Our Staff

William H. Guenther

President, CEO & Founder of Mass Insight Education
Bill founded Mass Insight Education in 1997. Mass Insight organizes partnerships of states, districts, schools, business and universities with two high-impact goals: using Advanced Placement® as a lever to attain excellence in math and science achievement and to transform 6-12 school culture, and the successful turnaround of consistently under-performing public schools. Bill has led Mass Insight’s work in three areas: (1) Research—as co-author of The Turnaround Challenge (2007) which has received national attention and is credited with shaping state and district strategies on turnaround of chronically underperforming schools; (2) Performance-based partnerships—Bill and Mass Insight have organized research-based initiatives incorporating comprehensive services, including staff and leadership development programs and consulting for states, school districts and schools; (3) Policy facilitation and communication—Bill and Mass Insight have served as advocates, conveners and catalysts for education policymaking. Mass Insight’s national work grew from its successful campaigns and field work that contributed to the success of Massachusetts education reform.

Bill is also president and founder (1989) of Mass Insight Global Partnerships, a Boston-based consulting and research firm that shapes talent- and innovation-based economic development strategies, builds strategic alliances between higher education, industry, and government within the Commonwealth, and seeks opportunities to connect Massachusetts’ assets to the global economy with a special focus on building US-China leadership networks.

Bill, a graduate of Harvard College and the New York University Law School, lives in Beverly with his wife and two children. Previously, he served as chairman of the Salem Redevelopment Authority.

Michael Contompasis

Executive Chairman, MA & Senior Field Consultant
Michael Contompasis recently retired after two years as Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. Previously he served as the district's Chief Operating Officer from 1998 through 2005. Before moving to a district leadership role, Mr. Contompasis was the Head Master of Boston Latin School, the state's top performing 7-12 secondary school, where he was honored as a Milken Educator in 1997. From 1996 to 1998, he also served as a cluster leader overseeing and mentoring the principals of ten K-12 schools in the district. He began his career in education as a Biology teacher in 1966. He was presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the Council of Great City Schools in 2006. Mr. Contompasis currently serves as an unpaid advisor to the Mayor of the City of Boston in addition to his role as Senior Field Consultant for the School Turnaround Group.

Deborah J. Abbott, CPA

Finance Director
Deb Abbott is responsible for all financial aspects of the organizations including budgeting, reporting, and projecting cash flows. She has more than 19 years of experience in accounting, the majority of it with not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining Mass Insight, she was the Controller for a privately-held rare coins and collectibles business for almost 2 years. Before that, she was the Controller for BWH Anesthesia Foundation, Inc. for 6 years. Deb has her B.S. in accounting from Bryant College and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Clark University.

Frangie Cruz

Manager of Student Partnerships
Frangie is the MIE liaison between students, corporate, and nonprofit partners ensuring that students and their families are aware of and connected with the opportunities and supports available to help prepare them for college and career success. Prior to joining MIE, Frangie served as the Lead Support Specialist Manager for the Hartford Region Open Choice Program managed by the Capitol Region Education Council in Hartford, Connecticut. She was responsible for building and directly managing relationships with 28 participating school districts while supervising a team of support specialists to ensure successful collaboration and transitions benefiting the needs of students and families. Prior to this, Frangie was a Health Careers Program Coordinator for Capital Workforce. Frangie received her Master of Education degree from the University of Connecticut and her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hartford.

Laken Ferreira

Project Coordinator
Laken is a Project Coordinator supporting our MIE development and public policy work, with a particular emphasis on the College Success Campaign. Laken became passionate about Education Reform when she was a kindergarten student teacher in Burlington, Vermont. Her own frustrations with systemic issues in the education field led Laken to pursue a master’s degree in Macro Social Work, which she completed in 2015 at Boston College School of Social Work. While pursuing her degree, Laken completed her first graduate fellowship at Gardner Pilot Academy, acting as program support, and her second fellowship at O’Neill and Associates, where she was integral in the support of the Government Relations team. Laken received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Psychology from Saint Michael’s College.

Anne Garmey

Director of Development
Anne Garmey has over 28 years of experience in fundraising, most recently serving as the Director of Institutional Advancement at Hearth, Inc. where she was responsible for developing and executing annual and capital fundraising, public relations and volunteer activities. Prior to this, Annie worked in development for The Rivers School in Weston as Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs for seven years and as Campaign Coordinator for six years. In addition, Annie has worked as an independent prospect researcher and as Assistant to the Associate Director of Development at The Harvard College Fund. She is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and The Winsor School.

Joanna Manikas

Vice President, Business and Information Systems
Joanna Manikas is responsible for information and office systems. She has over 25 years of experience in project management, information technology, print and electronic design, and operations. Prior to joining Mass Insight, Joanna was a business integration project manager at CMGI where she developed toolkits and cross-functional systems to assimilate newly acquired companies into the corporate organization. She has a B.S. from Babson College.

Melissa Partridge

Chief of Staff
Melissa performs a wide range of organizational duties of broad scope and complexity to support the MIE President and organization in achieving our strategic and operational goals, and ensuring systematic alignment within the organization. She began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher in New York City Public Schools after leaving a career on Wall Street. Melissa relocated to Massachusetts and worked within the Boston Public Schools for five years, serving as Assistant Director of Special Education and Director of Expanded Learning. Most recently, Melissa was the Director of Transformation Strategy supporting the district’s turnaround efforts in the lowest performing schools, the relationship with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and relationships with foundations and community based, nonprofit partners. Melissa received her Master of Education degree in School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Master of Science in Teaching degree from Fordham, and her Bachelor of Arts in English from Villanova.

Carol Relph

Events Manager
Carol Relph is responsible for managing events for all of Mass Insight’s divisions. Carol has been a Corporate Event Planner for over 25 years. Prior to joining Mass Insight, Carol planned domestic and international events for Progress Software.

Michele St. Laurent

Director, Human Resources
Michele manages all aspects of Human Resources for Mass Insight including: recruiting, performance management, organizational development and staff development. Prior to joining Mass Insight, Michele held recruiting and HR operations roles in a variety of industries including consulting, investment banking and pharmaceutical/biotech. Michele has extensive experience creating comprehensive recruiting strategies to help managers hire top talent and developing internal programs for new hire assimilation and employee growth & development. Michele has a Bachelor of Science degree from Providence College.

Please click here to see the staff of the Mass Math & Science Initiative.

Please click here to see the staff of the School Turnaround Group.