Fontbonne Appoints New Board Chair, Names Three New Trustees

Fontbonne Appoints New Board Chair, Names Three New Trustees

Fontbonne, The Early College of Boston is pleased to announce three new trustees have been appointed to the Board of Trustees and a new Chairwoman has been named.  

Maureen Sullivan Gemma ‘78 will serve as the Board chair at the all girl high school. The Milton native has been a member of the Fontbonne Board since 2016, but for even longer she has been a very supportive member of the community and the school’s 65 year mission of educating and empowering young women.  “We are excited about working with Maureen in moving forward Fontbonne's mission.  Her vision as Board Chair and her dedication to the education of young women is inspiring and motivating. We are grateful for her willingness to serve Fontbonne in this capacity at this time in our History,” said Maura Spignesi, Head of School. 

Maureen led the Board’s strategic planning initiative in 2018 and takes over as the Board’s leader during a very exciting time at Fontbonne. The school has redefined itself as the Early College of Boston.  Early College is the category of school that best fits the impactful learning taking place at Fontbonne. It is a four tiered program infused with support systems which guide the girls to grow into women of courage.  The four tiers are curriculum, pedagogy, culture, and student life experience. “The redefinition of Fontbonne as an early college aligns beautifully with its strategic goal of continuing to offer young women unique opportunities in and out of the classroom that will prepare them well for college and beyond,” said Maureen.

Maureen is a graduate of Boston College Law School.  She is currently a Vice President of Eaton Vance Management where she is co-head of the Legal Department and Chief Legal Officer of the company’s mutual funds.  Prior to joining Eaton Vance in 1993, she was associated with a Boston-based law firm. Personally, Maureen and her husband Anthony are the proud parents of five children.  Three of their daughters followed in their mother’s footsteps and are also Fontbonne alumnae; Caitlin ‘11, Jennifer ‘13 and Meaghan ‘15.  

Maureen has long been a valued member of the Fontbonne community.  In 2013, the school honored her with a Woman of Courage award. The award celebrates alumnae who confidently live and apply the mission, values and lessons learned at the school in service to the dear neighbor and community.  Fontbonne is now thrilled to have her at the helm of our leadership team and the school looks forward to continuing its tradition of excellence in all girl education.

Fontbonne has also named three new Board Trustees; Ms. Denella J. Clark, Ms. Elizabeth Coyte, and Ms. Katherine Shute.  Katherine has an extensive background in education. She began teaching in 1971 after graduating from Regis College. In 1979 she received a Masters in education from Harvard University.  Katherine served at two catholic high schools before joining the English department at Brockton High School in 1985. In 2004 she took over as Chairperson and led the department until her retirement in 2010.  After retiring Katherine joined the faculty at Laboure College as a Lecturer and Writing Coach. Katherine has been praised for creating professional development workshops and training sessions focused on literacy initiatives, active reading strategies and the writing process.

Ms. Denella Clark P’07 serves as Chief Executive Officer of Boston Arts Academy Foundation.  Denella is credited with taking the Foundation out of the red and building a Board, staff and organization from the ground up.  She has thirty years experience in non-profit management, with significant leadership roles with The Dimock Center, Joslin Diabetes Center and MGH/Partners Healthcare. In addition to her successful non-profit career, Denella was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. She was initially appointed to the MCSW in November 2015 and sworn in in April 2016 by Governor Charlie Baker.  She has also served on many boards including the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity(METCO), NAACP and The Boston Club Corporate Board Committee.“It is my honor and privilege to give back to an institution that has helped to shape the life of my daughter, Cherina D. Wright, Esq.,” said Clark. “The values of compassion and leadership, as well as the academic rigor, that Fontbonne provided has been invaluable to Cherina’s development. She is the first person in our family to hold three degrees, and without the foundation laid by Fontbonne, this achievement would not have been possible.”

Ms. Elizabeth Coyte P’18 is the Nursing Director of Case Management at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston. She has been on staff at BIDMC since graduating from The Catholic University of America.  She has worked in a variety of roles including Clinical Nurse, Unit-Based Nurse Educator, and previous director of the Post-Acute Care Transitions Program. Elizabeth is currently pursuing her Masters of Nursing Administration at Simmons University.  For nearly a decade she served on the Parent Association at Saint Francis Xavier School in Weymouth. Her daughter, Madeline Coyte ‘18, is a current sophomore at Syracuse University. "I am very excited to serve on the Fontbonne board and give back to those who provided enormous guidance and support to my daughter. The Fontbonne Learning community's dedication to the success of each student in a personal way cultivates future leaders. I look forward to supporting the mission and community of Fontbonne."

Fontbonne welcomes these strong leaders to our Board and looks forward to a successful future of educating and inspiring young girls.