Board of Directors

Bruce Bemis is a visual artist living and working in the South End. As a member of the South End community he supports art initiatives at Blackstone Elementary School by coordinating projects and facilitating partnerships in art.  His concern is to see that the arts again become integral to the learning experience of public school children. 

John Cragin, the organization’s founder, is a retired health insurance executive with Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan. He and his wife live in Boston’s Back Bay. Both were active in organizations that supported public education in Brookline, where they raised their children.

Brendan Lehan, the Board Clerk, is currently working for Deloitte Consulting LLP and was previously a Project Manager at City Year Boston, an education-focused nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. He became part of the Blackstone School community in 2010 when he spent a year as a City Year corps member serving at the Blackstone School.

Danielle Morrissey is the Blackstone School Principal and an ex-officio Board member. She was appointed school principal at the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the first year after the school became an Innovation School. She leads a very talented and highly committed staff. Read more about the tremendous academic progress at the Blackstone over the past year, under News on this website.

Dave Russek, the Board Treasurer, is Vice President, Supplier Management within Enterprise Infrastructure, a division of Fidelity Investments.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Northeastern University.  David lives in the South End.

William A. Wolff, the Board President, is the Site Team Leader for Generations Incorporated at The Blackstone School.  He leads a group of older adult volunteers who work with teachers and children in Kindergarten through third grade to improve the literacy skills of the children.  Bill and his wife live in Boston’s South End.

Joel Zayas is an alumnus of Blackstone Elementary School and former South End resident. He is a Digital Media Developer at Sametz Blackstone, which has been a critical Community Partner in the formation of Friends of Blackstone School. He looks forward to giving back to his community and sharing his interest in visual arts with the students.