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MEET THE BOARD
Board Chair & Co-Founder
Jeanne Langley is a volunteer tutor at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties and the co-founder of Students to Scholars. Jeanne has a B.A. in Modern European History from the University of Cincinnati and has spent her career in sales and sales training, selling research and consulting services to senior executives in a wide variety of industries. Her success in selling complex, high-value intangible services led her to form a sales training company to help salespeople reach greater success and professional fulfillment. She brings the same passion for helping people achieve their potential to Students to Scholars. Jeanne says, "The return on investment for the education of these these bright, promising children is so large as to be incalculable We are seeing the children thrive and flourish in their new schools where they rise to every challenge. They are reading at grade level, engaged in their education, and speak joyfully of school. Their dreams for future careers have changed and they see themselves belonging in a world of education. Seeing the children's lives change through education, watching them transform from students into scholars, and seeing the impact of that on their families is the best return on investment you could make. It's also nothing short of thrilling. We hope that you will join us in changing these children's lives and the world, one middle school student at a time."
Senior Quantitative Clinical Development Scientist, PAREXEL
Elise is a Senior Quantitative Clinical Development Scientist with PAREXEL International. She is also the former Director of Applied Biopharmaceutics LLC in Raleigh. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Toxicology from the UNC School of Medicine in 2000 and received her B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1995. She is the parent of a child at Duke School and is a huge supporter of Students to Scholars.
Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy CIO, University of North Carolina
Susan received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UNC Chapel Hill, followed by a Master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. For over 30 years, Susan has worked in a variety of capacities in Information Technology. In 2003, Susan left the corporate world for the University enjoying being part of the team that educates students and prepares them for their future. “When I heard about Students to Scholars I knew I had to be a part of it. My passion is helping others be the very best they can be and this program does just that. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) research shows that early childhood intervention is key to increasing the ranks of those in the STEM fields; a strong STEM workforce is, in turn, a requirement for the United States to remain competitive. Meaning programs like Students to Scholars are not nice-to-have programs; they are imperative.”
Master of Public Policy Candidate, Duke University
Michael is currently a candidate for his Master of Public Policy degree at Duke University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the University of Kentucky. Michael is particularly passionate about solving arts and educational policy issues. Prior to living in North Carolina, he lived and worked as an actor in New York.. “I am incredibly excited to be working and learning with Students to Scholars to find ways to reduce the achievement gap and positively impact North Carolina’s youth. The work that S2S is doing in the triangle and beyond is invaluable and we need organizations like this leading the fight in education policy.
Owner of Healthy Independence Educational Consulting & Chair of the Duke School Parent Student Organization
Stephanie received a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University, a Master's degree in Classics from Oxford University, and an M.Phil from the University of Glasgow. She has been an educator and coach for 15 years in boarding schools, international schools, and independent schools. From 2014-2016, Stephanie was a Middle School Social Studies and Project teacher at Duke School, before leaving to start her own business as a health educator. As a parent, PSO chair, and health educator at Duke School, Stephanie remains deeply involved in the life of the school and in the well-being of its community. Joining the board of Students to Scholars is a continuation of her commitment to and love for students. "I believe that supporting S2S Scholars in their growth, health, and academic development benefits not only the students, but the schools and communities enriched by these fantastic kids and their dedicated parents."
Financial Counselor, UNC Hospital
As a professional, Janie Bryant works as a Financial Counselor at UNC Hospital. In her personal life, she works even harder as the single parent of a former Scholar. Janie brings her passion and desire to help all children succeed to the Board. Janie is a North Carolina native who graduated from Riverside High School and North Carolina A&T University with a degree in Public Relations. Her son, Jarod Bryant, began 7th grade at Carolina Friends School after spending K-6 in public school. Janie believes a good education is the passport to a child’s future and that is why she supports the Students to Scholars Program.
Co-Founder & Secretary
Benay received a Bachelor's degree in psychology and religion from Simpson College, followed by a Master's degree from Boston University. Currently she contracts out her services to nonprofits and businesses, and helps manage a local fitness studio. In addition, she has her Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. As the former Director of Operations at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties, Benay co-founded Students to Scholars and has a strong passion for helping the children of Durham and Orange Counties reach their potential.
Education Consultant, Michelman Consulting
Dave Michelman has spent his career in education leadership with a brief foray into the law. He was a teacher, and the middle and lower school head before he became a headmaster. Most recently, he was the Head of School at Duke School for fourteen years and before that led Chesapeake Academy for seven years. As the Head of School for Duke School, he was one of the initial partners of Students to Scholars, believing in its potential from the beginning. He is now an Education Consultant with Michelman Consulting, which serves nonprofits by developing senior leadership and improving governance, so they will better fulfill their mission.
Retired Durham Academy Director, Dean, and Teacher
James Speir graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In 1974, he received a masters degree in liberal studies from Dartmouth College and in 1975, he returned to California to begin a a teaching/administrative/coaching career that lasted forty-four years. Mr. Speir coached swimming in Southern California, the Mecca for this sport. He achieved considerable success by sending several athletes and his team to the CIF state championships each year. In the classroom, Mr. Speir taught United States and European history to Juniors and Seniors. Mr. Speir served as Assistant Director of Admissions, a position that launched his independent school administrative career. The next forty years were spent at Durham Academy in North Carolina. Beginning with the position of Director of Admissions/Director of Financial Aid in 1979, Mr. Speir dedicated his career to the education of young people in the triangle area. Other positions held by Mr. Speir included Assistant Headmaster/Dean of Faculty, Middle School Director and Interim Headmaster. As Dean of Faculty, Mr. Speir developed a comprehensive faculty development and evaluation program. During his tenure at Durham Academy, Mr. Speir taught Advanced Placement courses in both history and English and his students consistently scored well above national averages on the AP Tests. During the final eight years of his career, Mr. Speir focused on teaching and left the administrative responsibilities of running Durham Academy to the next generation. One of the most significant aspects of Mr. Speir’s career has been the opportunity to serve on the Students to Scholars Board of Directors, a position that furthers his interest in both young people and education.
President of the SW Durham Rotary Club
Holt Whiting has been in education for most of his life. He graduated from Boston University with a B.A, the University of Hartford with an M.Ed. and holds a Connecticut teaching certificate. He taught history and political science at the high school level and served as the CFO of three independent schools. Prior to that, Holt was an Army medic and trainer, read gas meters, was a teller and trainer, a professional house painter, and ran a computer service bureau for a CPA firm, all of which educated him for the CFO position in independent schools. He has been deeply involved as a volunteer and trainer for the National Ski Patrol, Red Cross, and the American Heart Association. He was also the treasurer for a halfway house for children transitioning out of the juvenile court system and president of Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts. Holt helped found and run the National Business Officers Association, an international organization. He is currently the President of the SW Durham Rotary Club. Holt says, “Being involved with Students to Scholars allows me to help individual middle school students reach their potential.”