BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Virginia Barry is the former Commissioner of Education for the State of New Hampshire. She has over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, leader, tenured university professor, and provost and vice president for academic affairs. Her teaching interests are embedded in the principles of human development and educational leadership. Dr. Barry is deeply committed to collaborative leadership and works closely with the school and business communities to create open communication among stakeholders and create a culture of innovation and excellence. Commissioner Barry is committed to keeping the best interests of the children of New Hampshire at the forefront.
She received her B.S., from Florida State University and M.S., from Queens College City University of New York and State University of New York at Stony Brook., Ph.D. Florida State University with post-doctoral studies at New York University, Harvard and William and Mary.
Pamela L. Clark (Secretary) received her PhD in Educational Administration from the University of New Hampshire where she focused on adult learning and development. In 2014, she was presented the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award at Plymouth State University.
An accomplished educational consultant with more than 40 years of experience, Pamela is a strong and active advocate for educational change. As a consultant, she facilitates the development of co-creative leaders, collaborative cultures, and improvement initiatives in schools throughout the state of New Hampshire. As a life coach, Pamela helps individuals discover new potentials, imagine fresh possibilities, and make life-enhancing choices. Underlying all of Pamela’s work is her profound reverence for all people and a passionate commitment to the fullest development of every child and adult. Individuals and organizations desiring to make deep transformational change seek her guidance.
Paul W. Hodes (Chairman of the Board) is an attorney, artist, community leader, two-term congressman from New Hampshire’s second congressional district and a consultant to businesses and not-for profit institutions. After graduating from Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School, Hodes began his career in New Hampshire as an Assistant Attorney General under then-Attorney General David Souter.
Throughout his career, Hodes has also devoted substantial time to community service and advancing the arts in New Hampshire. He served as a New Hampshire State Councilor for the Arts under then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen. As Chairman of the Board of the Capitol Center for the Arts from 1990-1996, Hodes helped to lead the Concord community’s efforts to create a premiere, award-winning performing arts institution that now serves as an important economic engine for the city.
Hodes was elected to Congress in 2006, and became the President of the historic 2006 freshman class. He currently serves on the National Council on the Arts.
Mary Kuechenmeister (Vice Chairman of the Board) founded Story Preservation Initiative in 2010. Since that time she has served as the organization’s executive director and visionary leader. In 2013, Mary was instrumental in the development of the organization’s flagship project, the Story Preservation Initiative Learning Lab. The Learning Lab was developed for 4-12 teachers and combines SPI primary source audio with project-based lesson plans for rich, multi-disciplinary learning. She brings a more than 30-year background in writing, editing, and broadcast production to her position. She started her career in the Broadcast/Communications Department at Save the Children, Westport, Connecticut. Mary is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.
Sara Withers (Treasurer) received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Brandeis University in 2009. Her research was in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she was interested in a growing urban middle class—more specifically in the intersection of gendered ideals and ideas about work. In Oaxaca, she focused on the ways in which female teachers negotiated their personal identities as professional women with idealized notions of motherhood in both Oaxaca and Mexico. Since Sara’s research in Oaxaca, she has shifted her interests more locally—particularly to the lives and experiences of refugees in New Hampshire.
Sara was Project Manager for the film Uprooted: Heartache and Hope in NH (2010), produced by the Center for Humanities at UNH, and since then, she has been a Humanities-to-Go Presenter and a Humanities@Work Presenter for NH Humanities, acting as discussant and facilitator for the film. In addition, Sara was the Humanities Expert for the World Council of NH’s film, Refugees of Shangri-La, about Bhutanese refugees in NH and the US (2013-2014), as well as for their more recent film series Finding Refuge (2019).
Her current work revolves around developing a collaborative public humanities project that records the stories of immigrants and refugees in New Hampshire through community-based archiving, exhibition, and educational curriculum. As a Senior Lecturer at UNH, Sara teaches a variety of classes including Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Peoples and Cultures of Latin America, Applied Anthropology, and the Anthropology of Migration and Human Movement.