Celebration of Giving 2022-2023

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A Celebr A tion of Givin G
2022 - 2023 Grateful

Carroll School empowers children with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia, to become academically skilled students who are strong self-advocates and confident lifelong learners. Carroll is an inclusive community committed to embracing diverse strengths, identities, and lived experiences in order to give each child what they most need to thrive.


A Powerful Light

I am pleased to share the 2022-2023 Celebration of Giving, which showcases how the Carroll community sustains our great school and carries forth our mission to empower and uplift students who learn differently. Your support — as advocates who educate the public, and volunteers and donors who contribute to our work — moves us closer to the day when being dyslexic is celebrated as a strength, highlighted on résumés, and sought after in the workplace.

After more than 25 years as an educator, I have seen what is possible. I have seen shame and blame replaced with confidence. I am inspired daily by my Carroll colleagues who deliver an education that is individualized, affirming, and effective. I am inspired by Carroll students who see the world differently. Carroll alumni inspire us all.

Our gratitude also expands beyond these pages. It is like the education we provide, a process. We take a regular inventory of small wins and epic milestones. These achievements are possible with you — Carroll’s advocates, volunteers, and donors. Clinician and author Deb Dana has coined a term I appreciate. She suggests that we be on the lookout for what she calls “glimmers” — experiences that make us feel safe, connected, and happy.

All of us in the Carroll community are privileged to be surrounded by glimmers as we watch our students move from confusion to clarity, and from wobbly to steady.

As we collect and celebrate our glimmers, I am so grateful to all of you. Together, we are creating a powerful light.

“ “
Carroll is a special place to learn because all my friends have dyslexia and learn like me. My teachers make learning fun. They teach me so that I can learn in the best way for me.
Miles Paulsrud | 2nd grade
Kids really feel like they can achieve academic goals and everyone is just so nice here. The teachers target my weaknesses so I can get stronger.
Stella Grossman | 6th grade
I am grateful for learning that you can be smart in different ways. You can be math smart or book smart but you can also be creative smart, any kind of smart. Carroll helps me expand my thinking and I think that’s really cool.
Lily Durant | 5th grade
2 | Grateful

A Journey Evolves: Father and Son, Parent and Student, Board Chair and Alum

As I watch my son work on his college applications, I find myself looking back on his time at Carroll and our family’s journey to this point. From the day Shea ’20 arrived in third grade, this community helped him learn how to advocate for himself and discover his passions. His journey to self-discovery has been remarkable for my wife, Leslie, and me to watch.

Like many alumni, Shea left Carroll with the tools he needed to succeed academically and to pursue his interests. Shea is now a senior at Lawrence Academy and what once felt like a distant possibility is just around the corner: he will be attending college to study digital media. We will always be grateful to the dedicated educators who provided the individualized attention he needed.

It’s a new chapter for our family. But some things remain a constant. I still see that same level of dedication at Carroll years later in my role as Chair of the Board of Trustees. When I walk the halls, the energy is as palpable as it was when Shea toured the school.

Carroll’s work to empower students with dyslexia is truly inspiring. And thanks to donors like you, Carroll continues to expand its resources and open more doors to its life-changing program.

In fact, expanding access for families is among the Board of Trustees’ priorities, along with growing our impact and reinforcing our position as a leading educator of children with dyslexia.

I invite you to remain connected to this journey as we continue to help generations of students write their own new chapters. Together, as Carroll supporters, we can help them reach their destination.

A Celebration of Giving | 3

Giving Through service

Carroll is a dynamic community with a long tradition of active involvement by parents, alumni, and other key partners. We are grateful to the many individuals who guide, enrich, and advocate for our beloved school. The individuals listed here gave their leadership service during the 2022 - 2023 school year.


Executive Committee

Devin O’Reilly, Chair

Timothy Connelly, Vice Chair

Rena Clark, Treasurer

Gregory O’Brien ’99, Clerk

Lawson Albright, Member-at-Large

Renée Greenfield, Ex-Officio


Amy Anderson

Stephen Baldini ’90

Jonathan Black

Tete Cobblah

Nicole Gilmore

Corey Griffin

Jolie Helmbrecht, Ex-Officio

Robert Higgins

Kathleen Ho

Robin Jones

Steven Kaplan

Becky Kidder Smith

Diana Knightly

Caroline Kuhlman

Gretchen Larkin

Alix Mackey, Ex-Officio

Christine Maraganore

Zach Martin

Thomas O’Brien

Laura Rehnert

Katherine Schantz

Jessica Turco

Richard Waters

Heidi Webster


Jolie Helmbrecht, Co-President Alix Mackey, Co-President

Anne Robinson, Vice President

Stephanie O’Keefe, Communications

Kia Khaleghpour

Communications Support


Erica Benedick

Kelly Bryant

Dana Chaffee

Aurora DeLuca

Crystal Dolcimascolo

Jennifer Elverum

Becca Ferat

Emily Ferris

Megan Foley

Lisa Fries

Beth Gellene

Samantha Gerlovin

Marianne Lachner

Melissa Lengyl

Kara Losier

Patty Neal

Jill Norton

Valerie Patsky

Kate Schadinger

Mary Tricolli

Louisa West

Chessy Wheeler

Sarah White

Heather Willis


Lawson Albright, Chair

Jennifer Ackil

Devon Angelini

Melissa Anguilla

Doug Brown

Anne Bunn

Gretchen Evans

Russell Evans

Tamar Frieze

Kelly Hogan

Mike Hogan

Alex Keally

Nicolle Keally

Linda Lynch

Whitney Malak

Kathy Mulvaney

Justin Nyweide

Margaret Nyweide

Sage Orr Mastin

Michela Van Patten

David Waters

Louisa West

Katie Young


Jeanne DeSanto

Alex and Nicolle Keally

Becky Kidder Smith

Todd Krohne

Michela Van Patten

4 | Grateful

A LU mni

Noelle Anderson ’20

Nicolas Antonellis ’13

Stephen Baldini ’90

David Bamforth ’11

Lincoln Belfort ’21

Connor Bragdon ’18

Sam Brody ’96

Cristian Centeio ’12

Michael Copacino ’02

George Darwin ’19

Kathleen Delsener ’02

Dylan Dodge ’21

Sophie Elmes ’19

Michael Finn-Henry ’14

Robert Fleming ’19

John Friedmann ’22

Sophia Gadsden ’14

Evan Gage ’20

Chandler Gilbane ’19

Jennifer Greenhalgh ’13

Jarrett Hurwitz ’12

Sophie Lucontoni ’20

Gaius McCubbin ’21

Trevor McLean ’14

Erin McNulty ’09

Michael Murphy ’09

Megan Murray ’22

Gregory O’Brien ’99

Malia Peisach ’21

Bryan Perla ’14

Michaela Precourt ’03

Isabel Prudente ’21

Roy Dow ’99

Sonya Raab ’09

Gareth Benshoff Randall ’08

Sam Reisfeld ’18

Myles Saint Louis ’21

Brett Silberman ’22

Lia Silva ’21

Talia Sisenwine ’12

Alvie Stoddard ’11

Rachel Suttin ’12

Rachel Venuti ’13

Trevor Yandow ’13

David Zampese ’85


Jeanne DeSanto

Becca Ferat

Julie Johnson McVeigh

Jill Norton

Joseph O’Connor

Adam Outerbridge

Maryum Reed

Kate Renyi

Meredith Rowe


Dr. Sara Nelson

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Chelsea HealthCare Center

Advancing neuroscience and Teaching Practices

Thank you to our partners who work with us and beside us to improve lifelong outcomes of young learners.

Joanna Christodoulou, EdD

Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Lab MGH Institute of Health Professions

John Gabrieli, PhD

Gabrieli Lab

McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Reading and Dyslexia Research Program

Lesley University

Angela Wilkins Program of Graduate Studies in Education


Cas Holman, Founder

A Celebration of Giving | 5

Slow Burn and Swagger Educator Spotlight

John Walton is a Carroll educator who identifies with his fourth-grade math students. He is dyslexic. He was “that kid,” the one pulled out of class for extra support. When reading was a struggle, math became his refuge from all those words.

John is grateful for the opportunity to help build students’ confidence. He loves getting students through the “slow burn” — the moment he describes as the gradual fading away of anxiety as new confidence takes over.

“It comes at different speeds for different kids,” he said. “But that’s OK. I just tell them, ‘You are going to get it wrong. I will be right there with you. You will do it again. You will struggle. I’ll be there. You will get it.’”

And they do.

The transformations that take place are not exclusive to the students. The school, he said, makes him a better teacher. “I get so much support here. I have a coach. I have professional development. Carroll makes me smarter.”

The child of two teachers, John earned a master’s degree in special education from Carroll’s Angela Wilkins Program of Graduate Studies in Education with Lesley University.

As he watches his students embrace their ability to solve problems, his own confidence grows alongside them. “That’s all we want,” he said. “And I guess you could say, I’ve got a little swagger, too.”

6 | Grateful

happy Warriors Educator Spotlight

At Carroll all the teachers are friendly and are trained to take it at a slow pace, so no more being pulled out of classes and kids asking ‘Where were you?’ You get to be with everyone else, it feels good that you are learning with your friends, and actually know what they are teaching you.

For a child with dyslexia, learning in the classroom can be a frustrating puzzle every day. But Carroll tutoring sessions are “where the magic happens,” said Porsha Pierre-Mike, head of Carroll’s Lower School tutoring department.

Students work with a tutor one-on-one or in small groups to practice using the tools that will help solve these daily puzzles.

Porsha describes a deep connection between students and their tutors. “There needs to be a mutual sense of trust and understanding. We’re working on some vulnerable content together. Tutors are in the trenches with students to give them the drive to advocate for themselves, to fight,” she said. “We create happy warriors here.”

Growing up in Boston, Porsha attended public schools and believed that she learned differently from her peers. “Even though I knew I needed help in certain situations, I didn’t ask. There were so many other kids in the classroom that needed help, too. So I became the quiet student in the back that didn’t raise their hand.”

In graduate school, Porsha attended a seminar about Carroll School which piqued her interest in working with students with dyslexia. When she arrived at Carroll as an educator, she was thrilled to be in an environment where she could provide individualized learning plans for every student.

“We are saving kids’ lives. It’s magical here,” she said, smiling. “Literacy is life. It’s a human right.”

A Celebration of Giving | 7

Legacy Giving Creates Opportunity

Regina Watts knew her son was dyslexic. Even so, a simple writing task reminded her what he was up against. It was time to sign Valentine’s Day cards. Mom and son were at the kitchen table. There are just six letters in his name.

She could see the effort and pain as Daniel spelled his name in countless combinations of letters. This was second grade. What would follow? Regina knew they had to make a change.

What did follow was a trip to Carroll School. At the end of the tour, Daniel said something Regina still remembers.

“Mom, there are kids like me here.”

A few months later, Daniel would start at the Lower School with those newfound peers. Over the next six years his parents and his grandparents, David and Beverly Watts, witnessed his growth with great relief, pride, and gratitude. They made their first annual gift in 2003 and long after Daniel graduated, the Watts family remained connected. Brad served on Carroll’s Board of Trustees for nearly a decade. David and Beverly joined a group of generous donors who helped support the purchase of the Lower School property.

As David made plans for how to direct charitable giving from his estate, he sought the input of his children. The resulting $4 million bequest from the Watts family is transformational — and the largest endowment

8 | Grateful
“David Watts believed in the power of education and the power of Carroll School. His $4 million estate gift will change the lives of generations of Carroll students. The Board of Trustees is profoundly grateful to the Watts family for this generous and historic gift.

gift in Carroll School’s history. Creating the Watts Family Scholarship Fund advances the pace for building the endowment to support access for those who need Carroll.

In a 2019 interview, David Watts spoke with pride about how Carroll truly changed his grandson’s trajectory. “As I watch Dan find gratification and success in his career and in life, I believe it all goes back to the start he got at Carroll,” David said. “It’s hard for me to imagine what Dan’s life, and indeed our own lives, would have been like without it.”

A FAmiLy cOmmiTmEnT

A commitment to education runs deep in the Watts family. Today, Daniel is continuing his education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering and is working on an MBA.

Daniel’s older sister, Elizabeth, was inspired by her mother and Daniel to become an educator. Elizabeth completed Orton-Gillingham training at Carroll and teaches second grade in public school. Regina was a public school principal until her recent retirement.

David earned degrees from Harvard University and Dartmouth College before building a career in asset management. He and his wife, Beverly, generously supported organizations and universities that they felt were impacting lives and society.

Brad and Regina know how challenging it can be for many families to access the special expertise their children require.

Approached with the opportunity to steer David’s gift, it was clear to them that it should be dedicated to financial assistance.

“This is a gift that can really make a difference,” Regina said.

A Celebration of Giving | 9

Grateful for Their Legacy

Daniel Watts learned from a young age that it was not always possible for students like him to get the resources they need.

At the end of some school years at Carroll, he found himself saying goodbye to a few classmates earlier than he expected because their family could not afford tuition.

Having witnessed the transformative effect Carroll had on Daniel, his grandparents David and Beverly Watts were determined to change that.

Their $4 million bequest ensures more children like Daniel will unlock their full potential at Carroll.

It makes sense to Daniel that his late grandfather would want to create opportunities for students in need of financial support.

“Carroll had done so much for me and so many other people that I was kind of proud that we were in a situation where he believed in education enough to do that,” said Daniel.

Daniel said it’s rare to hear people his age talk about how important their elementary and middle school education was in their life. But for the 28-year-old, it made all the difference.

“Carroll changed the way I looked at dyslexia and made me a lot more confident with the fact that I am dyslexic,” Daniel said. He knows himself in a way that might not have been possible if not for Carroll.

Reading might take him longer, but he can plan for that. Writing might be more difficult, but he can use spell check software. He recognizes his “outside the box” thinking has value and now readily voices his ideas.

“ Carroll gave me the strong foundation I needed to move forward.
Daniel Watts ’09

Discovering his strengths and strategies to help address his weaknesses at such a young age makes Daniel a better team player, he said, because he recognizes everyone on his team has value. It is a skillset he has used across his education journey, earning a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Union College, and as he currently pursues a master’s in business at Carnegie Mellon University.

“Carroll gave me the strong foundation I needed to move forward,” he said.

10 | Grateful

c ole Society

We are grateful to all Cole Society members who choose to leave their own legacy by including the school in their estate plans. Members of the Cole Society — like the Watts and Dow families — are committed to ensuring the continued strength of Carroll for future generations.

The late Dr. Edwin Cole was a neurologist at Mass. General Hospital working with children with learning challenges. In 1967, he co-founded Carroll School, which is his lasting legacy.

As Meaningful as Anything Could Possibly Be

Jacquie and Jim Dow credit Carroll School for giving their son Roy ’99 a chance in life. They made their first gift to Carroll when Roy started in fifth grade and, like many parents of Carroll alumni, they support the school every year. “It’s very modest what we give, but every bit helps,” Jacquie Dow said.

The Dows have also included Carroll as a beneficiary in their will.

“Perpetuating something that’s as wonderful as the Carroll School is as meaningful as anything could possibly be, particularly when your life has been impacted by it in the way that it has for us and, most importantly, for Roy,” Jim Dow said.

Roy is a high school special education and history teacher and coaches varsity soccer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a master’s from UMass Boston. A generous volunteer and advocate, Roy regularly speaks to Carroll parents and educators — as well as his own students — about his journey.

A Celebration of Giving | 11
“ Within a week of learning how to teach reading, I felt like I was finally home. I felt like this is where I belong. This is what I want to do.
Joanne Spillane

One Phone Call Made All the Difference

Joanne Spillane always knew the time she spent tutoring children at Carroll School was special, but one phone call many years later helped her understand just how life-changing it was.

It had been nearly a decade since she had heard from the boy she met when he was in fourth grade. Like many students arriving at Carroll with dyslexia, he was fragile and unsure of himself. Over the course of two years of tutoring, she worked to earn his trust and build his confidence.

It made all the difference. A few days before his high school graduation, he called to tell Joanne the impact she and Carroll had on his life. She made him feel smart. She made him feel important. And she taught him how to read.

“It made my career as a teacher to feel like I had made that difference. I owe that to Carroll School and the Orton-Gillingham method,” Joanne said.

An educator since 1975, Joanne taught in elementary school and had earned a master’s degree in language and literacy, and a master’s in counseling psychology. Even with her graduate-level degrees, she was not sure if she was reaching every child.

To further her expertise, Joanne enrolled in Carroll School’s Orton-Gillingham training program in 2006 and stayed on as a tutor for two years.

Those memories stayed with her as she continued to put the Orton-Gillingham method to use long after her retirement from private tutoring.

During the pandemic she tutored her granddaughter. As she watched her flourish, Joanne thought about other children needing access to this individualized approach. “I’ve got to do something,” Joanne said. “So that’s when I reconnected with Carroll.”

Upon visiting the school last year, she learned Carroll’s reach had expanded and is continuing to grow. Inspired by what they saw, Joanne and her husband, Richard, created the school’s newest endowed fund in 2023: the Spillane Family Endowed Financial Assistance Fund.

The Spillanes hope they can inspire others to give. They envision the endowment fund empowering families to be able to access the tools and support system Carroll offers.

12 | Grateful

Endowment Funds

We are grateful to donors who make gifts to the endowment. The endowment is invested, and the earnings contribute to the annual operating budget. Carroll closed its fiscal year on June 30, 2023, with an endowment of $45 million. As the endowment grows, so does Carroll’s ability to change lives.

ABC Scholarship Fund

Bill/Giorgio Families Endowed Scholarship Fund

Blair Faculty Development Fund

Brizius Family Scholarship Fund

Cognitive Support Endowed Fund

C.B. Corson Science Fund

DeSanto Family Endowed Scholarship Fund

Donner Visiting Speaker Fund

Endowment for Faculty Training and Professional Development

Faculty Support Fund Honoring Larry Brown

Nicholas Anthony Farley Financial Aid Fund

Edward E. Ford Endowment Fund

Thomas and Katherine Gilbane Endowed Scholarship Fund

Grateful Carroll Family Endowed Scholarship Fund

GwinnLandry Family Endowed Fund for Financial Aid

Hall-Copacino Endowment Fund

The Herndon Family Scholarship Fund

Higgins Family Endowment Fund

Howland Family Fund

The JCF Family Endowed Faculty Fund

The Kenrose Kitchen Table Scholarship Fund

Kistler Family Fund for Cognitive Intervention and Research

Guy and Belle Leighton Math Award

MacDonald/Rodgers Family Endowment

Gerard M. Martin Family Endowed Fund for Cognitive Research and Development

Ellen “Polly” Meckel Endowed Scholarship Fund

Maureen McGuire Myers Endowment Fund for Faculty Professional Development

Robert B. Newman Library Endowment

The O’Reilly Family Fund

Patkin Family Endowed Fund for Cognitive Intervention and Research

The Simon Family Endowment Fund

Spillane Family Endowed Financial Assistance Fund

Ellen Desmond Stone Fund

Robin and Bina Thompson Family Endowed Fund

Watts Family Endowed Scholarship Fund

Wilkins Family Endowed Faculty Fund

A Celebration of Giving | 13

The Year in


Total Donors

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023


Students Receiving Financial Assistance


Alumni Donor

Class Range

14 | Grateful


$2,264,818 Total Contributions Highly Trained Educators

446 Amazing carroll Students

45 Alumni Volunteers

$3.5m Financial Assistance Budget

268 Leadership Donors Giving $1,000 or More to the Annual Fund

Annual Fund Growth

2019 - 2023


“Thanks to all of the carroll families who supported the Annual Fund this year. Your collective dollars fund critical initiatives that allow Carroll to do what it does so well. And the gesture of your individual gift — regardless of its size — demonstrates a commitment to Carroll’s mission and a round of applause for the skilled educators who engage meaningfully with our children every day.

A Celebration of Giving | 25
$1.32M FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 $1.31M $1.44M $1.51M $1.65M

Grateful to You

Your support means the world to us. While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of all donor lists, please accept our apologies if any error or omission occurred. Kindly notify advancement@carrollschool.org or (781) 314-9783 to request a correction.

45 Waltham Road

Wayland, Massachusetts 01778

Lower SChooL

Grades 1-5

1841 Trapelo Road Waltham, MA 02451

MiddLe SChooL

Grades 6-8

25 Baker Bridge Road Lincoln, MA 01773

Upper SChooL

Grades 8-9

45 Waltham Road Wayland, MA 01778

(781) 259-8342


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