Board of Trustees

The Founders Academy Board of Trustees

If you have any questions or concerns for the Board or any of its members, please send them to  

Robert Best - Board Chairman

Robert Best (Bob) is an attorney and partner at Sulloway & Hollis in Concord, where he serves as chair of the firm’s healthcare practice group. Bob has extensive experience advising non-profit organizations including hospitals, professional societies, trade groups, and charitable organizations. Bob is an Adjunct faculty member at NHTI in Concord, he is the Chair of the Merrimack Planning Board, the Vice President of the Merrimack Rotary Club, and served as a board member of Merrimack PTA Kindergarten and Preschool.  

Prior to coming to New Hampshire, Bob’s background includes experience in administration for public, private, and academic healthcare settings, as well as biomedical research at Louisiana State University Medical Center, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bob and his wife Kate live in southern New Hampshire, with their four children.

Patricia G. Humphrey, M.Ed. - Founder, Vice Chairman

Patricia Humphrey is a devoted supporter of the public charter school movement and has offered much of her life to this cause. She is the Founder of the New Hampshire Center for Innovative School (NHCIS) and a Founder of the Academy for Science and Design (ASD) in Nashua.

Patricia is an experienced school administrator, educator, and board director. She has taught K-8 in New York City and in New Hampshire, and has directed a unique, independent school in New York City. Patty has extensive experience with public policy and fund-raising. 

Kimberly Lavallee - Founder

Kimberly Lavallee is an active supporter of the Public Charter School movement. She is a Co-Founder of The Founders Academy Foundation and serves as the Treasurer. In addition, Mrs. Lavellee currently serves as a board member of the Academy for Science and Design, a Public Charter School in Nashua. She currently chairs the personnel committee.

Kimberly’s professional background is in the commercial and residential real-estate industry where she worked for 23 years in the appraisal field, managing approximately 70 appraisers throughout three states. She is also a devoted mother of two boys that keep her very busy.

Matt Mercier - Acapella Technologies

Matt Mercier is a native of New Hampshire, born, raised and educated. He was born in Nashua at St. Joseph’s Hospital as were his father and his sons. He is a graduate of Hollis Area High School and Keene State College. Professionally, Matt is the President and Founder of Acapella Technologies, a technology services company based in Southern NH.  

Matt was a member of the first cohort of the Hoffman Haas Fellowship, a program of the NH Center for Non Profits, and has served on several boards and as a volunteer for numerous community philanthropic organizations. In his spare time, Matt sings barbershop quartet music and has for 42 years, starting at the tender age of 15.  Matt lives in Hooksett with his wife Gina and his dog Dunklee.

Barbara Comtois - Treasurer

Barbara Comtois is a farmer, accountant with a BSBA from Northeastern University, and a former homeschooling mom who is a strong advocate for school choice. She brings to the table over 25 years in corporate accounting in a range of industries. Her strengths are implementing controls to ensure accurate reporting, cost saving measures, and improved time management.

As a farmer, Ms. Comtois advocates both in her community and at the state level, for better laws ensuring New Hampshire’s agricultural advantage. Working with her sons raising sheep, pigs, and chickens, Barbara is also an avid supporter and grower of hydroponic produce since 2004.

As a homeschooling mom, Ms. Comtois has taught her children the value of understanding our history and the importance of being involved in their community. Whether through fundraisers held on the farm or outside activities which included robotics, snowboarding programs, and field trips with other students, Ms. Comtois has demonstrated her love of state, community, and family.

Kristy Ouellette

Kristy Ouellette owns Mickey Guru Travel Company, LLC and spends her days (and nights) planning vacations for clients and supporting her team of travel agents located throughout the US. Prior to launching the travel agency, Kristy earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education and spent nearly 20 years working in the early childhood education field as a teacher, administrator, and state licensing inspector. Additionally, she ran a successful company that provided professional development opportunities for educators.

Kristy's only child, Allison, has been a student enrolled in The Founders Academy since opening day.  Kristy, her husband Eric, and Allison live in Merrimack, NH. In her free time, Kristy enjoys watching her daughter perform in plays, spending time with family and friends, and, of course, traveling to magical destinations! 

Susan Lawton - Secretary

Mrs. Lawton is the parent of a 9th grade student at Founders Academy, and a 4th grader at Strong Foundations Charter School. They were one of the original families at Founders. She is a project manager with exceptional leadership, analytical and interpersonal skills and a proven capacity to drive innovation and change through project management and relationship building. Demonstrated success at directing multiple projects, while managing interdependencies and developing contingency plans. Exceptional communication skills with a unique ability to translate complex concepts and ideas to technical and non-technical audiences.  Track record for meeting deliverable dates, budgets and SLAs.

Maureen C. Mooney - Ex Officio 

Click to see full biography. 

Jane Cormier - Ex Officio
Faculty Representative 

Click to see full biography.

Connor MacFarland
Student Representative

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