Janna Townsend President
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, FINANCE, GOVERNANCE COMMITTEES
Janna Townsend is an educator with 40 years of experience. She taught children in the classroom, and instructed teachers on the strategies of teaching and learning by modeling them in a classroom setting. Always interested in teaching struggling learners, she began as an art teacher, using a blackboard and colored chalk as a major teaching tool. Janna became a specialist in ‘learning abilities’ and mediation, which helped her to build collaborative educational settings where general and special educational students are taught together. Building inclusive programs in NYC elementary and middle schools, she provided professional development training and taught college courses on collaborative team teaching, cooperative learning, behavior management and peer mediation. Janna developed a Principal’s Academy, where school principals were required to learn key concepts of collaborative education and how to support its use prior to embracing the techniques within their schools. This action led the way to delivering direct support to northern district schools to create team teaching classrooms that strategically and effectively taught students with special needs alongside their general ed peers.
Presently retired, Janna now lives in Maine where she and her family have been vacationing for over 30 years. Here, she became involved in her community, offering her time and skills to numerous community efforts. Janna tutors and directs programs for Literacy Volunteers –Waterville Area, where she sits as President of the Board of Directors. With an eye on those with special needs, Janna also sits on the Maine Arts Advisory Board, and serves as Treasurer of Friends of Messalonskee, where she is committed to creating a LakeSmart community and fiddling in her garden.
Sherry Gilbert Vice President
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Sherry Gilbert is a graduate of the Northern Conservatory of Music with advance study at Hartt School of Music. She is certified by the Voice Care Network and studied Early Childhood Music Education with Dr. John Feierabend. She is a past member of the Maine Education Association (MEA), National Education Association (NEA), Music Educators National Conference, Maine Music Educators Association, and American Choral Directors Association. She taught K-12 vocal, general and instrumental music in the public schools for 38 years. She has taught in both New York and Maine with select groups performing internationally, for State music organizations, regional venues, and on local and national television. One of her select groups was the first a cappella group to open the Maine State Legislative Session. Many of her students have attended the Western Maine Music Festival, Kennebec Valley Music Festival, District IV Music Festival, All State Music Festival, and All Eastern Music Festival. Her leadership experience covers a number of other areas. She chaired the Maine Music Educators Association District IV for over 8 years; also for more than 12 years she was active in her local association in grievance arbitration and bargaining. She continued to serve her local association as president for 7 years. Under her leadership her association received the MEA’s John H. Marvin award for leadership, integrity, and tenacity and was recognized by NEA president, at the time, Reg Weaver.
Sherry is active as a church organist and choir director and has served on the church Parish Council for 5 years. She is on the Oakland Budget & Advisory Committee and has been diligent for citizens in the local area by urging a more in-depth oversight for the RSU 18 school budget.
Richard "Dick" Durost
Mr. Durost is a recently retired educator with 48 years of experience. He spent the last 18 years of his career as Executive Director of the Maine Principals' Association. The MPA is the professional services association for approximately 1000 preK-12 principals and assistant principals of Maine's public and private schools. Additionally, the MPA serves as the statewide administrative organization overseeing high school athletics, music, speech, drama, National Honor Society and student council.
Dick was born in Aroostook County, Maine and was raised on a potato and dairy farm. He graduated from Central Aroostook HS in Mars Hill; earned his undergraduate degree in secondary mathematics and science at the University of Maine at Presque Isle; his master's degree in Educational Administration at the University of Maine (Orono); and attended the Maine Principals' Academy.
He began his teaching career at Penobscot Valley HS (Howland). He taught HS math and physics for 14 years. He served as a basketball and baseball coach as well as a class advisor, graduation coordinator, and teacher association lead negotiator. He was an active HS and college sports official in soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Eventually he moved into school administration serving as principal at Easton HS, assistant principal and then principal at Presque Isle HS PIHS), and superintendent and elementary principal of the Easton School Department.
His schools and staff received numerous state and national awards for excellence. While at PIHS he participated in numerous national media interviews and presentations regarding the school's advanced use of technology as well as the school's innovative single-sex math classes which dramatically improved standardized test scores. He served as president of the MPA in 1995-96. While still the superintendent of schools in Easton, he was nominated to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of State High School Associations. Maine places a school administrator on this 12 member national board once every 64 years. He served as the national president of this Board in 1999-2000, overseeing the move of the NFHS offices from Kansas City to Indianapolis in concert with the same move by the NCAA college athletics association. He also has served on numerous committees for the two national principals' associations (NASSP and NAESP), often chairing those committees.
Dick has been recognized for his service and excellence, receiving numerous awards including those from the Milken National Educator Foundation, Maine State Board of Education, Maine Athletic Administrators, NFHS, NASSP, NAESP, Maine Sports Legends Hall of Fame, UMPI Hall of Fame, and UMPI Educator of the Year.
In June of 2019, Dick and his wife Marcelle both retired as active educators. Marcelle was a Maine elementary school educator for 42 years, serving as an elementary principal for the last 32. They presently live in Hallowell and have four sons in Maine and a daughter in Louisville, KY. In addition to their children and their spouses and partners, they are blessed with five granddaughters and two grandsons as well as a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Kingsley.
GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Drew Landry is an attorney with a practice concentrated in utility and energy matters. Drew is currently Deputy Public Advocate for the State of Maine which involves representing the interests of consumers in utility regulatory matters before the Maine Public Utilities Commission and in other forums in which the interests of Maine utility customers are affected. Drew is a graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Maine School of Law. In addition to his role on the Board, Drew serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Theater at Monmouth, the Hallowell Planning Board and as Chair of the Hallowell Comprehensive Plan Committee.
Drew has previously served as President of the Penobscot County Bar Association, Chair of the Brewer Water District, and board member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bangor. Drew’s daughter is currently studying Art Education and the University of Maine. Drew is a resident of Hallowell.
FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
MARKETING/FUNDRAISING, ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE COMMITTEES
Tim is retired after 34 years working in Maine state government. While working for the state he served in several departments, most recently protecting Maine’s groundwater through the regulation of underground petroleum storage tanks. Tim serves on the Finance Committee at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Waterville, and is President and Treasurer of Reprise Chorale Ensemble. He is past President of the McGrath Pond/Salmon Lake Association and served as Clerk of Vestry at St. Mark's. Tim has a BS in Education from the University of Maine where he trained as an elementary school science teacher. An accomplished musician, Tim co-founded two small choral ensembles: The Occasional Chorale, based in Waterville, and more recently, Reprise Choral Ensemble, based in Augusta. He has performed in a variety of music theater organizations and sung in numerous choral ensembles throughout Maine, including Vox Nova Chamber Choir in Brunswick and the Oratorio Society at the University of Maine in Orono. Tim sang under the direction of the late Sir David Willcocks and performed at Trinity Wall Street and the Washington National Cathedral. He continues to sing at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Waterville, Colby Kennebec Choral Ensemble. Tim is an amateur artist and a staunch supporter of arts education in all its forms. He worked for many years in the picture framing business owned by his family in Camden. He is committed to the ideals put forth by the Maine Arts Academy and to the Academy's success as a charter school in central Maine.
MARKETING/FUNDRAISING, ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, GOVERNANCE COMMITTEES
Linda Rockwell Warner is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Knitting Teacher and works part-time at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine. She is “Queen Bee” at Queen Bee Knits, designing and making custom knitwear. A jack of all trades, Linda’s primary career has been raising three children as a stay-at-home parent and community volunteer in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. She served as President of Blue Ash Elementary PTA, Sycamore High School’s PTO, Theater Boosters, and Choir Boosters among others. She has been a mentor for nearly a decade. Linda was Development Director for the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati where she designed an annual fund drive, published a healthy cookbook and hosted five nationally known speakers at their annual awards event including Christopher Reeve, Patty Duke, and Ben Vereen.
Linda worked for Seminole County Public Schools in Florida as a Families in Transition Tutorial Coordinator and general support for homeless students under the Mckinney Vento Homeless Education Act, as a Language Support Tutor for special needs students, and as the school “nurse” at Woodlands Elementary School (Pre-K through 5th Grade.)
Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College in Aurora, NY. She currently serves as the Vice President of Friends of Messalonskee. Linda lives in Belgrade with her husband and their trio of four-legger’s.