PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Oct. 5, 2020): The Onward We Learn of Rhode Island, the state’s largest and most comprehensive college access program, recently elected three new board members – Lisette Gomes, Mary Halpin and Ken Wagner.
Lisette Gomes of Rumford, a College Crusade alumna, has served as East Providence Municipal Court judge since 2019; Pawtucket’s assistant solicitor, where she prosecutes criminal violations, defends the city against civil claims and assists with labor arbitration, since 2015; and Central Falls’ housing prosecutor, where she oversees housing code violations, since 2013. She launched her own practice in 2012 to focus on personal injury, landlord-tenant and criminal defense matters. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Salve Regina University.
Mary Halpin of Providence is a senior vice president of human resources at Centreville Bank, where she directs all human resources initiatives at the bank including employee growth, performance management, engagement, recruitment and compensation. Halpin has more than 25 years’ experience in human resources. Prior to joining Centreville in 2019, she was vice president, human resources at Fidelity Investments in Smithfield and assistant vice president, human resources at State Street Corp. in Quincy, Massachusetts. Halpin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from College of the Holy Cross and a certificate in compensation and benefits from Bentley University. She is also a certified executive coach, having completed her training at the iPEC executive coaching certification program.
Ken Wagner of Cumberland is strategic adviser at kmkwagner Advisory and served as the Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education from 2015 to 2019. He previously served at the New York State Department of Education from 2009 to 2015, ultimately serving as senior deputy commissioner for education policy. His career in education began when he was elected to his local school board as an 18-year-old high school senior, and he since has served in various roles at the national, state and local levels, including school psychologist and middle school principal. He holds a doctoral degree in clinical and school psychology from Hofstra University.
Also at the meeting, board members Adi Goldstein of Barrington and Eric Shorter of Riverside were elected to a second three-year term, and the board elected Meg Geoghegan of North Kingstown as treasurer.
The Onward We Learn supports more than 4,000 students in middle school, high school and college each year with one-on-one advising and year-round programs that focus on academic enrichment, social and emotional development, career education, and postsecondary preparation to help them become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Sixth-graders who attend traditional public schools and select public charter schools and independent schools in Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket and West Warwick are eligible to enroll in the Onward We Learn.