Who’s On FRIES

Parents, teachers, grandparents, business leaders, and other community members are all welcome to volunteer or contribute to FRIES in their own special way. You can attend meetings, ask questions, and have your voice be heard. Our meetings are held the second Wednesday of every other month at 7:30pm in the Winthrop School cafeteria.

Getting involved with FRIES is a great way to meet teachers, staff, and other parents; to increase a sense of community among families; and to give support to the school. Read below to see why our officers and committee chairs got involved to see how you can make your own special contribution!

Lisa Soininen, Chair, Budget Committee
I enjoy being involved with Winthrop and feel very fortunate to be able to send my three children to school here. I appreciate the additional educational experiences that FRIES is able to offer the students. There are many interesting opportunities out there and it is exciting to be a part of this process through the Budget Committee. We welcome new members to the Committee! Reach Lisa at Lisasoininen@comcast.net or 617-335-3265.

Seraphima McLean, Special Programming (Enrichment), co-Chair
I have two young children who attend Winthrop Elementary School. Being able to participate in my community and the education of my children is extremely important to me. FRIES has afforded me this opportunity; not only do I get to plan exciting programming for all the Winthrop children to enjoy but I also get to see how they receive it as a person. Their reactions are priceless and I love seeing their joy. Being involved has also allowed me to forge new friendships with parents, children, and teachers that otherwise would not happen. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of something that is contributing to the overall well being of our children and their future. When I am not planning an Enrichment program, I work full time growing my mail order jewelry business Gallery Byzantium, “playing” at Appleton Farms and Crane Beach and spending time with my family. Reach Seraphima at Seraphima@comcast.net or 978-312-1776.

Jenny Vellante, Special Programming (Enrichment), co-Chair
My husband, Chris and I have two children, Katharine and Colin, attending Winthrop School. I was raised in a family rich in musical theater and the arts. Because of my strong belief in the importance of music, arts, and cultural programming in schools, I joined FRIES. There is great enjoyment in witnessing the emotion and excitement of the children when they are watching and/or participating in the assembly programs that Winthrop is privileged to offer – thanks to the parent and community supported FRIES funding and volunteer effort. It is a collaborative effort with the administrators of Winthrop, and very rewarding to be a part of. Reach Jenny at jlvellante@gmail.com or 978-948-6611.

Wendy White, Winthrop Volunteers!, Chair
My family has been fortunate to have all four children attend Winthrop, and now two of my kids have moved on to the High School and Middle School. With such a span in age, I am privy to a unique perspective, as I am now involved in projects or councils at each of my kid’s schools. I also do college essay consulting and travel consulting “on the side.” My husband Rob is a long time member of the town’s Finance Committee. He and I grew up in Connecticut and came to Ipswich 17 years ago — because of Crane Beach! That’s where you will mostly find me. Reach Wendy at WWipswich@aol.com or 978-356-6581.

Nicole Whitten, Winthrop FRIES Ipswich Sustainable Education, co-Chair
How fortunate we all are to live in the great community of Ipswich! To me, Winthrop School and FRIES is an extension of our great community, bringing parents of Ipswich together to show the children of Winthrop School that we care about our school and each other. The FRIES community leads by example, showing our children that many hands make light work and that anything can be accomplished…Just look at the WINTHROP PLAYGROUND!! Ipswich Sustainable Education is where I fit in best by helping to find sustainable solutions in the education of our children on the environment, healthy living, nutrition and working with the community. My two daughters are always excited to see Mom and Dad around and involved in their schools. When I’m not busy multitasking with everyday life and ISE matters I’m busy with my photography, working on the Ipswich Recycling Committee, my gardens and nice walks with my dog on Crane’s Beach.