AMSA Board of Trustees
- Raul Porras, Chair
- Dawn Capello, Vice Chair
- Roger Jarrett, Treasurer
- Jill Schafer, Secretary
- Bela Gorman
- Sheila Creaton Kelly
- Nick Poirier
- Sowmini Sampath
- Maura Webster
- Zak Prescott, Faculty Representative
- Laura Burgess, Parent Representative
Raul Porras, Chair
Raul Porras currently works as an Enterprise Architect at SAP, a global software firm where he helps customers align strategic business objectives with long-term Information Technology roadmaps.
He is also a co-founder of the Latino STEM Alliance, a Boston-based non-profit that inspires and empowers underserved youth to achieve educational and career success in STEM fields. Mr. Porras also serves in other STEM-related organizations across the commonwealth, including the Central MA STEM Network and has served in advisory roles for the Art of Science Learning initiative in Worcester and Sneakers to Beakers among others. In May 2017 he also joined the board of directors of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center.
He is a fellow of the UMass Boston Emerging Leaders Program, holds a dual MBA/MSIT degree from Bentley University and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Simon Bolivar University. Raul is originally from Venezuela.
Dawn Capello, Vice Chair
Dawn brings extensive school board experience as well as a passion for public service and volunteerism.
She previously served on Maynard’s Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Planning Board. During her decade-plus of local service she developed a deep understanding of school and municipal building project processes, finance and budgeting, collective bargaining and policy-making.
Prior to her roles in local government, she worked for several internet start-ups. Dawn earned her B.S. in Business Administration at Framingham State University and is a certified web developer.
Dawn and her family live in Maynard, one of AMSA’s 4 core towns. She and her wife and son enjoy traveling and have a goal of visiting all 50 states and 63 National Parks.
Roger Jarrett, Treasurer
Roger Jarrett is a Principal Software Engineer at MathWorks. He has over 30 years of software development experience focused on software tools, managing third party software, and the delivery of complex software upgrades. One of his roles at MathWorks is a STEM Ambassador speaking at events encouraging STEM education. Prior to MathWorks he was a Senior Software Engineer and Manager at IBM developing software configuration management tools. Roger served on the AMSA Board of Trustees from 2008 – 2015 as Parent Representative, Governance Chair, Development Chair, and Secretary.
Roger interests include public speaking, reading, and strategy board games. He is the Train Gamers Association National Champion for 2015.
Roger has a BS in Applied Computer Science from University of Wisconsin-Parkside and is an Eagle Scout. He currently lives in Natick with his wife and has two children attending AMSA and one graduate of AMSA.
Jill Schafer, Secretary
Jill Schafer is an attorney at Prince Lobel Tye, LLP in Boston, focusing her practice on cannabis law and commercial real estate matters. Jill also has experience in the areas of municipal law, school law, zoning and land use and regulation. Prior to joining Prince Lobel, Jill was at Pojani Hurley & Ritter, specializing in civil litigation, business and commercial law and real estate law. Jill was also previously Assistant Town Counsel for the Town of Needham, as well as Special Counsel to various other towns/cities. Jill is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts (State and Federal Court), the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Jill earned her BA from the University of New Hampshire, JD from Suffolk University Law School and MBA from Suffolk University, Sawyer School of Management.
Bela Gorman has 30 years of experience as a health care actuary. She is President of Gorman Actuarial, an actuarial consulting firm that provides strategic solutions to their clients supported by analytics and mathematical modeling. Over the years, Bela's focus has been assisting state governments on health care policy solutions. Bela holds a BA in Economics and Math from Boston University and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. She and her family have lived in Marlborough for over 20 Years.
Sheila Creaton Kelly
Sheila Creaton Kelly, Esq., has spent over two decades working in the criminal justice system throughout Massachusetts. Ms. Kelly began her career at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted a multitude of offenses and participated in many community efforts. She advanced to become Deputy Director of District Courts and Chief of the Juvenile Justice Division. In 2007 Ms. Kelly joined the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and prosecuted cases of discrimination and civil rights violations. Ms. Kelly served as Director of Investigations at the Department of Youth Services overseeing intergovernmental investigations into allegations of abuse and misconduct. In 2011 Ms. Kelly joined the Department of Correction where she served as a Director of Classification, Director of Victim Services, Deputy Superintendent, and Superintendent of the Concord Prison Complex. She is currently Executive Director of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council where she oversees a consortium of 63 municipal police departments and two sheriff’s offices. Ms. Kelly is a graduate of Boston University and Suffolk University Law School. She has taught legal writing at Northeastern Law School, served as a lecturer in law at Brandeis University, and presented widely on crime victim rights, dating violence, and criminal justice.
Nick Poirier is currently a Principal at Walker Development & Construction Management, where he is responsible for all facets of construction including estimating, planning, directing and overseeing the administration of projects, contracts, and related management activities. Nick commissions work on all projects, providing technical and quality control of the construction process and personnel. He has spent the past 12 years heading up project management for clients including Jumbo Capital Management, CBRE, Colliers, Hilco, Bentley University, Hunneman, Parsons Commercial, Nordblom, National Development, and many more. Nick is a graduate of Bentley University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree. He currently lives in Clinton with his wife.
Sowmini Sampath is the senior director of documentation and user experience at MathWorks, a leading developer of mathematical computing software. She is grateful to lead and be a part of talented and collaborative teams, focused on the mission to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, development, and learning in engineering and science. The varied course of her career path has taught her to prize diversity of thought and skill on her teams.
The foundational education that AMSA gave her children ('16 and '19) prompted her interest in giving back. She hopes to bring her experience in STEM and leadership to contribute in any way that brings value to the AMSA family.
Maura Webster is the Founder, CEO, & Chief Strategist at LillaBlu Strategies, a boutique marketing company focused on real meaningful marketing. Her background includes account management for a private PR firm, non-profit communications, government, and managing the marketing team of a growing software company through rebranding and new product launches to acquisition. This path led Maura to launch LillaBlu in an effort to bring authenticity back to marketing, and empower entrepreneurs and small business owners to engage with their audiences by being “real."
Because of these experiences and more, Maura brings an authentic, creative, strategic, and people-centered approach to marketing for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and growing companies who want to make a difference. Her approach is one that combines consulting and implementation with coaching and mentorship so that all entrepreneurs have the knowledge, skills, and ability to grow their business and manage the marketing team and assets that will enable them to succeed.
When not engaging in fun brainstorming sessions with her clients or being all "social", Maura can be found teaching Public Relations with a marketing spin at Framingham State University, marketing courses at Clark University, traveling (not often enough), running, cooking, or sitting by the ocean. That is when she's not keeping up with her two daughters, and Larry the black lab!
Zak Prescott, Faculty Representative
Zakery Prescott has been teaching Latin at AMSA since 2019. He is currently teaching the Introduction to Latin and Latin 1b courses in the lower school. In addition to his teaching, Magister Oglesby advises AMSA's Roleplaying Club, facilitating 5 groups of student-run Dungeons and Dragons. Magister Oglesby has also served on AMSA's Student Services Team for three years. He has a Bachelor's of Arts in Ancient Languages from Haverford College and a Master's of Arts in Teaching with a focus in Latin Education from Washington University in St. Louis.
Laura Burgess, Parent Representative
In Memory of... Benjamin Hammel
Ben Hammel worked at Microsoft Corporation as the Director of Strategy and Business Development for the Transportation and Modern Government markets. He worked with State and Local governments in the United States to help improve the Citizen experience with their governing bodies through the use of technology.
As part of the Board of Trustees, Ben led the Development Committee to support AMSA’s efforts in strengthening our position in the community and helping us to achieve our growth goals. Ben brought a new set of ideas, strategies, and approach that connected modern technology with our school’s Mission and Core Values.