As a writer from Vermont Magazine once observed, CLiF does a lot with a little. We are able to accomplish so much thanks to our dedicated, creative, and energetic staff, board of directors, and board of advisors.

Our Staff

Duncan McDougall

Duncan McDougall

Executive Director

Duncan founded CLiF in 1998. He has given a few thousand literacy and storytelling presentations to children and parents throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Duncan has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and worked for seven years as a management consultant in Boston. He has also been a freelance writer, teacher, and radio commentator, and is active in local political and environmental campaigns. He lives in Waterbury Center, VT with his wife and son.

Jana Brown

Jana Brown

Program Manager

As Program Manager, Jana works with Duncan, Meredith, and our Board of Advisors to identify and recruit potential partners and award and implement At-Risk, Summer Readers, and Children of Inmates program grants. Jana grew up in the small town of Fair Haven, Vermont and earned degrees in Literature and Spanish from Ohio Wesleyan University. She went to law school at The Ohio State University College of Law and worked as an Assistant Attorney General in both Ohio and Vermont.  She joined CLiF in 2014. She loves exploring Vermont with her husband, young son, and golden retriever.

Erika Nichols-Frazer

Erika Nichols-Frazer

Communications Manager

Erika manages CLiF’s press and outreach, including newsletters, our weekly blog, and social media. She has been at CLiF since 2016. She has a degree in Liberal Arts/Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her writing has appeared in many publications, including HuffPost and Lunate. She won Noir Nation’s 2020 Golden Fedora Fiction Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She previously served as Development Director at the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont. When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, traveling, and playing soccer and hockey. She lives in Waitsfield, VT with her husband, dogs, cat, and chickens.

Meredith Scott

Meredith Scott

Program Director

Meredith oversees CLiF programs with a focus on developing our long-term, in-depth program model. Her work helps our partners nurture relationships within their communities, build strong cultures of literacy, and strategize for long-term sustainability. Meredith earned a double major in history and art history from Dartmouth and began her career in museums in Washington, DC, and Colorado. She went on to earn a Masters degree from the University of Glasgow and moved to Vermont to work at Shelburne Museum. She worked at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe for 12 years, for the last seven as director. Meredith joined CLiF in 2014. She lives with her daughter and dog in Morrisville, Vermont.

Our Presenters

CLiF is honored to partner with more than 65 accomplished children’s book authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers who give inspiring presentations on our behalf to thousands of children across New Hampshire and Vermont.

View All of Our Presenters

Board of Directors

Mark Beams

Mark Beams

Mark retired in 2008 from a career as an international tax lawyer that included stints at the office of international tax policy at the US Department of Treasury, and at General Electric.

Jessica Eakin

Jessica Eakin

Jessica Eakin is the media specialist at Hanover High School and the former director of Youth-in-Action, a nonprofit that connects Hanover High School students with volunteer opportunities.

Michele Gravelle

Michele Gravelle

Michele is a senior consultant with Triad, where she applies her 25 years of experience to helping professionals cultivate their leadership capabilities and develop masterful communication skills.

Sandy Kelsey

Sandy Kelsey

Sandy is a board-certified Emergency Physician and also Pediatrician who has practiced in varied locales in New England. He has participated in a number of International Medical trips to South America where he provided Pediatric and General Medical care to indigenous populations.

Duncan McDougall

Duncan McDougall

Executive Director

Duncan founded CLiF in 1998. He has given a few thousand literacy and storytelling presentations to children and parents throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Duncan has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and worked for seven years as a management consultant in Boston. He has also been a freelance writer, teacher, and radio commentator, and is active in local political and environmental campaigns. He lives in Waterbury Center, VT with his wife and son.

Rick Mills

Rick Mills

Richard G. Mills, JD, became the EVP at Dartmouth in September 2013. He is responsible for the management and coordination of the administrative operations of the institution including financial, facility, human resources and other administrative operations.

Laura Rice

Laura Rice

Laura is the Development Director at WISE, a non-profit organization based in Lebanon, NH whose mission is to lead the Upper Valley in ending gender-based violence through survivor-centered advocacy, prevention, education, and mobilization for social change.

Katie Robbins

Katie Robbins

Katie Robbins is a child and family clinical psychologist in the Upper Valley of NH/VT specializing in social-emotional-behavioral difficulties, parent-child relationships, school psychology, and health psychology.

Posie Taylor

Posie Taylor

Early in her career, Posie’s degrees in English and History and also in Medieval English Literature and Library Science brought her to leadership roles in a variety of libraries up and down the East Coast.

John Vogel

John Vogel

After 26 years at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth where he taught real estate and entrepreneurship in the social sector, John Vogel retired in 2018.

Board of Advisors

Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann is passionate about providing children with authentic reading, writing, listening, and speaking opportunities in and outside of the classroom, and believes that literature can change lives. A resident of Stratham, New Hampshire, Mary Ann has been teaching children’s literature and literacy at Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education since 2006. Prior to that, she spent over a decade teaching language arts and the humanities in public schools in New York and New England. Mary Ann is the coauthor of two text books, writes about using children’s literature in the K-8 classroom at The Classroom Bookshelf, and chaired the National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Committee through 2018. Mary Ann presents regionally and nationally, partners with museums and libraries, has appeared on public radio, and consults with public television.

Patricia Cantor

Patricia Cantor

Patricia Cantor’s first job after college was as editorial assistant to a group of four children’s book writers-in-residence at Bank Street College in NY. From there, she became assistant to the editor-in-chief at children’s book publisher Philomel, which was home to such notable authors as Eric Carle. Even after a career change to early childhood education, Pat’s strong interest in children’s books continued. As a preschool teacher, child care center director, and professor of early childhood education, Pat has maintained a strong commitment to supporting children’s literacy development and nurturing their love of books. Pat has been on the faculty at Plymouth State University for 25 years. Currently, she teaches courses in early childhood development, curriculum and instruction for children from birth through age 5, the historical and philosophical foundations of early childhood studies, and advocacy and policy in early childhood. Her research interests include the impact of screen media on the development and learning of infants and toddlers. She lives in Concord, NH.

Jonathan Clark

Jonathan Clark

Jonathan Clark is the Library Consultant for Children and Teen Services at Vermont Department of Libraries. For the last five years Jonathan has been working at the New York Public Library as Manager of School-age Children’s Programming and as a Children’s Librarian in the Bronx. Before becoming a librarian, he worked for over 10 years as a teacher and educator in Utah and New York.

Deborah Dutcher

Deborah Dutcher

A northern NH native from Colebrook, Deborah began her library career began across the river from there as the Director at the Alice Ward Memorial Library in Canaan, VT. She served as the Media Specialist at Canaan’s K-12 school for three years as well. During her time in Vermont, she worked closely with VELI, Vermont’s Early Literacy Initiative, and she served as an officer with the Vermont Library Association. She was director of the Allenstown Public Library and Loudon, NH’s public library before becoming the Youth and Adult Services Librarian at the NH State Library. Currently, Deborah lives happily just outside of Concord with her husband and her cat Simba.
Toni Eubanks

Toni Eubanks

Toni Eubanks is the director of the Barton and Glover public libraries in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. She has volunteered in many capacities, including the reading programs in her children’s classrooms, Junior Great Books programs for first and fourth grades, after-school programs for the local PTO, and Everybody Wins! Vermont.

Ethel Gaides

Ethel Gaides

Ethel Gaides is currently an assistant superintendent of schools, overseeing curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, the Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) program, grant writer, and serves as the Title I Project manager for seven schools within SAU 48 in Plymouth, NH. She began her career as an elementary educator and later worked as a (K-12) library media specialist and technology educator for ten years before assuming the principalship at Campton Elementary School. She is an experienced facilitator of instructional development teams, working with faculty to effect connections among learning styles, teaching strategies, information technology, and curriculum mapping. In addition to teaching courses at Plymouth State University, Gaides is also an OPEN-NH facilitator and course designer.
Jess Kell

Jess Kell

Jess Kell is the Parenting Program Coordinator for Lund’s Kids-A-Part program, based at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

Jane Knight

Jane Knight

Jane has worked at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT since 1994. She has been the store’s children’s book buyer since 2006. She has also served as an ESL teacher in Colorado and a tutor with Central Vermont Adult Basic Education. She served on the board of Planting Hope, which is based in Montpelier and La Chispa, Nicaragua, for five years.

Jennifer Kusnarowis

Jennifer Kusnarowis

Jennifer has been a Reading Specialist and Title 1 Teacher at Boscawen Elementary School in Boscawen, NH for 13 years. Prior to that, she taught first and second grade, and was a Reading Recovery teacher. She works with struggling readers to improve their reading skills, as well as with strong readers in an enrichment program. She writes grants, organizes and runs school-wide literacy events and activities, and is an active member of the Merrimack Valley School District Language Arts Committee and Title 1 School-wide Planning Team. She lives in Concord, NH with her husband, daughter, son, and dog. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, archery, and kayaking. She has personally experienced the benefits of the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) and is eager to give back.
Julia Rogers

Julia Rogers

Julia Rogers is a former CLiF Program Director and Office Manger. Julia coordinated logistics for hundreds of literacy events during her tenure at CLiF and brings that experience to the Advisory Board. Before CLiF, her previous experience in literacy included teaching English and translating fairy tales in Tanzania and delivering books to children in rural Lao villages. Julia now operates a consulting business that assists young people in planning “gap year” travels.
Rubi Simon

Rubi Simon

Rubi Simon is the Library Director at the Howe Library in Hanover, NH. Her prior management experience in Vermont includes the Director of the Fletcher Free Library in the city of Burlington, and the Burnham Memorial Library in Colchester. Prior to coming to Vermont in 2009, Rubi successfully held a management position at the Boston Public Library as the Assistant Neighborhood Services Manager overseeing the 27 branches for the city. In this capacity she concentrated on staff development, city-wide initiatives and programming focused on literacy development relating to youth services and diverse populations. Throughout her career, Rubi has volunteered for many community-based groups; most recently she has served as a member of the Vermont and New Hampshire advisory committee for the U.S. civil rights commission. In addition she has been an advocate for minorities, and engaged with organizations which promote leadership and civic engagement among Latinos. Mrs. Simon currently lives in Etna, New Hampshire with her Husband and 3 daughters.

Michele Tine

Michele Tine

Michele is an assistant professor in the Education Department at Dartmouth College, where she splits her time between teaching the next generation of educators and conducting research about the ways in which poverty impacts learning and academic achievement. Prior to her time at Dartmouth, Michele earned her Ph.D. at The Lynch School of Education at Boston College, conducted neuroscience research at Brandeis University and the University of Pennsylvania, and taught fifth grade in a under-resourced school in Massachusetts. She currently lives in Norwich, VT with her husband, two children, and piles and piles of books.

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