GOVERNING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Leah Okimoto, President and Governance Committee Chair
Zela Astarjian, Vice President and Marketing Committee Chair
Jorge Allen, Ph.D, Programs Committee Chair
Brian Shea, Treasurer
Timothy Dodd, Ed.D.
Musical Theatre Composer
Leah joined OneWorld Classrooms’ Board of Directors in 2012, after assisting with the new website and logo designs and the K-8 Global Art Exchange. She passionately believes in the power of the arts to transcend language and cultural divides and to inspire and broaden perspectives. Leah is the founder and Executive Director of Aaron’s Presents, a grants program that gives young children (8th grade and below) the opportunity to lead and carry out positive projects for others. She has also co-written three musicals: Married Alive!, A Dog’s Life and Another Night Before Christmas, all of which premiered at the American Heartland Theatre in Kansas City, MO, have been produced in over 30 regional theatres in the US and Canada, and are published by Playscripts, Inc. She currently lives at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA with her husband and daughter.
Institutional Business Development, RhumbLine Advisers, Boston
Zela considers herself a citizen of the world, having grown up in the Middle East, studied in Paris, France and finally settling in Boston after teaching French at the University of Kansas. Zela speaks five languages (English, French, Armenian, Arabic and some Turkish) and works to impart the importance of global connections to people around her. Zela works for RhumbLine Advisers, an institutional money management firm in Boston, and is involved with One World Classrooms because she believes in the value of art and culture to the lives of children and wants to reinforce to them the importance of global connections.
Jorge Allen, Ph.D
World Languages Program Advisor, Andover Public Schools, Andover
Jorge was born in Panama City, Panama. Jorge is the Andover Public Schools World Language Program Advisor. He completed his undergraduate studies in Monterrey, Mexico where he earned a B.A. in Pedagogy. He later came to the United States as part of a teacher exchange program. Jorge holds a PhD from Purdue University.
Jorge is involved with One World Classrooms because he sees its potential in becoming an organization dedicated to creating teacher resources that ultimately help students understand our complex, ever-changing and increasingly interconnected world.
Jorge nació en Panamá, República de Panamá. Jorge es el director del programa de lenguas de las escuelas públicas de Andover. Él completó sus estudios de licenciatura en Monterrey, México, donde obtuvo su título en Pedagogía. Más tarde llegó a los Estados Unidos como parte de un programa de intercambio de profesores. Jorge tiene un doctorado de la Universidad de Purdue.
Jorge es parte de One World Classrooms porque ve su potencial para convertirse en una organización dedicada a la creación de recursos para los docentes que a la larga ayuden a los estudiantes a entender nuestro siempre cambiante, cada vez más interconectado y complejo mundo.
Associate Director of the Seefurth Education Center at the EDCO Collaborative
Rick has been involved in education and the arts for his entire career. After college, he lived in Denver for 9 years, teaching at Colorado Academy and serving as the stage manager/stage director of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. Highlights from this time include accompanying the Chorale on its 1980 tour of the People’s Republic of China and a year as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher in Edinburgh, Scotland. Returning to the East coast, he has had experience with educational television, theater in the schools, instructional technology and teacher recognition programs. His current work at the EDCO Collaborative involves planning and designing professional development for teachers. He brings a passion for global exchanges, fueled by his two daughters’ involvement with non-profit organizations in Paraguay, Mexico, Honduras and Uganda.
CFRE, Director of Development, The Assumptionists
Tomasz immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1994. He has been the Director of Development for The Assumptionists, a religious organization based in Worcester, Massachusetts, since 2004. He is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s fundraising and development efforts. He graduated with Masters in Theological Studies from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA.
Assistant Director for External Programs and International Engagement, Bridgewater State University
Harold hails from Cape Verde and as the AD for External Programs and International Engagement at Bridgewater, leads the University’s significant efforts to provide learning partnerships, including study abroad opportunities, with the island nation. At Bridgewater, he is responsible for welcoming and supporting all international students and visiting international faculty, administrators, dignitaries and diplomats, and he is the on-site administration of the Bridge Partnership Program during the summer program. He is also responsible for creating and implementing the Diplomat in Residence program and the Center for International Education strategic plan. Harold facilitates high-level discussions and cooperation between university presidents, international government officials and corporate leaders. He is fluent in English, Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole.
Local Government Program Manager, Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance
Tim is a life-long resident of Massachusetts who has a passion for hands-on learning and public education. The son of a public school teacher, Tim studied political science and history at American University in Washington, D.C., where he interned at the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives. Upon earning his degree, he returned to Massachusetts, where he decided to pursue a career in education. After earning an M.A. in American History from Providence College, Tim became a certified teacher and since 2006 has been a middle school English and history teacher in Massachusetts. He is passionate about creating hands-on activities, and has developed several after school programs, received 6 grants, and actively uses a SMART Board and other technological tools in his instruction.
Tim also has a strong interest in travel and public service. As an undergraduate, Tim spent a semester living in South Africa, a unique experience he worked to bring to life in his classroom. Tim also recently participated in a program for teachers in Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana, and spent a summer traveling across the country on a train.his degree, he returned to MA, where he decided to pursue a career in education. After earning an M.A. in American History from Providence College, Tim became a certified teacher and from 2006-2011 was a middle school English and history teacher in MA. He is passionate about creating hands-on activities, developed several after-school programs, received 6 grants, and actively used a SMART Board and other technological tools in his instruction.
Since 2007, Tim has also served his community as a member of the Westborough Board of Selectmen. In this capacity, he has worked hard to initiate programs to improve relationships between the town and the residents of Westborough. Since the fall of 2011, Tim has worked full-time as a local government program manager in the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance. In this capacity, Tim works to assist municipalities in efforts to regionalize and conduct internal efficiencies.
In the fall of 2010, Tim also furthered his education and earned a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. In his free time, Tim enjoys kayaking, sailing, skiing and reading.
Senior Learning Consultant/Learning and Organizational Development,
Manager of Corporate United Way Campaign, Boston Financial Data Services
As a Senior Learning Consultant at Boston Financial, Brian primary role is designing, developing and delivering customized leadership and professional development solutions to internal business partners within the organization. Brian brings over 20 years of experience in facilitation, coaching, consulting, curriculum design and management development. He has worked primarily within the banking and financial services industries.
Over the past three years, Brian has been appointed to serve as Manager of the Boston Financial United Way Campaign. In this additional role, Brian works with senior leadership to create communication events, recruit team members, organize a wide range of volunteer activities and ensure every effort is made to attain the fundraising goal.
Prior to joining Boston Financial, Brian served as the Massachusetts Market Training Manager for Bank of America where he managed a 12-person training delivery team and strategically met the training needs for 200 Banking Centers within the Boston area. He cultivated strong partnerships with his managers, provided updates to the bank’s training programs, responded to critical training needs and collected feedback from the effectiveness of the training initiatives.
Brian earned his MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts and attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut where he earned his BA in History and Education.
Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Ph.D., Former Board Vice President
Raj Dandage, Former Board President
Dina Wolfman Baker, Current Marketing Advisor
John LeBaron, Former Board Member
Jim Sachs, Former Board Co-president; Current Strategic Planning Consultant
Brad Vanderford, Former Board Member
Senior Advisor and Social Justice Entrepreneur-in-Residence at City Year, Dean Emeritus at Boston University School of Social Work
Hubie Jones has played a key role in the formation, rebuilding and leadership of at least thirty community organizations across the city of Boston. In twenty of these organizations, he served as chairman of the board or executive director. Some of these leadership roles include: executive director of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center, board chairman of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, board president of Roxbury Youthworks, Roxbury Community College Foundation and the Citywide Educational Coalition. He founded Higher Ground, Inc., modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. Since 2002, he has been founder and president of the Boston Children’s Chorus. He has served as a trustee at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for 10 years and a trustee of the Foley Hoag Foundation for 25 years. For 20 years, Hubie Jones appeared weekly as a panelist on “Five on Five”, a public affairs program on WCVB-TV.
Ph.D., Dean of Institutional Planning, Research and Assessment at MassBay Community College, Boston
Having grown up outside of the United States, Yves brings rich lived experiences and perspectives to the Board of OneWorld Classrooms. She is a passionate advocate for nurturing a sense of global awareness and cultural competence in children at a very young age. As an educator, Yves is a strong proponent of using the arts to tap into students’ multiple intelligences and to make connections with other academic subjects like mathematics. Yves is fluent in French, Spanish, English, and Haitian Creole. She has lived in or traveled to 18 countries. Prior to her current position at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, MA, she worked with the Massachusetts Department of Education on projects related to MCAS, assessment, and accountability. She has also consulted with the Bermuda Ministry of Education.
Dina Wolfman Baker
Director of Marketing and Communication at PCG Public Partnerships, LLC
Dina Wolfman Baker serves as Director of Marketing and Communication at PCG Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL). Reporting to PPL’s president and serving on its executive committee, she develops and oversees the company’s marketing and communication strategy and ongoing efforts in communicating with the media, the public, its customers, and the participants and providers in its programs, as well as government relations. Dina brings to her role 30 years of marketing and communication experience and a unique blend of strategic, leadership, and business development skills from the corporate and nonprofit sectors, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100s. Her expertise includes public/media relations, advertising, branding, public affairs, internal communication, change management, funding and development, eMarketing and eBusiness, strategic planning, client services, and government relations. She has published numerous professional articles and papers, including her broadly distributed and often referenced 2009 white paper, A Strategic Approach to Cost Effective Marketing for Nonprofits. She also established and owns Baker’s Dozen Press® (www.BakersDozenPress.com), She established in 2012, and chairs the board of trustees for, The Bernard Wolfman Civil Discourse Project (www.CivilDiscourseProject.org). A member of Minnesuing Group, American Marketing Association and International Association of Business Communicators, Dina is committed to ongoing development, learning and participation.
Clive is a US/UK dual citizen with an extensive history in the development and production of video, interactive and multi-media communications, network television, online education & exhibit design for, among others: BBC TV, and the Smithsonian. Clive has lived in Israel and travelled extensively throughout Egypt, Europe and the United States. He is trying very hard to visit every one of the states but unfortunately has a long way still to go. He recently traveled to Pakistan as an advisor to a project whose primary objective is to help the Government of Pakistan develop, introduce, and implement effective curricula for a new four-year Bachelors’ degree in education and two-year associate degree in education. He is extremely happy that OneWorld Classrooms shares his passionate belief that the universal language of art brings together students and adults of every background.
Retired Education Technologies Professor
Having devoted most of his career to education, John has taught from middle school grades through university doctoral levels of study. In 2010, he retired as the Jay M. Robinson Endowed Chair for Educational Technologies at Western Carolina University, a UNC campus. Earlier, he served as Professor of Education at U Mass Lowell and as Executive Director of Massachusetts Educational Television. He has held two Fulbright scholarships, Canada Council, and Québec doctoral fellowships. Author-editor of five books, John has contributed extensively to scholarly-professional journals. He has specialized in online education and joined the OWC Board in late 2012.
Managing Principal and CEO, JF Sachs and Associates LLC
Jim joined the OneWorld Classrooms’ Board of Directors in 2013. Jim has held multiple senior executive roles in the financial services industry, managing business divisions of organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, T. Rowe Price, ICMA Retirement Corporation, The Boston Company and Shearson-Lehman. After leaving Fidelity Investments in 2008, Jim decided to form a management consulting firm that works with senior executives in financial services firms on their strategic vision, planning and operational simplification. He is currently the owner and CEO of that organization.
Jim’s interest in OneWorld Classrooms is due to his early exposure to gaining a global perspective of the world and its varied cultures when he had the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad in Japan while in college. It was an eye opening experience for a person who grew up in a small rural town, and he has remained committed to finding ways to help others gain horizon-expanding perspective as early as possible in their lives.
Founder and Executive Director of RSDI LLC
A son of two Indian immigrants, Raj Dandage has a deep understanding of the importance of learning about other cultures. He loves to travel and experience new places. He also understands the importance of education, having served as co-founder of web-based learning company, Cognate Technologies, and later as a founding board member of the American Disaster Preparedness Foundation. Raj is interested in utilizing his background in technology to further the mission of the organization by allowing students around the world to communicate more effectively.
Entrepreneur Consultant, Sinapis