Board of Directors
Meeting Schedule for 2016:
- Board meetings are the first Wednesday of the month from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Board meetings take place at the Capital Campus (133 Delaine Street, Providence)
Nowell Leadership Academy Board of Directors
Michele Cinquegrano is Regional Director of Government Affairs for Verizon in Rhode Island. She has been with Verizon since 1993 and has held various positions throughout her career. In her current role, she is the liaison between Verizon and Rhode Island's 39 municipalities, as well as the General Assembly. Michele also handles philanthropy for the Verizon Foundation in Rhode Island. She received her BA from Providence College.
In addition being on the Board of Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy, she is also on the Boards of Day One and Education in Action. Michele is a Mentor at San Miguel in Providence and a member of the Women's Leadership Circle, Providence Boys & Girls Club.
Misty G. Delgado J.D., Vice Chair
Misty G. Delgado is an Associate at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC and a member of the Corporate & Business and Litigation Teams. Attorney Delgado is an active volunteer in the Rhode Island nonprofit community. She is on the Board of Directors of the East Providence Boys & Girls Club and the Sheila "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy, a public charter high school sponsored by YWCA Rhode Island, and is Chair of the Board of Directors at The Starfish Collaborative.
Her background includes substantial work with youth. Ms. Delgado has worked with adolescents since 2001 in emergency shelters, group homes, transitional housings placements, independent living arrangements, and community placements, with youth incarcerated at the State’s Training School. Ms. Delgado’s passion for helping youth on their journey to independence stems from her own experiences as a child and young adult having been in the care, custody and control of the Department of Children, Youth and Families from the ages of four through 23.
Ms. Delgado earned her J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law and her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Criminal Justice from Rogers Williams University. She is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court in both the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Districts. She is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association and Thurgood Marshall Law Society.
Gigi DiBello, MEd, has been the Head of School at Sophia Academy, an independent middle school for low income girls from Providence, since 2007. Prior to coming to Sophia, DiBello was a founding faculty member and the middle school head at the Highlander Charter School. She also served as the managing director of the Big Picture Company, an education reform think tank, and the director of the Sarah Doyle Women's Center at Brown University. She has focused her career on creating just, loving and empowering learning communities and is honored to be a new member of the board.
Joe DiMartino is founder and president of the Center for Secondary School Redesign (CSSR), which builds on work started at Brown University where he served as Director of Secondary School Redesign. CSSR provides substantial technical assistance to numerous districts and schools that are seeking to personalize learning for adolescents including as the primary TA provider for the New England Network for Personalization and Performance Assessment (NENPP). NENPP includes 13 high schools in 4 New England states and was awarded an i3 grant to assist schools to move toward performance assessment. CSSR is also the primary TA provider for the Springdale AR Race to the Top District efforts to increase personalized learning district wide. Both of these projects include a move away from seat time to competency for earning course credit.
Joe is recognized as a national leader in efforts to personalize learning in secondary schools. He was an architect of both Breaking Ranks 2 and Breaking ranks in the Middle, signature publications of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In recognition of his contribution, he was awarded the Distinguished Service to Education Award by NASSP. He has also been recognized as the expert on high school redesign by ASCD in its professional development resource PDINFocus that features online media, tools, and resources for powerful professional development.
In addition to writing numerous published articles, Joe has co-authored two books: Personalizing the High School Experience for Each Student, and the Facilitator’s Guide for High Schools at Work: Creating Student Centered Learning, both published by Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He also co-edited Personalized Learning: Preparing High School Students to Create their Futures, published by Rowman Littlefield and The Personalized High School: Making Learning Count for Adolescents published by Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.
Patricia Flanagan, M.D.
Dr. Flanagan is professor and vice chair of Pediatrics at W. Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She directs The Teens with Tots Program, a multidisciplinary primary care program for teenage parents and their children. She leads The RI Alliance, a statewide teen pregnancy coalition. She is medical director of RI Medical Legal Partnership for Children, a medical-legal collaboration that brings health-related legal advocacy to low-income families in the pediatric clinics. She has over two-dozen publications in peer reviewed journals, reviews, and book chapters. Her clinical work, teaching, and research have focused on the unique developmental needs of very young mothers and their children and on the physician as advocate. She received a Soros Foundation fellowship in Physician Advocacy and worked on quality early care and education for children born to teen mothers in RI. In addition, Dr. Flanagan is Chief of Clinical Affairs for pediatrics at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Susan Gershkoff Esq.
Susan Gershkoff is a Trust and Estates attorney, practicing in Lincoln, Rhode Island since 1994. In addition being on the Board of Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy, she is the past President, current Treasurer and Board member of YWCA Rhode Island. Susan is a member of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Bar Associations, along with various sub-committees, the Rhode Island State Estate Planning Council and Wealth Counsel, a national network of estate planning attorneys.
Stephanie Gonzalez was born and raised in Central Falls. She Graduated from Central Falls High School in 2004. She became the first member of her family to attend college and graduated in 2008 with a BA in English from Boston College. When she returned to Central Falls she was inspired to become engaged in her community with a determination to contribute widely to the improvement of Central Falls. Currently, she is a Project Manager at Boston Children's Hospital in the Program for Patient Safety and Quality. She is a member of the Central Falls School Board of Trustees, Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy board of directors and member of the YWCA Board of Directors.
Deirdre Denning Norton, Secretary
Deirdre Denning Norton is a Vice President and Site Director at WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care, her duties include Chief Health Information Officer as well as serving as the Corporate Compliance and Privacy Officer. She currently services as the WellOne representative of the West Bay Family Care Partnership and served as a South County Community Action Head Start Policy Council Member (2011- 2013). She received her certification in Electronic Health Records (CPEHR) in 2012. She completed the Johnson & Johnson School of Health Care Executive Management/UCLA in 2008, and received a Health Information Certificate from Northeastern University as well as a BA from St. Anselm College. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Rhode Island’s IOTA II class.
She resides in Rumford, RI with her two children.
Deborah L. Perry, Co-Chair
Deborah L. Perry is President and CEO of YWCA Rhode Island. She began her service with YWCA Northern Rhode Island in 1988. During her tenure she has brokered the merger of RI’s only two YWCA’s, created the vision and sponsorship for RI’s first virtual charter school for at risk youth, was instrumental in the establishment of two statewide organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, and co-created She Shines, a statewide magazine honoring the aspirations and accomplishments of women. Under her leadership the YWCA has received various awards and recognition including the prestigious Metcalf Award for Diversity in Journalism and Rhode Island Quality Institute award for outstanding community service.
Deborah is a Rhode Island Foundation Fellow, Women’s Fund of RI Fellow, Rhode Island Foundation Mentor and recipient of the National Silent Witness Project, RI Chapter Person of Peace Award. She serves on numerous boards and committees including National Partnership for Action Health Equity Council, Region 1 Representative, Rhode Island Commission for Health Advocacy & Equity, Rhode Island Women’s Health Advisory Committee, The Rhode Island Alliance, The Rhode Island Black Storytellers, YWCA New England Regional Council and Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy.
Toby Simon is the Director of the Gertrude Hochberg Women’s Center at Bryant University. Serving as the College’s first Director for a new center, Ms. Simon’s responsibilities include providing budgetary, supervision and leadership for programs addressing women’s concerns. This includes interacting and collaborating with faculty as well as staff from Student Affairs, with special attention to diversity and retention of women students. Other responsibilities include developing new programs and services to meet the needs of women students on campus with special attention to sexual assault and sexual harassment, women’s health, counseling concerns, campus climate and women and business.
She is the co-author of Sex Without Consent: Peer Education Training for High Schools and Colleges and Dating: Peer Education for Reducing Sexual Harassment and Violence in Secondary Schools. She has produced several educational videos including “When A Kiss is Not Just A Kiss”, “Love’s Not Supposed to Hurt” and “Running on Empty”. Ms. Simon has conducted focus group research for the past twenty years at academic institutions and in France, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. For the past eighteen years Ms. Simon has been working in Haiti: for 15 years in rural Haiti at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital training health care workers in focus group technique and for the past three years at the YWCA Haiti in women’s health initiatives, micro-enterprise projects, empowerment programs for teenage girls, and adolescent sexuality education. The Rhode Island Commission on Women named Ms. Simon as one of Rhode Island’s 2009 Women of the Year.
Michael Tartaglia, Treasurer
Michael is currently a Vice President at Navigant Credit Union joining them in 2004. Michael has worked in the Credit Union industry since 1988 beginning with Brown University Credit Union.
A graduate of Nichols College he received his Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance. Also graduated from the Credit Union National Association’s “Credit Union Management School of Business”, a 3 year program on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin.
Michael currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Smithfield Youth Basketball Association and is the Secretary of the Board of Governors for the Glocester Country Club in Glocester RI.
Michael has been coaching boys basketball at Smithfield High School since 1991 and co-founded the “Sentinel Slammers Basketball Club Scholarship in the name of Chris Reilly, Dianne Zimmerman and Kevin Fitzgerald” which awards scholarships to graduating players of Smithfield High School.
Michael also recently served two terms on the Catholic Athletic League Board of Directors for the Diocese of Providence serving as Chairman of the Appeals Committee and serving also on the Rules Committee.
Is an active member of St. Philip Parish in Greenville RI serving as the Parish’s CYO Coordinator for 15 years and also coaching for 33 years.
Married to Holly and they are the parents of 3 children, Hayley, Zachary and Michael J Tartaglia.
Clarice LaVerne Thompson, PhD.
Clarice LaVerne Thompson musicologist; is a multi AUDELCO award winning composer and musical director. Her award winning musicals include, Song of Sheba, Crescent Tales, and Ophelia’s Cotillion, books by Elmo Terry-Morgan. Some of Thompson’s other musicals or plays with music are Hot Comb, Profiles and Shadows, Heart to Heart, books by Terry-Morgan; The Children’s Legacy, book by Lola Loui; and Harriet Jacobs by Lydia Diamond. She is has been a public school educator, and was a Professor of African American Music at Brown University from 2002 – 2009. Her Bachelor of Arts in Music was conferred at Historically Black College, Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. Dr. Thompson received her Master of Music in music composition and her Doctor of Arts in music history both from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. Dr. Thompson has toured the United States, Europe and Japan as entertainer, music director and composer.
Currently Dr. Thompson serves as minister of music and choir director at Bethel AME Church and gospel choir director at Beneficent Congregational Church both in Providence, Rhode Island and a consultant for Providence Public School Department music curriculum. Since its inception Dr. Thompson has been the choral director for Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts charter school in Providence Rhode Island. Dr. Thompson is the gospel choir director at Beneficent Congregational Church and Minister of Music and Choir Director at Bethel AME Church both in Providence Rhode Island. As a theatre music director she recently work on production for the Boston Center for the Arts (Boston, Mass)-Company One Theatre and the Central Square Theatre (Cambridge, Mass)-Underground Railroad Theatre and has locally directed at Mixed Magic Theatre, The Providence Black Rep, and was resident Music Director at Rites and Reason Theatre for 8 years while serving as an adjunct professor at Brown University. She has directed at the National Black Theatre in New York, and numerous other theatres in New York, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and international venues in Japan. Thompson is the founder and artistic director of the RPM Voices of Rhode Island.
Nancy Wilson, Co-Chair
Nancy Wilson is Assistant Vice President of Human Resources with Navigant Credit Union. She holds a BA in Sociology from Wheaton College in addition to her various Human Resource certifications. Specializing in the sometimes-difficult field of employee relations makes excellent use of Nancy’s exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. Nancy currently serves on the board of the YWCA Rhode Island, and was past Vice President of the board for the YWCA Greater Rhode Island, demonstrating her own strong commitment to personal and professional development through community involvement. As a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, the New England Human Resource Association, and several other professional organizations, Nancy stays abreast of changes in the employment world as they occur, and has a particular interest in employment trends within undeserved groups such as the disabled and veterans, for whom she is a tireless advocate.