Para la traducción hacer clic en el cuadro de arriba
Para tradução em Português, por favor clique a caixa em cima

Board of Education

The Board of Education is the chief policy-setting body overseeing K-20 education in Rhode Island. Through its designated powers and duties, the Board helps shape the course of public education to ensure that all of the state's students receive the best possible education.

The Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability.

Board Members

Barbara S. Cottam, Chair - R.I. Board of Education

Barbara Cottam portraitBarbara Cottam is executive vice president, Rhode Island market executive and head of Corporate Affairs at Citizens Bank.  She has corporate -wide responsibility for directing government affairs, public affairs, corporate giving and marketing sponsorships throughout the company's commercial and retail banking footprint. In addition, she serves as chairman of the Citizens Charitable Foundation.

Cottam joined Citizens in 1994 as Rhode Island director of Public Affairs after 12 years in senior policy and communications positions in state and municipal government.  She was responsible for directing media, social media and public relations; government affairs; public affairs; corporate giving and marketing sponsorships.  Previously, she had been director of communications and press secretary to Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun from 1991 to 1994.

Cottam is chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Education and is a member of the Rhode Island Commodores, a group of business and civic leaders appointed by the governor.  She serves on the Providence College President's Council as a member of the strategic planning committee of the college's board of trustees.  Cottam is a member of the board of directors of Crossroads Rhode Island and serves on the La Salle Academy board of trustees.  She is a former vice chairman and present executive member of the board of directors of Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island and an executive member of the board of directors of the Rhode Island Zoological Society.  She was a founding member of the board of directors of Rhode Island Kids Count and served in that capacity for 10 years, the last three as chairman.

Cottam received her B.S. in business marketing and business management from Providence College and has completed executive development programs at Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Wharton's Aresty Institute.

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: January 2015

Term Expires: Serves at the Pleasure of Governor

Amy Beretta, Esq. - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Amy Beretta portraitAmy Beretta is a 1989 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law.  In 1997 she formed a law office performing work exclusively for, and employed by, MetLife Auto & Home.  Her office is responsible for litigating cases in state and federal courts in Rhode Island and interpreting insurance contract language.  In addition to handling litigation matters, she manages and oversees office administration and she acts as an arbitrator in personal injury litigation. 

Ms. Beretta is a board member and Treasurer for the Defense Counsel of Rhode Island; was previously a board member for the Rhode Island Bar Foundation; and served on the Rhode Island Bar Association Ethics Committee and the Rhode Island Supreme Court ADR Task Force.  At the local level she has served as a board member, secretary, and treasurer of the Providence Animal Rescue League and, along with her husband, has chaired the Bishop’s Ball for St. Joseph’s Health Services. 

She lives in Jamestown with her husband, Richard and their two children. She was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2005 and chaired the Board’s Appeals Committee.  She was appointed to the Board of Governors for Higher Education in 2011.

Appointed to Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2016 - reappointed in 2017 through 2019

Colleen A. Callahan, Ed.D. - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Colleen Callahan portraitA former sixth-grade and special education teacher in Lincoln, Rhode Island, with 21 years of classroom experience, Colleen Callahan currently serves as the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals (RIFTHP) Professional Issues Director.  As Director of Professional Issues, Dr. Callahan coordinates the organization's professional development networks, including its statewide Education Research & Dissemination and Redesigning Schools Networks and its partnerships with institutions of higher education.  She is responsible for direct service to members through coursework and on-site presentations and assists local union leaders in negotiating for and supporting professional issues and school-improvement initiatives.

Dr. Callahan works regularly with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and other state agencies on education policy and represents the RIFTHP on numerous state and national boards and commissions, including the RI College Crusade and the Northeast Regional Education Labs Boards of Directors.  Currently, Dr. Callahan is serving as the program director for the RIFTHP/AFTs Innovation Fund initiative on teacher evaluation, working with labor-management teams from six RI urban districts, national experts, and RIDE to create a model teacher evaluation and support system. 

Dr. Callahan served as Secretary of the RI Board of Regents and chaired the Board's Committees on Academic and Student Programs and Secondary Regulations. She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Rhode Island College and recently earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Johnson and Wales University.

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: January 2013

Appointed to the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: June 2014

Term Expired: January 31, 2017  Reappointed through 2020.


Heather D. Crosby - Council on Postsecondary Education

Heather Crosby portrait

Heather is the founder and owner of Matheys Lane Capital Management (MLCM), located in Providence, RI.  MLCM is an investment adviser that is registered with the SEC.  It has over $850 million of assets under management.  At MLCM, Heather leads the client coverage and investment management teams.  She oversees all aspects of client service, and directs the investment process from asset allocation to manager selection.

Heather has spent over 20 years in various areas of the investment business.  Prior to founding MLCM, Heather was a Partner at another Rhode Island based investment adviser, Rex Capital Advisors (RCA).  At RCA, she focused on investments and client coverage.  Before RCA, Heather was a Vice President at J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. in its institutional equities area, where she traded financial stocks for the firm.  Prior to J.P. Morgan, Heather spent several years at Goldman, Sachs & Co.  During her tenure at Goldman, Heather first worked in investment banking, where she was an analyst in the real estate group.  She later worked in equity capital markets.  After business school, she returned to Goldman as a trader on the risk arbitrage desk.

Heather earned a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  She lives in Barrington, RI with her husband, Chris, and their three young children.

Appointed to the Council of Postsecondary Education: June 2016

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

Timothy J. DelGiudice, Chair - Council on Postsecondary Education

Timothy DelGiudice

In the role of Strategic Initiatives Program Manager at Raytheon, DelGiudice is responsible for coordination and management special projects strategic importance to the stability of the business which often involves leading cross enterprise teams.  DelGiudice also served as the Seapower Staff Executive supporting the growth and execution of a $1B business with locations in several states and countries.  His ‘hands-on’ position and required management and interpersonal skills combined with Profit & Loss exposure to bring together strong cohesive teams to keep the operational aspects of the business running smoothly.

Prior to joining Raytheon in 2007, DelGiudice served as the Deputy District Director for Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.02) while he was Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology. DelGiudice began his career with Congress in 1997 as a caseworker in the office of former Rep. Bob Weygand (R.I.02).  During this time, DelGiudice also supported the White House Advance Office, occasionally assigned to the traveling staff of President Clinton.

He is the Chairman of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA), having taken the organization from an all-volunteer group to a fully funded, professionally staffed national model of industry, government and academic collaboration. DelGiudice as Chairman is responsible for setting the strategic vision while managing the Board and Executive Director.

DelGiudice earned a Bachelor Degree in Leadership from Providence College. He has also completed several Raytheon professional development programs, including the Strategic Development Program, the President’s Cultural Initiative, Game Changer Program, and the Principals of Program Leadership.

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2016

Appointed Chair in June 2018

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

Karen Davis - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Karen Davis portraitKaren Davis is the Senior Vice President for Global Philanthropy, Social Impact and Employee Engagement at Hasbro, Inc.  She is responsible for global grant-making, product donations, sponsorships, and employee volunteer programs.  She is currently leading the company's initiative, Be Fearless Be Kind, to develop empathy and compassion in children, with a call to action to Stand Up, Include Everyone and Make a Difference.  Karen is a passionate leader on behalf of children around the world.  She works with many leading NGO's to establish partnerships to benefit children in need, including UNICEF, SOS Children's Villages and Special Olympics.  Locally she was instrumental in establishing the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative; the Golden Apple Award recognizing teachers in Rhode Island; the URI First Star program for children in foster care; and has brought the NO Bully program to Rhode Island.  She was a co-founder of generationOn, a global youth service organization under Points of Light.  She currently serves on the board of directors for SOS Children's Villages on generationOn. Previously she was board chair for City Year and the Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals and a board member of many other non-profits. 

Before joining Hasbro, Karen was the Director of Advancement for the University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration. She earned a Master's of Education, Training and Development and a Bachelor's of Science in Management from the University of Rhode Island.  Karen lives in South Kingstown. 

Appointed to the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: June 2017

Term Expires: January 31, 2019 

Dennis J. Duffy, Esq. - Council on Postsecondary Education

Dennis is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Energy Management, Inc., a Boston based-energy infrastructure development firm and is responsible for the company’s regulatory and legislative affairs, legal strategy and industry trade group relations.

He has more than twenty-five years of experience as a corporate and regulatory attorney in New England.

He has also served as special counsel to the Rhode Island Energy Facility Board and was formerly a partner in the law firm of Partridge, Snow & Hahn.

He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Columbia University Law School.

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: 2014

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2017

Gara Brooke Field, Ph.D. - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Gara Field portraitGara became the Director of Global Education at Moses Brown School in Providence, RI on August 1, 2016 after serving five years as the proud Principal of Pleasant View, a PK-5 elementary school in Providence.  Prior to leading Pleasant View, the only public elementary school in RI to move from priority to rising status, Gara was a professor at the University of Georgia. She has extensive experience as a teacher, coach, and administrator with particular expertise in expeditionary, project-based, blended, and personalized learning.

Gara earned a BA and MA from the University of Hartford, a MEd. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in School Leadership Program, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut.  She is deeply committed to equity and student voice, as well as authentic teaching and learning opportunities that inspire action to positively impact our community, country and world.  Gara and her family live in the Pawtuxet Village and they love spending summer days in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, where she grew up.

Appointed to Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: June 2017

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

Jo Eva Gaines - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Jo Eva GainesJo Eva Gaines is vice chair of the Newport School Committee, on which she has served since 2000. She is a member of the Policy Sub-committee and chairs the School Committee’s Building Committee and the Strategic Planning Sub-committee. Gaines has also served on the Executive Board of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees since 2001, during which time she has held the roles of president, secretary treasurer, and vice president.  She also serves as a Eucharistic minister, lector, and past president of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church parish council and has held a number of other active roles in her community.

After studying Music Education at Xavier University in New Orleans, Gaines received a B.A. in Education from Salve Regina University; an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Providence College; and a C.A.G.S. in Career Counseling/Secondary Administration from Bridgewater State College.  Her long teaching career included music education in Georgia, South Carolina, and Middletown, RI; guidance counselor and director of guidance in Middletown; and academic advisor at Salve Regina University. 

Gaines also served as secretary and vice chair of the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education between 1985-2005, as well as a member of the Brown University’s Annenberg Institute Urban Education Task Force, Newport MLK Center Board of Directors, RI Commission on Women, Big Sisters RI, and several advisory boards for education evaluating and funding.  Gaines’ honors and awards include the NAACP Outstanding Educator Award and the RIASC Howard Kay Award for Outstanding School Committee Service.

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: January 2013

Appointed to the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2017  Reappointed through 2020

Rachelle Green, Esq. - Council on Postsecondary Education

Rachelle Green

Rachelle Green, Esq., is a founding partner at Cervenka Green Ducharme Antonelli specializing in litigation and employment law.  She previously was a partner at Duffy & Sweeney, LTD for fourteen years, after working as an associate attorney at McGovern, Noel & Benik, and then at Holland & Knight.  Green earned her law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law, finishing her last year at Northwestern University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross.

Green is a former President and member of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, and a member of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women and the Rhode Island Public Radio Community Advisory Board. She has served in advisory and volunteer capacities in numerous other non-profit organizations in Rhode Island since she moved here in 1998.

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2016

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

The Honorable Thomas Izzo - Council on Postsecondary Education

Thomas Izzo portraitIn January of 2003 Senator Izzo completed fourteen years of service in the Rhode Island State Senate, having first been elected in 1988.   He served as Chair of the Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, and served on both HEW and the Committee on Finance throughout his tenure in the Senate.  As Chair, and prior as Vice Chair, of the Permanent Legislative Oversight Commission on the Department of Children, Youth and Families he sponsored significant child welfare reform legislation as well as legislation regarding adoption, termination of parental rights, juvenile justice and the creation of the Children’s Cabinet.  Senator Izzo also was the prime sponsor of successful legislation dealing with youth access to tobacco, Rite Care, childhood lead poisoning, affordable housing, contractor registration, and the creation of charter schools.  Additionally Senator Izzo co-chaired the 2000 Special Commission on Health Care Reform and the Rhode Island System of Care Task Force. 

Senator Izzo served three terms as the Senate representative on the RI Board of Governors for Higher Education, where he chaired the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs.  In the past he has served as a board member of Adoption RI, Hope, Alzheimer Center, Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, the Childhood Lead Action Project, and RI Kids Count.  Senator Izzo presently serves on the Board of Directors of Healthcentric Advisors, serves as the Community Chair of the RI Global Waiver Implementation Task Force and is a member of the Coastal Medical ACO Advisory Committee.

Completing an undergraduate degree in education at Rhode Island College and an MA degree from New York University, Senator Izzo retired from the Cranston Public Schools in 1997 after thirty-two years as a junior high and middle school teacher, guidance counselor and as an Assistant Principal for Student Services.

In recognition of his legislative efforts Senator Izzo has received a number of awards from such diverse groups as the American Cancer Society, United Way of RI, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Rhode Island College Alumni Association, Rhode Island Housing, the American Heart Association, the College Board, the RI Coalition for the Homeless, Childhood Lead Action Project, the RI Department of Health, and Life Span.

Appointed to Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2017

Joseph J. MarcAurele - Council on Postsecondary Education

Joe MarcAurele is the recently retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Trust Company, a regional community bank, headquartered in Westerly, Rhode Island. Prior to joining Washington Trust in 2009, he was the President of Rhode Island based Citizens Bank for nine years. Joe began his banking career at Fleet National Bank where he rose to the rank of Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources.                                    

Joe began his career in education. He was a high school English and Latin teacher, athletic director, football and baseball coach. He concluded  his last three years in education as a high school Assistant Principal.                   

Joe has been very active in the community. He currently serves on the board of The Washington Trust Company, Lifespan and Delta Dental of Rhode Island. He was also President of The Rhode Island Community Food Bank for six years and chaired the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board for eight years earlier in his career.           

Joe has a BA in English from Holy Cross College. He is a lifelong Rhode Islander and he and his wife, Meredith, live in East Greenwich.

Appointed to Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2018

Term Expires: January 2021


Marta V. Martinez - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Marta founded the Hispanic Heritage Committee of RI. (HHCRI) in 1988 and served as the Chair until 2013, when she was hired as the Executive Director of the organization (now called R.I. Latino Arts).  She is the founder of the Latino Oral History Project of R.I. and is a member of the National Oral History Association, the National Storytellers Network and the American Folklife Society.  In August 2014, she published a book entitled Latino History of R.I.: Nuestras Raíces, based on her work with the Latino oral history project.

She was the Coordinator/Developer of Coming to Rhode Island – Dominican Gallery, and exhibition based on the oral history project of Dominicans in Rhode Island at The Providence Children’s Museum in Providence, R.I.  In 2014, she was also Coordinator/Co-Curator of an exhibition on Latino History of Rhode Island at the gallery of The Rhode Island Foundation.

Marta was honored by the Providence Journal as “Woman to Watch” in 2000; recipient of 2005 Education Award by the R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission; recipient of 2008 Community Engagement Award by the Center for Hispanic Policy & Advocacy; honored by the Providence Journal as a “Person to Watch” in 2010; and recipient of the Hispanic Community Leader of the Year by the R.I. Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce in 2011.  In 2014, Marta was selected by the National Association of Latino Art & Cultures (NALAC) for their Leadership Institute and in 2015 was awarded a fellowship by the R.I. Foundation.

Marta is a graduate of Providence College.  She has a minor in Broadcast Journalism (she worked at WPRI TV12) and a Master’s degree in print Journalism from George Washington University.  She was a regular contributor to the Providence Journal in the 1990s, and has been published in the National Hispanic Journal, Boston Globe, Hispanic Link and other news publications, writing about topics that focus on Latino culture and lifestyles.  She was a contributor to Caribbean Connections:  The Dominicans of Rhode Island (a bilingual publication), published Summer 2005.

Marta served as the Director of Publications at the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Executive Director of the Hispanic Social Service Association (HSSA) of R.I., which later became the Center for Hispanic Policy & Advocacy (CHisPA), Assistant Director of the R.I. Indian Council, and as the Communications Director at Progresso Latino.

She has served on a number of boards, among them the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; The Pawtuxet Village Association; Friends of Pawtuxet Village; Governor’s Health Exchange Board; Paul Cuffee Charter School, Providence Mayoral Academy; Coalition of Advocates for Student Opportunities (CASO), César Chavez Scholarship Fund, the Juanita Sánchez Community Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, WSBE (RI-PBS) Community Advisory Committee and Community MusicWorks.

Marta is fluent in Spanish and of Mexican heritage.  She is also fluent in Sign Language.

Appointed to the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: January 2015

Term Expires: January 31, 2018


Daniel P. McConaghy, Chair - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Daniel McConaghy portrait

The cornerstone of Dan’s approach to his life is developing relationships. He believes that investing time to understand and connect with team members, customers and partners is time well spent. With 25 years in the construction industry, it was his relationships with the people who built the hundreds of buildings he oversaw to which he attributes his success.

As President of Corvias Campus Living, Dan appreciates the opportunity to have an impact on education — an issue near and dear to him. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for LaSalle Academy and is the K-12 Council Chair for the Rhode Island Department of Education. These roles allow him to have a positive impact on providing children with access to quality education in order to achieve their dreams. Dan personifies Corvias Campus Living with his enthusiasm for helping colleges and universities solve their problems.

When he isn’t working, you can find Dan at the baseball field coaching his son’s Little League team, on the basketball court coaching his daughter’s basketball team, playing golf or in the basement playing the drums — his passion since he was ten years old.

Dan lives in Barrington, RI with his wife, Jeanine, and their three incredible children.

Mr. McConaghy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration from Babson College.

Appointed to Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: 2015

Term Expires: 2018

Marianne F. Monte - Council on Postsecondary Education

As chief people officer, Marianne Monte drives human resources and business strategy for Shawmut Design and Construction, a $1.2 billion construction firm with nine offices nationwide. 

She is a strategic human resources executive with a proven track record in effective executive coaching, talent management, and business partner leadership. 

Her leadership was integral to Shawmut being named a back-to-back Best Workplace by FORTUNE Magazine. Recently, Marianne co-hosted a webinar with the CEO of MindGym titled, “Constructing Success: The Talent Story at Shawmut.”

Prior to joining Shawmut, Marianne was the vice president of human resources at the Hanover Insurance Group and a senior vice president at BankRI. She also served on the transition team for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.

In addition to her work with Shawmut, she serves on The Gordon School Board and the Rhode Island Retirement Board, where she was appointed by Rhode Island General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner. She also spends time volunteering with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). Marianne is a Providence College graduate, and has a juris doctor degree from Suffolk University. She was the recipient of the 2017 Providence Business News C-Suite Chief Human Resources Officer Award.

Appointed to Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2018

Term Expires: January 2020


Lawrence Purtill - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

During his tenure as president of National Education Association Rhode Island, Larry Purtill has held numerous positions of leadership on statewide boards and commissions, in both the labor and education communities.  He currently is secretary treasurer of the Institute for Labor Studies and Research, chair of the Certification Advisory Committee, and is on the board of directors of the Working Rhode Island coalition.

Purtill is a member of the Executive Committee Rhode Island AFL-CIO. He taught history in Exeter-West Greenwich for 22 years prior to taking office in 1999.


Appointed to the RI Board of Education: January 2013

Appointed to the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2016 - Reappointed through 2019 



Reverend Jeffery A. Williams - Council on Postsecondary Education

The Very Reverend Doctor Jeffery A. Williams, a native of Englewood, New Jersey, and graduate of the famed A Better Chance Program at Simsbury High School (Simsbury, CT) whose forward-thinking ideals are helping to reshape the social and spiritual landscape of Rhode Island and beyond. In 1981, Williams attended Brown University (Providence, R.I.) and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Environmental Analysis, a concentration he personally created. In May 2007, Williams received his Doctorate of Ministry degree in Urban Complex Settings from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA. His completed dissertation entitled: Urban Leadership Development Through the Practical Truth University: A Case Study in the International Role and Practice of Metanoia for Personal and Community Transformation; is a manual for much of the work he does today. Dr. Williams graduated in 2010, with a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Williams was consecrated as Overseer of the New England Diocese by His Grace Donald Hilliard II, in 2008. He is married to Lelani (Bonner) Williams. Dr. Williams is an enthusiastic father of two daughters in college, Joy Victoria and Grace Noelle Williams.

His commitment to helping others understand the connection between principle and practice, led to the founding of the Cathedral of Life Christian Assembly in 1999, which is now called “The King's Cathedral.” Under Dr. Williams' leadership, the Cathedral now owns five properties, including a historic church located in the Olneyville Square neighborhood of Providence and has distributed over 70 tons of food and tens of thousands of articles of clothing, household goods and furniture to those in need. As Chief Empowerment Officer, his congregation in Providence has grown from nine members to well over 500 hundred, with 30 different ministries and programs. Internationally, Dr. Williams oversees 43 congregations in six nations and has established the The Well-Life Project, which is the funding arm to create 12 fresh water wells in Kitwe, Zambia.

Dr. Williams has been a regular chapel speaker for the New England Patriots as well as other professional football and soccer teams since 2005.

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2014

Reappointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: January 2015

Term Expires: January 31, 2018


Site Documents

Documents on this site require the use of the following programs:

DOC - Microsoft Word

PDF - Acrobat Reader

PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint

XLS - Microsoft Excel