GFFE is an all-volunteer organization. We are lucky to have such a great and passionate team.
Veena Kapadia, a graduate of Guilford High School, returned to home nearly eight years ago with her husband and two young children. After a career as a management consultant and business leader, she recently founded Flore Foundation, a non-profit that supports social enterprises empowering refugees in their pursuit of economic independence. She believes social impact businesses afford innovative ways to address community challenges. In 2017, Veena joined the Guilford Fund for Education to reconnect with Guilford residents. With two kids in the school system, she appreciates the creativity and dedication of Guilford teachers and hopes to foster their ideas and support our youth.
Andrew Corpuel has been associated with Guilford Fund For Education since 2018. He currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer and leads the GFFE Finance Committee. A Guilford resident since 2004, Andrew and his wife Kristine have put two children through the school system. Having experienced and appreciated the educational opportunities available to our children in Guilford, it is Andrew’s desire to ensure that intellectual innovation remains a constant presence in our community.
Lauren Dennehy is a mother of two Guilford students and
leads a child, adolescent and adult psychotherapy and mental
health consultation practice in New Haven. Lauren is also an Assistant Clinical
Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, where she provides clinical
supervision and teaches fellows in social work, psychology, and child psychiatry. Lauren has training in trauma, attachment, parenting, developmental
evaluation, and the field of infant mental health. She cares deeply about multidisciplinary collaboration, both in clinical practice as well as within
the systems affecting children and families and has a special interest in advocacy work within education.
Katie Jones and her husband live in Guilford with their two young children. She is a music educator at North Branford Intermediate School and directs the vocal choirs at the First Congregational Church of Branford. Katie is very involved in the Connecticut chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and the Connecticut Music Educators Association. In her free time, Katie enjoys making pottery, reading, singing with the Yale Camerata, and sailing with her family. Katie is thrilled to join the GFFE, and looks forward to contributing to this wonderful non-profit!
Louis Monaco grew up in Guilford and is a graduate of Guilford High School, where he has served as a social studies teacher for the past 20 years. He is also a soccer and lacrosse coach at GHS, as well as an announcer during football games. He acts as a club advisor and two years ago took on the role of GFFE Teacher Liaison. He lives in Guilford with his family and loves the history of our town and its historic architecture. He is passionate about engaging people and learning about their unique interests, hobbies and experiences.
Joe Polizzi is a former high school English teacher yet remains one at heart. A licensed school administrator currently serving as an Associate Professor at Sacred Heart University where he is the Director of the 092 and 6th year certificate programs for aspiring school leaders. He moved to Guilford in 2019 and became actively involved with the Guilford Public Schools where both of his daughters are currently enrolled. He is happy to serve on the GFFE and is particularly interested in working with with teachers and artists about how GFFE can support their creative, engaging and inspiring ideas in ways that can make a real difference in the lives of the children, teens and families in Guilford.
Liz moved to Guilford from Brooklyn, New York six years ago with her husband and two young children, both of whom are currently students in Guilford Public Schools. She has a background in Textile Design and is passionate about education and supporting creativity. Liz is currently involved with the Cultural Arts Committee and the World Day for Cultural Diversity program at Guilford Lakes Elementary School, the ABAR (Anti-Bias Anti-Racist) Committee at Guilford Lakes and Baldwin Middle School, and the Baldwin Outdoors Committee, a group devoted to enhancing the outdoor recess and learning space at Baldwin Middle School. She enjoys spending time with her family, getting messy, meeting new people and working with others. She is thrilled to be part of the GFFE and is looking forward to helping promote creative and innovative educational opportunities for Guilford students.
Cristina moved to Guilford from NJ over 15 years ago and she and her husband have twins in the Guilford School System. Cristina is an Interior Designer and also found her passion for teaching preschool while her children were enrolled in a Guilford Cooperative Preschool program. As a native Spanish speaker, Cristina developed a Spanish language enrichment class designed specifically for young learners. Designing curriculum that blends her art background with culture was incredibly fulfilling. Cristina is a Girl Scout leader and a founding member of ABAR (Anti-Bias Anti-Racist) committee at Calvin Leete. She is delighted to join GFFE to support our incredible educators and students.
NiCole Schlagheck is a mother to four Guilford students and works in Information Technology, focused on quality and process improvement. Besides optimizing the way things work, NiCole's passion is educating the youth to promote brighter futures. NiCole enjoys being active in her community and volunteering to support our schools. NiCole has been in many PTO leadership positions, a sports coach and is active with the youth in her church. NiCole has experience working with underserved high school students and connecting them with paid internship opportunities that transformed their lives. She would love the opportunity to expand learning in Guilford to include work-based learning and internship opportunities for high schoolers.
Dennis Culliton currently serves as the Executive Director of the Witness Stones Project that aims to restore the history and honor the humanity of enslaved individuals who contributed to our communities. For well over two decades, he taught middle school students 8th Grade U.S. History and finally retired in 2019 after close to 20 years at Adams Middle School. He is a former GFFE grant recipient in 2017. The Witness Stone Project grant developed a program for Adams students to rely on civic engagement to research and develop material installing Witness Stones at residences in Guilford where slaves lived. Dennis currently resides in Guilford with his wife.
Julie Fitzpatrick is an actress/writer originally from Guilford who studied at PENN and then American Conservatory Theatre where she received her MFA. Julie has acted in New York City, regionally, and in TV/short film work. Julie was the Drama Director at St. Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven, an acting coach with Madison Arts Barn and co-curator of a reading series Let’s Read a Play. Julie also works at her family dealership, Crest Lincoln and serves on the Board of the Community Soup Kitchen in New Haven. She, her husband and son, Pete Palumbo and Fitz Pant, are involved with First Congregational Church of Guilford where Julie serves on the Community and Global Justice Board, The Pastor/Parish Committee, and on the COVID-Response Team. Julie is also a member of the ABAR (Anti-Bias Anti-Racist) Committee at Calvin Leete.
Jennifer Labbadia-Colon grew up in Middletown, CT but has always loved the CT shoreline. After living in Boston, NYC and Atlanta, she moved to Guilford with her husband and four children for its schools. She has served on numerous school committees, is an active board member of Guilford Special Ed PTO and Guilford Parents & Citizens Together, and coaches youth sports. She believes that children who love and are proud of their schools are key to the long-term success of a community. Professionally, Jennifer is in marketing, public relations and event production; specializing in large-scale athletic and entertainment events for clients such as NYC2012 (US Bid for 2012 Olympic Games), Denis Leary Firefighters Foundation, Cam Neely for Cancer Care, E*TRADE Financial, Microsoft and Fidelity Investments. She joined GFFE in 2021 to support and foster creative ideas to supplement or improve the amazing Guilford Public School System.
Banu Ozkazanc Pan
Banu Ozkazanc-Pan is Professor in the Practice of Engineering, Academic Director of the IE Brown EMBA program and Director of the Venture Capital Inclusion Lab at Brown University. Banu contributed her expertise to the 2021 United Nations GPs10+ group on gender, business and human rights, which informs the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. She is a member of CNBC's Disruptor 50 Advisory Council. Banu hopes to use her expertise to support the educational system in Guilford by focusing on those skills and mindsets that’ll be required for our students to be prepared for a future that is culturally diverse and technologically-advanced.
Liz is a parent of two young girls in Guilford schools and a licensed psychologist and behavior analyst in the state of Connecticut. She is currently the Senior Director of Education at Aspire Living and Learning where she oversees the Institute’s private school programs, public school partnerships and consultation. With over 20 years of experience in education, Liz is a continuous learner and motivated change agent for the children she is fortunate enough to serve. Liz is thrilled to be a part of the Guilford Fund for Education’s board. She hopes to use her experience in education to benefit our Guilford children.
Meg Teape is a partner in Teape Training International (TTI), a corporate training and development firm which she joined after a 15 year career in Risk and Business Management at JPMorgan Chase in NYC and London. She is a Board member of Guilford’s Special Education PTO (SEPTO) and on the Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist (ABAR) Steering Committee and the PTO at A.W. Cox Elementary School. Meg has a passion for non-profit development work and volunteers for the international organization Adopta una Familia and CT based New Reach, Inc. She is a mother of two Guilford students and is thrilled to join the GFFE and help further its impact in areas of equity, inclusion and belonging for all children.