Loading Events

« All Events

Empowering Communities Through Schools — An Educational Panel

August 20 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Outline of people in United Way Branded colors

Please join us for a virtual panel discussion exploring the transformative concept of Community Schools. Delve into what sets them apart from traditional schools and unravel the four pillars at their core. Learn about the landscape of community schools and the process of becoming a community school in Maine. Don’t miss this chance to engage with leading voices shaping the future of education!

Zoom information will be provided after registration has been received.

Panelists Include:

Melissa Cilley, J.D. – Adjunct Professor, University of New England

Melissa has been a child advocate her entire career.  Beginning as a Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher, Melissa went to law school with the goal to be a voice for children.  She practiced over a decade in Missouri and New Hampshire representing exclusively children and families in special education law, juvenile justice, and on behalf of other system-involved children and youth.  When Melissa had a leadership opportunity with a large nonprofit in Washington State serving children and families, it changed her perspective forever.  She has since led two Maine youth development nonprofits over 13 years as an Executive Director.  Last Fall, she semi-retired with the arrival of two more grandbabies and is now happily working as a consultant and contractor specializing in strategic partnership development, coalition- and community-building.  Presently, Melissa is working with the Maine Coalition of Community Schools/Maine Afterschool Network and partnering closely with Maine DOE to move forward Community Schools in Maine.  Melissa is the Vice Chair for the Maine Children’s Alliance and the outgoing Chair of Youth and Family Outreach.  She lives in Portland with her husband, in close proximity to their three grown children and three extraordinary grandchildren.

  • Ann Hanna – Community School Consultant, Maine Department of Education

Ann is a Community Schools Consultant working for the Maine Department of Education in the Office of School and Student Supports. She is a lifelong educator who served as a teacher, literacy coach and administrator for Portland Public Schools for 33 years. Before joining the DOE in 2023,  Ann was the principal of the Gerald E Talbot Community School where she led the school through a transformative process to become a full service community school. Ann earned a BA  from the University of Maine at Orono, and graduate degrees in Educational Leadership from USM. During her free time Ann enjoys relaxing with her family, cooking, reading and visiting the many beautiful places of Maine.

  • Joline Collins – Northeast Region Deputy Director for the Coalition for Community Schools, Institute for Educational Leadership

Joline facilitates strategic collaboration and serves as a bridge of support to strengthen and scale Community School initiatives. Joline excels in partnering with school, local, and state leaders working to foster cross-sector partnerships, develop sustainable systems, and achieve impactful outcomes.  As a co-author of “Taking it to the Next Level: Strengthening and Sustaining Family Engagement through Integrated Systemic Practice,” Joline brings deep expertise in systemic family and community engagement, leadership development, and network management.

  • Mike Jaruszewicz – Senior Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Erie County

Mike Jaruszewicz is the Senior Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Erie County where he has served in various positions over the last 13 years. It was during this time that the organization transitioned from the traditional, transactional United Way model to one focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through social impact initiatives.

Mike was instrumental in launching the Community School Model in Erie County where United Way serves as the backbone organization supporting 17 schools in four school districts. In his time at United Way, he led the development of the initial Community School Model framework for Erie County and served as the primary technical assistance liaison for partner school districts and organizations. As United Way expanded the model to more schools and districts, he led multiple Community Impact Department restructurings resulting in an increase of staff from two to 30. He also oversaw several community school framework improvements related to data and evaluation and the redesign of United Way’s legacy community investment process, so it would directly support needs and strategies at the community schools. He was also a lead contributor to the grant writing that secured nearly $6.5M in grants to support the work, including a 2020 Full-Service Community School Program grant where he serves as the project director.

In his spare time, Mike serves on several community boards and enjoys sailing Lake Erie in the summers and cross-county skiing in the winters with his partner, Andrea, and their dog Marvin.


August 20
10:00 am - 11:30 am




Michelle Tibbetts
View Organizer Website


Join 22 others!

Loading gif

Already registered?

Use this tool to manage your registration.