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.
Dawn August, Lead Education Facilitator
As the Lead Education Facilitator, Dawn is at the helm of the Institute’s Diverse Learners projects throughout the region. Responsible for school and district-wide reform initiatives, Dawn is able to effectively create lasting change through intensive, hands-on support for teachers and administrators through consulting, coaching, and the use of data. Dawn has a BA from Boston College in Elementary and Special Education, an MEd from University of Maryland in Educational Leadership and Policy, and an MA from Rhode Island College in Reading. She lives in Barrington and has two daughters.
Dulcina Viveiros, Office Manager and Business Assistant
As the Office Manager and Business Administrator Dulcina is responsible for payroll and accounts receivable.
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.
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. Her double role as both an technology specialist and education insider have made her a key contributor to our Blended Learning consulting services, workshops, and conferences. She currently serves as a Blended Learning specialist and trainer and manages all projects related to product innovation, marketing, and system design. Stephanie holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Bachelors of Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Providence.
Highlander Institute Contributors
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