Board Members

Board President - Michael Jordan

When I was in high school, I worked summers and weekends at the public library in my home town of Little Rock, Arkansas.  It was my first job, but I had already been hanging around that library for years.  Later experience taught me that public libraries are way more fun than the libraries I frequented in college, in law school, and in the forty years I spent practicing law in Philadelphia.
For twenty-plus years, my wife Karen and I have spent have spent increasing amounts of time in and near St. George.  We have learned about the Jackson Memorial Library's exceptional programs and its role as a hub of the community. Now that we've been full-time residents since 2015, I appreciate the opportunity to resume my library "career."

Board Vice President - Charlie Merrill

I just missed out on being born in Tenants Harbor when my parents made a run to Massachusetts so I could be delivered in a local Boston hospital. Not sure why they felt the need for this as the Merrills have been in Maine for seven generations. I have summered in Tenants Harbor every year until I retired in 2009 when my wife, Otty, and I moved to here full time. I got to know both the locals and the people from away by being here 70 years. We have two sons living in Hummelstown, PA and Independence, MO, and a brand-new grandson.

Professionally, I graduated with a degree in Biology from Harvard University and an MBA from Babson College. My first job was developing and selling computers to hospitals for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC used to be the number two computer company after IBM). I moved on to KPMG Peat Marwick and then to IBM where I was a management consultant with a specialty in helping organizations adapt to change.
I have successfully served on various town committees (Ad Hoc Public Works Committee, Comprehensive Planning Committee, and St George Charter Commission) and served on the board of the George’s River Land Trust. I very much enjoy working to stabilize the experience of small community living on the coast of Maine.

Treasurer - Joanne O'Shea

The Jackson Memorial Library has been such an important part of my family's life since we moved here 4 years ago.  Our son has enjoyed many of the after-school programs and I just love the comfortable feel of the library and all it has to offer.  We moved from Colorado and now own the Craignair Inn in Spruce Head.  I used to work in mutual funds and though we had a great life in Colorado we wanted to explore the world and show our son that there's more than suburbia out there.  So, naturally, we moved to South Korea to teach English for about 15 months. Then we came to Maine.  It's been a whirlwind but we're feeling settled now and I'm proud to be a part of the JML board as well as the St. George Business Alliance board.

Board Secretary- Billie Gaudette

My first connection with the Jackson Memorial Library was when I moved to Tenants Harbor with my family when I was 5 years old.  At that time, the little red library had one room , a single librarian, and their major fund-raiser was the rummage sale!  It is exciting to now have the opportunity to serve on the library board, particularly with the new St. George MSU and our new facility.  Although I have seen many changes in the role of the library in St. George, as a board member, I hope to help keep the library a place where all can feel welcome and an integral part of our town.
I graduated from Georges Valley, and went on to earn my teaching degrees at the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Orono.  Last year, I retired from 36 years of teaching in the field of Special Education, for the most part as an employee of S.A.D. #50.  Currently, I am keeping my ‘foot in the door’ of education by doing some subbing, as well as contractual service as an educational evaluator in the Special Education program for the local MSU.
My husband and I have two grown children, and two young grandchildren, who I am fortunate to be able to spend time with every week.  I also enjoy sewing, working in the yard, cooking, walking, and of course, reading.

Board Member - Sonja Schmanska

I have lived in Maine my entire life. Rangeley, Dover-Foxcroft, and Skowhegan were my childhood homes. I graduated from Colby College in 1974, with a double major in American Studies and Art.  From there I landed a job in Islesboro, where I taught high school English, met my husband, and had a daughter. In 1987 we moved to the mainland. I became the ELA teacher for the middle-school grades at St. George School, and I have been here ever since.  I love my job and love sharing my passions for reading and writing with adolescents. 
Recently, I served on the Town Education Committee to explore the best educational options for kids of St. George.  Since withdrawing from RSU13 was the result, we now have new opportunities to work with local resources independently.  I am proud of our work to develop a Mission and Vision for St. George School, which includes forging stronger bonds with local organizations such as the Jackson Memorial Library. I am pleased to be on the board for JML and hope that I can help strengthen those bonds.

Board Member -Stephen Barnes

I was brought up in Rochester, NY and discovered this part of the coast when my parents retired in the mid sixties and built a cottage here.  Trained as a biologist I spent most of my career as a potter.  My wife, Trish, and I moved our business, Noble Clay, to St. George in 1990 from the Philadelphia area.  I've always been a reader and lover of libraries and also a naturalist with a particular interest in birds.  I began volunteering behind the circulation desk at JML several months ago and welcome the opportunity to participate more fully in the life of the library as a board member.

 Board Member - Betsy Welch
 
I am a free-lance graphic designer, and the publisher of The St. George Dragon, a bi-weekly journal of community life on the St.George peninsula. A life-long fan of libraries, I served a number of years on the board of the Friends of Rockland Public Library. After moving to Tenants Harbor, I was invited to join the JML Capital Campaign, and later to join the board of the library. I currently volunteer for the St. George Business Alliance and several other local organizations.

Board Member - Debbie Rogers

I moved to Maine permanently 3 years ago after spending part of every summer of my life here on Clark Island.
In my professional life, I worked in advertising and marketing  for ESPN. Prior to that, I spent fifteen years in the movie business as VP of Advertising for General Cinema Corp which was the largest theater owner in the U.S., located in Boston. Subsequently, I moved to Los Angeles as a producer of several films.
I spent 9 years on the board of Connecticut Special Olympics.
Board Member - Judy Smith

I was lucky enough to grow up in the next town to the University of New Hampshire, and enjoy the wonderful library.  I remember how cool that building was in the summer and how we used to play tag in the stacks, an easy task with glass block floors that allowed you to see the footsteps on the floor above.  After moving to New York City in my 20s, I had a huge selection of locations, none of which surpassed the main branch on Fifth Ave. 
Arriving in Tenants Harbor 21 years ago to follow my career as a property manager, I was a frequenter of the old location, again loving its scale and simplicity.  I have worked as an Executive Property manager in Boston, New Hampshire and Maine; retiring from my career at MCH Inc. as Director of Housing.  My clients have primarily needed affordable housing and the services that they can provide.  There is a lovely library at The Methodist Conference Home which is used daily by residents.
I am so happy that libraries have become an integral part of small communities as the strength of a town is in the engagement of its citizens.  I look forward to increasing that engagement through programs at JML.

Board Member - Waino Kangas


 

Board Member - Tina Riedl

I served for 9 years as an officer of the Family Counseling Service of Ridgewood , NJ and vicinity which has since merged with Children’s Aid and Adoption Services.  For 10 years I was the Executive Director of the Foundation at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, New Jersey, the largest hospital in the state focusing primarily on Long Term Care, Behavioral Health and Addiction Services.  Presently I am  a class officer of my class at Cornell University and edits the bi-monthly class column for the Cornell Alumni News. My husband and I decided to retire to Maine and five years ago we purchased a home in Tenants Harbor.

Board Member - Lynna Henderson

I have been a library volunteer, head cataloger for 4 years. I am a retired legal assistant, radio news anchor, commercial voice over artist, and singer.  My passion is the theater, as an actor and director. My husband Peter’s career in broadcasting sent the family all around the east coast, but, I retired in 2012 and the family made our permanent residence in Martinsville. I am themother of 2 and grandmother of 4.

Board Member - Bonnie Percival

With a career in education of mostly primary children I developed a program which intertwined reading, writing, phonics and spelling. My love of children's literature spurred me on to use this rich resource for the basis of the program. Children respond to good books and are motivated to "break the code" when what they are reading is something that hooks them.
Since moving full time to Tenants Harbor, nearly 20 years ago, I immediately began volunteering in the library. I was asked to join the Book Selection Committee to help with children's literature selections. After several years I saw a need to make a greater connection with the school. I understood that in the past there had been an active relationship with an after school reading time.
In an attempt to bring classes to the library I approached each teacher and described a plan to give every child a library card and to introduce them to the library. Nearly every class, grades K-5, participated. For various reasons too many to mention here, the program did not continue. However I do see great opportunity for a similar idea going forward in this new climate with more interest and support from all participants.
About ten years ago I agreed to help coordinate volunteers without fully realizing that this was soon to be a regular position. I love working with our amazing group of highly dedicated and skilled volunteers, nearly 40 in all. They bring energy, enthusiasm, and great ideas to our library. Volunteers are a huge asset for JML.
In the nearly twenty years of being affiliated with JML, I have witnessed incredible change. From the addition of a youth director to the beginning of the PreK program to the many activities and programs now offered, the library has grown and is now a rich community resource center. I am happy to contribute to its continued growth as a member of the board.