Staff

cheryl opper

Cheryl Opper   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Founder and Executive Director

Cheryl founded SOWMA in 2004. She has a BS degree in Early Childhood and Family Life Development from Indiana State University. Cheryl taught preschool and kindergarten for many years. She has been an educator and child advocate for 30 years. Cheryl has grown SOWMA from a grassroots organization based in her home in Easton to a highly respected leader in the effort to provide educational support services for students impacted by homelessness. She has received many awards during her time at School on Wheels including: Community Service MVP Award from the New England Patriots, the Bank of America Local Heroes Award,  Service Above Self Award from the Brockton Rotary, Distinguished Service Award from Bridgewater State University, Wainwright Distinguished Service Award from the Brockton Day Nursery, and she was named a Champion of the City by the Brockton Youth Council.

Sue Podolski

Sue Podolski  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Director of Finance and Administration 

Sue has been with School on Wheels of Massachusetts since its’ inaugural year in 2004.   Since its’ grassroots beginnings, Sue has worn many hats as we have grown.  She comes to the organization with 20+ years of project management experience.  Sue oversees the financial well-being of the organization, human resources and office management. 

robin gilbert

Robin Gilbert  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Development Director 

Robin joined our staff in August 2011. She has a degree in math from Tufts University and served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia as a high school math teacher. Robin has over 10 years’ experience working with underprivileged families, tutoring children and adults as well as managing clothing and furniture donation programs. Robin oversees the development/marketing staff on events and community outreach. She also works closely with the Executive Director on fundraising and donor relations.

 

Lauren McCabe

Lauren McCabe  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Education/Technology Coordinator

Lauren is currently serving a full time year of service through the Stonehill Service Corps Brockton. She is a graduate of Stonehill College and just completed a year of service in Washington state with JVC Northwest Americorps. Lauren became involved with SOWMA as a volunteer tutor at the Family Life Center in 2013. Her position this year as Education Resource Coordinator will include supporting the education team and tutors, making sure they have what they need to succeed! She will collect data and feedback on what kinds of materials and technology makes tutors feel supported and helps our students thrive.

Barbara Fox

Barbara Fox  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community Outreach Director

Barbara Fox joined SOWMA as the Program Assistant in 2016, and became the Community Outreach Director in 2017. She has a BA in Education from Suffolk University and an MBA from Northeastern University.  Barbara has a long history of project management, retail and office management. She has been and is currently a member of the Parent Advisory Council in her hometown. Within that role, she has worked to organize and unify the Green programs within the school system. Barbara has been involved in the tutoring program at SOWMA and has enjoyed mentoring the children she has met.  As Community Outreach Director, she hopes to spread the word about how just one act of kindness can make a real difference in helping a child impacted by homelessness.

Cassandra Dockray

Cassandra Dockray  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

High School Plus Coordinator

Cassandra Dockray joined SOWMA in July 2016. She earned a Psychology degree from Roger Williams University and a Master’s in Education specializing in School Counseling from UMass Boston.  She comes to SOWMA eager and excited to work with students who deserve a great education!  As High School Plus Coordinator, Cassandra is responsible for working with SOWMA students in grades 8th-12th and college to provide services necessary for them to graduate and move onto college, vocational certificate programs, or a professional career.

Jillian Smith

Jillian Smith  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Program Coordinator

Jillian Smith joined our staff full-time in July 2016 after interning at our sites and in our office. While at Stonehill College, Jillian earned a degree in English and spent 6 months abroad in South Africa teaching 3rd grade in a local township. She is passionate about education equity and even presented at a student-led conference at Stonehill about the gaps in the American education system and the many ways we can actively mend these gaps in our own communities. She also co-led an alternative spring break trip at Stonehill to the Dominican Republic that focused on injustices in international education. Jillian was a SOWMA tutor at three sites, an intern at both Super 8 Weymouth and Family Life Center in Brockton, and an intern in the office developing math activities for our program sites. As Education Program Coordinator, Jillian supports all program site needs, supervises Site Coordinators, co-chairs the SOWMA Education Committee, and trains and supports new and returning tutors. Her favorite part of her job is getting to know SOWMA tutors and students!

Lena Hajjar

Lena Hajjar  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Systems and Communications Coordinator

Lena joined SOWMA as the Communications and Development Assistant in July 2016, and transitioned into the full time Systems and Communications Coordinator in June 2017. She graduated in 2014 from Emmanuel College with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Biostatistics, and is currently working towards her Masters in Software Engineering from Harvard Extension School. As the Systems and Communications Coordinator, Lena will manage IT resources in the office including managing the eTapestry database of donors, volunteers, and students. She will assist the Community Outreach Director (Barbara Fox) with designing and implementing an inventory system of all our backpacks and supplies, communicating with and engaging volunteers for fundraising and volunteer opportunities, and managing volunteer groups as they come into SOMWA headquarters. She will continue to enhance the utilization of social media to promote SOWMA campaigns and events and to build relationships in each of SOWMA’s communities.

Mal Stanton McCunney

Mal Stanton McCunney   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Marketing and Events Director 

Mal joined School on Wheels in August, 2016 and will help to promote the work and mission of SOWMA. She has a degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts and a master's in communications from Emerson College.  Mal comes to the organization with more than 20 years of public relations and marketing experience, serving as a marketing research manager in the publishing industry and for ten years as public affairs director for the MSPCA/Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston.  She has served as a board and marketing team member for an array of non-profit and educational organizations.  Mal is a certified English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor and has taught in Boston and Quincy.  For several years she has visited patients and families at Children’s Hospital Boston.  She and her mixed-breed dog Manny are a certified Pet Therapy Team.

Kris Capezio

Kris Capezio  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Education Director

Kris is currently working on her tenth year in education and believes in lifelong development and the pursuit of continual learning. Prior to joining SOWMA, Kris lead a kindergarten and first grade after school program in Newton for three years before being promoted to Assistant Director.  In 2015 Kris was hired as the Program Director for a start-up non-profit serving 100 Lexington youth. During her career, Kris has also earned a Master of Art in Critical and Creative Thinking, and an Advanced Graduate Degree in Education Administration. She is presently working towards her PhD in Educational Leadership at Lesley College. She is very excited to join our team! 

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School on Wheels - MA
100 Laurel Street
Suite 121
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333

508.587.9091

Federal Tax ID 20-1020880
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