Planning for Success Facilitators


Name Title Email
Laure BurnetSafe and Supportive Schools Consultant, Assabet Valley
Anne DonovanCoordinator, School Consultation and Evaluation Services, ACCEPT
Ruth Gilbert-WhitnerSuperintendent, Whitman-Hanson Public
Marinel McGrathAdjunct lecturer, Boston
Albert MussadLeadership and Instruction Consultant, Collaborative for Education
Kristan RodriguezProfessional Development Activity Coordinator, MA Organization of Education Collaboratives and Professional Development Administrator, CREST


Susan Bonaiuto, Ed.D. (, has a proven track record as a strategic thinker and results-oriented leader. Throughout her 30 years in public schools, non-profits and government she has developed a reputation for skillfully leading and operationalizing a vision, strategically making connections among people, programs, resources and ideas, and identifying key areas for stabilization and opportunity—readying people and organizational infrastructure for the next chapter. Currently consulting full-time, she is the former Executive Director for MA at BELL, Building Educators for Life, a non-profit  serving children in grades K-8 living in under-resourced, urban communities through after-school and summer extended learning time programs.  Before that she was the Director of Community Education and Planning for the Needham Public Schools. She holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and MA in American Government from Boston College, an MA from University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business in Arts Administration, and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Bucknell University.

Laurie Burnett, M.Ed. (, is a Safe and Supportive Schools Consultant currently working with the Assabet Valley Collaborative on their Peer Review and Safe and Supportive Schools Initiatives.   As part of her responsibilities, Laurie works to develop and refine Safe and Supportive School and District Assessment Tools and supports districts in completing the tools and in developing action plans.  Prior to her work with the Collaborative she worked for over 10 years for the Framingham Public Schools as their Safe and Supportive School Specialist.  Laurie was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa which provided a formative foundation to her work

Anne Donovan, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA (, has been the Coordinator of ACCEPT Education Collaborative’s School Consultation & Evaluation Services for the last 10 years. She has extensive experience working with public school districts and Collaboratives to develop special education programs and services and provide professional development opportunities to build districts’ capacity to meet the needs of diverse student populations. Ms. Donovan is also an adjunct faculty member at Bridgewater State University and Framingham State University where she teaches graduate level courses in the field of Special Education. 

Ruth Gilbert-Whitner, Ed.D. (, is the Superintendent of Schools for the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District. The Administrative Team at Whitman-Hanson has been engaged in the Planning for Success strategic planning process since March of 2015.  The school system is now in the first year of implementing the Action Plans of their Strategic Plan, which was approved on October 12, 2016. Dr. Gilbert-Whitner and her Administrative Team wholeheartedly support DESE’s Planning for Success program and look forward to assisting other Massachusetts school districts.

Marinel McGrath, Ed.D. (, is an adjunct lecturer for Boston University whose professional interests center on developing leaders for tomorrow’s schools and world-class PK-12 program development through the study of strategic planning, performance-based leadership, policy analysis, and experiential, interdisciplinary learning. Dr. McGrath’s professional background includes teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels along with experiences as a coordinator of gifted learner programs, director of curriculum, and assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment. Prior to her recent retirement, Dr. McGrath served for fifteen years as superintendent of two Massachusetts suburban public school districts. In addition to teaching at BU School of Education’s PK-12 School Leadership Program for thirteen years, Dr. McGrath is a past president of the MA Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (MASCD). She has also served as a board member of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and was appointed to several state-level task forces focused on literacy and the original English Language Arts Frameworks Committee. Her keen interest in global education has resulted in work with local Rotary International Youth Exchange Programs that provide young people with opportunities to experience living and attending school in countries around the globe.

Albert E. Mussad, Ph.D. (, has taught K-12 English learners and high school Spanish. In addition to his K-12 teaching experience, Albert served as a curriculum and instruction supervisor, director and assistant superintendent, and also served as an elementary school principal. He provides professional development for school leaders, teachers and other licensed educators in the areas of effective instructional leadership; effective instructional strategies for English learners; and secondary literacy education. Albert serves as lead trainer for the MA Department of Education’s Low-Income Education Access Project (LEAP) training-of-trainers.

Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D. (, is a highly successful K-12 administrator, published author, and college professor with twenty years experience in the field of education.  Dr. Rodriguez is currently the Professional Development Administrator for CREST Collaborative and the Professional Development Activity Coordinator for the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives (MOEC). Kristan is the founder of Rodriguez Educational Consulting Agency and has presented nationally on leadership and learning for the past 15 years, drawing upon her work as Superintendent and Principal. She currently holds two contracts with the Massachusetts Department of Education as the Technical Assistance Partner for the Student Teaching Partnership Consortium and as a district review team member focusing on Student Support, Human Resources/Professional Development, and Curriculum/Instruction.



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