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:

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
  • David King, Treasurer
  • Tracy McMahon, Clerk


  • Marina Paige Bartley
  • Mary Beth Kirsch
  • Kristen Lucken
  • Amy Schaffer
  • Kate Tranquada
  • Elaine Wong
  • George Frost, Interim Superintendent, Waltham Public Schools *
  • Britta McNemar, Waltham Family School *

* Ex Officio

Advisory Council

  • Liz AlJammal, School Committee
  • Larry Bailis, Brandeis University
  • Elizabeth Brach, Educational Consultant
  • Debra Brush, Family ACCESS of Newton
  • Gabriela Canepa, Breaking Barriers
  • Constance Counts, Community Advocate
  • Katherine Cunningham, The Rivers School
  • Kaytie Dowcett, Waltham Partnership for Youth
  • Rabbi David Finkelstein, Temple Beth Israel
  • Bill Fowler, Waltham City Council
  • John Frassica, School Committee
  • Nuria Garzona Sanchez, WFS Alumna
  • Keith Gilbert, Park Lodge Hotel Group
  • Dr. Elizabeth Homan, Waltham Public Schools
  • Tammi Kibler, ServPro
  • Rachel Kramer Theodorou, Brandeis University
  • 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
  • Bonnie Newman, Consultant
  • Alla Ovechkis, Rockland Trust
  • Gwen Pojasek, Chapel Hill‐Chauncy Hall
  • Linda Rapciak, The Meadowbrook School
  • Mary Jo Rendon, Waltham Public Schools
  • 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
  • Soledad Valenciano, Waltham Public Schools
  • Sandra Vasquez, Waltham Dual Language School
  • Nelly Villegas, WFS Alumna
  • Carlos Vidal, Waltham City Council
  • 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 2018 Family Support Grant to support Waltham Family School’s Interactive Literacy Program.

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