Board of Trustees, 2017-2018
Board President:Carol Katz Connelly - Katz Government Affairs
Co- Vice Presidents: Meryl Rothenberg- Rothenberg and Associates, LLC.
Rick Smith - Lawrence Township Public Schools, Retired
Communications Chair: Linda Nowicki- Church & Dwight
Grants Chair: Dan Wakeman - ETS
Treasurer: Vessy Dusichka - Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey
Immediate Past President: Kelly Bidle, Rider University
Shirlene Barrett – ETS
Amy Davis - New Jersey Department of the Treasury
Jane Fetter - Lawrence Township Public Schools, Retired
Lynette Glenn - Berkshire Bank
Karen Haskin - Princeton University
Dawn Monsport - Keller Williams Realty
Jennifer Polakowski- New Jersey Nursing Initiative
Paul Schindel - Three Bears Communications
Saba Sugunavel - Accenture
Jennifer Szwalek - The Lawrenceville School
Karen Faiman, Lawrence Township Education Foundation
Crystal Edwards - Lawrence Township Public Schools
Jo Ann Groeger - Lawrence Township Board of Education
Kevin Nerwinski - Township of Lawrence
Stephen Murray - The Lawrenceville School
Rita Nini - Educational Testing Service
Andrew Zuckerman - Lawrence Township Public Schools
Shirlene Barrett started working for ETS in 2011. Before joining ETS, she had over 20 years in various leadership roles in the area of system architecture and development for a number of Telecommunication companies including Verizon, AT&T, and Bell Communications Research as well as designing a HealthCare Dashboard for the Department of Health. Shirlene currently serves as the President of the Howard University Alumni Club of Metropolitan Trenton. Shirlene holds a BS in Computer Science from Hofstra University and an MS in Computer Engineering from Howard University.
Amy joined the LTEF board in 2014. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey where she majored in Law and Justice. Amy also received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School- Camden. She is currently as Assistant Director with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, where she oversees its contract compliance and audit unit. She and her husband John have lived in Lawrence since 1998 and they have two children who attend the Public Schools. Amy is a past PTO vice president and has been an active volunteer in the schools and other local community organizations for many years. She looks forward to enriching Lawrence Public School education by working tirelessly with other LTEF board members and volunteers to raise valuable funds to expand programs and opportunities in our schools beyond the district's limited budget. She believes the best investment we can make for our families and for Lawrence, is in the education of our children.
Vessy has served on the board of various foundations through the years. She enjoys giving back to her community. Vessy is the Director of Finance and Administration for the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. Vessy has two daughters that attend the Lawrence Township Public Schools. She looks forward to giving back to the community with LTEF- a mission that is very close to her heart.
Jane Fetter joined the LTEF Board in 2009, right after she retired from the Lawrence Township Public Schools. She and her husband, Ted, moved to Lawrence in 1982 after living across the country in six states over twelve years. Their three adult sons all graduated from LHS. Jane taught fifth grade PAACE at LIS from 1989 - 2009, and was the recipient of several LTEF grants. She is an active member of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Princeton, currently serving on several committees. She is also on the board of the Lawrence Historical Society. Jane is delighted to be working with LTEF on "the other side," and she has experienced first-hand the excitement and energy that the grants can generate for both students and teachers.
Lynette is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at Berkshire Bank. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Whitehead Road office and five employees. She participates with the Boys and Girls Club and United Way. Lynette is a graduate of Lawrence High School and resided in Lawrence for all of her childhood and most of her adult life. Her two daughters are also Lawrence graduates. Lynette is excited for her role as an LTEF trustee.
Karen Haskin and her husband Andy Rosenau have lived in Lawrenceville since 1998. Their two children graduated from Lawrence High School. Karen joined LTEF to make a contribution to our excellent public schools and our wonderfully diverse community. Karen is an assistant provost at Princeton University. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and earned a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University, where she studied the implementation of school reform in Chicago public schools. She joined LTEF in 2016.
Carol Katz Connelly
Carol Katz Connelly is the principal of Katz Government Affairs, a professional lobbying firm in Trenton. Carol and her husband Mark Connelly have lived since 1992 in Lawrence Township, where they have enjoyed watching their two children grow from kindergarten through high school in the public schools. Carol supports public schools because she believes they play a vital role in bringing students and parents from richly varied backgrounds together as citizens, neighbors and friends, and because of the fine education they provide. She received a BA in history from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard University.
Dawn has been a lifelong resident of Lawrenceville, attending Lawrence High School then graduating from the Hun School in Princeton. Dawn has a Bachelor’s degree from Rollins College. She became a real estate agent in Lawrenceville in 2001 and obtained the status as one of Mercer County’s top producing realtors. She is a past President of the Women’s Club of Lawrenceville & currently a member of their scholarship committee. She has held positions on the Board of Lawrenceville Main Street, Lawrence school PTOs and booster clubs. In 2016 Dawn ignited a Township wide discussion that examined the validity of Lawrence Township school rankings and the inaccurate perceptions that these rankings create. Dawn lives in Lawrenceville with her husband and two sons.
Jennifer Polakowski joined the LTEF board in 2013. She is the deputy director of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, NJNI a multi-year, $30 million project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with assistance and support provided by the New Jersey Hospital Association/Health Educational Trust of NJ working to transform nursing education in the state. Jennifer received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in public administration from Seton Hall University on an athletic scholarship. She is a resident of Lawrence for over 30 years and attended Lawrence Schools.
Linda Nowicki is a passionate supporter of public school education and believes LTEF plays an important role in fund raising for educational programs. She currently works part time for Church and Dwight in the Women's Health marketing group as Associate Product Manager. Linda also actively volunteers in the schools, Girl Scouts and her parish. She and her husband Charles have two daughters enrolled in the Lawrence Township Public Schools. Linda joined the LTEF board in 2010.
Meryl Rothenberg joined the LTEF board in 2012. She attended SUNY Binghamton and received her Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School. She and her husband Rob have lived in Lawrence Township since 1987. They have four children who have all benefited greatly from public education in the Lawrence Township Public Schools. She looks forward to helping to fund programs that will enrich the public education in Lawrence Township.
Paul Schindel regularly attended Board of Education meetings as a child in Maplewood, NJ, and has pursued and supported excellence in public education ever since. A resident of Lawrence since 1991, he is the father of three sons who all graduated from Lawrence Township Public Schools. He serves on the Visual Arts Advisory Commission of the Mercer County Community College, and is a past co-chairman of the Jewish Community Campus Development Council. Paul is a graduate of Boston University, and President and Creative Director of Three Bears Communications in Princeton, an advertising and marketing communications firm driven by the "Goldilocks approach" to develop messages that are just right.
George (Rick) Smith taught in Lawrence Township Public Schools for 36 years and has received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education and was the 1996 Lawrence Teacher of the Year. He and his wife, Kathie, live in Ewing, where Rick is a member of the Ewing Cable Advisory Board. In addition to teaching, Mr. Smith coached basketball for 20 years at both the High School and the Middle School. He has been the recipient of several generous grants from the LTEF. Mr. Smith looks forward to serving as a trustee and working to find ways to make our wonderful district even better. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Mercer County Federal Teachers Credit Union.
Saba works for Accenture as a consultant in the area of digitization and analytics. In his role, he implements leading edge solutions helping clients to increase the value of their information assets. Prior to his current role, Saba has held leadership positions in many organizations such as IBM and Oracle. Saba and his family immigrated to the USA from India after living in and experiencing several places. They have been living in Lawrenceville since 2002 and proud to call it their permanent home. They have lovingly watched their only child grow and get a quality education from Lawrence schools. Saba is an avid runner and a casual golfer.
Jennifer Szwalek joined the LTEF board in 2011. She serves as Director of Communications and Public Affairs at The Lawrenceville School. Her responsibilities include serving as chief communications officer and a member of the school’s senior staff. She oversees the management, planning, and direction of all school communication in support of the school’s mission and vision. Jennifer and her husband live in Pennsylvania and have two daughters.
As Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Daniel S. Wakeman is responsible for all ETS information technology assets and activity. In this capacity, he also is responsible for ensuring that ETS strategy and tactics are appropriately informed and influenced by information technology. Wakeman has over 25 years of IT leadership experience including being CTO and founder of a business-to-business exchange. He has also held IT positions at DuPont, Dow Chemical, IBM, D&N Bank and the U.S. Air Force. Wakeman holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Michigan Technological University, and received a master’s in business administration from Central Michigan University. Dan and his wife Stephanie have two children. Dan is also a member and on the board of the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association.
Ex-Officio Board Members
Karen Faiman joined the Foundation as Executive Director in May, 2017. A former Spanish teacher, Karen worked previously for the Mercer County Wildlife Center Friends and Womanspace, in addition to non-profits in Maine, where she grew up. Karen earned a B.A. in Spanish from Colby College, and a Masters of Public Policy and Non-Profit Management from the University of Southern Maine. She is a former PTO president at Ben Franklin Elementary School. Karen and her husband are Lawrence Township residents; their two children attend Lawrence Township Public Schools.
Dr. Crystal M. Edwards is the Superintendent for Lawrence Township Public Schools. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University; a master’s degree in Chemistry from Rutgers University; and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Penn State University.
Jo Ann Groeger has been a Lawrence resident since 1976. She has two sons and a daughter that have graduated from the Lawrence school district. Jo Ann's husband is the Superintendent of Recreation for Lawrence Township, so fitness and activity are a priority to her! She has an under graduate degree and two Masters Degrees in education. Jo Ann is a retired Lawrence Township Public School teacher and currently is serving on Lawrence's Board of Education. While teaching, she had received three LTEF grants and experienced first-hand how a grant can open up possibilities and make them realities in a classroom.
Kevin Nerwinski is the Township Manager. He is the chief executive and chief administrative officer of the Lawrence Township government. His responsibilities include the appointment and removal of Township personnel (except appointments made by Township Council pursuant to State law), the supervision of all departments of the Township government, the negotiation of contracts, the preparation of the budget, the management of municipal property and the coordination of departmental activities.
Stephen is the Head Master of The Lawrenceville School. He assumed that position on July 1, 2015. Prior to arriving at The Lawrenceville School, he had extensive private school leadership experience. Most recently he was the Head Master of University School in Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley, Ohio.
Andrew Zuckerman is the Director of Instructional Services for the Lawrence Township Public Schools. He is responsible for enhancing and improving curriculum and instruction, providing quality professional development and training for teachers and striving to put Lawrence Township Public Schools on the map as the number one public school in the nation. Andrew and his wife live in Pennsylvania with their three children.