NH Civics Trustees

Mary Susan Leahy, Chair

Mary Susan LeahySusan Leahy is the founder and an incorporator of NH Civics. She served as chair from NH Civics’ inception in 2016 until 2019 and returned to chair the organization in 2022. She chaired NH Civics’ development committee from 2019-2021. In 2018, Susan won the Board Impact Award from the NH Center for Nonprofits. She is an attorney at McLane Middleton.

Marjorie Chiafery, Vice Chair

Marjorie Chaifery Marjorie (Marge) Chiafery retired in June 2019 having served as the superintendent of schools in Merrimack for eighteen years.  Her career in education spanned fifty years and included teaching children from Kindergarten to grade three in Fairport, NY and Topsfield, MA and leading in Merrimack, NH as an elementary and middle school principal and a district administrator for a total of forty-one years.  During her tenure, Marjorie served on numerous boards in NH and New England.  She is an advocate for this organization because of its mission to promote and nurture civic education for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  Marjorie is also a proponent of NH Civic's professional development for educators and for civic engagement experiences for students to develop their civic voice.

Senator Jay Kahn, Treasurer

Senator Jay Kahn

“I was drawn to the New Hampshire Civics Board during the legislature’s debate on adding a civics exam as a high school graduation requirement. The law specifies students will earn a passing grade on all 128 questions in the 2020 Citizenship and Immigration Services Exam. The goal of civics education needs to be more than memorization. Civics is understanding one’s role and responsibility as a citizen and an engaged citizenry is a constitutional goal of public education in NH. I want to work with people who inspire students and adults to be engaged citizens in their government.”

Senator Kahn has made public service his career and avocation for 48 years. He spent his first 15 professional years in higher education policy and finance roles in Illinois. During that time he completed a master degree and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Dr. Kahn came to New Hampshire in 1988 to serve as Keene State College’s Vice President for Finance and Planning, a role in which he served with distinction for 27 years. In addition, he served as Keene State’s Interim President in 2012-2013, and as adjunct faculty in management and economics.

His interest in student success is demonstrated in the classroom, student activities, interpersonal growth opportunities, in building town gown relationships and in creative and sustainable campus design, which together earned him national recognition. He served on the national boards of the Society for College and University Planning, and National Association of College and University Business Officers. He served as a commissioner on the regional college and university accrediting board, the New England Higher Education Commission. In recognition of his accomplishments, the American Institute of Architects-NH named him a lifetime honorary member in 2013 and the Keene State College Alumni Association named him a lifetime honorary member in 2016.

In his community roles, Jay has led library boards in Illinois, and in the Monadnock region he's led the boards of the Cheshire Medical Center, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce. Following his retirement from Keene State College in 2016, Jay was elected to the Keene City Council.

Senator Kahn is in his third term representing District 10 including Keene and 14 other Cheshire County towns in southwestern New Hampshire. He is a member of the Senate's Education Committee, where he previously served as chairman, and is a member of the Judiciary Committee. His previous committee assignments have included Senate Finance Committee, Municipal Affairs, Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee and Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. He is also the Senate's appointee to the Education Commission of the States and serves on their Finance Committee, and he serves on the New England Board of Higher Education Legislative Committee.

Jay and his wife Cheryl live in Keene. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Dr. Matthew S. Hicks, Secretary

Matthew S. Hicks Matthew Hicks is an experienced teacher and school administrator. For more than 20 years, Matthew has worked in public, private, and parochial schools teaching social studies courses including history and social sciences. He is currently a head of school at an independent N-9 school in Concord and continues to teach. Matthew holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Hamilton College, a M.A.T. in Teaching from University of New Hampshire, an M.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in leadership and policy studies from University of New Hampshire. Matthew is passionate about NH Civics’s mission, particularly developing an engaged NH citizenry and working with schools to increase opportunities for civics education.

Dave Brassard

Dave Brassard Dave is a NH native who has spent his entire career in the construction business. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Business Management and joined the family HVAC equipment distribution business. After selling the business to a public company, he acted as its President through 2005. He purchased a small countertop fabrication company in 2006 and is now semi-retired. His business interests remain in construction and real estate. His wife Sarah and he reside in Portsmouth and Cape Cod and they (patiently) await grandchildren from their two kids. Skiing, golf, travel, cycling and great food are key areas of interest. Dave is proud of his philanthropic interests in southern NH. His frustration with the state of discourse in today's government and society piqued his interest in NH Civics, where he hopes to make a difference.

Dr. Roger C. Brooks

Dr. Roger C. Brooks Dr. Roger C. Brooks is a former teacher and principal serving 35 years in the Concord public schools. After receiving a teaching certificate in secondary social studies education, Roger began his career as an elementary syllabus advisor for the U.S. Peace Corps in Sarawak, Malaysia. As Principal, he led student reporters and still and video photographers to cover the candidates for three NH Presidential Primaries. From the experience, his students wrote articles for Scholastic News. Currently, he is serving his second stint as Chair of the NH State Council on the Arts, is Chair of the New American Baccalaureate Board and is Doorkeeper of the NH Senate.

Dina Michael Chaitowitz

Dina Michael Chaitowitz Dina Michael Chaitowitz is a lawyer and retired federal prosecutor and became interested in civics education as a volunteer for Discovering Justice in Boston. In addition to working on federal cases in trial court, she was the Chief of the Appeals Unit from 1994 to 2018, and handled hundreds of appellate matters before the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The cases involved, among other crimes, charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, racketeering, and terrorism. Prior to her employment with the United States Attorney's Office, Attorney Chaitowitz worked as an Assistant District Attorney, prosecuting state crimes in state court, and as a defense attorney. She spearheads NH Civics' Civics 603! program. Attorney Chaitowitz created Civics 603! because of her deep respect for the justice system and civic engagement.

The Hon. Chuck Douglas

Charles Douglas Charles “Chuck” Douglas is a former trial judge, Supreme Court of New Hampshire Associate Justice, and Congressman.  He is currently a practicing attorney and has been active in civics education since 1984 when he oversaw publication of civics books for the bicentennial of the State Constitution.

Steve Duprey

Stephen Duprey Steve Duprey is a prominent figure in New Hampshire Republican politics from Concord, New Hampshire. He has participated in 30 campaigns since 1970. At age 19, he became the country's youngest state representative. Duprey served as chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party for four terms.In 2010, Duprey was named business leader of the year by the Greater Concord Chamber of Congress.

A graduate of Cornell Law School, Duprey has served as president of Foxfire Property Management and the Duprey Companies for 40 years. He has directed the Concord Chamber of Commerce since 2005.

 

David Hills

David Hills was born in Cleveland Ohio, and moved to Durham in 1974. David earned a Bachelor of Science from UNH in 1980.  

Hills served as a Senior V.P. at A. G. Edwards for 24 years (83-07), where he worked with investors passionate about Impact Investing. He co-founded Veris Wealth Partners in 2007, which works exclusively with Impact Investors. 

David has served on the boards of the Music Hall (13 years, Board President last 2 years) and Threshold Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the Robinwood Center in Stratham, NH which focuses on sustainability, justice, and healing. He is a Guarantor with MCE Social Capital. MCE uses a pioneering loan guarantee model to provide capital to the poorest of the poor in the world.

He resides on the oldest family farm in the US, the Emery Farm, in Durham. David is married to Catherine McLauglin-Hills and is blessed to have 5 children, and 2 grandchildren. 

 

Melanie Levesque

Melanie Levesque Melanie Levesque is a former NH state senator and a former NH state representative. A Democrat, Levesque represented the 12th district from 2018-2020 as state senator, the first African American to serve in that body. Sen. Levesque served on election law committees and the senate judiciary committee. Currently, Levesque serves as senior advisor, Director of Outreach for the NH Democratic Party.

Levesque is president of TCS of American Enterprises, LLC. She earned her AA from NH Vocational-Technical College, her BS from Daniel Webster College, and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. Levesque resides in Brookline, NH with her husband, Scott, and her daughter Logan.

Daniel Marcus

Dan Marcus Daniel currently teaches social studies at John Stark Regional High School in Weare, New Hampshire. He has been teaching Civics classes including “We the People”, a civics course that includes a competition, for over 17 years. Prior to embarking on his career in education, Mr. Marcus was an attorney and practiced civil litigation for 5 years. Mr. Marcus served on the Civics Task Force sponsored by the Supreme Court Society in 2008 and is a current Trustee of NH Civics. Mr. Marcus worked with attorney Jennifer Eber on the new edition of After HIgh School: A Guide for High School Grads on their Legal Rights and Responsibilities.

 

Dr. Betty Tamposi

Betty Tamposi Betty Tamposi has lived in New Hampshire her whole life where she raised her family. She enjoys spending time with her three adult children, their spouses, and her three grandchildren with lots of family activities. Having served in the New Hampshire legislature from 1979 to 1986 she was Chair of the Ways and Means committee and Assistant Majority Leader. She was appointed by the President and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as an assistant secretary of the United States Department of State overseeing worldwide consular operations. She grew up in a family real estate development firm and was responsible for numerous residential, commercial, and industrial projects. More recently she has served as an oncology hospital chaplain completing her clinical pastoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. Over the years, she has served on numerous boards including the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees, Rivier University, Merchant’s National Bank, and Elliot Hospital. More recently, she has been involved in civic engagement as Co-Chair of Global Citizen’s Circle. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Harvard University, and earned her PhD at Fordham University.

Susan M. Wolowitz

Susan Wolowitz Susan Wolowitz, M.Ed.,  is a retired elementary educator who worked in the Concord, New Hampshire public schools for 25 years and was honored by Concord School District as a Distinguished Educator of the Year in 1999.  In 1999 she was awarded the National Law Education Award from the American Bar Association for the development of an early education law curriculum.   She has been a member of the New Hampshire “Think Tank on Civics Education” since its inception in 2008 and a member of the New Hampshire Civics Education Task Force Leadership, and served as a trustee of the NH Supreme Court Society.  In 2015 she was named a board member of the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.

Staff

Martha Madsen, Executive Director

Martha Madsen Martha Madsen has over 20 years' experience in public schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in high school, middle school, and elementary school. She began as an English/language arts teacher, moved into a school counselor role, and in 2020 earned a Curriculum and Instructional Leadership certificate at UNH's Graduate School of Education. Civic learning and school climate are her passions and she has the highest respect for teachers. She worked part-time for NH Civics beginning in 2013 and is pleased to now serve as its executive director full-time since August of 2019. Martha was graduated from Colgate University, Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, and Simmons College School of Social Work. A life-long learner, in 2021 she earned a badge from Guardians of Democracy in Current and Controversial Issue Discussion Strategies.  She lives with her husband, Constitutional Law professor John Greabe, in Hopkinton, NH.

Heather MacNeill, Operations Director

Heather MacNeill Heather is supporting the mission of NH Civics as the Operations Director. Prior to NH Civics, Heather was the Associate Director of the UNH Entrepreneurship Center where she helped build the center from the ground up. She has held roles at Harvard Business School and with the office of a US Member of Congress. Working for a Member of Congress gave Heather the opportunity to engage directly with the legislative process and with NH constituents on issues related to veterans, active duty military, education, and gender equality. She earned both her B.A. in English and her Master of Public Administration degree from UNH. She was educated K-12 in NH schools and is excited for her children to do the same, but with access to the awesome programs of NH Civics.

Luane Genest, New Hampshire’s Kid Governor Coordinator

Luane Genest Luane retired from teaching in 2019 having taught fifth grade in Nashua for over 35 years. Civics education and mentoring teachers are her passions and she is thrilled to serve as the coordinator for the New Hampshire’s Kid Governor program. Luane is grateful to the many fifth grade teachers who have embraced the NHKG program.

Amanda Maguire, Mikva Challenge Partner Site Director

Amanda Maguire Amanda is a former social studies teacher originally from Franklin. Amanda taught social studies at Franklin High School before transitioning to a classroom teacher and then administrator at Second Start Alternative High School in Concord. She brings a passion for justice and engagement and an excitement to have the opportunity to support social studies teachers across the state.

 

Our programs in action!

Quote
Overall, I want to thank everyone who presented at this workshop. It’s one of the most valuable I’ve attended in my career. It featured content, materials, and ideas that could be used immediately in the classroom.
- Jonathan L’Ecuyer, Pinkerton Academy
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