The Waltham Family School (WFS) was originally funded by a federal William Gooding Even Start Family Literacy grant. In 2011, Congress unexpectedly defunded the Even Start program. As part of a comprehensive sustainability plan, WFS and the Superintendent of Waltham Public Schools collaborated with the Waltham School Committee and the Mayor to include a line item in the Waltham Public School budget to partially cover WFS’s expenses.

The Waltham community recognized that in order to maintain and expand the program, there would need to be an organization focused solely on outreach and fund development. The Friends of the Waltham Family School, Inc. was created to assist with the sustainability plan to fill the remaining finances needed to fully fund WFS’s operating budget. FWFS received official non-profit 501(c)(3) status in June, 2014.

Through their work, the Friends assist in raising 25% of the annual operating budget for WFS, overseeing the outreach program including:

  • Annual appeals
  • Fundraising events
  • Online presence such as social media and website

View the Annual Report:

2019-2020 FWFS Annual Report

2018-2019 FWFS Annual Report

2017-2018 FWFS Annual Report

2016-2017 FWFS Annual Report

2015-2016 FWFS Annual Report

2014-2015 FWFS Annual Report

Please join the FWFS in our work to level the playing field by narrowing the achievement gap for non-English speaking families in Waltham.

Donate today

Board of Directors

The FWFS Board of Directors consists of the officers, the Program Coordinator (ex officio), and 5 members at large.


  • Tom Maehl, President
  • Tracy McMahon, Vice President
  • David King, Treasurer
  • Kate Tranquada, Clerk


  • Mary Beth Kirsch
  • Kristen Lucken
  • Gwen Pojasek
  • Amy Schaffer
  • Carlos Vidal
  • Elaine Wong
  • Dr. Brian Reagan, Superintendent, Waltham Public Schools *
  • Britta McNemar, Waltham Family School *

* Ex Officio

Advisory Council

  • Liz AlJammal, School Committee
  • Larry Bailis, Brandeis University
  • Marina Paige Bartley, WPY, retired
  • Elizabeth Brach, Educational Consultant
  • Debra Brush, Family ACCESS of Newton
  • Gabriela Canepa, Breaking Barriers
  • Mike Chen, Cisco System
  • Ginger Connearney, WHS, retired, WFS Volunteer
  • Constance Counts, Community Advocate
  • Katherine Cunningham, The Rivers School
  • Kaytie Dowcett, Waltham Partnership for Youth
  • Marianne Duffy, Waltham Public Schools
  • Rabbi David Finkelstein, Temple Beth Israel
  • Bill Fowler, Waltham City Council
  • John Frassica, School Committee
  • Nuria Garzona Sanchez, WFS Alumna
  • Jane Gately, School Committee
  • Keith Gilbert, Park Lodge Hotel Group
  • Dr. Elizabeth Homan, Waltham Public Schools
  • Tammi Kibler, Community Advocate
  • Rachel Kramer Theodorou, Brandeis University
  • Cynthia Lasker, Community Volunteer
  • Marya Levenson, Brandeis University
  • Kelly Linehan, Waltham Public Library
  • Jeannette MacInnes, Bentley University
  • Bob Marcou, Marcou Jewelers
  • Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, City of Waltham, Ex Officio
  • Mithra Merryman, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Myriam Michel, Healthy Waltham
  • Bonnie Newman, Consultant
  • Alla Ovechkis, Rockland Trust
  • Mary Jo Rendon, Waltham Public Schools
  • Molyna Richards, Waltham Chamber
  • Daniela Romero, Boston College Law School
  • Brian Shea, Bentley University
  • Delia Soza, WFS Alumna
  • Mary Sprogell, Waltham Public Schools
  • Tom Stanley, Massachusetts State Representative & Waltham City Council
  • Dr. Nadene Stein, Waltham Public Schools
  • Pat Vasquezi, Waltham Public Schools, retired
  • Sandra Vasquez, Waltham Dual Language School
  • Jonathan White, Bentley University

Grants and Donors

FWFS works to connect the local community with parents and children learning English. Support comes from many individuals, corporations, faith communities and grants:


Foundation for MetroWest awarded FWFS a MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund Grant in 2020 to support Waltham Family School’s project to provide Chromebooks and hotspots to WFS parents in order to address educational inequities.

Jones Partnership Fund First Parish in Waltham awarded a grant in support of the project, Immigrant Families Learning Together.