MEET THE ALLIANCE
New Voices Teamed With Experience
I am a parent, educator, and long-time resident of Upper Dublin. With three students in the district (one at SRMS and two at UDHS) and having graduated from UDHS (Class of 94), I have valuable experience as both a parent and former student in Upper Dublin schools. I strongly believe in the importance of public service and giving back to my community.
I am a lifelong educator, having spent 20 years teaching English at Conestoga HS in Chester County, where I also served as the department chair. I am now part of the team at Greene Street Friends School in Germantown, where I currently serve the role of Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition, I also consult and work with districts and organizations across the country on DEI, curriculum and instruction, and literacy.
DEI is in all things, from the individual experiences of kids and families to the practices and policies we have as a district. If elected, I look forward to making equity and inclusion a continued focus for our district, because every child deserves the very best opportunity to thrive.
Current Board Director
I have lived in Upper Dublin for six years. When relocating from Northern New Jersey, the schools and welcoming community heavily swayed my decision to choose Upper Dublin Township. I reside in Ambler with my husband, two children, ages 18 and 14, and my dog. I enjoy hiking, baking, and spending time with family and friends during my leisure time.
For over 20 years, I have built a career in the financial industry. I am Vice President and regional small business leader for a major financial institution. I am passionate about equity and fair access to capital within the financial industry, and I speak nationally to organizations about creating financial equity for diverse segment groups. In addition, I volunteer and sit on the board of a non-profit in Philadelphia that provides access to capital for underserved communities.
I currently serve on the Upper Dublin School Board. I view the work on hand with an objective lens focused on the collective educational experience. Finally, I am passionate about community and believe that Upper Dublin Township’s global impact starts with education.
Mary Beth Thomas
I am a 7-year resident of Dresher together with my husband Joe and three kids who attend Jarrettown and Sandy Run. I moved to Upper Dublin because of the amazing schools and community. As a resident in UD, I founded an organization which has been providing before/aftercare, summer camp and a community of support for working families for the past 5 years. Our program provided onsite care during COVID shutdowns and the school closures after the tornado. I have served the district on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Adolescent Sleepiness Taskforce. In terms of service to the township, I am currently serving my second term on the Upper Dublin Human Relations Commission, which works to eliminate discrimination and harassment through education, communication, mediation, and outreach.
My educational background includes a bachelors from Allegheny College (Go Gators!), a masters from Thomas Jefferson University and a doctorate from Temple University. Professionally, I work full-time in the public schools as an occupational therapist for Bucks County Intermediate Unit. I have been working in the field of pediatric occupational therapy for 22 years with specific expertise in Autism, mental health promotion, and complex disabilities. During my career, I have also worked at a pediatric health system and on faculty at a local university. Through service to the school board, I seek to affect change that will help Upper Dublin students to be valued by their school community in light of their unique qualities. Each student should be afforded every opportunity to reach their fullest potential! Our educators and administrators are doing an exemplary job but there is always room for improvement. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, and traveling.
Current Board Director
I am running for a second term as a member of the UD Board of School Directors in order to continue to be a part of the School District’s ongoing work to provide excellent educational opportunities for all children of the District. A product of public education myself, I am a firm believer in the importance of public education, as reflected in both of my children being products of Upper Dublin’s schools. In my first term on the Board, I have served in a number of different capacities, including as Chair of the Policy Committee, as Vice-President of the Board and, currently, as President of the Board. I am proud to work with the other dedicated members of the School Board, and am honored to work side-by-side with our District’s strong leadership team, especially our Superintendent, Dr. Yanni. The role of the School Board is an important one as the Board provides broader governance for the District, without micromanaging day-to-day matters that are properly left to the District’s administration.
In seeking re-election, I hope to continue to bring my own style and leadership to the Board, through attentive listening, voracious reading, and informed decision-making. Our children are our future, and we must do everything we can to make sure that all of our children have opportunities to grow, flourish and thrive, both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities ranging from arts to athletics to other activities. Diversity, inclusion and equity are, and will always be, hallmarks of my belief set, both in public education and more broadly.
In addition to serving on the School Board, I am also an ex officio member of the Upper Dublin Education Foundation and am very proud of all of UDEF’s hard work to provide innovative educational opportunities for children in District schools. When not serving our community, I am a commercial construction attorney with the law firm of Post & Schell, P.C. in Philadelphia. I have a specific passion for the arts, ranging from music of all types, to visual and other fine arts, to all genres of theater, and can be frequently seen in theaters, concert halls and similar venues around the area.
If re-elected, I hope to bring an additional four years of dedication, compassion, leadership, and knowledgeable decision-making to the important work of our School Board and our School District.
I began my career in education in 2003, serving as a teacher in New York City public schools. From 2013 - 2021, I had the privilege to serve as the principal of middle and high schools in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. These roles taught me the transformative power of education to shape communities and individual lives. Currently, I serve as the CEO at ArtistYear, an AmeriCorps national service organization with the mission to expand arts education to students in historically under-served communities.
My family and I moved to Ambler in 2021 and were immediately struck by the spirit of community here. We witnessed neighbors helping neighbors to clean up the damage from the tornado. Our child was warmly welcomed as a new 4th grade student at Fort Washington Elementary School. We quickly felt a sense of connection that affirmed that this community was now "home."
I am running for school board out of a deep belief in the power of this community. It would be a privilege and honor to utilize my experiences in educational leadership to contribute to the sustained excellence of our school system in service of our children's future.
Some other fun facts about me: I live with my wife, Erica, and child, Kai, in addition to 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 chickens, 2 potbelly pigs and 2 cockatiels (it is just as crazy as it sounds!). I grew up in Media, PA and graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. I'm also a competitive athlete who was featured with his students on season 10 of NBC’s "American Ninja Warrior".