Board of Directors
Founded by Dora Anie, Schools of Dreams is now led by her daughter, Barbara Anie, and is supported by an enthusiastic Board of Directors who are committed to continuing Dora’s legacy. The Board is composed of a number of hands-on volunteers who donate their knowledge, time and energy in support of the Schools of Dreams’ vision and mission. In addition, Schools of Dreams is supported by a team of volunteers in Ghana who manage onsite operations in Ghana, and a newly appointed Advisory Council that provides strategic advice to the Board of Directors.
She is employed at Empowerment Squared as Manager, Educational Programming. In this role, Ann-Marie is responsible for creating, planning and coordinating curriculum and programs, managing volunteers and participants, liaising with community members and systems level leaders, supervising administrative and operational tasks for Homework Circle and the School Readiness Project. Working closely with colleagues, she directs, manages, and collaborates on projects, processes, and systems to ensure that Educational Programming is efficient and effective. Ann-Marie has a passion for inspiring and empowering others towards being their highest and greatest selves by using an asset based approach.
Ann-Marie is an accomplished teacher with over 20 years of experience, both locally and internationally, and holds a Masters in Education from The State University of New York. She has many hobbies such as writing, she co-authored a unit on Lincoln Alexander for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board which received an award from the Elementary Teachers of Ontario. Currently she’s co-writing a follow up book for the curriculum unit. In 2023, Ann-Marie was a nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. During her free time, she likes hiking, practising and teaching yoga as well as other mindful based stress reduction techniques, and healthy cooking.
One thing that Ann-Marie really loves about education is that it has the power to provide many positive impacts such as limitless opportunities to improve our world!
Barbara is a graduate of Ryerson University where she received a Bachelor of Commerce degree specializing in Hospitality and Tourism.
Barbara Anie stepped into the role of President after her mother’s passing in June 2019. Previously, Barbara was a key volunteer on the Marketing & Communications committee. Barbara works tirelessly to support all aspects of the charity, committed to building Dora’s legacy as she leads us into the next chapter for Schools of Dreams. Barbara is a member of the planning committee for the annual fundraising gala ‘A Taste of Africa’. Previously, Barbara was a key volunteer on the Marketing & Communications committee and in other capacities since the organization’s inception. Barbara works tirelessly to support all aspects of the charity and is committed to building Dora’s legacy as she leads Schools of Dreams into the next chapter for Schools of Dreams.
Barbara enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community. She is an active member of the Ghana Association of Hamilton sitting on the Association’s health and wellness and communications committee. She will be joining a board position for the Toronto Botanical Gardens and West Park Foundation. She has also volunteered for Torstar’s Santa Claus fund, Becel Ride for Heart’s charity bike ride (7 consecutive years), and participated as a run coach for Bob Kemp Hospice’s virtual hike for hospice. She is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Clare was appointed to the Board in November 2021 as Fundraising Chair.
She is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and fundraiser with a lifelong passion for building successful partnerships and fundraising initiatives for non-profit, corporate and private clients.
Clare looks forward to working with the Schools of Dreams family in providing safe access to education for children in rural Ghana.
Aaron Fierling is a thriving entrepreneur and business development strategist. He began his life’s passion at the early age of 20 by purchasing his first restaurant and by the age of 22 he owned and operated his second. After a few years of growth Aaron liquidated both assets and moved into the Financial Industry where he went on to win several awards and honours. Since then, he has been a founder or partner in several successful start-ups and has transitioned into a role of empowering new business owners through the incredible journey of entrepreneurship. Aaron is honoured to be a member of the SOD Board of Directors, joined by individuals who share his passion for philanthropy and who also believe in the equalizing and empowering strength of education worldwide.
Luke Fillion is honoured to be a board member. A singer, photographer and rollercoaster enthusiast, he enjoys the opportunity to help his community (“Fillion’s Footsteps for Palliative Care”) and the global community through Schools of Dreams. Like his Schools Of Dreams colleagues, Luke wants a brighter future for all people.
Alana McGoldrick has worked in education for nearly two decades. She began her career in non-profit programming and experiential learning in Guyana, Ghana, and Tanzania before returning to Toronto to teach high school. Her ongoing areas of interest and expertise include decolonizing curriculum and supporting students in historically underserved communities.
Ghana holds a special place in Alana’s heart – particularly Eastern Region where many Schools of Dreams projects are based – and is glad to be part of the team. She is eager to learn from and contribute to the important work of developing equitable and sustainable community partnerships and expanding access to safe and quality education for children and youth.
Hazel Quammie is Jamaican by birth. After graduating from High School, she worked in the government service for a few years before emigrating to the USA. She holds a BSc degree in Accounting from the City University of New York. On moving to Canada, she worked in providing services for newcomers to the country, where she developed a passion for helping the underprivileged among us. This passion is transferred to working with Schools of Dreams to help provide better learning conditions for children in Ghana.
Chandra Severin began her career in the legal field, spent 10 years working in the fashion industry and then moved onto a role with a national newspaper, where she has been employed as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and Publisher and Manager, Administrative Services at the Globe & Mail for the last four years.
She is also the mother of two young children and is passionate about education and supporting youth in their learning and development. Chandra has previously served as a board member for the St. Lawrence Cooperative Daycare and now acts as a co-chair for her children’s school. She is looking forward to bringing her expertise in event planning, public relations and volunteer management to the Schools of Dreams team. Chandra is also a savvy Internet explorer who is always on the hunt for new and exciting events and activities to do with her friends, or planning her next adventure with her husband and children
Shayna Stevenson is an artist and writer with education in both Linguistics and Community Work. Using her experiences in travel and creative work, she has joined the board of directors of SoD with a focus on communications, design, and storytelling. Through her passion for universal access to education and learning about other cultures she plans to support the growing transatlantic community Schools of Dreams has created.
Cecilia is a seasoned marketer with over 20 years experience in strategy, brand development, content, sponsorship, advertising sales and more. A graduate of McGill University, Cecilia earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Psychology and recognizes the opportunities an education can provide. For this reason, Cecilia is honoured to be joining the Schools of Dreams Board, to contribute to the incredible work the organization is doing to bring high quality education to children in Ghana.
Cecilia enjoys volunteering and has spent time at SickKids Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Toronto. Her interest in continuing to give back to the community, her never-ending curiosity and interest in life long learning are what brought her to Schools of Dreams.
In her personal time, Cecilia loves spending time with her family, taking in live music and sports and travelling.
Alex Sarpong, Project Manager
Alex Sarpong is an independent contractor for Alaro Engineering’s Road & Construction division and a retired Chief Technician Engineer of Ghana’s Ministry of Roads & Highways. He is a graduate of St. Paul’s Technical School in Kukurantumi and holds a City & Guilds of London certification in building construction, with a two-part Construction Technician certificate from Accra Polytechnic. Alex generously employs his knowledge and experience in construction, building engineering and surveying to bring our projects from mere concept to completion since 2004. With his own money, he has helped countless children achieve a higher education from elementary to high school. He believes in education not only for his own children, but also for every child. We at Schools Of Dreams are all very grateful for his invaluable contribution to our mission.
Tetteh Moses Avenor, Project Assistant
Tetteh Moses Ayenor is a teacher and works for the Ghana Education Service. He has been assisting Schools of Dreams since 2011 when he was at Fotobi, his first teaching station. Moses was asked to take on the role of Secretary in 2017 by Dora Anie. He supports the project manager in various initiatives such as discussions with the Ministry of Education in selecting school building projects and in purchasing project materials. Moses recalls discovering Akuffokrum with Dora Anie on one of her visits to Ghana when they drove across that stretch of road and found children learning under shade made with palm fronds and sticks. He fondly remembers Dora, and her advice that the greatest joy one can ever derive from life is to make others happy.
To support the work of the Board of Directors, Schools of Dreams has established an Advisory Council. The Advisory Council, although a non-governing body, is an invaluable resource that complements and/or supplements the skill, experience, and expertise on the Board. The Advisory Council advises, guides, mentors, and helps the Board refine its approaches on key matters of strategic importance such as planning and implementation, governance and leadership, stakeholder and community relations, fundraising and development, financial stewardship, and operational performance. Its work enhances the effectiveness of the Board by providing a balanced and unbiased view of the issues which come before it.
Advisory Council members also serve as ambassadors or critical community champions for Schools of Dreams. In this role, members bring a diverse knowledge of and provide insight into constituent perspectives, introduce Board members to key contacts and networks (locally, nationally or internationally), and help spread the word in an effort to promote and advance the mission of the organization.
Composition and Appointment of Advisory Council Members
The Council is comprised of strategic members and include:
- Community Leaders
- Highly Invested Donors or Volunteers
- Fundraising Professionals
- Business Leaders
- Media Relations
- Relevant Partnerships
- Key Board Members