Staff and Leadership

Board of Directors
The Community Advisory Council
Young Professionals Board


Terry Witherell Headshot

Terry Witherell, Executive Director,

Terry joined First Literacy in 2019. She previously served in a leadership role at a national fundraising organization, where she created partnerships and strategic initiatives to help the poorest communities across the United States. She spent much of her earlier career at Boston College. Terry also has experience as a classroom teacher, counselor, and youth minister, and she has worked with homeless youth. She is excited to bring this breadth and diversity of experience to First Literacy and knows that now, more than ever, there is an urgency to help adult learners achieve their full potential.

Paula Dincer Headshot

Paula Dincer, Program Communications and Database Management,

Paula was first introduced to First Literacy and its professional development workshops as an ESOL volunteer teacher and private tutor. She joined the First Literacy team in 2017 to use her program communications and database management skills to support the programs that help adult learners. Her prior experience covers 20-plus years in management roles working with foreign nationals, including a decade as executive director of a US-based nonprofit supporting progressive education in Turkey. 

Adriana Echeverria, Administrative Assistant,

When Ms. Echeverria was asked if she wanted to volunteer in office administration at First Literacy she was happy to say yes, since she has over 15 years of administrative experience from her native El Salvador. At First Literacy she was surprised to learn how many people work in adult literacy in order to help immigrants like herself. “Here I am able to add another grain of sand to build a castle for all immigrants who come to this country and want to build their own castle, which in our original countries we can only dream about.”  After one year she was hired by First Literacy and still feels blessed to be here to help and learn from others. 

Bryan McCormick, Program Director,

Bryan’s passion for social justice and education has led him to First Literacy. Bryan has over 15 years of experience teaching, leading and developing direct service and educator development programs for schools and mission- driven nonprofits.  He most recently worked as a public fourth grade teacher in the Arlington Public School system and before that worked in leadership roles for several large education focused national non-profits including Project Adventure and Playworks. Bryan is excited to bring his skills and experience to First Literacy.  

Joe Byrne Headshot

Joe Bryne, Development Manager,

Since November 2020, Joe has served First Literacy’s Development office, to support and grow high-quality adult basic education and ESOL opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Joe comes to First Literacy after serving in the Development office during Pine Manor College’s final year of fundraising. He started his career as a grant writer with Elevate, a woman-owned Washington, D.C.-based grant writing consultancy. He brings eight years of nonprofit development expertise to First Literacy, as well as a certification in fundraising ethics (CFRE). He is also a published author.

Julie Slack Headshot

Julie Slack, Marketing and Communications Manager,

Julie joined First Literacy after working at various nonprofits in the New England area. She brings over 10 years of experience managing marketing and communications multi-channel campaigns, digital marketing, advertising, and the overall branded online presence. She is passionate about using her marketing expertise to make an impact in the lives of adults with low-literacy.

Board of Directors

Jeffrey P. Beale, Eaton Vance Management, Retired, Chairman of the Board
Donna Charpentier, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, Vice President of the Board
James Nolan, Citi, Vice President of the Board
Holly Reeves, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Treasurer


Kimberly Brennan, Accenture
Xu Cheng, The Hartford
Christopher Cullinan, Cabot Corporation
Lawrence L. Fahey, Eaton Vance Management
Corey Groves, State Street Corporation
Nilan Jayasinghe, John Hancock Investments
Olga Kasparova, Deloitte Advisory
Ann Noble-Kiley, Community Representative
Kathleen Rowell, American Moving and Installation, Inc.
John Shea, Eaton Vance Management
Ryan Tosi, K&L Gates
Ciro Valiente, Univision
Christopher Walsh, Cushman & Wakefield
Mayor Martin Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston

Community Advisory Council

Community Advisory Council members are experienced adult education teachers and administrators who provide guidance on First Literacy programs, including First Literacy Lab grants, scholarships, and professional development services. 

Huiling Chen, BEST Hospitality Training Center, Medford
Leonardo Espinosa, ESOL Teacher and Education Consultant, Boston
Kelly Folsom, X-Cel Education, Jamaica Plain
Lisa Garrone, ABCD Southside, Roslindale
Mei Ngo, BEST Hospitality Training, Medford
Riva Pearson, Jewish Vocational Services, Hyde Park
Andrew Shapira, Framingham Adult ESL Plus

Young Professionals Board

Kristyn Anderson, Rasky Partners, Inc. Young Professionals Board Chair
Peter Avallone, Eaton Vance
Emily Chu, Connell Ltd. Partnership
Tristan Domville, America’s Test Kitchen
Katharine Gallagher, ThriveHive
Molly Sparrow, Harvard University
Jenna Granger Thomas, John Hancock Investments
Dianna Walsh, Rasky Partners, Inc.