Judith Jones, Chair

JUDITH JONES has a B.A. from Middlebury College, a M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She began her career in International Relations and worked for the US Agency for International Development and the State Department. Following her passion for education, Judith switched careers and became program analyst for the NJ Department of Education when community colleges were initiated and teachers colleges were transformed into liberal arts programs. While living in Washington DC, she became involved with the emerging “Six School Complex” and documented this innovative public school choice program in her 1987 book, Six School Complex: A Successful Innovation in Washington, D.C.’s Public Schools. This led to a dozen years of working with the DC Public School system in a variety of facility planning, education planning, and policy positions.

She became involved with the early efforts to create “public autonomous schools” in DC, leading to the passage of enabling legislation for public charter schools by the DC Council in 1994 and by Congress in 1995. As co-founder of FOCUS, she worked with founders, authorizers, and others to develop a high-quality charter school movement in DC, now serving 44% of all public school children.

In 1998, Judith’s personal focus shifted to the state of Maine, where she and her husband Bill retired. At the time, Maine was one of the 10 states without an enabling charter school law. Judith quickly joined MACS, which was working to bring charter schools to Maine. Judith led the group in formalizing their efforts as a non-profit corporation in June of 2000 and in persisting to convince Maine legislators to enact enabling charter school legislation in June 2011. In Judith’s words…

“Access to good education is an avenue out of poverty, but the existing American system denies this access to many children.  It gives school districts almost complete control over taxpayer dollars and resources.  Personal experience has persuaded me that better education outcomes will come only with basic structural changes, including allowing parents to choose schools that meet the needs of their children, with the money following the child, not the political winds of the day.”

Cheryl Clukey, Secretary

CHERYL DAWSON CLUKEY, B.S., M.Ed. is a 27-year veteran of public education: principal of two schools, special education teacher, gifted and talented director and teacher of computer technology.

Achievements include: founder of “Capitol Area Gifted and Talented Program, which included 5 area high schools and newly created master classes in art, music, literature and writing; creator of day-long middle school gifted and talented conferences; creator/teacher of workshops and semester courses for teachers on how to specifically teach reading to dyslexic and learning disabled students; developer of after-school tutoring and arts programs; creator of “Kid’s Saturday Workshops; and recipient of the Governor’s award for “Excellence in Education” for innovative reading programs. In Cheryl’s words…

“While I have always been a strong supporter of public education, I have increasingly been concerned about the amount of smart, skilled students who drop out of school each year. When students leave public schools, Maine loses their skills and assets. Fifteen years ago, I became involved in the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Maine. I worked with the school leaders to help get the law passed which allowed the school to exist. I worked as a regional admission counselor for the first two years. I was very proud to be part of this pioneer effort that offered a rigorous curriculum to Maine students, who, for a variety of reasons, just didn’t fit nor succeed in their local schools. Since that time, I have broadened my interest in public charter schools as a means to offer more options for students to educationally succeed and reach their potential.”

Wes Richardson, Treasurer

WESLEY RICHARDSON received his B.S. degree from Northeastern University. He has lived in Warren, Maine for more than 30 years. He recently served as the Interim Town Manager for Waldoboro and is the retired president of the Waldoboro Bank, FSB.

Wes has served four terms in the Maine House, serving all 4 four terms on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee, and a half term on the Marine Resource Committee.

Currently, he is a Maine Court mediator, and a member of the Supervisory Committee for Mid Coast FCU. He is active in the community, having served on the MSAD #40 School Board and the Knox County Budget Committee.

Wes has two adult sons and several grandchildren who live in Maine. He enjoys fishing, hunting, boating and skiing.

Dorothy Foote, Ph.D., Director

DOROTHY FOOTE  joined the Board at the Maine Association for Charter Schools in 2017. She brings to MACS her years of experience as an academic, a teacher, social justice leader, and administrator.  Dorothy started her career as a banker but found that her true passion was in the areas of social justice and access to quality education for young people.

Community service has played a large part in Dorothy’s work and after caring for her brother who died of HIV, she founded the Diversity Coalition, an after-school social justice program that encouraged teens to be active and to implement changes in their community.  Belonging, and building connections – to teachers, peers, community, and school – served as the core of the program, and provided the platform for the healthy growth and development of these students.

After earning her doctorate in education and psychology, Dorothy went on to serve as the CEO and Head of Schools at Wayfinder Schools, an alternative high school that provides a progressive education to youth who struggle in traditional school settings.  At Wayfinder, she led students as they learned life skills along with the traditional subjects of math and science.  Dorothy believes that adolescence is the time to awaken a social justice consciousness and an important time for students to engage with their world.  To this end, she has co-founded The Restorative Justice Institute of Maine and has served as the Chair of The Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Truancy, Dropout and Alternative Education.  MACS is pleased that Dorothy will also bring her substantial wisdom and knowledge to support the further growth and development of charter schools in Maine.


MACS is actively looking to expand its board of directors. We are seeking enthusiastic individuals with a passion for education reform. Skill sets such as marketing, fundraising, legal, finance, and/or nonprofit governance would be helpful. If interested, please contact Board Chair, Judith Jones for a personal interview.


Roger Brainerd, Executive Director

Roger Brainerd has a BA in Anthropology from Oberlin College and Masters Degrees from the University of Maine, in Science Education and in Educational Administration. Prior to his work as a public educator, Roger restored and captained an historic 82’ schooner, operating her as a school ship in a marine environmental education program for schools and colleges in Maine and New England in collaboration with the University of Maine Cooperative Education Service. As a Maine certified Principal, K-12 Teacher, and District Computer Coordinator, Roger has been an active leader of school improvement efforts at the classroom, school, and district levels. Roger has led efforts to bring innovative, autonomous, and accountable charter schools to Maine since 1993. Since 2009, he has represented Maine on the State Leaders Council of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools based in Washington, D.C.

Roger’s non-profit experience includes nine years as a board member of The Housing Foundation in Orono, four years as President. He also served as a board member of the Orono Land Trust. His community involvement includes service as a scoutmaster, 4-H leader, and town planning board chair. On retiring from public education, Roger and his wife Laura restored an historic 1786 farmhouse on Seven Tree Pond in Union which they operated as a bed & breakfast and provided an office for MACS .  In 2016, they moved to Rockland where they continue to provide office space for MACS, now overlooking Lake Chickawaukie.


Betty Ingraham, Administrative Assistant

Betty spent much of her adult years in Orono, Maine where she and her husband raised five children.  She worked for much of that time in the College of Engineering, University of Maine and while there, completed Masters Degrees in Food Science and Nutrition and Science Education.  On taking an early retirement from the University, Betty moved with her husband Thom to midcoast Maine where they planted heirloom fruit trees, berries, and a large garden.

She and Thom enjoy tending their “farmden” and also, especially – spending time with their children and grandchildren.  Betty is a long-time supporter of school choice and has worked as an administrative assistant for MACS since 2016.