Highlander Institute Staff
Cathy Sanford – Director of Research and Design
After many years leading the Highlander Institute, Cathy has stepped into a role that utilizes her vast experience with grant writing and program design. She is responsible for working with our partners to create customized programs that leverage best practices to enhance school effectiveness.
Dana Borrelli-Murray – Executive Director
As the Executive Director, Dana is responsible for overseeing all areas of service and specialty within the Institute, as well as strategic planning, fundraising and organizational effectiveness. Before her role at the Highlander Institute, Dana worked as the Director of Expanded Learning for Highlander Charter School. She holds graduate degrees in Anthropology and Urban Education Policy and lives in Edgewood with her husband.
Dulcina Viveiros – Office Manager and Business Assistant
As the Office Manager and Business Administrator Dulcina is responsible for payroll and accounts receivable.
Eric Butash – Director of Strategy and Implementation
As Director of Strategy and Implementation, Eric is responsible for the design, creation, and operations of various statewide systems as it relates to the implementation of blended learning initiatives. He has spent the past 13 years in technology leadership roles most of which serving as Director of Technology for the North Smithfield Schools. Eric has served as the president for the RISTE (Rhode Island Society of Technology Educators) Organization and has worked with RI Department of Education on various statewide initiatives: Internet Access State Master Price Agreement & $20 million RIDE Wireless Classroom Initiative. He lives in Smithfield with his wife and two boys.
Erin Brouillette – CPA, Accounting Supervisor
Erin is responsible for overseeing accounting functions at the Institute. She ensures that the organization is using best practice in monitoring and reporting on income and expenses, with a keen eye on the bottom line. Erin, her husband and their son live in Pawtucket.
Frank Picciotti – Business Administrator and Human Resources Director
As the Institute’s Business Administrator and Human Resources Director, Frank is responsible for managing the day to day business operations of the Institute. He also handles grant billing and reporting for the Institute, as well as Human Resource functions. Frank lives in Edgewood.
Jeanne D’Agostino – Director of Development
Jeanne serves as the Institute’s Director of Development, engaging with funders and supporters to achieve the organization’s mission. In addition, Jeanne leads the Institute’s marketing and communications as the organization continues to grow its reach throughout the region. Jeanne, her husband, and their dog Rudy live in Cumberland.
Mary Lou Scalzi – Receptionist
Mary Lou works as receptionist and also assists all staff with clerical support as needed. Mary Lou lives in Providence with her husband, three sons and a variety of furry friends.
Rose Mary Grant – Head of Highlander Charter School
As the leader of the Institute’s sister organization and lab school, Rose Mary Grant works closely with Institute initiatives to ensure quality and effectiveness of Institute-led projects. Additionally, Rose maintains an open feedback loop between the school and Institute and encourages teachers to bridge the gap between both organizations as consultants, innovators, and partners in education reform.
Roshni Mirchandani – Technology Integration Specialist
Roshni Mirchandani joined the Institute to facilitate outreach to edtech companies, provide support to educators and districts through professional development, and manage the Titan Teacher program. As a former Teach For America fellow, she taught 8th grade math and was a Technology Integration Specialist in Providence, RI. She loves to integrate technology into the classroom, and is known for trying out new iPad and Chromebook apps with her students. She has facilitated teacher PD sessions and led tech workshops at conferences. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business from Northeastern University and lives in Massachusetts.
Shawn Rubin – Director of Technology Integration
As the Director of Technology Integration, Shawn is responsible for outreach, research, consulting and professional development/training in blended learning and education technology integration. Shawn, a founding faculty member of the Highlander Charter School, has ten years of teaching experience in a variety of grade levels. Rubin has an insider’s view into the challenges and limitations teachers face on a daily basis. Shawn lives in Providence with his wife and 2 sons.
Stephanie Castilla – Director of Innovation
As the Institute’s Director of Innovation, Stephanie is responsible for identifying design opportunities within the educational space and helping to bring these opportunities from concept to reality. Her specialities include product development, business & marketing strategy, visual design for print & web, and implementing design thinking to drive innovation. She joined the Highlander Institute in 2011 as a co-founder of the organization’s first incubated edtech company, Metryx.
Highlander Institute Contributors
Amy Lorvidhaya – Literacy Project Facilitator
Amy serves as the Literacy Project Facilitator for Highlander’s partnership with three K-5 schools in East Providence, helping principals and teachers enhance literacy instruction in order to improve student outcomes. She lives in Providence with her husband and two young sons.
Jessie Arora – Research Associate
Jessie Arora, founder of TeacherSquare, is focused on improving educational outcomes for all types of learners and empowering educators to play a more active and meaningful role in tech adoption in our schools. She is particularly passionate about cultivating the education startup ecosystem to help create tools and services that improve teaching and learning for all students. As an angel investor she focuses on the K12 education space, applying her experiences from Google, Citizen Schools & the Stanford Graduate School of Ed. She blogs at edcrunch.org and you can follow her @Jessie_Arora.
Nick DiNardo – Meet Education Project Director
Nick DiNardo believes that every kid, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, should have the opportunity for a quality education that cultivates a curiosity and fire for lifelong learning. Nick has worked in higher education technology for the past seven years for two Fortune 500 education companies, founded (and closed) a startup, and been a part of the executive team of a seed stage ed tech startup based in Cambridge, MA. He is a founding board of trustee for Argosy Collegiate Charter School, a proposed grade 6-12 college preparatory school focused on serving low-income families in Fall River, MA. Nick is also a City Year Boston mentor. Nick is also an adjunct professor at the Johnson & Wales University College of Business in Providence, RI. Nick is a graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), and also holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Tom Driscoll – Technology Integration Specialist
Tom Driscoll is a high school social studies teacher and instructional technology coach that has conducted professional development sessions throughout the region to help educators innovate in their classroom. Tom recently completed the Computing in Education M.A. program through Teachers College at Columbia University and has authored contributing chapters for three books on instructional technology.
Highlander Charter School and Highlander Institute Board of Trustees
John Kelly, Chair, President and CEO, Meeting Street
John Lombardo, Secretary and Treasurer-Small Business Owner
Ron Caniglia, President- Stand Corporation
Richard Dickson, Retired Professor Emeritus- Rhode Island College
Jim Gannaway, Executive Director- Casey Family Services
Susan Hannon, Senior Vice President-Global Wealth and Investment Management US Trust Bank of America
Bari Harlam, BJ’s Wholesale Club
Eric Mack, Associate Attorney- Edwards Wildman
Rosemary Mede, Human Resources- The Providence Center
Fran Murphy, Executive Director- Washington Park Community Center
Rachel Roderick, Human Resources- CVS/Caremark