nylon Fibers Plant in Pensacola, Florida. She had responsibility for sourcing contracts and the purchase, inventory and warehouse management of all raw materials and additives used in the nylon manufacturing operations. Ms. Flowers left Solutia to obtain her Master of Business Administration in Management at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. Upon graduation in 2002, she returned to the corporate world, working for Duke Energy as a Commercial Associate in Duke’s management leadership program, where she evaluated key energy policy initiatives and provided analytical support for the acquisition and divestiture of assets.
Ted Fujimoto is the founder and chairman of the Right to Succeed Foundation and the President of Landmark Consulting Group. He helps communities and school districts create and support 21st-century schools. As a California-based entrepreneur and consultant, he has helped develop business strategies for Bay Area Coalition of Essential Schools, Big Picture Learning, Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Partnership for Uplifting Communities, Linking Education & Economic Development, California Charter Schools Association and the New York Charter Schools Association. Ted has toured over 500 public schools in the nation, his work represents more than $150 million in funding. He was instrumental in designing and founding Napa New Technology High School and the New Technology Foundation that now comprises 62 schools nationwide, with 28 new schools opening by Fall 2011. He has served on the California Education Technology Advisory Committee and received the 2002 Center for Digital Government "In the Arena" award for education leadership in transforming vision to reality. In Converge Magazine’s "1999 Year in Review", Ted was named one of "Education’s Dreamers, Leaders and Innovators." He is pioneer of the "Right to Succeed" movement and believes every child should have the opportunity to succeed. He also serves as chairman of the California Credit Union Supervisory Committee, a $1 billion dollar credit union serving educators.
Ethan Gray serves as Vice President of The Mind Trust, an Indiana-based education reform organization. In that role he oversees The Mind Trust’s efforts to support entrepreneurship nationwide, and advises the President and CEO on all issues of strategy and execution. He is an honors graduate of Harvard College and holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in education policy and management. Mr. Gray most recently served as the Policy Director at Be the Change, Inc. in Cambridge, MA where he led the policy agenda process for Be the Change, Inc.'s first campaign - ServiceNation - in an effort to expand national and community service opportunities. The resulting agenda, Strategies for Becoming a Nation of Service, strongly influenced the introduction of the Ted Kennedy/Orin Hatch "Serve America Act" (S.3487): a $5 billion bi-partisan bill, also co-sponsored by Senator McCain and President-Elect Obama. Prior to his work as Policy Director, Mr. Gray was the Director of Education Policy for Be the Change, Inc. In this role he built a working group of leading education entrepreneurs and reformers and drafted a long-term vision of systemic education reform based on leveraging the success of the education entrepreneurship movement. After college he worked as a research assistant at Education Sectorin Washington, DC. Mr. Gray is an accomplished cellist and currently serves as the Vice-President of the board of trustees for the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra.
Charles S. McDowell, Esq.
Mr. McDowell is of counsel to Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP where his legal career specialized in tax exempt finance for governmental and 501(c)(3) entities, including educational organizations. He is currently Chairman of the Board of East Side Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware which serves 400 + pre K – 8th grade inner-city students. He also serves as a Trustee of Delaware State University. He was a former a Teaching Fellow at International College in Beirut, Lebanon and as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Princeton University. Mr. McDowell’s other current activities include serving as a director and President of Delaware State Bar Insurance Services, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Delaware State Bar Association), as a director of the Delaware Bar Foundation and as a member of the American College of Bond Counsel. He is a former President of the Delaware State Bar Association.
Mr. McDowell graduated with honors in history from Princeton University and he received his JD from the University of Virginia, School of Law.
Bob Pearlman is an author, speaker, and strategy consultant for 21st Century School and District Development in Tucson, AZ. He is former director of strategic planning for the New Technology Foundation in Napa, CA, a school development organization which supports the replication of the New Technology 21st Century High School model in more than 50 communities across the United States. Pearlman consults and speaks widely in the U.S. and United Kingdom on 21st Century Learning.
In California, Bob served as director of education and workforce development at Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and as president of the Autodesk Foundation. He previously served as coordinator of educational reform initiatives for the Boston Teachers Union, national consultant on educational technology for the American Federation of Teachers, and as a co-founder of the Co-NECT School New American School Design Team, and as a classroom teacher for 20 years. Bob has been a pioneer in designing new 21st Century schools; integrating project-based learning, work-based learning, and technology into the schools; and training teachers, administrators, and parents in the application of new technologies and their role in restructuring schools.
Bob is the author of many articles on 21st Century Learning, including “Making 21st Century Schools: Creating Learner-Centered Schoolplaces/Workplaces for a New Culture of Students at Work” (Educational Technology, September-October 2009), “New Skills For A New Century: Project-based learning teaches kids the collaborative and critical thinking abilities they'll need to compete” (Edutopia, June 2006), and “21st Century Learning in Schools – A Case Study of New Technology High School in Napa, CA”, (published in New Directions for Youth Development, Summer 2006 Special Issue: The Case for Twenty-First Century Learning). He is a contributing author to the new Leading Edge anthology, 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (Solution Tree, 2010).