IPEI Announces New Board Members and Officers

September 22, 2014
IPEI Announces New Board Members and Officers


At the annual meeting of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) board on September 22, President Terry Byrnes welcomed five new board members and moderated the election of officers and approval of the annual budget.


Thanks to the continued generosity of the community, IPEI is able to support educational experiences for Ithaca students and teachers through its five grant programs. This year IPEI is introducing a new funding opportunity—Connecting Classrooms Grants—designed to encourage collaboration and innovation within the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) and positively impact and actively engage students. All grant application deadlines and forms are accessible at www.ipei.org.


IPEI’s support also includes funds for Kids Discover the Trail!; funds for use by its affiliates (Fine Arts Booster Group and IthacaSTEM Advocates); and funds for other IPEI-managed awards and programs.


Nominating Committee chair David Lee announced that Jennifer Engel will serve as IPEI’s new president, replacing Terry Byrnes, who was a founder of IPEI and served as its president for 12 years. Mary Grainger and David Lee will serve as vice presidents, Kevin Brew as treasurer, and Ann Caren as secretary.


Martha Frommelt, David Lee, and Pat Tempesta were re-elected for board terms. They are joined by five new board members: Jennifer Biloski, Kevin Cartmill, Janis Graham, Marshall McCormick, and Cheryl Mitchell. Janine Eng and Alice Wu will continue as liaisons to the IPEI board for the Fine Arts Booster Group, and Illa Burbank will continue as liaison for IthacaSTEM Advocates. Amy Schwartz will be the board’s PTA Council liaison.


“IPEI welcomes interested community members as volunteers and committee members, too,” stated Executive Director Christine Sanchirico who also stressed the importance of the financial support of individuals, corporations, and foundations.


Biloski moved from Manhattan to Ithaca in 2001 after an 11-year career in finance. She has three sons in the school district and served for two years as president of the Cayuga Heights Elementary School PTA. During that term she restructured the school’s Spanish enrichment program and served on the ICSD World Language Committee.


A native Ithacan, Cartmill attended Ithaca schools before receiving a degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After serving as a senior mortgage consultant in an Atlanta bank, he joined the Tompkins Trust Company as a business development officer in 2008. He now manages the Residential Mortgage Team. Cartmill and his wife live in Ithaca with their three young children; two attend Ithaca schools.


Graham and her husband moved from Manhattan to Ithaca in 1993 so their two children could attend Ithaca’s schools. She recently retired as a freelance writer specializing in health, medicine, and nutrition reporting. She is the author of three books and was a regular contributor to a number of national publications. An active community volunteer, she has served as president of three local nonprofit boards.


McCormick, a Dryden native, coordinated education programs with Empowerment International in Nicaragua, and managed public health consultant teams for Management Sciences for Health in Washington, D.C. He returned to Ithaca for a master’s degree in city and regional planning at Cornell. He currently is a financial advisor and president of Fingerlakes Wealth Management.


Mitchell’s career in education spans several decades. She taught pre-school and elementary school in Ithaca and served as an adjunct professor for Morrisville State College and Ithaca College. She also has led teacher-training workshops in multicultural/anti-bias education, and she created an interdisciplinary movement/dance curriculum for Ithaca elementary schools.


IPEI is a community based not-for-profit organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District. Founded in 1996, IPEI is committed to connecting school and community through collaboration, engagement, gifts and grants. For more information, see www.ipei.org or contact 256-IPEI (4734) or ipei@ipei.org.



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