Our Impact

Providing Programs and Services for Local Schools

School districts and businesses throughout the region have bonded together with the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation (BVEF) to leverage community support that enhances efforts to connect current learning with future career paths for students, whether following post-secondary education or directly after high school graduation.  BVEF provides professional development for teachers and school counselors, as well as innovative career-connection programs that assist students in the development of 21st century skills, by connecting the classroom with local businesses and the community.   The goal is to assist with the development of our future workforce in the Blackstone Valley and throughout the nation.

“It is an honor to be associated with the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation.”

Marcia Varda, Saint Gobain, Director of Human Resources

“Let me add my tremendous thanks to the chorus of appreciation already relayed to BVEF. We are planting seeds for future Waters employees and influencing a generation of students who will make their own way in life in a few short years.”

Thomas Wesley, Waters Corporation, Director of Facilities Management

“The Professional Development at Holy Cross was, by far, the best professional development I have had in years. I will return to my classroom and school with renewed confidence in spreading the message that English majors are employable in fields far beyond education.”

Melisa Kinkela, Teacher, Sutton High School

“The trip to AGS was such a wonderful trip.  The comments from the students have been so positive.  Thanks so much for providing such a wonderful experience for our 8th graders!  It really helped them to make a “real-life” connection with their STEM learning, and to think about future career opportunities!”

Beverly Bachelder, Principal, Douglas Middle School

“At today’s job fair I learned that a 30 second pitch and a firm handshake gets you places.”


“I was surprised by AGS and the tour purely on the fact that people would generally think that they just make boxes, but it was so much more. Everyone was working together to make more, they worked hard to make something specific for their customers which was cool to see.”


Our History

Blackstone Valley Education Foundation was originally a subcommittee of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce and was officially established as its own nonprofit organization with a 501 C 3 status in 1999.  Over the years, BVEF continues to grow while honoring its original mission to enrich education by connecting member schools with local businesses to prepare students for the workforce, whether immediately following high school graduation or after college.  With an initial focus of primarily awarding small grants to schools, today BVEF’s 15 member and affiliate member school districts benefit from more extensive programming and services thanks to the strong partnerships we have with local businesses.


The Blackstone Valley Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is supported by school district membership, community grants, the generous backing of businesses in our communities, the Commonwealth’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and MassDevelopment Corporation.  These funding sources help to connect students, school, and professionals to business and industry for the purpose of strengthening college and career readiness

Our Annual Fund

Blackstone Valley Education Foundation receives funding from school districts membership dues, a state grant, and business and community donations and sponsorships.  As our yearly fundraiser, BVEF Annual Fund gifts make an immediate difference in the lives of students.  The success of the Annual Fund Drive is critical to continuing the innovative programs and services that BVEF provides in and around the Blackstone Valley. 

Board of Directors 2020-2021

Executive Board

Anthony Steele


Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal
508-529-7758 x3016

Tara Bennett

Vice President

MIAA, Director of PR and Communications

Lee Gaudette


Gaudette Insurance Agency, Inc., President

Betsey Brewer


Southwick’s Zoo, VP and CMO
Earth Ltd., CEO
508-883-9182 x209

Board Members

Peter Bedigian

Rich Brennan

John Clements

Paul Daigle

Michael Dudek

Christopher Foley

*James Hoban

Dr. Joseph Maruszczak

Dr. Kevin McIntyre

Matt Popieniuck

*Sarah Stone

*Executive Board Member at Large

Meet The Staff

The Blackstone Valley Education Foundation is committed to excellence in providing programs and services to local school districts that are both relevant and helpful in connecting classroom learning with local businesses and the community. Members of the BVEF staff bring a wide range of superb experience and knowledge to ensuring the success of this mission. 

Erika Baum

Executive Director

Ten years of experience as assistant principal in both Virginia and Massachusetts; adjunct professor for two colleges and a university; five years classroom teaching experience in a public school district; participated in numerous educational professional development trainings and conferences. (M.A. in Educational Administration, B.A. Psychology, minor in Education). Erika enjoys running, cooking, the beach, and spending time with family.

Holly McNeil

Communications and Event Coordinator

Nine years of experience as a Manufacturing Recruiter. Successfully recruited Engineers, Mechanical Technicians, Electronic Technicians, and Machine Operators and placed employees in large local manufacturing companies such as EMC, Saint Gobain, IPG, and Evergreen Solar. Volunteer event planner for non-profit pediatric cancer research charities. (B.S. in Sociology). Holly enjoys last minute weekend getaways with her husband and three kids, napping on the beach, skiing, and cooking.

Joscelyn Young

Program and Grant Coordinator

Ten years experience as an arts educator developing innovative and adaptive arts programming; experience in administration and web design focused on small business and non-profit needs; Co-Founder and President of  Green Bean Project, Inc. 501c3 children’s theater. (M.S. in Professional Counseling, B.A. Theater). Joscelyn enjoys the arts, reading, and watching her children dance.

Ashley MacLure

Art In The Valley Coordinator

Artist and educator. Seven years experience as an art educator building rigorous and relevant course curriculum and extracurricular activities for Blackstone Valley Regional grades 9-12. Promising Practice in Teaching Award recipient 2019. Artwork featured in Associated Press, Washington Post and New York Times. Illustration Clients have included First Act Inc., Amtrak, Cabot, National Grid, Pinwheel Books, and Providence Media. (BFA in Illustration Rhode Island School of Design; Post Baccalaureate Licensure, Framingham State University). Ashely enjoys painting, reading, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Megan Potenti

BVYLA Coordinator

Nine years of classroom teaching experience in two public school districts; Senior Counselor at Massachusetts Association of Student Council Student Leadership Camp; five summers as Coordinator of CIT Program for Girls, Inc; Advisor to Student Council in two school districts. (B.A. in History, M.A. in History). Megan enjoys reading, dogs, and traveling.

Thank You To Our 2020-2021 Business Partners And Sponsors:

All of BVEF’s funding comes from business and community donations and sponsorships, state grants, and school district membership dues.