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Our Team

Leadership

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Keith Boucher

MakeIT Haverhill Co-Founder

"I am passionate about giving back to my community and lifting up others. After a successful thirty-year career in software, I chose to focus on building and staffing a volunteer workforce development non-profit (MakeIT Haverhill), with a focus on Employment, Education and Entrepreneurs and that bridges the Digital Divide."

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Lisbeth Valdez 

Program Director

“My mission is to walk families towards financial stability by giving them the tools and resources necessary to reach their goal. As a first-generation immigrant, learning the ropes of living in the US was difficult but so rewarding. I am determined to assist families navigating to achieve what I have been able to accomplish and more.”

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Christine Kwitchoff

 Business Partner Development  Leader

"I was aware of MakeIT Haverhill from media coverage of their launch. But my interest deepened when Team Haverhill hosted one of their monthly meetings at the MakeIT Haverhill collaboration space. I was hooked! I want our local companies to be filled with happy and productive employees from the Mount Washington neighborhood. Everybody wins if that happens!”

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Tim Haynes

Digital Literacy & Equity Program Advisor

“My wife Jessa and I recently began attending the Unitarian Universalist Church of Haverhill, which is a donor to MakeIT Haverhill. Through the church (and Google!) I made a connection to Keith Boucher and Community Action CEO, Kerri Perry! I want to bring public and private community resources to bear to bridge the digital divide and to make digital literacy available to all, especially to those who need it most.”

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Zarla

Technology Advisor

"I was exploring the neighborhood and looking at what each place had to offer and eventually discovered MakeIT Haverhill. I’m working to strengthen impoverished neighborhoods through technological ascension.”

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Veronica Rodriguez

Community Outreach Lead

“I had worked on other volunteer projects to help our Mt. Washington neighborhood and I found MakeIT Haverhill through Keith Boucher. My goal with community outreach is that all Haverhill residents know about our organization and what we offer.”

Instructors & Volunteers

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Jodi Templer

ELL Instructor

"I am a retired ESL teacher with over 40 years' experience teaching English to students of all ages, backgrounds, and levels! I taught K-12 ESL in Medford, Lawrence, and Methuen Public Schools, and at Northern Essex and Middlesex Community Colleges. I have also taught ESL writing and pronunciation for several private companies. I speak French and Spanish, having lived and taught in France and having traveled to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Mexico. I have taught beginner, high beginner, and intermediate classes at MakeIt Haverhill.  I was happy to learn about MakeIt Haverhill from a friend and ESL colleague. I hope my classes help students become more proficient and confident in English. I would like my students to strengthen their skills for work and to communicate with their children’s school." 

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Allan Hislop

ELL Instructor  

"I am a retired Professor from Northern Essex Community College where I coordinated the English as a Second Language (ESL) Services for 20 years, and then the Foreign Language area for 16 years.  I designed services and taught all levels and kinds of ESL, Spanish for foreigners, and Spanish Translation (for ESL students). I have lived all around the world: Spain, Saudi Arabia, Mexico City, Chile, and Paris.  I enjoy translating and have translated one book from Spanish and one book from French! I am a volunteer ELL teacher at MIH, and I work with the advanced learners. In my class, the goals are to improve the students’ ability to communicate in English and to inform them about our culture and the local area." 

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Delfi Almonte

ELL Instructor/ Haverhill Public School Liason

"I am a Bilingual Family Liaison for Haverhill Public Schools. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to expose my talents in numerous versatile roles, such as finance, dance and education. I am a first-generation college student with a Master's degree in Business and a Latina entrepreneur in the event services industry. I look forward to learning something new every day, growing along the way and sharing my expertise with the world. I am a volunteer recruiter for MIH; Assisting adults in our community sign up for ELL classes and any resources offered through MIH.  I learned about MIH through Keith who was part of our family engagement committee for the Tilton Upper School in the 2019/2020 school year. We partnered with MIH and used its location for a very successful family night potluck."

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Jane Thiefels

ELL Instructor  

"I was beckoned to Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts where I did curriculum development and taught in a 5-level ESL program for 32 years. Summers and a sabbatical year took me to teaching and learning opportunities all over the world. The frosting on the cake came through my 3 assignments with the State Department/Georgetown University English Language Specialist Program, where I worked in Togo, Benin, and Djibouti. Andy Vargas, a Massachusetts State House representative recommended me to Keith when the program was starting up. I want my students to communicate with confidence, so I first work to build community in the classroom. That way students can know each other and learn as a group and not focus solely on me as the teacher. I want the students to have excellent pronunciation and simple but accurate grammar. I reinforce this by constant repetition, dictations, oral reading and homework."

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Thomas Mela

ELL Instructor  

"I live in Newbury with my wife, our two adult children and five grandchildren live in Natick and Burlington, MA. During my 50 years as a public interest lawyer and teacher, I volunteered to teach English to adults whose first language was Spanish or another language. When I retired, I learned about MIH from Community Action Inc. (CAI), and I decided to volunteer. I hope to continue providing legal information about the rights of parents and students in public schools and expose my ELL class to as much English as personal schedules permit."

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Mark Polemo

ELL Instructor

"I was born in Lowell, grew up in a three-decker in Lawrence. I was a college instructor at NECC for 36 years, after which I volunteered to teach ESL at MakeIT Haverhill. I have also worked as a court translator, professional musician, journalist, textbook editor, meter reader, carpenter, factory worker, dishwasher, boiler fireman, taxi driver, and day laborer. My wife and I ran the Lawrence Film Festival for several years. I have a Master’s from Umass Salem. I studied art in Spain, lived in Mexico, and speak fluent Spanish. I have written over 200 articles on a wide range of subjects. My book, Oneness- Pathway to the Stars, will be published in the Spring of 2023."

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Nancy, K.

ELL Instructor  

"I am a retired former educator and devote time to organizations that provide free assistance of various types to those in need.  At MIH I help folks who cannot attend live ELL classes due to family obligations or other restrictions.  I was drawn to teaching ELL because English is not my first language and I vividly recall the difficulty in learning it and hope in some small way to improve the lives of others."

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Frank Vasquez

Computer Business Skills Instructor

Director of Technology at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School and Computer Business Skills Instructor.

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 Sean Heusser

Computer Business Skills Instructor

“I have been in the IT field for 25 years in various roles related to IT Operations.  I am currently the Director of Information Systems for a worldwide maritime shipping company. I found MakeIT Haverhill from an article in a local newspaper featuring MakeIT Haverhill. My goal with MakeIT Haverhill is to help enable and empower fellow community members by sharing my knowledge and experience.”

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Erik Spillman 

Volunteer

A bilingual Haverhill resident who assists and supports our Job Fairs, Computer Basics course and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

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