Mayor Daniel McKee (Chair)

Mayor Daniel J. McKee is presently serving his fourth term as Mayor of Cumberland, Rhode Island. The Mayor holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Education from Assumption College and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

A lifelong resident of the town, Mayor McKee is a small business owner and a community leader in Northern Rhode Island. In 2009 he was awarded the Barbara C. Burlingame Distinguished Public Service Award by the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. Mayor McKee has served on the Cumberland Town Council, is Past President of the Cumberland Lincoln Boys and Girls Club as well as Past Chairman of both the Cumberland Youth Athletic Council and Cumberlandfest. Mayor McKee is also the recipient of the Boys and Girls Club “Man and Youth Award” and coached State championship and national tournament AAU Basketball teams.

Upon entering office, Mayor McKee piloted the town’s financial recovery, installing growth management policies and initiating the now completed Cumberland High School 2010 improvement program. In 2007 Mayor McKee helped organize The Coalition of Communities Improving Rhode Island, a first of its kind assembly of a group of Mayors and Town Administrators from several cities and towns in the state working together to make their communities more efficient and help control costs.

Mayor McKee believes that mayors have a responsibility to be involved in public education. In 2007 he established a Mayor’s Office of Children Youth and Learning designed to provide out of school learning opportunities for Cumberland students in the first two decades of their lives. The OCYL offers multiple programs to hundreds of students each year ranging from pre-school literacy programs to the Mayor’s Cumberland Youth Commission.

Mayor McKee championed a nationally unique model for public education. In 2008 the Rhode Island General Assembly passed the Mayoral Academy legislation which allows mayors to open high performing public charter schools free from tenure, pension and pay scale restrictions. “Mayoral Academies” are the first example in the country of a mayor-led regional network of public schools running parallel to the existing system.

Mayor McKee serves as Chairman of the Board of the Rhode Island Mayoral Academy, a nonprofit umbrella organization which oversees the new Mayoral Academies education model in Rhode Island. The first Mayoral Academy, Democracy Prep Blackstone Valley, opened in September 2009.

In 2009, Mayor McKee received the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools “Champion for Charters Award” joining past recipients Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago (2007) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City (2008). Democrats for Education Reform highlighted Mayor McKee as one of ten national “Champions for American Students” in their 2009/2010 calendar along with Mayor Andrian Fenty (Washington, D.C.), Mayor Kevin Johnson (Sacramento, CA) and U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) for their long term education reform in the communities they serve, as well as on a national scale.

Mayor McKee and his wife Susan have two grown children, Matthew and Kara.

Norman E. McCulloch, Jr., after graduating from Dartmouth, joined Microfibres, Inc., a textile fabrics manufacturer founded by his father in 1926. He has since served as a director of numerous organizations including Fleet National Bank, Narragansett Capital Corporation, Mt. Attitash Lift Corporation (chair). McCulloch chaired the Rhode Island Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations with assets of $500 million. His service to Dartmouth has been extensive. A member of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees for 13 years, he served as its Chair from 1986 to 1988. McCulloch was a founding father of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth and has served as Chair since inception in 1982.
The McCullochs helped found the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at Mount Holyoke College.

Mr. McCulloch has been very active at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, Rhode Island, where he has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1963 (President 1966-71). The co-ed School works with students with learning differences and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as other educational challenges.

In 1992, the McCullochs established McAdams Charitable Foundation, a family foundation whose primary focus is on educational issues, especially at the public, primary and secondary school level. Grants from the Foundation reflect the McCullochs’ conviction of the importance of a more effective public school system.

John R. Morton, M.D. holds a bachelor’s degree in educational studies from Brown University and Medical Doctor degree the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is presently a physician with Women’s Healthcare Specialists in Pawtucket, RI and Assistant Clinical Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Morton serves on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, where he was Board Chair from 2007-2009. Early on in his career, Dr. Morton worked in higher education as Associate Director of Admission and Coordinator of Minority Recruitment at Brown University.

Martin West is Assistant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. West studies the politics of K-12 education policy in the United States and the effectiveness of reform strategies in improving student achievement. His current projects include studies of the teacher labor market in Florida, the effects of private school competition on student achievement across countries, and Americans’ understanding of and opinions on education policy. His most recent book (co-edited with Joshua Dunn), From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary’s Role in American Education (Brookings Institution Press), examined the increase in judicial involvement in education policymaking over the past 50 years. Dr. West serves as an executive editor of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research on education policy, is deputy director of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, and is an affiliate of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard Kennedy School. Before joining the Harvard faculty, West taught at Brown University and was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution. Dr. West received his doctorate in Government and Social Policy from Harvard University in 2006 and his masters in Economic and Social History from Oxford University in 2000.

Mike Magee, Ph.D., is the CEO of Chiefs for Change. Prior to working at Chiefs for Change, he co-founded and was CEO of the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies (RIMA). Before starting RIMA, for a dozen years, Mike taught American literature and philosophy at Haverford College, Wheaton College, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2004, his book, Emancipating Pragmatism, won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Studies. In 2007, Mike went on hiatus from academia to help found and direct Mayor Daniel McKee’s Office of Children Youth and Learning in Cumberland, RI. In 2008, he and Mayor McKee founded RIMA. He is a 2013 Pahara Aspen Education Fellow. Mike holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English from the College of the Holy Cross.

Ellen Winn currently serves as the Executive Vice President of 50CAN. Prior to that she served as Director of the Education Equality Project (EEP). As Director, Ellen’s task is to build and lead a national education advocacy organization whose sole focus is closing the racial and ethnic achievement gap in education. Her role encompasses strategic planning, policy, communications, fundraising, grassroots mobilizing, coalition-building, advocacy, and organizational management. Ellen works closely with EEP’s Board, founder, staff, signatories, partners, consultants, and advisors.

Prior to this post, Ellen served as the Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the New York City Department of Education. In this role, Ellen led the day-to-day management of the Office/The Fund for Public Schools, which has secured unprecedented investment from private business, individuals, and foundations, raising more than $230 million since 2002 for system-wide reforms and initiatives that support schools in New York City.
Ellen’s earlier career included positions in the private and nonprofit sectors spanning consulting, research, project management, and philanthropy. Ellen holds a BA from Haverford College in urban studies and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Ellen serves on the Board of the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies and on the Advisory Board of Education Pioneers NYC Metro Area and City Prep Academies. She is an avid runner, reader, and knitter.